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Mosta’s first promotion to Premier League in 1986-87

Mosta FC – 1986-87 Division One league winners. Back: S. Muscat, M. Chircop, S. Cuschieri, E. Tabone, J. Degiorgio, M. Ciantar, R. Borg, G. Muscat, P. Vella II, C. Schembri. Seated: L. Deguara, E. Buhagiar, P. Vella I, J. Attard (Coach), A. Gatt, J. Busuttil, M. Muscat

Pipped Birkirkara to league crown

Mosta Athletic were promoted for the first time to the top division of Maltese football in 1973-74. That season has since been etched with letters of gold in the history of the club.

Mosta made their senior league debut on October 12, 1974 against Floriana. The Blues lost only 1-0 but that season they could gather only three points in the campaign, and they were promptly relegated.

The following season there was another first for Mosta. They took part for the first time in the FA Trophy and they celebrated the occasion with a bang.

The Blues created a sensation when they eliminated Hibernians 2-0 in the first round and in the following round, they held mighty Floriana to a draw before they were eliminated in the replay.

In 1979-80 the MFA introduced the Premier Division. Thus, Mosta found themselves in the First Division.

That season the Blues went through a disastrous period and at the end they were eventually relegated to the Second Division.

Mosta’s bad form continued in 1980-81 when it was only thanks to the relegation deciders that they were not relegated to the Third Division.

In 1981-82 and 1982-83, the club finished in the middle of the final table of the Second Division and then in 1983-84 Joe Attard was brought in as coach and he made all the difference.

Attard made several changes in the team and these seemed to work wonders because from a team fighting against relegation Mosta was transformed into a side battling tooth and nail for promotion.

Mosta finished the season in a creditable third place. That season Mosta also won Minor League section honours and reached the final of the inter-section knock-out where they were beaten after a replay by St Lucia FC.

Mosta were now raring to go and in 1984-85, which happened to be their 50th anniversary, they won the Second Division championship.

Season 1984-85 was a memorable one for the Mosta club. Apart from the championship, Albert Gatt won the player of the year award for a Second Division player and Stephen Cuschieri finished as the league’s top-scorer with 12 goals.

Apart from these honours, Mosta also won the Minors and Under-21 section honours and to cap a great season, the minors team also beat Sliema Wanderers 1-0 in the knock-out final.

Mosta had another good season in 1985-86 finishing in third place and just missing promotion to the Premier League by a whisker.

Finally, the golden moment which Mosta had long been waiting for arrived.

Mass rally

At the start of the 1986-87 term, a mass rally was organised by the Mosta committee in which it was announced that the team that season would be sponsored by Attard Brothers Limited.

This sponsorship strengthened the arms of the committee in its bid to win promotion to the Premier Division for the first time in its history.

The squad was strengthened by the acquisition of Mark Ciantar from Sta Venera and Raymond Borg from Lija Athletic.

Mosta started their league commitments with a 0-0 draw against Melita. Then they beat Żejtun Corinthians 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Birkirkara.

The team was now finding its feet and two 2-1 victories followed against Gudja United and Senglea Athletics.

Mosta then ended the first round with another 1-1 draw against Gżira and a 1-0 victory over Mqabba.

In the second round, the championship race developed between Mosta, Birkirkara and Gudja United.

Mosta dropped a precious point against Żejtun but they made up for this disappointment with an important 1-0 victory against Birkirkara.

In their next game however, they lost 0-2 against Gudja.

This setback reduced Mosta’s lead at the top of the table to a single point. The Blues now could not afford to make any mistakes.

With three matches to go for the end of the competition they beat Senglea Athletic 1-0, Gżira United 3-2 and Mqabba 2-0 to be crowned champions of the First Division for the first time in their history.

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