Ten-men Mellieħa turn the tide
Despite playing with ten men for 55 minutes Mellieħa managed to turn defeat into a deserved victory as they were the better outfit by creating more occasions than Għaxaq.
Mellieħa threatened in the first minutes. Matias Mari served Ryan Tonna with a cross from the right flank and Għaxaq keeper Liam Attard saved his cross-shot in two attempts and Owen Azzopardi released Mari on the right flank and he missed the far post by inches from his hard drive.
Għaxaq then mounted two actions .After a Shemizen Buhagiar flag kick a defender blocked a shot from inside the area by Daniel Picco and Redeemer Borg released Picco on the edge of the area and Mellieħa keeper Deacon Xuereb saved his hard grounder.
In the next action by Għaxaq in the 19th minute they opened the score as Triston Ellul served Picco with a through ball in the area and he scored with a hard grounder.
Mellieħa came very close an equaliser in the 24th minute when the ball was cleared on the line from a free kick by Mattei Vella after Azzopardi was fouled on the right flank and a minute later they were reduced to ten men when Giuseppe Galea Curmi was shown a straight red card for elbowing Mikhail Baldacchino.
Mellieħa equalised in the fifth minute after restart as Mattei Vella released Matias Mari in the area and after he was tripped Malcolm Said made no mistake from the spot.
Għaxaq replied as Mellieħa keeper Xuereb partly saved a shot by Buhagiar and the ball was cleared after a Dean Borg through ball and a free kick by Buhagiar was partly cleared and Darren Micallef drove slightly over the bar from the rebound.
Between the 59th and 60th minute Mellieħa scored two more goals. Mari netted with an overhead kick from inside the area after a well-taken free kick by Said and Sammut scored direct from a free kick after Mari was fouled outside the area.
In an Għaxaq action Dean Borg entered the area after dribbling past an opponent and Xuereb saved his effort and Mellieħa mounted the last action before the end when a free kick by Sammut created havoc in Għaxaq’s area but the ball was cleared away.
Għaxaq: L.Attard, E.Cutajar, D.Borg, O.Barbara, D.Micallef, M.Baldacchino, T.Ellul, R.Borg, D.Picco, J.Aquilina, S.Buhagiar
Mellieħa: D.Xuereb, M.Attard, O.Azzopardi, I.Balzan, G.Conti, G.Galea Curmi, M.Mari, M.Said, S.Sammut, R.Tonna, M.Vella.
Referee: Kurt Saliba