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Victor Ciangura 13.1.19
A very fast and keen game watched by a sizeable crowd at the Luxol Ground. St Andrew fully deserved the verdict as they were the better outfit during both periods. Following this game both teams occupy fourth placing: St Andrew are on 9 points from 6 games while Paola Hibs are on 9 points from 7 games.
St Andrew applied the early pressure. Timothy Cassar Torregiani served Matthew Bonnici with a through ball on the right flank but following his cross in the area there were no takers to apply the killer touch and Alexander Spiteri released William England on the left edge of the area and he missed the near post from his hard drive.
In a Paola reaction they mounted two actions. Mikael Seychell served Shawn Mifsud with a square pass on the edge of the area and St Andrew keeper Kyle Barbara saved his volley and Jake Portelli was fouled well outside the area and after the free kick by Julian Casha created havoc in St Andrews’s area the ball was cleared away.
The pressure from St Andrew resumed. Luca Zammit served Spiteri with a square pass just outside the area and Paola keeper Miguel Camilleri saved his hard drive. Cassar Torregiani served Bonnici with a cross in the area and Camilleri saved his shot to a corner, the same player then released Spiteri in the area and he missed the upright with a low shot and a Spiteri flag kick was cleared to another corner.
Two minutes before the break Paola Hibs were denied by the wood work when Jake Paotelli was fouled on the right edge of the area and from the free kick by Aiden Cassar the ball thumped the crossbar with Barbara completely beaten and somehow the ball was cleared away to safety and just before the half time whistle St Andrew opened the score when Bonnici out-sped two opponents on the left flank and served Nicholas Galea with a low cross in the area who scored with a hard grounder.
The Paolaites created the first action after the resumption as Portelli was fouled outside the area and Barbara saved on the free kick by Cassar.
In the next attack by St Andrew in the 48th minute they doubled their lead as Luca Zammit served Spiteri with a through ball on the left flank who after entering the area he scored with a hard and high diagonal shot and in another action minutes later Galea served Spiteri with a square pass on the edge of the area and Camilleri had to dive and save the ball from his hard drive.
In a Paola action Isaiah Chukenyere served Kieron Caruana with a through ball on the right flank but he was foiled by a timely tackle by Matt Gatt.
St Andrew kept trying to increase their lead. Cassar Torregiani served Galea in the area who scored with a low drive but the point was disallowed for off side. Spiteri enterd the area after dribbling past two opponents and with an open goal at his mercy drove out from a very ideal position and Galea was fouled just outside the area and after the free kick by Andrew Borg, midfielder Luca Zammit, up with his forwards missed the upright with a header from inside the area.
In the second minute of added time St Andrew scored thier third goal when after a flag kick by Bonnici was cleared to another corner it was taken by Spiteri and Zammit scored with a header.
St Andrew: K.Barbara, K.Arpa, M.Gatt, L.Zammit, N.Galea, A.Spiteri, M.Bonnici, J.Pace, A,Borg, T.Cassar Torregiani, J.Parnis
Paola Hibs: M.camilleri, L.Sapiano, A.Cassar, G.Borg, S,Mifsud, J.Casha, I.Chukunyere, J.Portelli, K.Caruana, M.Seychell, S.Nelson.
Player of the match: Alexander spiteri (St Andrew)
Referee: Wayne Sammut