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BOV Premier League

Doumbia makes debut as Ħamrun stay top

Joseph Mbong scores Ħamrun Spartans' winner against Senglea Athletic. Photo: Mark Zammit Cordina.

SENGLEA ATHLETIC          0

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS           1

Mbong 26

SENGLEA ATHLETIC

M. Farrugia-6; S. Uyi-6; Z. Cassar-6; A. Abela-5 (67 S. Buhagiar); Fred-5 (67 D. Xuereb); D. Fava-5; J. Tanti-6 (57 W. Gomes); L. Riascos-5; A. Scicluna-6 (80 D. Abela); J. Dibola-6.5; D. Kukic-5.

ĦAMRUN SPARTANS

E. Bartolo-6; D. Gojkovic-6.5; J. Mbong-7; J. Soares-7.5 (94 D. Borg); F. Sasere-7 (64 S. Doumbia-5); I. Adeshina-6 (70 C. Borg); E. Serrano-7; J. Corbalan-7; P. Djordjevic-7; K. Micallef-6.5; E. Marcelina-7.

Referee Philip Farrugia.

BOV Player of the Match Joseph Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans).

Ħamrun Spartans replied to Hibernians and retained their leading spot in the Premier League after a narrow 1-0 victory over Senglea Athletic.

The Spartans have now collected 12 victories and have 41 points to show after 18 outings.

Their victory was once again inspired by Dodo, whose assist served Joseph Mbong for the winning goal. The Cape Verde player has now recorded a staggering 19 assists in 16 games this season. On the other hand, Seydou Doumbia, their new signing, came on as a second-half substitute to make his debut.

Senglea, on their part, remain anchored at the bottom with just two points as week in week out their hopes of survival continue to fade.

Senglea Athletic tried to surprise Ħamrun Spartans in the opening stages of the game with two chances from Jan Tanti and Junior Dibola respectively.

Tanti darted into the box before letting fly a curling effort just to be inches wide before Dibola just missed the target from a free-kick.

Ħamrun replied with a Franklin Sasere header but the ball sailed over the bar.

The Spartans’ best chance dropped onto the feet of Dodo, who after combining with Sasere. advanced into the area but fired wide.

Nonetheless, Ħamrun forged ahead through Mbong who connected with a Dodo cross for his sixth goal of the season.

As the half wore on, the Spartans did not gear up in their intensity as they looked to control the game and see the first half through with a narrow lead.

At the restart, Ħamrun dominated proceedings but did not force the move in search for a second goal.

Past the hour mark, Ħamrun’s marquee signing Doumbia entered the field for the first time after joining the club last week.

Yet, Senglea almost levelled terms when Dibola lobbed a towering header over Emanuel Bartolo just to be denied by inches.

Senglea did not trouble Ħamrun again, with the Spartans missing the chance to double the score after a Djordjevic header was smothered by Matthew Farrugia.

In the closing stages, Senglea tried to stage a reaction but Ħamrun kept them at bay to take three points home.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

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