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.
- Micallef (68’ Lagzir)
- Soares (85’ Oyama)