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Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 13:39

Hamrun Spartans FC – Msida St. Joseph FC

Between the two neighbours Hamrun and Msida, one expected a very nervous and tense match with probably loads of yellow cards issued during the game. On the contrary this was not the case, not even for the notorious  Geatan Spiteri  and Roderick Fenech who usually end up on the referee’s match report quite easily. The calm and tranquillity is the order of the day at Hamrun Spartans and these two players in fact are showing us their talent and refraining from committing useless fouls.

At the end of the first half we had some curious incidents with Manuel Bartolo, the Msida goalkeeper, seemingly speaking up to some Hamrun fans and a policeman seemed to have a curious disagreement with the referee himself!

Ian Zammit was immediately in the fray, had a good chance to open the score in the first half, and received the Spartan supporters’ applause when he was substituted – I am sure the Valletta supporters for once were Green with envy!

Valletta FC vs Hibernians FC

Hibernians this weekend had one of the Cauchi twins out of the 18-man squad after probably a quarrel with the coach as Elkien last week was again substituted in and out of the match for the third time this year. Barbara against Valletta had a quiet match when one thought that he would be all out to impress in this big match. Having said so, his performance improved drastically in the second half.

Alan Mario Sant continued to prove himself as one of the best referees this country has to offer in the international scene with the excellent control he exerted during the match.

The turning point in this match was the missed header by the new acquisition De Pina who could have set Hibernians three-one up but failed to do so with his free header in front of Hogg. Man of the match Gilbert Agius calmly directed his team mates as Valletta came victorious in this tense battle.

Qormi FC – Tarxien Rainbows FC

Contrary to the norm between Qormi and Tarxien, Ramon dos Santos was not his consistent self, awarded a penalty on the other Tarxien Brazilian Denii Dos Santos and had a complete off day in the Qormi defence.

Ironically Qormi were the most active team in the January sales but their new acquisitions are yet to make an impact as Giglio and Bartolo are still set to win after their three matches in their new yellow/black shirt.

Mark Victor Tanti scored a wonderful volley from inside the box when Denii somewhat managed the perfect assist.

Sliema Wanderers FC vs Dingli Swallows FC

Sliema had their change in coach with Marlow sitting for the redundant Azzopardi and everyone thought we would see him in a suit instead of his casual attire on the Msida bench. Marlow opted for a colourful blue Sliema jacket to direct the sky blue orchestra which was completely out of tune in the finishing department.

The turning point during the match was an excellent Da Silva pass towards Okonkwo returning the favour but the Nigerian failed miserably when he did not manage to control the ball. Sliema managed their comeback through perseverance and a fantastic goal by Mifsud Triganza.

Floriana FC vs Birkirkara FC

Two penalty shouts, a yellow card to Anonam in the half time, a strange own goal and a second goal for Birkirkara which had to be annulled for a foul on keeper Parnis sums up all the bad referee decisions in this match. Even the assistants left much to be desired as was the finishing for Floriana who had loads of freekicks missed for a whisker by their players.

In the first 15minutes Birkirkara where all over the park and everyone expected a goal but not an own goal! A bizzare miss clearance left the greens with an uphill but from then on they suddenly noticed that they where playing at Ta Qali and not during a training match. A couple of chances but still very poor finishing. The usual Ryan Darmanin poked in a ball which seemed easy for Mora but the ball went past him and into the post. Instantly after Birkirkara went ahead with a controversial goal were a Birkirkara player barged into goal keeper Paris and captain Galea placed the ball inside the net.

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