Spartans Stand Their Ground to Register 2nd Win

Today the Spartans showed us what mettle they are made of. They showed discipline, determination, fighting spirit and focus in order to bring home the much needed 3 points.

The initial exchanges of the match were a balanced affair with both teams trying to keep possession of the ball while trying to reduce the dangers from the opposing side. However, following the first 15 minutes of play, the Spartans started gaining in stature and were taking the upper hand with continuous pressure applied to the Floriana rear-guard. It didn’t take much time for the Spartans to exchange this pressure into goals. N’tow, who was playing in a position which is different to what we are used to, unleashed a powerful ground shot that took the Floriana goalkeeper Kitanov by surprise, resulting in the 1st goal for the Spartans. Our lads were aware of their superiority and continued to attack even after gaining such an early advantage. It only took another 8 minutes for the Spartans to double their advantage. Sasere was brought down inside the area by Callegari and from the resulting penalty kick, the same Sasere scored his 1st league goal. At this point, the Spartan faithful could not help but shout and jump for joy.

As the match progressed further, our superiority started dwindling until Floriana started putting increased pressure on the Hamrun defence, especially in the last 5 minutes of the 1st half which were quite nervy for our team. Nevertheless, the Spartans managed to take a 2-goal advantage into the dressing rooms at half time.

The 2nd half started with a Lagzir powerful freekick which was centrally parried by Kitanov. However, in the 53rd minute, Floriana pulled one back. A quick break from Floriana caught us uncovered on our right flank with Camenzuli advancing and crossing into the area. Gojkovic, who until that moment was having a good game, had an erratic clearance with the ball ending in Caseres’ feet who slotted home past the blameless Bonello. At this point, every Spartan fan was wary of how our players would react to such a situation, but our support was continuous, especially at this delicate moment. Our players showed true fighting spirit and companionship. Every player fought for the ball, and when a player committed a mistake there were others who covered for him. As fans, we were surely delighted to see the same spirit that helped us become champi8ns last year. Our players had no easy task however, as our opponents started regaining the initiative and pressure was continuously increasing, although we still had our chances with Sasere missing a golden opportunity in the 78th minute after a pin-point cross from Soares who had a good game today.

The players and fans were elated at the final whistle. A deserved three points were celebrated when the Hamrun players went under their fans’ side to thank them for their ongoing support. The fans reciprocated by thanking the players for fighting like true Spartans.

Line-Up

  • Bonello
  • Oyama
  • Gojkovic
  • Micallef
  • Mbong
  • Marcelina
  • Gambin
  • N’Tow
  • Lagzir (67’ El Bakhtaoui)
  • Soares
  • Sasere

A Third Defeat in Poor Showing

Following the first win registered last week against Mosta, all Spartan faithful expected the team to start making progress from the two initial defeats of the campaign. This was not to be however, as this match against Balzan was probably the poorest showing so far. Our team seemed like an army with no weapons as although we kept most of ball possession we did very little to penetrate our opponents and never really put our opponents in uneasy situations. On the contrary, Balzan managed to harm us with much less possession but with much more tactical discipline.

The all-important goal came in the 29th minute when Djordjevic imprudently lost possession in midfield and committing a foul to stop the ensuing danger. Nevertheless, Balzan’s Djuric opened the score with an inch-perfect free kick. Everybody expected a bold comeback from the Spartans but this was never to materialise. Balzan allowed us to pass the ball horizontally throughout the game even though some reckless play meant that the Spartans continuously lost possession. However, once the ball moved vertically, it seemed too easy for the Balzan players to anticipate every ball and the Spartans surely lacked the fighting spirit that should characterise any player who dons the Spartan shirt. In fact, our only threat towards goal was a Sasere header than ended just wide, following a Gambin cross. As for the rest of the game there is little to report, with Hamrun trying to keep possession until some sloppy passing or vertical play meant that Balzan put the Hamrun rear-guard under pressure. It could have been worse had Kaljevic not missed a penalty by shooting incredibly wide from the spot. Unfortunately, the Spartans ended the game all over the place and it was evident that although our team is technically superior, we lost the match due to poor tactical discipline.

 

Line-Up

  • Bonello
  • N’Tow (62’ Borg)
  • Gojkovic
  • Dielna (75’ Mercieca)
  • Micallef (62’ Lagzir)
  • Marcelina
  • Gambin
  • Djordjevic (46’ Oyama)
  • Mbong
  • Soares
  • Sasere

Spartans Register First Win of the Season

The much awaited first win and first points of the season have arrived in this match against Mosta. Nevertheless, it was no easy feat and once again the Spartans had to fight hard for every ball. The Spartan faithful filled the stands and their singing and shouting created a marvellous atmosphere notwithstanding the fact that this encounter following two consecutive defeats.

Contrary to what was expected, Mosta dictated the opening exchanges with our lads finding it difficult to keep possession of the ball and move beyond our defensive half. Mosta made sure to press us high up while not allowing us to build up play from our defensive department. Such ongoing pressure led to a nightmare goal on the 12-minute mark. Micallef passed the ball from the right side of the pitch to Bonello who mistimed the ball which ended at the back of the net. The Spartan fans could not believe what they were seeing and for a moment you could hear a pin drop. But our Spartans acted as true warriors and immediately went out to recover from such a setback. In less than 60 seconds, our debutant Gambin equalised sending the Spartan fans into ruptures.

Throughout the remainder of the first half, play was rather balanced with both teams trying to surge forward, with the best chance for Hamrun to move ahead falling to Gambin whose shot was excellently saved by Jovicic from close range. At the other end, Bonello performed an excellent save from a Mosta long range effort. In the second half, the Spartan players took to the pitch with renewed determination. Our midfield players were continuously creating space and chances and on a couple of occasions Soares had the opportunity to put us ahead but he either found Jovicic well placed or the finish was off target. On the 56th minute Gambin had an excellent effort miss the target by a whisker. On the 63rd minute, Soares was creating space for a shot with his fine dribbling, but he was brought down with a tackle to his ankle. The match official had no option but to award a penalty which Soares decided to convert himself with a cheeky but risky chip.

After going behind, Mosta gradually started increasing the pressure on the Spartan rear guard with presumably their greatest chance at equalising coming in the 68th minute when Bonello made an excellent save with his outstretched arms. Nearing the end of the match, the affair grew tense with a couple of scuffles breaking out between the opposing players on the field, with the match officials being able to control things without letting them escalate further. As true warriors, the Spartans held on to bring home the three points. This win might start reducing some of the pressure that has been building up in the past few weeks.

Line-Up

  • Bonello
  • N’Tow
  • Gojkovic
  • Dielna
  • Micallef (68’ Lagzir)
  • Marcelina
  • Gambin
  • Corbalan
  • Mbong
  • Soares (85’ Oyama)
  • Sasere