Hamrun Spartans returned to winning ways after defeating Pembroke Athleta in their latest encounter, two former Spartans featured in the match, Mano Micallef and Zoran Levnajic.
The Spartans welcomed several players back to their starting eleven , namely Jorginho who returned from suspension and Goalkeeper Fredrick Azzopardi made his season debut after being ruled out by injury.
Despite terrible weather conditions, the brave Spartan supporters were there to encourage the squad throughout the match.
Three minutes into the game and the Spartans went close of taking the lead when a brilliant free-kick by Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza was parried in style by Pembroke’s custodian. A few minutes later the Spartans took the lead thanks to a brilliant work on the sides by Saturday Nanapere who passed the ball to captain Jake whose shot from outside the box ended up in goal after a deflection by Pembroke’s defender Scozzese.
In the following action, the Spartans were again close to doubling the issue as another run by Saturday Nanapere forced a good save from Pembroke’s goalkeeper with the aid of the framework.
However the Spartans were rewarded for their dominance and doubled the score after a fine technical action between trio Nanapere , Jake Grech and Triganza which the latter brilliantly converted to give the Spartans a two-goal lead.
A second half ended with a two-goal lead for the Spartans.
Pembroke took the initiative in the second half mainly through their Bulgarian striker Manevski who proved to be a threat for the Spartans but found goalkeeper Franklin Azzopardi in fine form highlighting an excellent return in goal after being ruled out since the start of the season.
The Spartans were again on the front foot as a swift action between Nanapere and Triganza ended in the latter hitting the second consecutive post throughout the match.
Pembroke reduced the arrears , in the 55th minute as a quick action between Bernardo and Manevski reduced the deficit to put Athleta back into the game.
The Spartans were brave enough to hold on and returned to winning ways.
A win which will bolster the supporters mood before the highly anticipated match against Valletta next Saturday 5th November at The National Stadium , kick off at 4 pm.
HAMRUN Fredrick Tabone, Glenn Azzopardi, Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia, Mark Anthony Borg, Luke Grech, Saturday Nanapere, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos (83′ Trevor Cilia), Jake Grech, Sergio Raphael dos Anjos Raphael (81′ Philip Chircop), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (68′ Massimiliano Giusti).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Rodney Refalo, Darren Falzon, Luis Vergara Rodriguez.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona, Asani Djeljilj, Zoran Levnaic, Brandon Muscat, Manolito Micallef, Paltemio Barbetti, Siraj Arab Eddin (71′ Miguel Attard), Clifford Gauci (46′ Haruna Shola Shodiya), Borche Manevski, Jhonathan Bernardo Mariano (89′ Owen Bugeja), Filippo Andrea Scozzese.
Subs not used: Craig Abdilla, Adrian Borg, Tyrone Fenech, David Fenech.
Coach: Artim Shaqiri
Referee: Etienne Mangion
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Barbetti, Jorginho
Scorers: 14′ Jake Grech, 19′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, 55′ Borche Manevski
BOV Player of the Match: Saturday Nanapere
Images courtesy of Joe Borg