Pembroke move closer to leave bottom place
Pembroke played their best match so far this season to finish the first round on a positive note, winning their second match of the season and moving close to leaving bottom place.
Three strikes in the first half – the first two from own goals and another from Mano Micallef – stunned Mosta, who are now only one point ahead of the same Pembroke. Mosta are on eight points, while Pembroke remain bottom but with seven points.
Pembroke were coming from a defeat against Hamrun in their previous match, while Mosta had drawn against Sliema.
It was a very entertaining match as the ball went from one side to another in quick succession with scoring chances galore at both ends.
Bottom-placed Pembroke showed much more determination than usual as they appeared anxious to obtain their second win of the season in an effort to get moving away from the bottom of the standings.
In the first half they were a superior outfit, even if they had to rely on two own goals to take full control before adding a third for good measure before the end of the first half.
Mosta were found wanting at the back, although I would be the first to say that they were very unlucky to have suffered those two own goals which gave Pembroke the confidence to take control of the match.
Up front, Priso and newcomer Bradley Meledje tried hard to get their team back in contention, but the Pembroke defence never yielded an inch.
In the second half, Mosta were in difficulty as Pembroke remained on top. The Blues, in fact, never managed a serious effort towards the Pembroke goal.
At the end, Pembroke were worthy winners and they now look forward with optimism towards a better future.
Pembroke started the match on attack and in the first minute Manevski Borche sped past goalie Calleja Cremona in the area, but his final effort was blocked to a corner by a Mosta defender.
In the 6th minute, Barbetti set Shodiya on the edge of the area, but the latter’s effort went just over.
Mosta replied with a fine move in the 7th minute. From a Bezak cross, goalie Calleja Cremona punched out, but Dexter Xuereb’s goalbound effort was cleared from near the goalline by Mano Micallef.
In the 11th minute, Martin set Priso on the left. The latter advanced into the Pembroke area, but his shot passed across goal.
Pembroke took the lead on the 14th minute. Shodiya set Bernardo who passed the ball to Manevski Borche. The latter’s cross hit Emerson Vella and ended at the back of the net.
In the 27th minute, Barbetti set Mariano Bernardo whose effort was kicked out by goalie Yenz Cini.
In the 35th minute, Pembroke added a second goal – another own goal. From a Bernardo cross, it was Luca Martinelli who lobbed over his own goalkeeper and into the net.
Mosta retaliated, but a Priso shot was well saved by Calleja Cremona.
But they were shocked again in the 42nd minute as Pembroke added a third goal. It was Shodiya who set Mano Micallef for the latter to beat goalie Cini with a grounder.
In the 61st minute, Asani Djeljilj set Siraj Arab in the Mosta area, but goalie Cini saved his weak effort in two attempts.
In the 71st minute, Mano Micallef saved the Pembroke fort as he cleared from over the line a Priso effort.
In the 75th minute, substitute Vlcek also tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area, but his effort went over.
Siraj Arab missed a glorious chance to add another for Pembroke on the 82nd minute as he advanced unhindered from midfield only to see his lob being saved by Cini.