Valletta move to safer waters

Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 10:13

courtesy of Victor Ciangura – The Malta Independent

APS Bank Under 15 Section A

Valletta   3     Sliema W    2


Before this game Valletta were in the danger zone in fourth place from bottom on 20 points from 16 games, as four teams will be relegated next season, a position which belies their potential. They are now fifth from bottom on 23 points from 17 games. Sliema retained third placing on 32 points also from 17 games.

The game was watched by a sizeable crowd at Luxol Ground who were regaled with a fast and action-packed game as both sets of youngsters played intelligent football. Referee Martin Borg had a very good control over the proceedings and cleverly applied the advantage clause on many occasions.

Valletta took an early 4th minute lead when Clint Zammit served Edward Camilleri with a through ball on the edge of the area and he scored with a rising shot in the top left hand corner past a helpless Sliema keeper Aidan Bartolo.

After this early set-back Sliema mounted two actions. They won a free kick in Valletta’s half and Mark A. Scicluna served Christian Mercieca with a short pass and Valletta keeper Mevrick Buhagiar saved his shot from outside the area, Scicluna then served Omar Xuereb in the area but Buhagiar foiled him with a timely sortie.

The score became 2-0 in the 11th minute when Camilleri served Zammit with a through ball in the area who scored with a low shot.

Valletta kept insisting and as Mirko Vella floated a high ball in the area from a free kick Bartolo was forced to fist the ball away to safety.

Sliema reduced the gap in the 21st minute when David Mifsud was fouled on the left edge of the area and after Mercieca floated a high ball from the free kick Scicluna scored from inside the area.

Valletta restored their two-goal lead on the half hour as they won a corner kick on the left flank which was well-taken by Aaron Attard and David Vella scored with a header.

Two minutes before the interval Sliema again reduced the gap when Mercieca served Iousef Meli with a square pass on the edge of the area and he scored with a half volley in the top right hand corner.

The first three actions after the resumption were created by Valletta. Russell Fenech served substitue Paul Lapira with a through ball in the area but he drove out from a very ideal position. Tyrone Cardona served Zammit in the area and after Bartolo partly saved his shot the ball was cleared away to safety and after a corner kick by Vella, Bartolo neutralised the ball.

Sliema reacted and mounted three actions. Xuereb served substitute Ahmed Jaleddi with a square pass on the edge of the area and the ball finished out from his shot. Xuereb was then fouled on the right flank and the ball was headed away following the free kick by Meli and Meli was then fouled just outside the area and Buhagiar saved the hard grounder by Kenneth Bonnici.

The last two actions before the end were created by Valletta. Zammit dribbled past a defender on the left flank and as he tried his luck from outside the area the ball thumped the bar with Bartolo completely beaten and the same player then served Fenech in the area but he failed to make contact with the ball.

Referee: Martin Borg                                              Player of the match: Clint Zammit(Valletta)


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