ŻEJTUN CORINTHIANS 0
HIBERNIANS: M. Calleja Cremona-7; F. Apap-6.5; L. Almeida-6.5; Raphael-6.5; J. Grech-7 (86 Z. Grech); J. Degabriele-6.5 (61 T. Fonseca); B. Kristensen-6.5; D. Vella-6.5 (87. A Attard); G. Artiles-6.5; A. Agius-6.5; Gilmar-7 (77 I. Iriberri).
ŻEJTUN CORINTHIANS: C. Cassar-7; D. Albanese-6; L. Moreira-6; J. Suda-6 (73 A. Carabott); Robeiro-6 (53 V. Vieira-6); C. Grech-6; Marcelino-6; S. Barboza-6; N. Tabone-6; G. Azzopardi-6 (83 E. Herrera); Anderson-6.
Referee: Fyodor Zammit.
Yellow cards Tabone, Vella, Grech, Lucas
BOV Player of the Match Gilmar (Hibernians).
Hibernians remained in touching distance with leaders Ħamrun Spartans after beating Żejtun Corinthians 2-0.
The Paolites remain three points distant from the Spartans, whom they will meet next weekend in a highly-anticipated clash.
Jake Grech and Gilmar scored a goal in each half to help Hibernians secure their 16th win of the campaign.
Żejtun Corinthians, on their part, have succumbed to their 10th defeat of the season as they are now fifth bottom on 23 points, but with a game in hand.
Hibernians could not have asked for a better start as they forged ahead inside the opening three minutes. Jake Grech capitalised on a well-engineered move set up by Jurgen Degabriele and Gilmar for his 12th goal of the season.
Żejtun replied with an Anderson volley that sailed over the bar.
Stefano Sanderra’s remained the better team on the field, dominating proceedings in search for a second even though Żejtun were compacted and organised at the back.
Gilmar tried his luck from close-range but his thumping volley went wide before another Anderson effort went past Matthew Calleja Cremona’s goal.
Late in the first half, Marcelino fired a shot from the edge of the area but missed the target as Hibs went into the dressing room one up.
In the second half, Hibernians remained on top and they almost struck a second through Leandro Almeida who hit a first timer just to be denied by a spectacular Chris Cassar save.
Gilmar tried his luck from a freekick but failed to hit the target as the Paolites kept pushing to double the score.
Nonetheless, the Brazilian forward was not to be denied moments later, when tapped in the ball past Cassar from inside the penalty area.
This was Gilmar’s third goal in four appearances for Hibernians since joining them from Sliema Wanderers, in January.
Grech could have wrapped up the match with a third just to see his shot sail over the bar.
In the closing stages, Sanderra’s clan controlled the game to preserve their two-goal lead and were looking to strike on the break as Żejtun were pushing for a consolation goal.
However, Hibs were resilient enough to see the game through and claim three valuable points.