GFA Melita Division II
Ghajnsielem   Gharb Rangers
Ghajnsielem : 2   2 : Gharb Rangers

(J. Attard 68’, K. Hili 73’)(J. Attard 68’, K. Hili 73’)


(C. Mercieca 6’, N. Borg 86’)

L. Buttigieg, D. Debattista, R. Grima (C. Grima), S. Sultana, M. Portelli, K. Hili, J. Portelli, J. Attard, D. Hili, L. Buttigieg, F.L. Galea.


D. Spiteri, C. Attard, M. Grech, P. Attard, C. Gafa (A. Micallef), N. Borg, J. Portelli, C. Mercieca (J. Azzopardi), J. Muscat, F. Attard, S. Apap (J. Muscat).

Ghajnsielem and Gharb Rangers shared the spoils in the last match from match-day seven of the campaign and with the point obtained Ghajnsielem increased their lead over runners up Munxar to three points while Gharb consolidated their third spot on the table but remain six points away from the leaders.  The match turned out into a well contested encounter as Gharb scored an early goal that conditioned the rest of the match.  However, the Blacks regained courage during the last part of the encounter and also managed to turn the result in their favour but Gharb’s efforts were rewarded with an equalizer that arrived four minutes away from the end of regular time.  For this match Ghajnsielem had their prolific striker Charlon tabone missing due a suspension.

The Rangers did not show any inferiority complex in their approach to the match against a more quoted opponent but on the other hand they seemed determined to maske up for the defeat conceded against Ghajsnielem in the match between the two sides of the first round.  Gharb also opened the score in the sixth minute of play when Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg partially saved a fine strike by Josef Portelli, Frank Attard took the rebound and from his cross Ghajnsielem’s defense failed to clear so that the ball arrived to an unmarked Christopher Mercieca who fired a low shot that ended in goal.  Two minutes later the Blacks replied through a free kick by Jason Portelli that ended wide and on 9 minutes a curling shot by Damon Hili also ended just away from Gharb’s goal.  Six minutes later Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg was called to leave his position to block the ball before Stephen Apap could conclude in goal and on 26 minutes a header by Ghajnsielem’s Kenny Hili following a cross by Robert Grima was well saved by Gharb’s goalie Daniel Spiteri.  The same Gharb’s goalkeeper, who had a very good performance in this encounter, made another important intervention on 32 minutes to block the ball at the edge of the area as Damon Hili was ready to deposit the ball in goal.  Just before half time Ghajnsielem went again close to level the score but a free kick by Jason Portelli ended wide.

The second period of the match became much more interesting as Ghajnsielem increased their pressure on Gharb’s rearguard while Gharb continued to express dangerous breaks.  On 50 minutes Gharb’s goalie Spiteri saved well another free kick by Jason Portelli and on 59 minutes a shot by Ghajnsielem’s Frank L ee Galea ended just wide.  Two minutes later a header by Gharb’s Frank Attard following a cross by Stephen Apap ended wide and on 63 minutes Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg kept his side in contention when he managed to turn to a corner a strike by substitute Justin Azzopardi.  The same Ghajsnielem keeper was again called in action one minute later when he blocked a good shot by Stephen Apap following a pass by Frank Attard.  Gharb were punished for the missed chances as Ghajnsielem leveled the score on 68 minutes through a low shot by Joseph Attard who was released in the area by Jason Portelli.  Ghajnsielem gained confidence and on 73 minutes they turned the result in their favour when Jason Portelli unmarked Kenny Hili in the area and the latter netted easily from close distance.  On 76 minutes Gharb’s goalie Daniel Spiteri turned to a corner with difficulty a good free kick by Jason Portelli and in an immediate reply by Gharb a shot by Josef Portelli ended high. 

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