Ham­run back into win­ning groove as Pem­broke’s pain goes on

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ham­run Spar­tans were back in the groove after two con­sec­u­tive de­feats as they beat bottom side Pem­broke Ath­leta in a match played un­der con­tin­u­ous rain and strong winds at Vic­tor Tedesco Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

Ham­run’s goals came within the open­ing 20 min­utes through a de­flected Jake Grech shot and an­other clin­i­cal fin­ish by Mif­sud Tri­g­anza to keep them in midtable.

Pem­broke’s only goal was scored by their best player Manevski soon after the restart.

Vic­tory was no more than Ham­run Spar­tans de­served after they cre­ated a host of chances and their striker Jean Pierre Mif­sud Tri­g­anza could have had a hat-trick in the first half alone, when the Spar­tans were to­tally su­pe­rior to their op­po­nents.

Pem­broke, who wel­comed the re­turn of de­fender Asani Dje­jilj from sus­pen­sion, im­proved in the sec­ond half and im­me­di­ately pulled one back after the in­ter­val. Still they failed to clinch at least a draw and this de­feat leaves them ma­rooned at the bottom of the stand­ings, con­tem­plat­ing a rather poor start of the sea­son.

Ham­run coach Steve D’Amato made four changes after the de­feat against Balzan. Fred­er­ick Tabone re­placed Matthew Far­ru­gia in goal as Philip Chir­cop, Ro­drigues and Luke Sciber­ras were dropped. Glenn Az­zopardi, Luke Grech and Jorge Neto were given starts in­stead.

Mif­sud Tri­g­anza forced Pem­broke keeper Calleja Cre­mona into the first save, stretch­ing him­self to turn his free kick into a cor­ner after eight min­utes.

But short of the quar­ter hour, the Spar­tans opened the scor­ing. Nanapere played a square pass to Jake Grech whose shot from out­side the area took a wicked de­flec­tion off Scozzese and ended be­hind the goal­keeper.

Ham­run dou­bled their lead on 19 min­utes. Nanapere was again in­volved, pro­vid­ing a low pass to Tex­eira who freed Jean Pierre Mif­sud Tri­g­anza to hit low past the Pem­broke cus­to­dian.

As Pem­broke pushed to pull them­selves into the game, a Djeljilj cross was par­ried by Ham­run keeper Tabone. Manevski mishit in front of goal and the ball ended into a cor­ner. A minute later Manevski was again in ac­tion as he ad­vanced through the mid­dle and his di­ag­o­nal shot was slightly de­flected by keeper Tabone.

Nanapere con­tin­ued to be the most mo­bile and threat­en­ing player on the pitch. He set Mif­sud Tri­g­anza, who rounded the goal­keeper but failed to put his ef­fort on tar­get from a tight an­gle, clip­ping the bar in the process.

Pem­broke threat­ened again on the stroke of half­time. Manevski played a short free kick to Djeljilj who shot frac­tion­ally wide.

Pem­broke put in Shola Shodija for Gauci at half­time and within ten min­utes they were back in it. Borche Manevski was left un­mo­lested in­side the area on a Mar­i­ano pass and beat keeper Tabone with a low strike.

Ham­run had sud­denly handed the ini­tia­tive to their op­po­nents but Pem­broke re­mained sloppy and lacked a cut­ting edge. The wet sur­face did not help ei­ther. Ham­run, run­ning out of ideas, kept boot­ing the ball out as far as pos­si­ble. Their keeper Tabone needed to be on his toes to save Manevski’s firm header off a Mus­cat free kick from the right.

In the late stages Mar­i­ano headed frus­tat­ingly out from close dis­tance and when a Scozzese de­liv­ery trav­elled across the face of the Ham­run goal with no one putting a foot to it, Pem­broke knew it would not be their af­ter­noon.

Borche Manevski of Pem­broke Ath­leta (left) scores against Ham­run Spar­tans Photo: Domenic Aquilina

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