Marsaxlokk Football Club

SEASON

2002/2003

LEAGUE


League Fixtures & Results
Current Classification
First Phase Classification
FA Trophy

LEAGUE FIXTURES AND RESULTS
FIRST PHASE

Date Time Venue Opponets Result
Sun 25th Aug 02 17:00 Ta' Qali vs HIBERNIANS 0-4
Wed 11th Sep 02 18:00 Ta' Qali vs SLIEMA W 0-1
Sun 15th Sep 02 16:00 Ta' Qali vs BIRKIRKARA 1-3
Sat 21st Sep 02 16:00 Ta' Qali vs PIETA H 0-2
Sat 28th Sep 02 16:00 Ta' Qali vs MARSA 3-1
Sat 5th Oct 02 15:00 Ta' Qali vs FLORIANA 1-3
Sat 19th Oct 02 15:00 Ta' Qali vs MOSTA 4-1
Sun 27th Oct 02 16:00 Ta' Qali vs VALLETTA 3-5
Sun 13th Nov 02 19:00 Cent Std vs HIBERNIANS 2-1
Sun 3rd Dec 02 20:00 Cent Std vs HAMRUN S 4-1
Sun 8th Dec 02 12:45 VT Grd vs SLIEMA W 0-3
Thu 12th Dec 02 19:30 Cent Std vs BIRKIRKARA 2-4
Sun 22nd Dec 02 12:45 Hibs Grd vs PIETA H 1-0
Sun 29th Dec 02 12:45 Hibs Grd vs MARSA 2-0
Sun 5th Jan 03 15:00 V.T. Std vs FLORIANA 0-2
Sun 12th Jan 03 13:00 Hibs Grd vs MOSTA 3-0
Sat 25th Jan 03 14:00 Ta' Qali vs VALLETTA 0-4
Sun 2nd Feb 03 13:15 Hibs Grd vs HAMRUN S 1-3

SECOND PHASE

Date Time Venue Opponets Result
Sat 15th Feb 03 14:00 Ta' Qali vs SLIEMA 0-3
Sun 23rd Feb 03 15:30 V.T. Std vs HIBERNIANS 0-2
Sun 2nd Mar 03 15:45 Hibs Grd vs VALLETTA 1-1
Fri 7th Mar 03 20:00 Ta' Qali vs BIRKIRKARA 1-0
Tue 18th Mar 03 20:00 Cent Std vs PIETA 2-3
Sat 5th Apr 03 17:00 Ta' Qali vs SLIEMA 0-1
Sat 12th Apr 03 15:00 Ta' Qali vs HIBERNIANS 0-2
Sun 20th Apr 03 15:00 Ta' Qali vs VALLETTA 1-2
Sun 4th May 03 17:00 Ta' Qali vs BIRKIRKARA __-__
Fri 9th May 03 17:00 Ta' Qali vs PIETA __-__




CHAMPIONSHIP POOL CLASSIFICATION (AS AT 20th Apr 03)


MFA Premier Div P W D L F A Pts
Sliema W F.C. 26 20 3 3 70 26 41
Birkirkara F.C. 26 17 2 7 60 33 33
Valletta F.C. 26 15 4 7 54 30 31
Hibernians F.C. 26 13 4 9 47 35 28
Pieta H F.C. 26 7 8 11 26 37 18
MARSAXLOKK F.C. 26 8 1 17 32 52 15


RELEGATION POOL CLASSIFICATION (AS AT 19th Apr 03)


Marsa F.C. 22 6 6 10 32 47 16
Hamrun S F.C. 22 6 5 11 30 43 15
Floriana F.C. 22 6 6 10 24 33 14
Mosta F.C. 22 2 5 15 17 56 6


FIRST PHASE CLASSIFICATION


MFA Premier Div P W D L F A Pts
Sliema W F.C. 18 14 2 2 51 15 44
Birkirkara F.C. 18 13 1 4 46 24 40
Valletta F.C. 18 12 1 5 43 18 37
Hibernians F.C. 18 9 3 6 34 16 30
Pieta H F.C. 18 6 5 7 19 22 23
MARSAXLOKK F.C. 18 7 0 11 27 38 21
Floriana F.C. 18 6 2 10 22 31 20
Hamrun S F.C. 18 5 2 11 25 40 17
Marsa F.C. 18 4 4 10 25 45 16
Mosta F.C. 18 2 4 12 14 46 10
THE FIRST SIX QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP POOL AFTER THE 1ST PHASE
THE OTHER FOUR TEAMS PLAY IN THE RELEGATION POOL AFTER THE 1ST PHASE



F.A. TROPHY


Marsaxlokk
1st Round, 23/11/2002, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Senglea

2-0 (H/T 0-0)

Senglea

Line-Up Sandro Micallef, Denis Cauchi (Kevin Mifsud), Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia, Petr Bartes, Trevor Templemann, Pierre Grima, Roderick Spiteri (Richard Buhagiar), Carmel Formosa, Michael Cutajar (Joseph Farrugia), Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards --
Red Cards --
Scorers: Carmel Formosa 60', 65'
Attendance --
Marsaxlokk managed to obtain their second victory in their history,in 4 participations in the FA Trophy after beating 1st Division leaders Senglea 2-0. Without setting any houses on fire, Marsaxlokk beat Senglea even if they played without a number of regular players, namely Reggie Cini, Uwa Ogbodo and Roger Walker. It is good to note the return of Richard Buhagiar and the much awaited debut of Joseph Farrugia for Marsaxlokk

The first half was a monotonous one with neither team creating any real chances. The only chance for a goal was when Denis Cauchi surprised Sandro Micallef in goal when he headed the ball backwards, but the same Cauchi managed to clear off the line to avoid an own goal.

In the second half Marsaxlokk increased their tempo, especially after the introduction of Richard Buhagiar and later of Joseph Farrugia. In fact it was from a perfect Richard Buhagiar pass that Marsaxlokk took the lead when Carmel Formosa had just to tap in an empty net on the hour. Five minutes later it was 2-0 when Joseph Farrugia passed to Johan Zammit who served Carmel Formosa who again had the easiest of jobs to put in an empty net.

After the second goal Marsaxlokk just defended their lead and it was Micallef who saved on Aquilina to keep the first clean sheet of the season for Marsaxlokk.

PERSONAL NOTE: This was a good win that keeps up the morale for the next games in the league. Let's hope for a good draw to be able to make it even further in the cup this season.


Marsaxlokk
2nd Round, 08/02/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Msida

4-2 (H/T 1-1)

Msida

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia (Benneth Njoku), Richard Buhagiar (Darren Vella), Pierre Grima, Roger Walker (Roderick Spiteri), Etienne Barbara, Alan Mifsud, Petr Bartes, Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa
Yellow Cards --
Red Cards --
Scorers: Own goal 41', Johan Zammit 56', Carmel Formosa 69', Roderick Spiteri 88'
Attendance --
Marsaxlokk managed to advance to the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy for the first time after beating First Division leaders Msida 4-2. However the victory was not as easy as the scoreline might suggest, especially in the first half. In fact it was only an own goal that gave us the equaliser just before half time that opened the way for this victory.

In fact with only 44 seconds on the clock, Msida opened the score from Nwoke after he dribbed past two defenders and the goalkeeper. From then on Marsaxlokk went all out for the equaliser. After 8 minutes Carmel Formosa passed to Alan Mifsud whose shot was saved by Borg. Msida had a chance to double the score when Jeremy Agius' shot was deflected before it could finish in the net. After 15 minutes Marsaxlokk should have equalised when a Pierre Grima volley hit the crossbar. When it seemed that the score would not change at half time, Marsaxlokk managed to equalise. Buhagiar floated a free kick inside the area and ex-Marsaxlokk defender Delia headed into his own net

In the second half Marsaxlokk dominated and after only 5 minutes Johan Zammit's shot was well saved by Borg. This was the prelude for the goal. In fact after 11 minutes Zammit scored from a Bartes corner. Marsaxlokk continued to attack and with 21 minutes to go Carmel Formosa's shot finished at the back of the net.

When the match seemed to be as well as over, Msida were awarded a penalty for an Njoku hands inside the box. Jeremy Agius duly converted to renew fresh hopes for Msida. However Msida never really came closer again. In fact it was Roderick Spiteri who put the result beyond any doubt when he scored his first goal of the season. Marsaxlokk could have scored more goals when first Johan Zammit shot just wide when alone in front of goal and then Etienne Barbara hit the outside of the net after dribbling round the goalkeeper.

PERSONAL NOTE: A good draw in the next round could see us advance even further. However this win added up to our place in the championship pool confirms that this season is the most memorable season in our history.




Marsaxlokk
Quarter Final, 22/03/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

0-2 aet (H/T 0-0)

Floriana

Line-Up --
Yellow Cards --
Red Cards --
Scorers: --
Attendance --
--

--

--

--

PERSONAL NOTE:


Premier Division League 2002/2003 - MATCH DETAILS
Marsaxlokk
25/08/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

0-4 (H/T 0-1)

Hibs

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Benneth Njoku, Denis Cauchi, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Johan Zammit), Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa (Trevor Templemann), Petr Bartes, Brandon Zammit
Yellow Cards Justin Tellus, Reggie Cini
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Attendance 1,128
This was a historical game for our club, being the first ever in the Premier League. Unlucky enough for us we not only had 4 players missing (Richard Buhagiar - one match suspension, Joseph Farrugia, Michael Cutajar and Kurt Formosa - not fully fit) but also found Hibs in great form. We were on the receiving end for most of the game and were not for the acrobatic saves of Reggie Cini and some incredible misses by the Hibs attackers, the defeat could have been bigger

Hibs began on the attack and in the first half an hour they even had a ball cleared off the line by Brandon Zammit. Our first real chance came on the half hour when Roderick Spiteri released Carmel Formosa who could have done better in front of Muscat. For this miss we paid dearly, as Hibs scored the first goal from the counter attack - Scerri played the ball to Adrian Mifsud in the penalty area who scored with a low shot. Until half time Hibs had an Mbong shot saved by Cini and just before half-time, Scerri shot wide from an ideal position.

The second half continued on the same rythm with Hibs attacking and Marsaxlokk trying to defend as best as they could. On the hour Scerri was released by Mifsud who had no difficulty to put the ball in an empty net. Hardly one minute passed and Scerri made it 3-0 after being served by Mbong. Hibs had Kevin Cassar sent off for a second bookable offence on 68 minutes, but it was too late for us to show any sort of reaction. In fact it was Hibs who, with 15 minutes to go, were given a penalty after Brandon Zammit floored Baldacchino and Adrian Mifsud scored the fourth goal for Hibs. From then on Hibs had a couple of good chances which they missed.

On a personal note, I must say that it was a very difficult game against a team who already player 4 European games and 2 Lowenbrau games. We need some more time to gel ourselves into a competitive team. Hopefully we will be better in our next game against Sliema. Ejja, Kuragg Boys.


Marsaxlokk
11/09/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

0-1 (H/T 0-1)

Sliema

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Benneth Njoku, Kurt Farrugiaa, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Carmel Formosa), Richard Buhagiar, Johann Zammit (Uwa Ogbodo), Petr Bartes, Brandon Zammit (Michael Cutajar)
Yellow Cards Petr Bartes
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Attendance 1,398
We should consider ourselves unlucky to have emerged as losers in our first ever encounter against Sliema. Contrary to our first game, we showed tactical discipline which almost enabled us to a surprise result agianst the star-sudden Sliema team.

Coach Albert Vella made three changes from last game with Kurt Farrugia, Richard Buhagiar and Johan Zammit beginning instead of Denis Cauchi, Carmel Formosa and Uwa Ogbodo respectively. After only 5 minutes a Richard Buhagiar free kick was tipped over the bar by Akanji. Sliema tried to attack more as time passed and Reggie Cini had to dive to save a Joe Brincat volley. In the last 10 minutes of the first half Sliema were the most dangerous. First Reggie Cini had to save on Massimo Grima after the ball slipped from his hands from an Okoh shot. Then he had to perform a fine save on a Ciantar header. A minute before the break Sliema scored what proved to be the winning goal when Jeffrey Chetcuti shot was deflected into the net from inside the penaly area. Immediately afterwards it could have been 2-0 but Bizu shot high from a good position

In the second half Marsaxlokk were being more adventurous with man of the match Brandon Zammit doing all the running to supply the forward line. After 52 minutes Roderick Spiteri's shot went just over and then Johan Zammit could have done better when served by Brandon Zammit, giving the Sliema defense time to repair before any damage could be done.

Ogbodo was brought in for the now tired Johan Zammit and almost scored after being served by Njoku, but Akanji blocked well. After 70 minutes Carmel Formosa came in for Roderick Spiteri to try to give more support up front. Three minutes from the end he could have equalised but Akanji saved well. Just before the final whisltle we had the best chance when Roger Walker could only touch the ball in the direction of Akanji from an ideal position.

On a personal note: Few expected this display by our team today and this augurs well for the future. We must try to believe more in ourselves when presented with chances in front of goal. Now let's concentrate on next Sunday's game against another title contender - Birkirkara.


Marsaxlokk
15/09/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Birkirkara

1-3 (H/T 0-2)

Bkara

Line-Up Reggie Cini (Sandro Micallef), Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Benneth Njoku, Kurt Farrugia, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Carmel Formosa), Richard Buhagiar, Uwa Ogbodo, Petr Bartes, Brandon Zammit (Johan Zammit)
Yellow Cards Richard Buhagiar, Uwa Ogbodo
Red Cards  
Scorers: Uwa Ogbodo 74th minute (1-3) 
Attendance 1,603
After the great performance against Sliema in midweek, more was expected from our team. The stripes attacked from the start and Reggie Cini had to perform two difficult saves from an Nwoko free-kick and a Calascione shot. These were the prelude of the Birkirkara goal but this came only through a penalty. A useless handsball from Ogbodo inside the penalty area was punished with a penalty which Dronca duly converted after only 10 minutes.

This goal conditioned our game but as time passed our team seemed to be settling and had two good scoring chances, first from Ogbodo and then Haber had to perform a desperate double save on Roderick Spiteri. A minute before half time Birkirkara doubled the score - the ever dangerous Calascione found Michael Galea who flicked the ball past Cini.

After the break we failed to react to the first-half's double blow and Birkirkara defended without difficulty. Birkirkara scored their third goal on the hour when an Nwoko shot was deflected into the net by the unlucky Njoku. Reggie Cini hurt his finger and had to be replaced by Sandro Micallef. Our attack was given more support when Formosa and Johan Zammit were brought in. Fifteen minutes from time we managed to, at last, score our first Premiership goal. Uwa Ogbodo headed a long cross by Buhagiar over Haber into an empty net.

After our goal we grew in confidence but could not break again the Birkirkara defence. This was our third consecutive defeat. Now we have to begin collecting points from our next game if we want to decrease the gap between us and the teams in the middle of the table.


Marsaxlokk
21/09/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta H

0-2 (H/T 0-1)

Pieta

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Kurt Farrugia (Johan Zammit), Richard Buhagiar, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Denis Cauchi), Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa, Petr Bartes (Benneth Njoku), Brandon Zammit
Yellow Cards Kurt Farrugia, Uwa Ogbodo
Red Cards Brandon Zammit 79'
Scorers:  
Attendance 1,125
We conceeded our fourth consecutive defeat from so many games after a pathetic performance, especially in the second half. This result puts us in a critical position, especially after both Floriana and Marsa also gathered their first points leaving us alone at the bottom of the table, already 3 points behind the others.

Coach, Albert Vella opted for a more offensive approach for this game, including Carmel Formosa instead of Benneth Njoku in an otherwise unchanged formation. In the first half we had some good patches of play, but it was Pieta who created the better chances with Reggie Cini immediately called to save on Anatole Debono from close range. Reggie Cini was called again to save on Licari, helped by the crossbar. This was the prelude of the goal. With only 20 minutes on the clock, Ivan Woods collected a long ball from the defence, went round Justin Tellus, before passing to Licari who scored from close range. After the goal we experienced our best part of the game and we were unlucky not to have equalised, first when Formosa flicked past Darmanin with the ball hitting the base of the post and then we had a goal disallowed for an offside.

In the second half, one would have expected Marsaxlokk to continue pressing for the draw, but this never materialised. This gave the chance to Pieta to easily control their advantage, and even scoring the second goal when Licari headed home from a Jurilj free-kick. All we could see from then on were our players chasing without success the Pieta players passing the ball. To make things even worse, Brandon Zammit was sent off with 11 minutes to go after harshly protesting against a foul with the referee. One could never excuse such childish behaviour from a player at this level! Two minutes later parity was restored, when Cummings was sent off for Pieta for an off-the-ball incident. Form then on Pieta controlled without difficulty their advantage to leave us still waiting for our first points after 4 games.

On a personal note, I must say that with this attitude from the players it will be very hard to survive the drop. We lack motivation and the players in general are not playing as a team. Something has to be done immediately if we want to stand any realistic chance of surviving in our first season in the Premier.


Marsaxlokk
28/09/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Marsa

3-1 (H/T 1-0)

Marsa

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus (Benneth Njoku), Pierre Grima, Kurt Farrugia, Denis Cauchi, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri, Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa (Michael Cutajar), Petr Bartes, Richard Buhagiar
Yellow Cards Petr Bartes, Kurt Farrugia
Red Cards
Scorers: Carmel Formosa 14', Petr Bartes 55', Michael Cutajar 94' 
Attendance 963
At last we have won our first game in the Premiership. This was a very important win because it puts us in a better place to try to avoid the drop this season.

This was surely a fair result as Marsaxlokk displayed the necessary team work which was lacking in the first games of the season. We have still Joseph Farrugia and Trevor Templemann injured and Brandon Zammit was missing through suspension. However, Michael Cutajar made his return, even scoring the final goal in injury time

Marsaxlokk were immediately on the attack and after 10 minutes Formosa's shot was saved by the Marsa goalkeeper. This was the prelude for the goal, and 3 minutes later Walker passed to Ogbodo on the right and his cross was slotted in by Formosa for his first goal of the season. Marsa tried to react, but always found Cini ready to save, especially when Abela was alone in front of goal in the 24th minute. After 38 minutes, Marsaxlokk could have doubled when Richard Buhagiar's corner was headed by Bartes with the Marsa goalie saving. Micallef again saved a Buhagiar free kick 2 minutes from the break.

Nine minutes into the second half and it was 2-0. Pierre Grima' cross saw the Marsa defenders napping, giving all the time to Bartes to control the ball and hit home. The match seemed over, but only three minutes later Marsa pulled one back when Asechemie headed home from close range. Marsa were now pressing for the equaliser, and were only denied by Buhagiar who cleared off the line a header from Slavtchev. As time passed by, the result seemed more secure for Marsaxlokk, especially after Marsa had Zammit sent off on the 90th minute. 4 minutes in injury time and the score was 3-1 - Roderick Spiteri's perfect pass found Michael Cutajar who hammered the ball past the Marsa substitute goalie - Vallastro.

Personal note: The much needed victory arrived at last. Prosit Boys. Now we have two very important games against teams which are within reach (Floriana and Mosta). We surely need to take more points from these games to continue with our progress in the table.


Marsaxlokk
05/09/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

0-1 (H/T 1-3)

Floriana

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima (Michael Cutajar), Kurt Farrugia, Richard Buhagiar, Denis Cauchi, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Brandon Zammit), Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa (Johan Zammit), Petr Bartes
Yellow Cards Denis Cauchi
Red Cards  
Scorers: Johan Zammit 86' (1-3) 
Attendance 620
We are surely not playing the best football around, but luck is not helping us either in our games. The game against floriana could be summarized in two lines. We could have been 1-0 up at half time (instead of 0-1 down) but Ogbodo's effort after 43 minutes hit the post and from the resulting counter attack Floriana scored. On the hour we were awarded a penalty which was taken by Richard Buhagiar and saved by Matthew Camilleri with the ball rebounding off the crossbar and bounced on the goal line (or, maybe, inside the goal line) before being cleared to safety. And from a possible 1-1 we were punished with the 2-0 goal 10 minutes later.

Otherwise, at least until the penalty miss, we were the better team in the field. For fairness sake, Floriana had a goal disallowed for an offside after 30 minutes. Most at the ground thought that Mifsud Triganza (the player in the offside position) was not interfering with play, but after seeing the incident on TV it was obvious that he was, and could have even touched the ball on its way into the net.

After the penalty miss, some of our players made the mistake of taking matters into hand and do whatever they thought was good for the team without following the coach's instructions. It was at this stage that the game was lost. After 72 minutes Floriana doubled the score and there was no way that we could have levelled the score now. In fact, it was Floriana who scored again when with 10 minutes to go a Gvazava shot was deflected into the net by Cauchi. The game was now lost even though pulled one back with 4 minutes to go when Johan Zammit scored his first goal in the Premier when he headed in a Brandon Zammit corner.

PERSONAL NOTE: It is not possible to lose games like this. Players must be more disciplined on the field of play. It is not up to them to decide which is the best tactical solution when in the pitch. Now we are in a win or die situation. We desperately need to win our next game against Mosta. Come on boys - you know you can do it!


Marsaxlokk
19/10/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Mosta

4-1 (H/T 4-0)

Mosta

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Richard Buhagiar (Pierre Grima), Kurt Farrugia, Denis Cauchi, Roger Walker, Johan Zammit (Michael Cutajar), Uwa Ogbodo (Roderick Spiteri), Carmel Formosa, Petr Bartes, Brandon Zammit
Yellow Cards --
Red Cards --
Scorers: Ogbodo 10', Bartes 16', Formosa 37', 39'
Attendance 1,343
New coach JJ Aquilina could not have had a better debut as Marsaxlokk demolished Mosta for the second win of the season. Opting for a very offensive formation, with Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa and Uwa Ogbodo upfront, Marsaxlokk proved to be by far too strong for Mosta. The game was as good as over by the end of the first half, and were it not for the fine form of goalkeeper, Simon Agius, the score could have been bigger

Marsaxlokk immediately showed their intention to attack and after 2 minutes Simon Agius saved a shot by Johan Zammit. Marsaxlokk took the lead after 10 minutes. A delightful pass by Cauchi put Uwa Ogbodo through who slotted the ball past Agius. Six minutes later it was 2-0 - Formosa, by far the best player on the field, gave a superb corss which was met by Bartes who hit home. Mosta's reaction was poor and their only shot at goal came after 35 minutes from Da Silva which passed just wide.

After 37 minutes Brandon Zammit passed the ball from the right to Formosa, who powered his way home to score Marsaxlokk's third goal. Two minutes later Formosa struck again when he collected a rebound to shoot from outside the penalty area into an unguarded net.

After the break it was the same story and after only 2 minutes it could have been five, when Marsaxlokk were awarded a penalty, but Johan Zammit saw Agius saving and from the rebound Ogbodo incredibly hit the post when presented with an empty net. Marsaxlokk continued to attack and could easily have led to an even more bigger victory but wasted a lot of chances. With 15 minutes remaining Mosta pulled one back when a Zammit lob surprised Cini to finish in the net.

PERSONAL NOTE: The tactical discipline and the motivation shown during this game should help us to continue on to try to move further from the red zone well ahead of the end of the season. Keep it up boys.


Marsaxlokk
26/10/2002, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Valletta

3-5 (H/T 1-3)

Valletta

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia, Denis Cauchi, Benneth Njoku (Richard Buhagiar), Roger Walker, Johan Zammit, Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa, Petr Bartes (Trevor Templemann), Brandon Zammit (Pierre Grima)
Yellow Cards Kurt Farrugia, Carmel Formosa
Red Cards --
Scorers: Brandon Zammit 35' (pen), Uwa Ogbodo 54', Johan Zammit 82'
Attendance 1,079
Had it not been for the lack of concentration of our defence (especially in the first 22 minutes) and the fine form of Valletta Goalkeeper, Barry, we could have surely obtained a much better result. However one has to appreciate the fighting spirit we showed even after being 3-0 down. To be fair with Valletta, they were missing Darren Debono, Oretan and Carabott from their starting line-up.

The game was only 6 minues old when Bondin was fouled by Cauchi in the area and Ivan Zammit scored from the resulting penalty. Two minutes later Bogdanovic made it 2-0 when put through by Trevor Thomas.

Immediately after these two goals Marsaxlokk tried to come back in the game and Ogbodo's shot was tipped to a corner by the excellent Barry. Minutes later Barry turned a Johan Zammit header into a corner. After 15 minutes Johan Zammit again headed towards goal but Barry again displayed flashing feflexes, outstretching his arm to push the effort over the post. To make things even worse for Marsaxlokk, Valletta scored their third goal in their first real attack after their second goal - Cini mistimed his kick and Thomas had the easiest of tasks to put the ball inside an empty net.

After 32 minutes Barry had to again surpass himself to save a Justin Tellus shot from the edge of the box. 3 minutes later Marsaxlokk were given a penalty when Ogbodo was floored by Barry inside the area. Brandon Zammit scored from the spot to make it 1-3 at half time - a score that did not reflect what happened on the field of play.

After the interval, Marsaxlokk continued to attack and after 9 minutes Barry cleared the ball in Ogbodo's area who lobbed the ball into the net. At this stage Valletta began to panic and immediately after this goal Ogbodo could have done better when presented with the ball in front of Barry.

However Valletta did not take long to re-establish their 2 goal lead when Bondin passed to Bogdanovic who scored his second goal of the game. Marsaxlokk again continued to attack and Johan Zammit had a volley from well outside the area hitting the bar. Valletta again scored when Agius forced Cini into a difficult save but Bogdanovic scored from the rebound. Marsaxlokk still went forward and Johan Zammit scored with another excellent shot that Barry parried with the ball still dropping behind the line.

PERSONAL NOTE: This game showed that we can give a hard game to any team in the Premier. But we must be more attentive at the back not to conceed silly goals.


Marsaxlokk
12/11/2002, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

2-1 (H/T 1-0)

Hibs

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Denis Cauchi, Kurt Farrugia, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Trevor Templemann), Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa, Petr Bartes, Johan Zammit (Brandon Zammit)
Yellow Cards Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia
Red Cards
Scorers: Johan Zammit 9' (pen), 73'
Attendance
Our club obtained its most prestigious result in our short Premier Division history, when we defeated current champions Hibs 2-1. The team continued to show the progress displayed in the last games and did not steal anything when a Johan Zammit brace helped us to obtain this important victory. But this was a collective effort with everyone giving his utmost to obtain the points that matter to move further up in the table.

Marsaxlokk immediately showed their intentions and in the opening minutes Hibs goalie Mario Muscat was twice tested from a Tellus corner and then saved with difficulty a shot by Pierre Grima. This was the prelude of the goal - Johan Zammit was fouled by Mbong in the penalty area and from the resulting penalty the same Johan Zammit made no mistake. Hibs tried to react but found Reggie Cini attentive for every effort made by their strikers. On 13 minutes Cini saved with his foot and 6 minutes later he had to block on Scerri who was alone in front of goal. Until half time Cini had to save again on Bellia and Miguel Mifsud. But just before half-time, Mario Muscat had to save on a Roderick Spiteri effort.

The second half saw the inclusion of Chukunyere, and Hibs seemed to be recovering from the first-half shock. In fact, after some chances, they managed to equalise on 65 minutes. Antoine Zahra's cross found Adrian Mifsud in the box who headed the ball home after the defence failed to clear. Hibs were believing that they could win the game, but in a counter attack on 72 minutes, Carmel Formosa crossed to Johan Zammit who with his back to the post went round Spiteri and beat Muscat for the second time in the game.

As expected Hibs tried to salvage the game and the final minutes were an all out attack by the Hibs team. Cini had to be called on a number of occasions to save with the help of the almost perfect Marsaxlokk defence. In the final seconds it could have been 3-1 when Muscat went up for a corner, the ball fell in Ogbodo's feet who shot from the half way line into an empty net with his effort finishing just wide. The referee's final whistle saw the celebrations of our players who managed to obtain three important points in our quest to move to a more respectable position in the table.

PERSONAL NOTE: Prosit Boys! You showed the team's true potential. Now that we are believing more in our capabilities as a team, we know that we can look at the rest of the season with optism. You made us proud! Keep it up!


Marsaxlokk
03/12/2002, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hamrun

4-1 (H/T 3-0)

Hibs

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Richard Buhagiar, Denis Cauchi, Roger Walker (Roderick Spiteri), Johan Zammit (Michael Cutajar) Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa, Joseph Farrugia, Brandon Zammit (Trevor Templemann)
Yellow Cards Carmel Formosa, Denis Cauchi, Joseph Farrugia
Red Cards
Scorers: Carmel Formosa 9', 75', Johan Zammit 27' Richard Buhagiar 35'
Attendance 1,128
Marsaxlokk produced another impressive performance to dispose of a weak Hamrun side with the score of 4-1. Much more was expected from the Hamrun players who were expected to respond to the change in their administration in midweek. But they disappointed their numerous fans who were seen exiting the stadium at half time when the score was already was 3-0. Our team continued with the progress shown in the last games when we were winning our fourth game from the last five.

From the start, it was evident that Marsaxlokk were going all out for the win. The game was only 9 minutes old when Roger Walker crossed inside the penalty area and Carmel Formosa headed in. On 27 minutes Johan Zammit made it 2-0 - Ogbodo exchanged with Brandon Zammit, crossed to Johan Zammit who headed in. The game continued on the same pattern and 10 minutes later Pierre Grima's free-kick found Richard Buhagiar (who was returning in the starting line-up after a couple of games)who headed past Ivan Casha.

In the second half, Hamrun tried to react and began playing better football. But their only tries at goal were a Stefan Sultana header that went high and an overhead kick fromt he same Sultana that Cini saved brialiantly. The scoreline assumed bigger dimensions when Johan Zammit passed to Carmel Formosa who tapped inside an empty net to make it 4-0. 3 minutes in injury time Charlo Magro scored a consolation goal for Hamrun.

PERSONAL NOTE: Finally our team is performing consistently. What seemed to be an impossible task up to 4 games ago is becoming a possiblity. Now we are in 6th place and if we continue to perform like this we should be able to make it to the championship pool. Our next two games are against title contenders Sliema and Birkirkara. Kuragg boys - we can obtain something from these games.


Marsaxlokk
11/12/2002, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

0-3 (H/T 0-2)

Sliema

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Kurt Farrugia, Denis Cauchi, Justin Tellus, Richard Buhagiar (Petr Bartes), Pierre Grima, Roger Walker, Joseph Farrugia (Trevor Templemann), Brandon Zammit (Uwa Ogbodo), Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Scorers:
Attendance
After some encouraging performances in the last games, much more was expected from our side during this game. Not only did we lost 3-0 but the performance was not at par to our usual capacities.

From the initial whistle, Sliema showed their intentions and they hit the post twice inside the first two minutes. However, we could have gone in the lead when Johan Zammit hit the post when in front of Akanji. After 34 minutes Sliema went in the lead when Vaselji was put through by Bizu, side-stepped a defender before slotting the ball past Cini into the net.

The reaction from our team never materialized and on the stroke of Half Time Sliema made sure of the win when Okoh passed to Rupert Mangion who headed into the net.

In the second half the game's tempo slowed down with Sliema just controlling us in the midfield. Richard Buhagiar had a shot that went just wide and Sliema were denied twice by Cini on shots from Turner and Sammut. One minute from the end Sliema scored their third goal when Sammut's 25 metres shot finished in the net.

On a personal note: Probably most of us expected better in this game. But this should serve to bring us back to earth and concentrate on the games that we have against the other contenders for a place in the first six. Come on we are still there.


Marsaxlokk
17/12/2002, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Birkirkara

2-4 (H/T 1-1)

Bkara

Line-Up Reggie Cini (Sandro Micallef), Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Kurt Farrugia (Richard Buhagiar), Denis Cauchi, Roger Walker, Uwa Ogbodo (Joseph Farrugia), Johan Zammit, Petr Bartes, Trevor Templemann, Carmel Formosa
Yellow Cards Johan Zammit, Petr Bartes, Denis Cauchi, Kurt Farrugia
Red Cards
Scorers: Johan Zammit 19th, 80th
Attendance
After a good first half we were beaten with two goals in the space of 5 minutes in the beginning of the second half. With a bit more concentration we could have obtained a better result against title contenders Birkirkara.

The game for us started badly with Birkirkara going in front after only 6 minutes - Michael Galea headed in a cross by Lino Galea. After this goal Birkirkara continued to attack and Cini saved a shot from Galea to a corner, from which Nwoko's shot just went wide. However, after 12 minutes Johan Zammit could have equalised but Justin Haber saved brilliantly. Nine minutes later we equalised - Pierre Grima's free kick was headed in by Johan Zammit into the net.

After 38 minutes we could have even obtained the lead but Trevor Templemann's shot went wide. During half-time Cini was replaced by Sandro Micallef due to injury. Birkirkara went all out in the beginning of the second half and with two goals inside the first 10 minutes killed all the hopes we had to obtain some points from this game. After 50 minutes Nwoko released Calascione in the area, who passed to Mallia that scored from close range. 5 minutes later it was 3-1. Trevor Templemann fouled Micheal Galea in the penalty area and from the spot Lucien Dronca scored.

Ogbodo could have reduced in the arrears after 65 minutes but failed to connect when put through by Carmel Formosa. 12 minutes from time Micheal Galea scored again when he headed into the net from a Camenzuli cross. Two minutes later Johan Zammit scored our (and his) second goal of the game when he again headed past Haber to make the final score 2-4.

PERSONAL NOTE: We know that we have a strong squad but we lack concentration at times. Now we have to focus on our next games that are crucial for our future in the Premier Division.


Marsaxlokk
22/12/2002, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta H

1-0 (H/T 1-0)

Pieta

Line-Up Reggie Cini (Sandro Micallef), Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Richard Buhagiar, Trevor Templemann, Roger Walker (Roderick Spiteri), Petr Bartes, Kurt Farrugia, Uwa Ogbodo, Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa (Joseph Farrugia)
Yellow Cards Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Richard Buhagiar, Sandro Micallef
Red Cards
Scorers: Carmel Formosa 35'
Attendance
We achieved a very important victory in our quest for a place in the first six against another contender for a place in the Championship Pool. Marsaxlokk were without the suspended Denis Cauchi with Richard Buhagiar taking his place in the heart of defence. After 18 minutes Jamie Pace had a shot passing wide and immediately afterwards Ogbodo hit the foot of the post with the ball rebounding on Darmanin's back before going wide. After 32 minutes Pieta also hit the post from an Okonkwo rebound. Immediately afterwards, Marsaxlokk scored what proved to be the winning goal - Johan Zammit advanced down the right, crossed to Formosa who tapped in from close range.

On the stroke of half time Pieta again hit the post when Di Lello header hit the crossbar. In the beginning of the second half Pieta tried to enhance their attack by putting in Anatole Debono. But although Pieta had more possession it was Marsaxlokk who could have doubled but Darmanin saved on Johan Zammit.

In another counter attack a cross shot from Ogbodo hit the post. After 77 minutes Pieta Cummins' shot rebounded off the post. As the end of the game approached, Pieta's chances continued to fade away to the joy of the Marsaxlokk players and supporters present at the Hibs Ground.

PERSONAL NOTE: This well-achieved win should help us to achieve our aim in obtaining a place among the first six. Prosit boys.


Marsaxlokk
29/12/2003, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Marsa

2-0 (H/T 1-0)

Marsa

Line-Up Sandro Micallef, Richard Buhagiar, Kurt Farrugia, Justin Tellus (Dennis Cauchi), Trevor Templemann (Roderick Spiteri), Petr Bartes, Roger Walker, Pierre Grima, Uwa Ogbodo, Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa (Joseph Farrugia)
Yellow Cards Uwa Ogbodo
Red Cards --
Scorers: Johan Zammit 18', Uwa Ogbodo 93'
Attendance --
Marsaxlokk obtained another important win in the only game played this weekend from the Premier League because of the Maltese international commitment in Mallorca. With this 2-0 win we are now in 5th place, two points ahead of Pieta, the latter having a game in hand.

Marsaxlokk began with Sandro Micallef taking the place of the injured Reggie Cini in goal. The start of the game was rather slow. After 5 minutes Vallastro saved in two attempts on Johan Zammit and 5 minutes later he saved again - this time on a Petr Bartes shot. After 16 minutes a shot by Kenneth Abela finished just over the bar. Three minutes later Marsaxlokk opened the score - Ogbodo passed to Johan Zammit who dribbled around Slavtchev and then, chipped the ball over Vallastro when it seemed that he lost control of the ball.

Marsaxlokk continued to create the better chances and, on the half-hour, Carmel Formosa crossed to Johan Zammit whose header went just over the bar. Just before half-time Marsa could have equalised but Pierre Grima cleared off the line a header from ex-Marsaxlokk striker Malcolm Tirchett. From the counter attack Petr Bartes should have scored when presenting himself alone in front of the goalkeeper, however his weak shot was easily saved.

After the break it was Marsa who tried to react but, 22 minutes into the second half, Vallastro had to perform a brilliant save from a first timer by Johan Zammit. 5 minutes later a shot by Chris Borg went just over the bar. Two minutes into injury time Sandro Micallef saved the day for Marsaxlokk when saving at point blank on Eviparker. From the resulting counter attack Ogbodo beat the Marsa defenders on the run and beat Vallastro to the delight of the Marsaxlokk supporters present at the Hibs Ground.

PERSONAL NOTE: Another good performance from our team which puts us in an ideal position for a place in the Championship Pool. Now it is very important not to lose our next game against Floriana to almost assure a place in the top six.


Marsaxlokk
05/01/2003, Victor Tedesco Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

0-1 (H/T 0-2)

Floriana

Line-Up Sandro Micallef, Richard Buhagiar, Kurt Farrugia, Justin Tellus (Brandon Zammit (Roderick Spiteri)), Trevor Templemann, Petr Bartes, Roger Walker, Pierre Grima, Uwa Ogbodo, Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa
Yellow Cards Justin Tellus, Sandro Micallef, Pierre Grima, Kurt Farrugia
Red Cards Trevor Templemann
Scorers: --
Attendance --
We lost an important direct encounter against top-six challengers Floriana to put our place in the Championship Pool at risk. Now we are in sixth place with Floriana 2 points behind and a game in hand. After the good performances of late much more was expected from our team.

The initial stages saw the two teams balancing each other, but it was Marsaxlokk who created the first chance when ex-Marsaxlokk defender Denis Cauchi cleared off the line a freekick by Richard Buhagiar. After 18 minutes Johan Zammit's shot went just over the bar when put through by Roger Walker. Marsaxlokk could have took the lead on the half-hour when the referee awarded us a penalty after Matthew Camiller floored Carmel Formosa in the penalty area. But Johan Zammit completely missed the target from the spot.

From this point on Floriana dominated the game and in the last 15 minutes of the first half they had chances from Jonathan Holland, Mifsud Triganza and Gvazava which were either saved by Sandro Micallef or went wide. Two minutes after the break Floriana took the lead - Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza's diagonal shot beat Micallef. The same Mifsud Triganza hit the post two minutes later. 11 minutes into the second half it was 2-0 for Floriana - Donovan Friggieri crossed to Gvazava who scored from close range. To make matters worse for Marsaxlokk, Trevor Templemann was sent off on 61 minutes, but balance was restored on the field of play three minutes later when Etienne Barbara was also sent-off after an incident with Justin Tellus.

Another set back for Marsaxlokk resulted when Brandon Zammit, who came in as a substitute, lasted only 9 minutes on the field of play when he had to be carried out on a stretcher and can miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury. In the final 10 minutes of the game Floriana could have scored their third goal when a shot by Gvazava ended wide and a shot from Schembri was parried into a corner by the goalkeeper.

PERSONAL NOTE: This defeat puts us back with a chance to lose our place in the top 6. Now it is imperative for us to win against Mosta next Sunday. This could prove to be a difficult game especially now that we have Joseph Farrugia and Brandon Zammit injured and Justin Tellus (4th Yellow) and Trevor Templemann suspended.


Marsaxlokk
12/01/2003, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Mosta

3-0 (H/T 1-0)

Mosta

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Richard Buhagiar, Kurt Farrugia, Benneth Njoku, Roger Walker, Roderick Spiteri (Mark Sciriha), Petr Bartes, Pierre Grima, Uwa Ogbodo (Kevin Mifsud), Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa (Shaun Sullivan)
Yellow Cards Pierre Grima, Carmel Formosa
Red Cards Ruben Debono 94', Johan Zammit 70'
Scorers: Roger Walker 31', Johan Zammit 65', Carmel Formosa 78'
Attendance 1,343
Marsaxlokk moved a step closer to the Championship Pool after beating Mosta for the second time this season. Our chances were further boosted after Floriana lost against Marsa. This win puts us 4 points above 7th place Floriana with two games remaining. However our emphatic win was marred by the sending offs of captain Johan Zammit and goalkeeper Ruben Debono who was making his debut today. Both sending offs could have easily been avoided if our players showed more professionalism on the field of play.

It was Mosta who began on the attack and it had to be Njoku (playing instead of suspended Justin Tellus) who cleared off the line. But from them on Marsaxlokk took the proceedings in hand. First Grima's free kick was missed by Zammit in the air by a whisker and then Buhagiar's freekick was headed down by Zammit to Formosa, whose shot was saved by Sciberras. On the half hour Bartes' free kick from outside the area was headed by Roger Walker past Sciberras to give Marsaxlokk the lead. In the remaining 15 minutes of the first half Marsaxlokk could have sealed the result but missed chances from Formosa and Zammit.

After the break Mosta tried to react but it was Marsaxlokk who showed the better ideas. On 55 minutes Bartes' curling shot narrowly missed the target and 12 minutes later Johan Zammit dribbled around De Oliveira and scored with a shot from outside the penalty area. His joy was shortlived as three minutes later he was first shown the yellow card for protesting and then shown a second yellow card for throwing away the captain's armband.

Mosta tried to capitalize by putting in another striker, but it was Marsaxlokk who scored again - a fine move between Spiteri and Ogbodo was tapped in by the onrushing Formosa into an empty net to seal the game for the seasiders. When everyone was waiting for the final whistle, debutant goalkeeper Ruben Debono was fouled and his retailting headbutt earned him a red card. Ten seconds later, the referee's final whistle signalled the end of the game.

PERSONAL NOTE: This win almost secured a place among the top six - Prosit boys. But we cannot afford to have players sent off for such behaviour. We must act professionally when on the field of play if we want to advance further in the table.


Marsaxlokk
25/01/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Valletta

0-4 (H/T 0-2)

Valletta

Line-Up Reggie Cini, Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia, Benneth Njoku, Richard Buhagiar, Pierre Grima, Uwa Ogbodo, Carmel Formosa, Petr Bartes, Trevor Templemann, Roderick Spiteri
Yellow Cards Kurt Farrugia, Benneth Njoku
Red Cards --
Scorers: --
Attendance --
Playing with several players missing, there was nothing we could do against an excellent Valletta side. Ruben Debono and Johan Zammit were serving a 1 match suspension and Roger Walker was fit for this game. This forced coach JJ Aquilina to make some changes from our last ourting. We only managed to share the exchanges with Valletta in fthe until we conceeded the first goal. But from then on it was one-way traffic

After only 10 minutes an effort by the excellent Bogdanovic was saved by Cini and from the first corner a header by Debono was again saved by the Marsaxlokk goalkeeper. From the resulting corner an Oretan header missed the target by a whisker. After 15 minutes a volley by Richard Buhagiar went wide. On the half hour Valletta opened the score - Marsaxlokk had a good chance but Bartes failed to pass the ball in time, the Valletta defence passed it to Bogdanovic who served Ivan Zammit whose shot gave Cini no chance. To make things even worse, 3 minutes later Cini was deemed to have fouled Bogdanovic in the area and Ivan Zammit made no mistake from the penalty spot. Just before the break in a rare Marsaxlokk counter-attack Formosa headed wide when served from the right by Buhagiar.

In the second half it was the same story with Valletta controlling the game and Marsaxlokk trying not to conceed more goals. But Valletta still managed to score twice - both by Oretan. After 63 minutes a low shot from inside the penalty area surprised Reggie Cini to finish in the net. Then, 3 minutes later Oretan deposited the ball in the net again after being served from the right by Bogdanovic.

In the last 25 minutes of the game Valletta were just happy to control the lead until the end.

PERSONAL NOTE: We had to face Valletta with several missing players and with the bench full of youth players. Now it is imperative that we win our next game against Hamrun to assure ourselves of a place among the top six.


Marsaxlokk
05/02/2003, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hamrun

1-3 (H/T 0-0)

Hibs

Line-Up Reuben Debono, Pierre Grima, Carmel Formosa, Kurt Farrugia, Justin Tellus, Roger Walker, Alan Mifsud, Petr Bartes, Etienne Barbara, Johan Zammit, Uwa Ogbodo (Trevor Templemann)
Yellow Cards --
Red Cards --
Scorers: Johan Zammit 84' (1-2)
Attendance 1,128
Having already secured a place in the Championship Pool due to Floriana's defeat on Tuesday, much more was expected from Marsaxlokk. To be fair, the scoreline can give the impression that Hamrun outrun Marsaxlokk, but it was just the case that who converted his chances won.

Playing in freezing conditions and with strong winds, Marsaxlokk made 5 changes from the last game. In came Ruben Debono and Johan Zammit after serving a 1-match suspension, Roger Walker came back from injury and Etienne Barbara and Alan Mifsud made their debut after being signed last week. The first half hour was rather slow, but after 32 minutes Ivan Casha had to save a shot by Pierre Grima and six minutes later saved again, this time on a long-distance shot by Etienne Barbara. The best chance, of the first half, fell the Spartans' way when Roderick Bajada was denied by Reuben Debono, the loose ball ran to Sultana but Pierre Grima was on the line to clear the ball.

Nine minutes into the second half, Hamrun took the lead - Kevin Borg's diagonal shot managed to beat Ruben Debono after recieving the ball from an out ball. Marsaxlokk immediately replied with an effort by Etienne Barbara which was deflected into a corner. With 15 minutes Johan Zammit had a good chance to equalise but his shot ended just over the bar. Marsaxlokk paid dearly for this miss because 2 minutes later Mauro Brincat served Stefan Sultana whose shot from the edge of the area betat Debono. Marsaxlokk tried to react and with six minutes to go Johan Zammit headed into the net when served by Pierre Grima. Etienne Barbara could have equalised in stoppage time but Casha saved his effort. There was still time for Hamrun to score another goal - it was again Stefan Sultana whose shot ended at the back of the net.

PERSONAL NOTE: Everybody expected more from this game to celebrate in style our achievement. But it was not to be. However, everybody must be congratulated for achieving our primary aim of securing a place in Championship Pool. Now we can focus on next Saturday's Trophy game against Msida.


Marsaxlokk
15/02/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

0-3 (H/T 0-2)

Sliema

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Justin Tellus, Pierre Grima, Kurt Farrugia, Benneth Njoku, Petr Bartes (Trevor Templemann, Shaun Sullivan), Richard Buhagiar, Alan Mifsud (Roderick Spiteri), Etienne Barbara, Johan Zammit, Carmel Formosa
Yellow Cards Pierre Grima
Red Cards --
Scorers:
Attendance
In our first game in the Championship Pool we were reminded in our first game in the Premier back in August. Our team simply did not perform in this game and we were completely outplayed by a Sliema side which did not have to do anything extraordinary to win.

Barely two minutes had passed when Sliema scored. A clearance from the Marsaxlokk defence fell in Anonam's way, who hit well past our goalkeeper Ruben Debono. Sliema controlled the game but, nevertheless, Marsaxlokk tried to react with Zammit and Formosa running after every ball to try to create some danger for the Sliema defence. On the half hour Sliema hit the woodwork from Doncic's shot. Sliema continued to attack but could not go through the Marsaxlokk defence. However, just 4 minutes before the break Sliema doubled the score - Mamo chipped perfectly to the far post and Turner tapped the ball into an empty net.

In the second half Sliema continued were they left in the first half. All Marsaxlokk could do was to try not to concede more goals. Sliema seemed to be happy with the two-goal lead and opted to control the game and at the same time trying to increase the score. In fact, after 71 minutes Sliema scored their third goal - Debono saved on Anonam, with the rebound falling in Veselji's path who put the ball into the net. Marsaxlokk had the chance to score a consolation goal but Zammit miscued the ball in front of the Sliema goalie.
PERSONAL NOTE: This game showed us that we will have a very difficult task in trying to obtain points in this phase of the league. Even if we have achieved our aim of placing among the top six, we must work harder to obtain our first point and win in the Championship Pool.


Marsaxlokk
23/02/2003, Victor Tedesco Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

0-2 (H/T 0-0)

Hibernians

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia, Benneth Njoku, Roderick Spiteri (Joseph Farrugia), Petr Bartes, Trevor Templemann, Alan Mifsud, Etienne Barbara, Uwa Ogbodo, Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards Justin Tellus, Etienne Barbara
Red Cards --
Scorers:
Attendance
Marsaxlokk showed some imporvement over the last outing. At least, until conceeding the first goal we were playing at par with our opponents. But after Hibs scored and Chukunyere's expulsion, instead of a Marsaxlokk reaction, Hibs scored another goal to secure the three points.

The first chance of the game came to our side. Ogbodo went round Pulis, but when alone in front of Muscat, instead of touching calmly into the net, opted to rifle a shot which ent over the crossbar. Immediately afterwards, Hibs protested for a penalty when Adrian Mifsud was pushed inside the area. As time passed, Hibs were taking control of the game but Ruben Debono was never called to make any spectacular saves.

Four minutes after the re-start, Hibs took the lead - Chukunyere passed to Mifsud who went round an opponent before putting the ball into the net wide of Ruben Debono. Three minutes later Marsaxlokk were unlucky not to equalise when a header from Johan Zammit hit the uptright before rebounding again off the post. With 22 minutes remaining Chukunyere was sent off after an incident with Etienne Barbara. From then on Marsaxlokk tried to attack to obtain the equaliser. Howerever, it was Hibs who scored when Mbong shot from 30 metres to the surprise of Ruben Debono. In the last 10 minutes of the game Hibs managed to control easily to close the gap with Valletta in third place.

PERSONAL NOTE: Our side showed some imporvement from our last game. However, we must show more fighting spirit in our next games especially when one considers that our next opponents will be Valletta and then Birkirkara.


Marsaxlokk
02/03/2003, Victor Tedesco Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Valletta

1-1 (H/T 0-0)

Valletta

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Benneth Njoku (Joseph Farrugia), Justin Tellus, Kurt Farrugia (Richard Buhagiar), Alan Mifsud, Pierre Grima, Etienne Barbara, Petr Bartes, Carmel Formosa, Uwa Ogbodo, Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards Pierre Grima, Alan Mifsud
Red Cards --
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 61'
Attendance
Marsaxlokk obtained the first point in the Championship Pool after a very good performance against Valletta. This was also the first time we did not lose against Valletta. We can say that we were denied from the 3 win after referee JR Attard gave Valletta a non-existent penalty with 9 minutes to go.

The game had a slow start. After 21 minutes Valletta could have easily took the lead when they were awarded a penalty but Penchev's shot was saved by Ruben Debono. Immediately afterwards, Debono had to dive to his left to save on Oretan. 2 minutes before the end of the first half Zammit had a great chance to score but he shot wide when alone in front of the Valletta goalie. On the stroke of half time, Carabott was sent off for Valletta when he protested for a yellow card with the referee.

Marsaxlokk went all out for the goal in the second half and Zammit was denied by Sullivan after only a minute. Then, Sullivan had to perform a spectacular save on Barbara. After 61 minutes Marsaxlokk went ahead. Barbara was served on the right, ran for about 30 minutes on the right flank before delivering an angled shot past Sullivan - A great goal indeed. Just minutes afterwards Thomas hit high and on the other side Sullivan saved stupendously on Bartes.

Marsaxlokk were then denied of a clear penalty when Ogbodo was pulled from his shirt from behind inside the area - but amazingly, everything was regular for the referee. To make things even worse, JR Attard awarded Valletta a second penalty for an inexistent foul. From the spot it was Daniel Theuma who equalised. In the final 10 minutes both teams could have won but the score remained 1-1 till the end.

PERSONAL NOTE: We were denied of the 3 points against Valletta after some very poor refereeing ... first a clear penalty in our favour not given and then a non-existent penalty given to Valletta. It is not fair that small clubs are treated in such a way when everyone at the ground could see the poor performance by Mr Attard.


Marsaxlokk
07/03/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Birkirkara

1-0 (H/T 1-0)

Birkirkara

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Richard Buhagiar, Kurt Farrugia, Justin Tellus, Alan Mifsud, Pierre Grima, Petr Bartes, Trevor Templemann, Carmel Formosa (Roderick Spiteri), Uwa Ogbodo, Johan Zammit (Joseph Farrugia)
Yellow Cards Alan Mifsud, Justin Tellus
Red Cards --
Scorers: Johan Zammit 16'
Attendance
This was a historic victory for Marsaxlokk. We managed to obtain our first win in the Championship Pool and our first win over title challengers Birkirkara.

Birkirkara went immediately all out in search for an early goal. In fact Michael Galea's strike after only a minute was well saved by Ruben Debono. Despite territorial superiority by Birkirkara, Marsaxlokk went ahead after 17 minutes - Carmel Formosa's cross from the right was half-volleyed into the net to the joy of the Marsaxlokk supporters at the stadium.

Birkirkara were stunned by this goal and had to wait until the 27th minute for their first shot at goal but Debono tipped over the bar a header from Briffa. Marsaxlokk could have doubled the score but Luke Dimech fouled Ogbodo before he could shoot at goal. Luke Dimech was only booked for this offence for the surprise of those present for the game. From the free kick, Ogbodo's shot went just wide. At the other end Debono deflected Briffa's attempt to a corner. Two minutes before the end Ogbodo beat the offside trap but lobbed the ball over the bar when alone in front of Haber.

Birkirkara introduced another attacker at the beginning of the second half. Debono was again called to rescue who saved with some difficulty over Michael Galea. Marsaxlokk, again, had a good chance to double the score when Zammit passed to Bartes who shot into Haber's hands with just the goalie to beat. After 70 minutes Birkirkara went through another dangerous situation when Zammit again was alone in front of Haber, tried to go round the goalie, but Haber deviated the ball into a corner. With 15 minutes remaining Birkirkara brought in Tabone (another attacker) who immediately had the chance to equalise but his effort was kept out by Debono's outstretched legs. The last chance for Birkirkara saw Galea's shot deflected against the crossbar by Richard Buhagiar.

PERSONAL NOTE: It was a memorable night for our club who against all expectations pulled one of the major surprises of the season. Prosit Marsaxlokk


Marsaxlokk
18/03/2003, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta

2-3 (H/T 1-1)

Pieta

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Richard Buhagiar, Kurt Farrugia, Justin Tellus, Alan Mifsud, Pierre Grima, Petr Bartes (Joseph Farrugia), Trevor Templemann, Carmel Formosa (Roderick Spiteri), Etienne Barbara, Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards Alan Mifsud, Etienne Barbara
Red Cards Kurt Farrugia 3'
Scorers: own goal 6', Etienne Barbara 54' pen
Attendance
A thrilling game which had two penalties, two own goals and a player sent off. For Marsaxlokk, this game was immediately an uphill task after the sending off of defender Kurt Farrugia in the 3rd minute. Kurt Farrugia was judged to have fouled Ivan Woods in the penalty area for a dubious penalty. Kurt Farrugia protested harshly with the referee and he was sent off. Players at this level should know better and not display such childish behaviour that results in himself being sent off and leaving his team mates with ten men for a whole match. From the penalty kick the same Woods scored. Two minutes later, Marsaxlokk equalised. Okonkwo's back pass to Darmanin completely surprised the Pieta goalie and the ball finished in the net. Despite being with ten men, Marsaxlokk shared most of the exchanges for most of the first half, which did not offer much more action on goal.

4 minutes into the second half Pieta regained the lead. Jamie Pace crossed to Paniccia who beat Debono from close range. However, four minutes later, Marsaxlokk equalised. Okonkwo was judged to have handled a Johan Zammit shot and from the resulting penalty, Etienne Barbara levelled the score.

On the 66th minute Pieta obtained the winning goal. Jamie Pace ran on the left and his cross was deviated into the net by defender Pierre Grima to the despair of the Marsaxlokk goalie. Marsaxlokk tried to react and came close from an Alan Mifsud shot which Darmanin saved.

PERSONAL NOTE: Our behaviour on the field of play has not been that good this season. Our sending offs have all been for behaviour that should be avoided during games - Brandon Zammit was sent off for foul language; Trevor Templemann and Ruben Debono for retailation with the opponents; Johan Zammit and Kurt Farrugia for protesting with the referee. We should work harder on this matter for better behaviour in future matches.



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