The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Premier League: Stripes leave their best for the leaders

Chris Cassar Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 07:35 Last update: about 2 months ago

Hamrun’s initial triumphant march came to an ubrupt end yesterday when Birkirkara, still in search of their first victory, left their beat for the leaders to emerge worthy winners by two clear goals.

Birkirkara fully deserved their victory after a series of disappointing performances and results. For Hamrun this was their first setback and a wake up call that the march towards the title will not be an easy one afterall.

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Matthew Guillaumier, this summer’s record signing by Hamrun was playing for the first time against his former club, and brothers Paul and Joseph Mbong were opponents for 90 minutes.

From the initial whistle Birkirkara pressed forward taking control of midfield never letting the league leaders to settle down. After only eight minutes Birkirkara took the lead, and it was no surprise as they took their opponents by storm.

A corner from the left, Bonanni’s header slammed against the crossbar and from the rebounf Yankam was on hand to head home from close range. Hamrun found the going hard with Guillaumier trying to get things going against his former club.

On 21 minutes Paixao had a good run on the right and his low dangerous pass was intercepted by the Spartans custodian and the same Sanchez made a good save minutes later blocking Mbu-Alidor’s grounder.

On the half hour Hamrun went close with a Marcelina header well saved by Guarnone. On 38 minutes Birkirkara were unlucky when Falcone’s drive from the edge of the area was stopped by the base of the upright. Three minutes from the break Hamrun’s best chance when Sasere was denied by a brave Guarnone deflection.

In the second half Hamrun were slightly more aggressive gaining some territorial advantage but Birkirkara still held the edge over their opponents. On 51 minutes a Verde shot was well blocked by the Hamrun custodian.

Five minutes later one of Hamrun’s best moves with Guillaumier move on the right flank and his precise corrs was met by Joseph Mbong whos shot sailed over the bar. On 58 minutes the Stripes sealed the issue when Paul Mbong powered his way inside the area and crossed towards Falcone on the far post, and the Argentine striker made no mistake hammering the ball home.

From then onwards Hamrun desperately took the initiative as Birkirkara elected to control and defend their lead. Ideas lacked for the Spartans and the first defeat for the free spending Spartans was inevitable.  

Photo Domenic Aquilina

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