APS Bank Under 17 Section A: Spoils shared in tight game Paola H 0 Valletta 0

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 13:55

Courtesy of the Malta Independent

This keen ad fast game was characterized by strict marking and in the initial stages I only recorded four fouls. Paola were the better outfit in the first period and it was a balanced affair after the resumption.


The first action worthy of note was after 17 minutes and it was created by Paola when Connor Zammit dribbled past an opponent on the left flank and from his cross in the area the ball was cleared away with difficulty and the pressure by Paola resumed as they created four more actions. Andre Azzopardi dribbled past a defender on the right flank and Valletta keeper Maverick Buhagiar neutralized the ball in two attempts following his dangerous cross. From another cross from the left flank by Zammit the ball was cleared away with difficulty. Christian Sammut entered the area after dribbling past two opponents on the right flank and the ball was cleared away after his low drive and Owen Magro released Kieran Xuereb in the area and Buhagiar foiled from further progression as he dived at his feet and smothered the ball.


In the first action by Valletta Kieron Grima served Russell Fenech with a long throw-in from the right flank who after entering the area Paola keeper Dorian Bugeja saved his hard grounder.


Two more actions were then created by Paola. A one-two between Denzil Bartolo and Connor Zammit finished with the latter shooting just over the bar from the edge of the area and Xuereb served Magro with a square pass outside Valletta’s area and Buhagiar had to dive and save his hard drive.


The last two actions before the break were both created by Valleta. Luca Barbara served Fenech with a high through ball in the area and Bugeja saved his header and Grima served Fenech with a through ball on the left flank who after advancing Bugeja neutralized the ball from his dangerous low cross in two attempts.


The first two action after the restart were created by Valletta as they won a corner kick on the right flank which was well-taken by Jean Borg and after the melee that ensued in the area the ball was somehow cleared away to safety and Grima was the fouled outside the area and from the free kick by the same palyer the ball was headed away.


Paola regained the initiative and mounted two actions.Carlos Greach released Kieran Xuereb on the left flank who after entering the area he low-crossed the ball in the area which caressed the goal mouth but there were no takers to apply the killer touch and after a flag kick by Andre’ Azzopardi from the left flank David Xuereb headed out from inside the area, at the other end minutes later, Jake Borg released substitute Kenny Spagnol in the area and Bugeja foiled him with a timely sortie and Matthew Spiteri set Nicholas Pulis free on the right flank and the ball finished over the bar from his cross-shot.


The last three actions before the end were all created by Paola. Azzopardi released Connor Zammit on the l;eft flankand the ball was cleared to a corner from his cross and after the flag kick by the same player David Xuereb headed out from inside the area . Substitute Manuel Mbong had a run down the right flank and after serving Azzopardi with a cross in the area who missed the upright.


In the last action four minutes before the end Kieran Xuereb wasted a good opportunity to break the deadlock as he drove out from two metres with only Buhagiar to beat after Mbong crossed the ball to David Xuereb who in turn served Kieran Xuereb with a perfect through ball.



Paola H: D.Bugeja, C.Sammut (J.Delia 62), C.Grech, I.Falzon, C.Zammit, D.Xuereb, K.Xuereb, B.Caruana, D.Bartolo (M.Mbong 55), O.Magro, A.Azzopardi


Valletta : M.Buhagiar, K.Grima. A.Abela, P.Chircop, L.Barbara, C.Sciberras, N.Pulis, M.Spiteri (L.Farrugia (79), J.Borg (K.Spagnol 55), J.Borg, R.Fenech


Referee: Karl Galea


Player of the match: Connor Zammit (Paola H)

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