Żejtun do Magpies a favour
St Patrick 0
Żejtun Corinthians 4
Newly-crowned champions Żejtun Corinthians notched their 15th win of the season. The result was greeted with euphoria by Rabat who became the third team to earn promotion as the Saints’ hopes are now hanging by a thread.
Żejtun held the upperhand right from the outset with Silvio Sciberras forcing St Patrick keeper Joshua Galea into a difficult save early on.
At the other end, St Patrick almost stunned their opponents when Matthew Xerri’s header was cleared off the line.
After a period of sustained pressure, Żejtun finally took the lead on 35 minutes when Kenneth Abela tapped the ball home from an Edward Azzopardi pass.
Żejtun kept the initiative and on 52 minutes Abela made it 2-0.
St Patrick were unlucky not to bridge the gap when Anthony Portelli’s shot came off the bar as Żejtun keeper Ranier Farrugia had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Glen Barry and Ilyad Scicluna.
Żejtun soon added a third goal through Silvio Sciberras and Oldi Majtara wrapped up the points with his side’s fourth goal.
St Patrick: J. Galea, S. Dimech, S. Zerafa, M. Xerri, G. Barry, I, Scicluna (R. Cassar), A. Ellul, D. Mamo, D. Gauci, C. Farrugia, R. Vella (J. Farrugia).
Żejtun: R. Farrugia, D. Cosaitis (D. Vella), H. Schembri, J. Cachia, C. Magro, E. Azzopardi (J. Abela), S. Sciberras, K. Abela (A. Mercieca), O. Majtara, A. Carabott, R. Cauchi.
Referee: Mohammed Khalil.
Rabat Ajax 0
Rabat approached this match with promotion sealed but for Mellieħa this stalemate leaves them facing a ‘decider’ against Birżebbuġa.
William Borg, of Rabat, was first to have a shot at goal in this match as the Magpies held control and also thought they had taken the lead on 24 minutes when Yessous Camilleri nodded the ball home but the ‘goal’ was annuled for offside.
Mellieħa were denied by the Rabat keeper off a Nikolay Filipov free-kick and at the other end Justin Felice released David Azzopardi who hit wide from routine distance.
Mellieħa suffered a blow five minutes into the second half when defender Luke Cauchi was dismissed for a second booking and Rabat almost made their numerical advantage count but substitute Emeka Banil Onuta missed a sitter.
The Magpies continued to push forward and ten minutes from time Onuta forced Mellieħa keeper Simon Gauci to a fine save.
Mellieħa: S Gauci, I. Sammut, L. Cauchi, Mat. Vella, A. Portelli, R. Filipov, K. Gauci, M. Vella (M. Borg), N. Filipov, D. Cremona (H. Vella), F. Bassi (P. Taylor).
Rabat: J. Azzopardi, J. Tonna, J. Caruana, Y. Camilleri, J. Felice, A. Smeir (E. Basil Onuta), W. Borg (E. Muscat), D. Falzon, C. Muscat, Y. Cauchi, D. Azzopardi (R. Micallef).
Referee: Alan Mario Sant.
Naxxar Lions 3
Żebbuġ Rangers 2
Naxxar got the three points they needed to clinch their place in next season’s First Division. For the Lions, Gilbert Camilleri was again on the mark with two goals.
It was a tit-for-tat affair in the opening minutes before Timmy Thomas drew first blood for Rangers on 12 minutes. The Lions’ response was immediate and they drew level seven minutes later when Camilleri hit home from a corner.
Żebbuġ almost regained the lead when Clint Caruana’s angled shot was parried by Julian Azzopardi as Andre Rocha da Silva and Camilleri were denied by the Rangers keeper.
The Lions had a superb start to the second half, Camilleri heading in to make it 2-0.
And the Lions put the game beyond Żebbuġ’s reach when Da Silva lashed the ball past Vella.
Rangers did manage to pull one back through Jeremy Agius but that effort came too late.
Naxxar: J. Azzopardi, K. Drago, M. Spiteri Gonzi, A. Fenech (M. Del Negro), G. Camilleri, J. Debono, J. Zammit, V. Bellia, D. Cauchi, G. Magri (D. Falzon), A. Rocha Da Silva.
Żebbuġ: J. Vella, G. Mallia, J. Mercieca, C. Caruana, H. Doda, J. Agius, M. Deguara, T. Thomas, B. Chetcuti, M. Farrugia, E. Cachia.
Referee: Roberto Vella.
Birżebbuġa SP 1
Birżebbuġa kept alive their hopes of winning promotion. The Reds shared the early exchanges and almost took the lead but Warren Kiomall’s shot finished just wide.
Ronnie Celeste fed Camenzuli who fired out from close in while Żurrieq keeper Reuben Debono did well to keep out Felix Peplow’s shot. Just before the break, Camenzuli saw his shot hitting the bar.
Birżebbuġa stepped up a gear after the interval and finally forced a breakthrough on 71 minutes when Celeste beat Debono from a Clive Formosa free-kick.
Celeste then almost added a second when heading wide from a Neville Galea delivery.
At the other end, Johan Briffa’s free-kick flew the wrong side of Cardona’s upright.
Żurrieq: R. Debono, O. Grech (C. Agius), K. Sacco, D. Bellizzi, J. Lia, D. Bonnici, C. Shumba (K. Darmanin), Jos. Briffa, Joh. Briffa, M. Genuis, W. Kiomall (N. Zammit).
Birżebbuġa: S. Cardona, M. Pullicino (M.Ellul), D. Baldacchino, B. Farrugia, N. Galea, C. Formosa, P. Camilleri (S. Privitelli), F. Peplow, C. Camenzuli, R. Celeste, M. Borg (K. Muscat).
Referee: Sammy Attard.
Senglea Athletic 0
Mġarr United 1
A goal scored by captain Malcolm Bugeja earned Mġarr their second consecutive win.
The Senglea keeper was kept busy in the opening stages. He denied Mġarr with a string of fine saves but on 24 minutes he could do nothing to stop Bugeja from opening the score from a James Borg corner.
Senglea pushed forward after the break but found keeper Claude Carbonaro in their way.
In added time an angled shot by Spiteri hit the Mġarr upright.
Senglea: E. Attard, J. Spiteri, C. Borg, R. Tanti, E. Azzopardi, G. Tanti, R. Severino (G. Magri), S. Aquilina, A. Spiteri, B. Zerafa, T. Thomas (J. Buttigieg).
Mġarr: C. Carbonaro, G. Said, M. Muscat, R. Marmara (M. Vassallo), G. Theuma (E. Grech), J. Borg, J. Ebejer, C. Tabone, I. Cutajar (A. Debattista), M. Bugeja, W. Buttigieg.
Referee: Sandro Spiteri.
Gżira United 2
San Ġwann 5
The young San Ġwann side got their eighth win of the season.
Shaun Vella and Miguel Francica gave the Saints an early lead but the Maroons pulled one back from a Keith Bonello penalty.
But, the Saints’ pressure was unrelenting and Francica made it 3-1 just past the hour.
Gżira were a spent force and conceded another goal, through Vella, before Bonello made it 2-4 from another penalty .
Two minutes into stoppage-time, Saints substitute Gozwe Pace beat Grech after a fine solo move.
Gżira: R. Grech, T. Micallef, H. Gatt Bonello, G. Mizzi (D. Ciantar), N. Gatt Coleiro, K. Bonello, J. Felice, Y. Tonna, M. Cocks (D. Vella), A. Pirrone (R. Attard), C. Sciberras.
San Ġwann: J. Spiteri (L. Camilleri), G. Agius, F. Cauchi, M. Mercieca, M. Francica (G. Pace), K. Vella, S. Vella, P. Xuereb, M. Busuttil, A. Borg (C. Grech), C. Cacciattolo.
Referee: Duncan Sultana.