The Malta Independent 4 December 2021, Saturday

Premier League: Spectacular Grech goal puts Hibernians firmly in control

Simon Farrugia Monday, 22 November 2021, 05:49 Last update: about 12 days ago

Hibernians registered an important win which put them in a more comfortable position at the helm of the BOV Premier League. It was a spectacular goal scored by Jake Grech which decided their match against Hamrun Spartans.

This win means that following Birkirkara’s slip early on in the day the Paolites have now a five point cushion over second placed team Floriana. As for Hamrun this was the fifth defeat of the season, a defeat which leaves them in an unfamiliar position and with their hopes of a successful title defence fading away.

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El Bakhtaoui’s sending off near the end of the first half made life more difficult for Hamrun though they tried to saved the game but to no avail.

Hibernians did the early running and after nine minutes an Andrei Agius headed effort following a well distributed free kick ended wide. And on 16 minutes Hibernians lost defender Dos Anjos with Dunstan Vella taking his place.

Hibernians scored what proved to be the winner in the 20th minute. A gem of a goal by Jake Grech who rifled a shot from an diagonal position into the top corner of the net. This will surely be amongst the front runners to goal of the season 2021/22.

Hamrun tried to mount a reacion with Mbong trying to cause havoc but his crossed were always neutralized by the Paolites goalkeeper.

Five minutes from the end of the first half Hamrun were dealt a severe blow. El Bakhtaoui was seen reacting on Dunstan Vella with the match official giving the marching orders to the Spartans forward. This resulted in an uphill struggle for the boys from Hamrun.

In fact in first half added time Hibernians could have sealed the issue when Thaylor Aldama sent a cross inside the area finding Artiles and the latter though well positioned fired over the bar.

Though with a player less Hamrun went all out in the second half to draw level. But just off the hour mark it was  Hibernians who went near went in a swift counter break Jake Grech passed towards Jurgen Degabriele whose final shot missed out.

The match kept the same rhythm with Hibernians holding firm and closing all avenues. Eight minutes from time a Soufiane acute shot was saved by Kone. And in the 89th minutes the Spartans were rather unlucky when a long distance shot by the same Soufiane hit the crossbar.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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