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Drab encounter

Balzan 0
Melita 0

Balzan and Melita figured in a drab encounter as the two relegation strugglers cancelled each other in a goalless draw. The match turned out to be uneventful with both sides clearly short of ideas in front of goal.

Balzan showed the better fare but still found it difficult to create any real danger to the Melita goal and in the end they had to relinquish top spot of the Relegation Pool.

Patxi Salinas rung the changes, making no fewer than six alter-ations to his line-up following Melita’s toothless display against Qormi.

Andrew Caruana Scicluna and Matthew Borg, who missed the Qormi defeat due to suspension, Jean Pierre Attard, Alan Borg Olivier, Rudi Alhinho and Luke Bianco were all handed a starting role.

Both sides struggled to find their rhythm with the result that the football on offer was disjointed.

Balzan fashioned their first real chance on 36 minutes and it came from Jamie Pace who embarked on a strong run through the middle but his shot was off target.

Another fluent Balzan move six minutes after the break opened the Melita rearguard, Ryan Darmanin advanced towards goal but hit over.

A minute past the hour, Renato Conceicao’s free-kick flew over the Melita goal and three minutes later, Manuel Sierra Camacho’s free-kick was stopped by Balzan keeper Daniel Martinez.

Reprieved, Balzan almost broke the deadlock but Pace headed over from close range.

Substitute Bjorn Bondin almost snatched the points for Balzan when a cross-field pass out of the defence was intercepted by the Balzan midfielder but fired wide.

Balzan
D. Martinez-6, Y. Camilleri-6 (70 B. Bondin-5), S. Giglio-5, M. Mendy-6, A. Agius-5 (66 F. Aboulezz-4), R. Conceicao-5.5, J. Pace-7, C. Caruana-6, J. Borg-5, R. Darmanin-5 (66 D. Grima-5.5), E. Moises N’Dekre-5.5.

Melita
G. Gabilondo Garcia-6, M.R. Sierra Camacho-6.5, M. Borg-5, R. Alhinho-5.5, I. Tufegdzic-5, J.P. Attard-5.5, A. Caruana Scicluna-5.5, L. Micallef (20 M. Martin-6), A. Borg Olivier-5, J. Galea-5.5, L. Bianco-5.

Referee: Clayton Pisani.

Yellow cards: Galea; Caruana; Conceicao.

BOV player of the match: Jamie Pace (Balzan).

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