Keen game ends all square

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ham­run Balzan 2 2

This keen and fast game was char­ac­terised by many fouls, for which, on oc­ca­sions, ref­eree Dora Jakab turned a Nel­son’s eye. The two sets of play­ers kept the young fe­male nurse on duty very busy at­tend­ing to in­jured play­ers.

Balzan man­aged to save the day in the sec­ond half af­ter be­ing 0-2 in ar­rears. Ham­run are now on 7 points from 4 games while Balzan are on 4 points, also from 4 games.

Ham­run were the first to threaten as Calvin Agius set Wayne Ser­ra­cino free in the area and af­ter Balzan keeper Bradley Scalpello partly saved his shot with a de­fender clear­ing the ball away to safety.

Ham­run opened the score in the fifth minute when Matthew Mif­sud served Owen Cas­sar with a through ball in the area and he scored with a hard di­ag­o­nal drive.

Ham­run kept press­ing and Cas­sar served Agius in the area but a de­fender man­aged to clear the ball to a cor­ner.

Balzan then mounted two ac­tions. Eric Atkins served Daniel Simp­son in the area and Ham­run keeper Ayr­ton Bru­galetta foiled him with a timely sor­tie as he dived at his feet. Later, Ja­cob Bar­tolo was fouled ot­side the area and goalie Bru­galetta had to dive and save the free kick by Mal­colm Calleja.

Three min­utes be­fore the break Ham­run dou­bled their lead. Ser­ra­cino was fouled on the left flank and af­ter the free kick by Miguel Tabone, Liam Hud­son scored with a low shot from in­side the area.

Three min­utes af­ter the restart, Balzan re­duced the gap. Sub­sti­tute Luca Per­rone was fouled on the left flank and af­ter the free kick by Ivin Borg, Ja­cob Bar­tolo net­ted with a header from in­side the area.

Bru­galetta was then called to save a hard drive by Eric Atkins af­ter a through ball by Simp­son.

In the 53rd minute Balzan lev­elled mat­ters when Michael Bar­toli drib­bled past two opo­nents out­side the area and he gave Bru­galetta no chance with a hard di­ag­o­nal drive to make it 2-2.

Ham­run then mounted three ac­tions. Sub­sti­tute Neil Flat­t­ley was fouled in mid­field and Scalpello saved the hard drive from the free kick by Tabone .

Flat­t­ley then re­leased Cas­sar in the area and Scalpello saved his hard drive. A Tabone free­kick was cleared to a cor­ner and fol­low­ing the flag kick by Ser­ra­cino, Scalpello saved a header by Tabone.

The last ac­tion be­fore the end came from Balzan as sub­sti­tute Alis­tair Aquilina was fouled out­side the area and af­ter Bar­tolo’s free kick, Simp­son drove over the bar from in­side the area.

Ham­run: A.Bru­galetta, C.Agius, O.Cas­sar, S.Chikh Ali, R.Chir­cop, L.Hud­son, M.Mif­sud, R.Mus­cat, X.Portelli, W.Ser­ra­cino, M.Tabone

Balzan: B.Scalpello, D.Simp­son, E.Atkins, H.Li­necker,I.Borg, J.Bar­tolo, M.Calleja, M.Bar­toli, M.Busut­til, S.Briffa, Z.Az­zopardi Ref­eree: Dora Jakab Player of the match: Portelli (Ham­run) Xy­lon

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