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Nadur Youngsters extend lead as Għajnsielem drop more points

Għajnsielem’s Ryota Watanabe (right) in a duel with James Tabone. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR

Nadur Youngsters registered their 11th consecutive win in the championship when they had the better of Oratory Youths to remain as the only undefeated side in the top-flight. 

With this win, the Youngsters also took full advantage of the mini slip-up of their closest rivals Għajnsielem to extend their advantage at the top to 11 points.

Nadur broke little sweat to see off Oratory Youths 3-0. 

The Youngsters were off to a strong start and could have scored in the opening stages but an effort by Stefan Cassar was stopped by the crossbar. 

Nadur found the breakthrough on 33 minutes through a header by Judivan Flor Da Silva following a cross by Ian Xuereb. 

Nadur continued to dictate matters with Oratory only operating with sporadic breaks mainly through Goncalves Barbosa. 

It was Nadur who struck again on 53 minutes when Ederson released Marcelo Barbosa inside Oratory’s penalty area and the Brazilian turned past his marker before firing home with a curling drive.

From then on, Nadur managed to administer their advantage as they went on to add a third goal in the first minute of stoppage time when Barbosa served Ederson who stabbed home from close in

Għajnsielem’s hopes of challenging for the title suffered another blow when they could only manage a 1-1 draw against Victoria Hotspurs.

The Blacks were led for the first time by Gotthard Conti as first-team coach since he replaced Daniel Bogdanovic who parted ways with the club the previous week.

The Blacks were desperate to take all the three points against the Hotspurs, but the capital club had other ideas as they confirmed the recent progress.

The two sides had their most influential strikers missing due to suspension and thus struggled to capitalise from their respective scoring opportunities. 

Għajnsielem could have headed to the half-time interval ahead but a ‘goal’ by Michael Bezzina late in the first half was disallowed for offside. 

The Blacks, however, were not to be denied and took the lead four minutes into the second half through Shaun Attard.

But Għajnsielem’s joy was shortlived as the Hotspurs managed to draw level on 57 minutes through Damon Hili.

Kerċem Ajax bounced back from two consecutive defeats with a 3-1 win over Xewkija Tigers. 

With this result, the Ajax reignited their hopes of challenging for the runners-up spot in the GFA Division One standings.

On the other hand, Xewkija remain in serious relegation trouble.

Kerċem saw more of the ball and created more scoring opportunities as Xewkija struggled to come out of their defence. 

The Ajax ended the first half with a two-goal lead following goals by Sebastien Martinez Turio (27) and Euller Da Silva Rodrigues (33). 

On 51 minutes, Kerċem practically put their minds at rest by scoring the third goal through Martinez Turizo.

Xewkija pulled a goal back on 74 minutes with a low shot by Joseph George Vella.

SK Victoria Wanderers earned three precious points following a convincing 4-0 win over Sannat Lions so that the Citizens are sharing bottom spot with Oratory Youths on the ten-point mark.

The result has also blown the relegation race wide open as at the moment there are four teams separated by just two points.

For the Wanderers, this was their second successive victory and also the second match in a row that they got a clean sheet.

The Wanderers held control throughout the encounter and created several scoring opportunities. 

SK Victoria paved the way for the win by scoring three goals during the first half.

Sannat’s Anthony Sultana inadvertently put the ball into his own net to put the Wanderers ahead.

Gabriel Cardona made it 2-0 on 26 minutes before Aud-Gustine James Obaje added a third seven minutes from the break.

Victoria sealed the win with a fourth goal on 77 minutes through Fabricio Rozkiewicz.

GFA Division Two

St Lawrence Spurs and Xagħra United were both victorious from their matches against Żebbuġ Rovers and Għarb Rangers respectively to move clear of the relegation zone.

The Spurs had the better of Żebbuġ Rovers by the odd goal in three to move just two points behind of their opponents in the standings.

The Spurs paved the way for the win by scoring two goals in the opening stages of the second period through Joseph Buhagiar (47) and Alen Haska (57). 

Żebbuġ only managed to pull a goal back in the second minute of stoppage time from a penalty converted by Eman Bugeja.

Xagħra United registered a 4-1 win over Għarb Rangers in a direct clash between the bottom-placed teams in the standings.

Xagħra took the lead after nine minutes of play through a strike by Arthur Farrugia.

Għarb should have drawn level on 43 minutes but Duran Apestegui’s shot from the spot was saved by goalkeeper Leonard Camilleri.

The Rangers were punished for this miss and in the second minute of stoppage time, Xagħra doubled the score through Shemar Tristan Blair. 

Għarb re-opened the issue with a goal by Francesco Cini on 49 minutes. But Xaghra made sure of the win when adding two more goals through a brace by Francesco Cauchi (52, 74).

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA Division Two

Munxar F. vs Qala Saints          12.30

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

Kerċem Stadium

GFA Division Two

Xagħra vs St Lawrence              12.30

GFA Division One

Victoria H. vs Oratory Y.            15.00

PLAYING ON MONDAY

GOZO STADIUM

GFA Division One

SK Victoria W. vs Nadur Y.        19.00

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