Mosta stop Sliema’s positive form
Despite having squad problems, Mosta managed to snatch a point as they one of the most teams in form Sliema Wanderers 1-1. This point kept Mosta in 11th place with eight points from ten games, but this draw might give a bit of fresh air that is needed in the club.
On the other side, this draw stopped the brilliant form of four consecutive wins that John Buttigieg’s team claimed in the last games, and they are now one point behind Floriana.
Sliema were better in the first half but failed to close the affair after the break, and permitted Mosta to improve, score and take away a point. Buttigieg made only one change from last game, as Gabriel Aquilina took the place of the suspended Peter Xuereb.
On the other side, Ivan Zammit made again huge changes to the team, as he made six changes from the defeat against Floriana. Joint club top scorers Priso and Reid returned in attack, while Kurt Magro was suspended.
Sliema had the first action of the game when Salamon dribbled past an opponent and crossed a low ball in the penalty area, but Jean Paul Farrugia missed the ball. The first shot by Mosta came after 20 minutes, with a dangerous shot by Priso that was deflected into a corner.
The Wanderers took the lead four minutes later. Muchardi passed to Farrugia who had a shot partially saved by Cini, but Wisdom Salamon scored from the rebound.
Sliema reduced their attacking force, as Mosta tried to be more dangerous in attack, but Sliema were more compact in defence. In fact, Sliema almost doubled the lead before the break when Mark Scerri could have concluded better in front of Cini, after he received a header from Muchardi.
Buttigieg’s team closed the half on the attack and in stoppage time from a free-kick by Muir, Jean Paul Farrugia tried with a heqader, but was well saved by Cini.
Mosta equalised on the 57th minute. Atkinson crossed to Njongo Priso who chested the ball and with a deflected shot beat Glenn Zammit. After this goal, the game reduced its rhythm as the game was played in the midfield.
In fact, the next action to note came four minutes from time, when Gary Muir tried with a shot from distance that was saved into a corner. In the last moments, Sliema increased their efforts with shot from Galin and Muscat, but Cini was ready in every action to save a point for his team.
Balzan Hibernians Birkirkara Valletta Floriana Sliema Hamrun Tarxien St. Andrews Gzira Mosta Pembroke P W D 10 7 2 10 6 2 10 6 1 10 5 3 10 5 2 10 5 1 10 4 2 10 2 4 10 3 1 10 2 3 10 2 2 10 1 1 L F APts 1 21 12 23 2 12 8 20 3 25 8 19 2 15 10 18 3 11 8 17 4 13 11 16 4 18 17 14 4 10 15 10 6 10 16 10 5 11 19 9 6 10 18 8 8 10 24 4
Roger De Souza Villas Boas of Sliema Wanderers (right) gets first to the ball ahead of Dexter Xuereb of Mosta (left) and his team mate Mark Scerri (centre)
Photo: Domenic Aquilina