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BOV Premier League

Mosta secure vital victory, Sliema Wanderers edge closer to relegation

Mosta striker Sunday Akinbule tries an acrobatic shot against Sliema. Photo: Stephen Gatt

MOSTA                                     1

Donkin 27

SLIEMA WANDERERS          0                 

MOSTA

I. Akpan-6.5; R. Briffa-6 (71 G. Sciberras), W. Donkin-6 (78 Z. Brincat), C. Failla-6, B. Diarra-6, T. Farrugia-6.5, L. Riascos-6, D. Antwi-6 (71 C. Ememe), Rafael-6.5 (78 R. Silva), S. Akinbule-6, R. Ekani-6.

SLIEMA WANDERERS

D. Cassar-6; K. Shaw-6 (64 J. Rengifo), G. Aquilina-5 (46 E. Agius-6), M. Scerri-6, D. Holla, M. Piciollo-6 (45 J. Goncalves), O. Bethancourt-6, J. Farrugia-5, M. Beerman-5, D. Vukovic (14 J. Mintoff-5), V. Berisha-6.

Referee Darryl Agius.

Yellow cards Aquilina, Farrugia, Antwi, Mintoff, Goncalves, Ekani, Ememe, Bethancourt.

Red card Danny Holla (SW) 90.

BOV Player of the Match William Donkin (Mosta).

A first-half strike by William Donkin earned a vital 1-0 victory for Mosta in their relegation six-pointer against Sliema Wanderers, at the Centenary Stadium.

Led by Joseph Grech, Mosta have now moved to 21 points, opening a 10-point lead over rock-bottom Sliema with eight games left for the end of the season.

On the other hand, Sliema missed the opportunity to reduce the gap with their fellow relegation rivals as they remain anchored in the last position with just 11 points, nine away from third-bottom Balzan.

The Wanderers were playing their first game since the sacking of Italian coach Andrea Pisanu, with former club captain Noel Turner taking the reins as interim coach.

After 15 minutes, Sliema Wanderers were forced to replace energetic wingback Dejan Vukovic who picked up an injury. Former Malta international John Mintoff was deployed in his place.

Chances were at a premium until the 27th minute when Mosta broke the deadlock.

Former Chelsea youth William Donkin picked up the ball, beat his marker before curling an effort into the far net for his fourth league goal of the season.

Sliema’s source of danger was mainly Matteo Piciollo who tried his luck with a couple of long-range shots which sailed past Ini Akpan’s goal.

Valmir Berisha came close to level terms when he forced the Mosta goalkeeper into a brilliant save to divert his effort into corner.

Just before half-time, Sliema were handed another blow when Italian winger Piciollo had to be substituted after suffering a knock as well.

Sliema registered the first chance of the second half when Oscar Bethancourt connected with a corner-kick but his header was cleared off the goal line by Rafael.

Mosta replied through Sunday Akinbule who latched onto a Dennis Antwi throughball but his effort finished inches wide.

Forward Jean Paul Farrugia also tried his luck with a towering header but could not find the target. Sliema captain Mark Scerri followed up with a strike from the edge of the area which was smothered by Akpan.

The Blues ended the game with a man down when Danny Holla was given his marching orders for a late tackle on Gianluca Sciberras.

Sliema’s late rally was not enough as the Blues succumbed to another defeat which sees them edging closer towards relegation.

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