GFA Melita Division I
St. Lawrence Spurs   Nadur Youngsters
St. Lawrence Spurs : 2   3 : Nadur Youngsters

(W. Barbosa 73’, 84’pen.)

 

(J. Grima 3’, J. Buttigieg 6’, C. Antunes 38’pen)

J. Grima, F. Xuereb, F. Grima, W. Barbosa, C. Cauchi, M. Cutajar (S. Mizzi), L. Buttigieg, J. Theuma (J. Micallef), L. Grima, M. Boye, D. Micallef.

 

M. Grima, S. Attard, J. Buttigieg, F. Camilleri, C. Debono, R. Dos Santos, J. Grima, C. Hili (C. Mercieca), B. Meilak (P. Camilleri), C. Antunes, M. Stojanovic (S. Muscat).

In the last match from the first day of the championship Nadur Youngsters as expected obtained the full points at stake with a victory over newly promoted St Lawrence Spurs.  The Youngsters opened at two-goal lead in the opening minutes of the match and scored a third goal, from a penalty which also led to a St Lawrence player being sent off, seven minutes from half time.  Nadur continued to control play during the first minutes of the second period but their play became sterile and failed to take advantage of the extra player on the field.  As a result the Spurs gained some confidence and produced a good reaction in the last part of the match where they even could have saved the result.  However, considering the overall performance of the two sides the match showed that Nadur can be considered as one of the favourites to win the title at the end of the championship while St Lawrence will probably be among the group who will tussle against the bottom places of the table.

The Youngsters came out very aggressive and in the first minute of play a shot on the run by Milos Stojanovic ended high.  Nadur opened the score in the third minute of the match when Claudio Antunes crossed from the right flank and the ball arrived to an unmarked Joseph Grima who netted with a back heel from close distance.  St Lawrence were shocked and in the sixth minute Nadur doubled the score through a strike from long distance by Josef Buttigieg that surprised goalie Joseph Grima.  The same Buttigieg could have increased the lead on 20 minutes but his shot, after exchanging the ball with Brian Meilak in the area, ended away from goal.  On minute later Nadur’s Ramon dos Santos released Antunes in St Lawrence’s area but the latter had his attempt that hit the side of the net.  The Spurs had their first attempt at Nadur’s goal on 29 minutes through a shot from outside the area by Christopher Cauchi that ended high.  On 31 minutes a shot by Antunes from a cross by Josef Buttigieg missed the target and on 38 minutes the same Buttigieg had an attempt towards an empty goal that was handled in front of the goalmouth by skipper Daniel Micallef.  The referee awarded a penalty and showed the red card to St Lawrence’s player.  Claudio Antunes converted from the spot kick and made the score 3-0.  Just before half time the Spurs replied with a shot from long distance by Jason Theuma that ended just over the crossbar.

St Lawrence’s goalie Joseph Grima was called to make a good intervention in the seventh minute of play of the second period following an attempt form an angled position by Milos Stojanovic.  As time passed by St Lawrence started to come out their defence and two minutes after the hour mark substitute Jonathan Micallef had a good shot that was neutralised with some difficulty by Nadur’s goalie Mark Grima.  The same goalkeeper became involved in play more often and in the following minutes he was called to make other important interventions to deny St Lawrence from scoring following efforts by Franklin Grima on 68 minutes and Mambaye Boye on 69 minutes.  On 71 minutes Nadur’s Josef Buttigieg had a goal that was disallowed for an offside position and two minutes later St Lawrence reduced the score through a strike from outside the area by William Barbosa that surprised goalie Mark Grima.  St Lawrence increased their efforts and they were also close to score a second goal on 80 minutes but a direct free kick by Barbosa was stopped by the post. 

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