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FA Trophy

Gilmar’s late penalty puts Hibs through with dramatic win

Hibernians' Bjorn Kristensen (centre) moves the ball past Pembroke's defences. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

PEMBROKE ATHLETA  0

HIBERNIANS   1

Gilmar 90 pen.

Pembroke

P. Schranz, D. Marshall (79 M. Borg), K. Farrugia, D. Sant, K. Frendo, J. Ogunnupe, Joao Pedro (85 P.P. Sammut), T. Fenech, J. Bajada, J. Enoto, L. Chiedozie (58 N. Frendo).

Hibernians

R. Briffa, F. Apap, L. Almeida, A. Attard (62 Raphael), J. Grech (87 D. Vella), T. Fonseca (62 Gilmar), J. Degabriele, B. Kristensen, Z. Grech, G. Artiles (46 A. Agius), I. Iriberri.

Referee Glen Tonna.

Yellow cards Frendo, Agius, Kristensen, Frendo.

Hibernians needed a last-gasp penalty from Gilmar to overcome the challenge of Pembroke Athleta and book their place into the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

It was far from a convincing performance from the Paolites who were a shadow of the side that have starred in this season’s title race as despite enjoying long spells of possession they struggled to show incisiveness in front of goal and were guilty of some poor finishing.

Pembroke defended boldly and will feel unlucky not to take the match into extra-time but the Challenge League side were punished for a late defensive mishap as the Paolites won the match with virtually the last kick of the match.

As expected, Hibernians dominated proceedings for much of the first half but for all their possession they looked short of ideas up front and in fact rarely threatened Philip Schranz in Pembroke’s goal.

In fact, the only time Hibs threatened in the first part of the match came on 13 minutes when Jake Grech tried his luck from the distance, but his shot was well saved by Schranz.

Hibs’ best chance arrived on 32 minutes when Jake Grech sped into space inside the area but was denied by the onrushing Schranz.

From the ensuing corner kick, Lucas Almeida connected to Zachary Grech’s cross but blasted the ball over.

A minute before the end of the first half, Bjorn Kristensen should have done better when he latched on a poor clearance by the Pembroke defence but fired over.

On the restart, Sanderra withdrew Gabriel Artiles and roped in Andrei Agius.

Hibs should have taken the lead on 52 minutes when Zachary Grech sped inside the area and sent a low cross into the path of Tiago Fonseca who was denied by Schranz from two metres out. Pembroke’s Kyle Frendo was the fastest to react to head the ball away before Iriberri could head home.

Pembroke came close to a surprise lead on 57 minutes when Lawrence Chiedozie ran into space and squared the ball into the path of Jojo Ogunnupe but his low shot was saved by Rudy Briffa.

Eight minutes later, Agius found Jurgen Degabriele in space but the Malta forward fired wide.

Fourteen minutes from time, Gilmar released Jake Grech who was denied by Schranz with the ball hitting the arm of Pembroke defender Marshall but the referee waved play on.

Hibs’ assault continued and ten minutes from time, Degabriele deflected Kristensen’s volley onto the post as Pembroke continued to survive.

When it looked as though the match was heading into extra-time, Pembroke defender Kane Farrugia handled the ball inside the area and the referee pointed to the spot.

Gilmar took the kick and sent Schranz the wrong way to put the Paolites into the last eight.

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