Sliema surge past Hibs
Sliema Wds 4 - Woods 39, 72 (pen.) 90+3; Muchiardi 90+1
The Wanderers sent a clear message of intent after they eased pastHibernains to clutch up their third successive victory this afternoon.
Officials from Northern Ireland officiated this match under the referee exchange agreement with the Irish FA. Raymond Crangle was referee, DavidAnderson and Andrew Stevenson his assistants and Andrew Davey thefourth official.
And the referee had to deal with the first contentious episode after just 12 minutes when the Paolities had the ball in the net only for Crangle to annul the goal as Rodolfo Soares was deemed to have been in an offside position when meeting Jackson Lima's free-kick.
Seven minutes later, John Nwoba was guilty of squandering an open chance when he scuffed his shot over the bar with goal at mercy.
In the 23rd minute, the Wanderers mustered a good move when Ivan Woods released Ruggiero. The Italian's persistence on the left flank enabled him to break free of his marker Ryan Camilleri before curling an effort just wide of the far post from the edge of the box.
It should have been 1-0 for Hibernians after 27 minutes when Nwoba beat his marker but Clifford Gatt Baldacchino lunged in a goal-mouth scramble with the Nigerian striker. And somehow the ball stayed out when the ball bounced back on Nwoba and hit the foot of the post leaving the striker dismayed to contemplate what might have been.
Three minutes later, Cohen's right-wing cross whizzed across the face of Sliema's goal but Dias and Nwoba just failed to make contact with the ball. Just before half-time, Jackson Lima tried his luck from 25 metres out, and Henry Bonello needed to dive to his left to parry the ball away.
The Paolities who were out much quicker than Sliema following half-time, created little to test the Sliema goalkeeper in the opening exchanges. Michael Woods' side suffered a blow on the hour mark when Cohen cried off with an ankle injury when he went down in the box after colliding with substitute Andrew Dececare.
After 68 minutes, Johann Bezzina's clever flick found Jackson Lima on the flank and the Brazilian then fed the unmarked Nwoba in the box butthe 23-year-old was denied by Stefano Ruggiero who rose above theNigerian to block his effort.
Moments after that Sliema launched a breakaway that resulted in a second goal when they were given a penalty Soares was adjudged to have hauled down Mintoff inside the box. From the ensuing spot kick, Woodssent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
At this point, there was no way back for Hibernians. In the 84th minute, Muscat ventured himself out of the box as he tried to dribble Muchiardi, only to dawdle on the ball but Camilleri came to Muscat's rescue to clear off the line.
Things got worse for the Paolities in the added time, when Muchiardi put his name among the scorers with an angled shot after the Argentine midfielder had been sent clear by Mintoff. Three minutes into added time, the Wanderers scored their fourth. Mintoff once more was the architect as he strode forward before threading a through- pass to Woods who evaded the Hibs defence and completed his hat-trick.