Marsaxlokk Football Club

SEASON 2003/2004

PREMIER LEAGUE

League Table - First Phase

League Table - Championship Pool

League Table - Relegation Pool

FA Trophy Games

League Match Reports

Player's Yellow/Red Cards


LEAGUE FIXTURES AND RESULTS
FIRST PHASE

Date Time Venue Opponets Result
Sat 23rd Aug 03 17:00 National Stadium    vs Sliema  2-2
Sun 31st Aug 03 19:00 National Stadium    vs Birkirkara 2-3
Sat 13th Sep 03 16:00 National Stadium    vs Hamrun 3-2
Fri 19th Sep 03 18:00 National Stadium    vs Pieta 1-1
Fri 26th Sep 03 20:00 National Stadium    vs Valletta 0-2
Sun 5th Oct 03 15:00 National Stadium    vs Msida 2-0
Fri 10th Oct 03 18:00 National Stadium    vs Balzan 4-2
Sun 19th Oct 03 15:00 National Stadium    vs Floriana 0-0
Sun 26th Oct 03 17:00 National Stadium    vs Hibernians 2-3
Sun 23rd Nov 03 14:45 V.T. Stadium    vs Sliema 1-2
Fri 28th Nov 03  20:00 National Stadium    vs Birkirkara 0-1
Sun 14th Dec 03 12:45 Hibs Ground    vs Hamrun 1-0
Sat 27th Dec 03 12:45 Hibs Ground    vs Pieta 1-0
Mon 5th Jan 04 20:00 Centenary Stadiumf    vs Valletta 2-1
Sun 11th Jan 04 13:00 V. T. Stadium    vs Msida 1-0
Sun 18th Jan 04 13:00 Hibs Ground    vs Balzan 5-1
Sat 31st Jan 04 14:00 National Stadium    vs Floriana 2-1
Sun 8th Feb 04 15:15 Hibs Ground    vs Hibernians 1-1
 
SECOND PHASE

Date Time Venue   Opponets Result
Sat 28th Feb 16:00 National Stadium   vs Birkirkara 3-4
Sun 7th Mar  15:45 V.T. Stadium   vs Pieta H 0-0
Fri 12th Mar 20:00 National Stadium   vs Sliema W 1-3
Sun 21st Mar 16:00 V.T. Stadium   vs Floriana 0-0
Fri 26th Mar 20:00 National Stadium   vs Hibernians 3-0
Tue 13th Apr 20:00 National Stadium   vs Birkirkara 3-1
Fri 16th Apr 18:00 National Stadium   vs Pieta H 0-2
Sun 25th Apr 17:00 National Stadium   vs Sliema W 0-2
Thur 29th Apr 20:00 National Stadium   vs Floriana 5-1
Sat 8th May 17:00 National Stadium   vs Hibernians 1-4

 

FIRST PHASE CLASSIFICATION


MFA Premier Div P W D L F A Pts
SLIEMA W 18 13 2 3 37 15 41
BIRKIRKARA 18 11 2 5 41 18 35
HIBERNIANS 18 10 4 4 31 25 34
MARSAXLOKK 18 9 4 5 30 22 31
FLORIANA 18 7 6 5 33 26 27
PIETA  18 7 6 5 28 25 27
VALLETTA 18 6 5 7 27 29 23
BALZAN 18 5 3 10 21 38 18
MSIDA 18 2 4 12 18 35 10
HAMRUN 18 0 4 14 12 46 4
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
 
CHAMPIONSHIP POOL CLASSIFICATION

FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
SLIEMA W 28 20 3 5 61 27 43
BIRKIRKARA 28 17 5 6 59 30 39
HIBERNIANS 28 16 4 8 47 38 35
MARSAXLOKK 28 12 6 10 46 39 27
PIETA  28 9 9 10 40 40 23
FLORIANA 28 8 7 13 41 51 18
 
RELEGATION POOL  CLASSIFICATION

FINAL TABLE

  P W D L F A Pts
VALLETTA 24 11 5 8 41 33 27
MSIDA 24 6 5 13 35 42 18
BALZAN ** 24 7 3 13 27 51 15
HAMRUN** 24 0 5 19 17 60 3

**Hamrun and Balzan Y relegated to Division 1

FA TROPHY 2003/2004

 

ROUND DATE TIME VENUE OPPONENTS RESULT
1st Round 01/11/2003 13:30 Centenary Stadium    vs St Patrick 1-0
2nd Round 21/02/2004 16:00 National Stadium    vs Pieta 3-1
Quarter Final 04/04/2004 17:00 National Stadium    vs Hibernians 4-1
Semi Final 12/05/2004 19:30 National Stadium    vs Valletta 1-0
Final 18/05/2004 19:30 National Stadium    vs Sliema 0-2

 

 

1st Round

Marsaxlokk
01/11/2003, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs St Patrick

1-0 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Maurizio Vallastro, Pierre Grima (Kevin Mamo), Trevor Templemann (Hari Milchev Borislavov), Justin Tellus, Charlo Magro, Nikolai Slavtchev, Carmel Formosa (Johan Zammit), David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius, Etienne Barbara, Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Edmond Grech, Clyde Carabott, Emanuel Cumbo, Steve Falzon
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: David Camilleri 90'
Man of the match  
Attendance 335

Marsaxlokk were made to work hard by First Division, St Patrick, to earn a place in the 2nd Round of the FA Trophy with a goal in the last minute of the game.  St Patrick played a disciplined game and could consider themselves unlucky to finish on the losing end.

Much more was expected from Marsaxlokk who were missing Ruben Debono, David Carabott, Roger Walker and Richard Buhagiar.  Johan Zammit was on the substitute bench.  St Patrick were also without their foreigner.

The first 30 minutes of the game were very monotonous.  In fact Marsaxlokk's only attempt at goal came when Azzopardi anticipated Formosa in the area and on the other side Charlo Magro blocked on Jesmond Azzopardi.

Etienne Barbara and Malcolm Licari were closely marked by the St Patrick defenders and could not find enough space to create any dangerous situations for St Patrick.  Just before half time, St Patrick protested for a penalty when Justin Tellus seemed to have blocked a shot, that was destined for goal, with his hand.  But the referee judged it as being involuntary.  

The second half continued on the same rythm with Marsaxlokk having more of ball possession and St Patrick trying to surprise their opponents on the break.  In fact St Patrick could have scored but Valastro blocked on Caruana

With 10 minutes to go Mamo had his shot blocked by the St Patrick goalkeeper and when everyone was dreading the fact that we had to assist to another 30 minutes of this monotonous affair, Vencevicius and Borislavov exchanged the ball, with the latter passing to Camilleri who scored from just inside the penalty area.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Despite missing 4 players, much more was expected from Marsaxlokk.  However, the centenary stadium surface is in terrible conditions and is not good for playing football, especially at the highest level in our country.  These games could be played at Hamrun and Hibs to make the games more entertaining

 

 

2nd Round

Marsaxlokk
21/02/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta

3-1 (H/T 1-0)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, David Carabott, Kevin Mamo, Justin Tellus, Richard Buhagiar, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri (Roger Walker), Donatas Vencevicius (Charlo Magro), Minabo Asechemie, Daniel Bogdanovic, Etienne Barbara.
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Johan Zammit, Trevor Templemann, Malcolm Licari
Yellow Cards Justin Tellus
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 12' (1-0), 78' (2-1), Roger Walker 92' (3-1)
Man of the match  
Attendance  

Marsaxlokk continued on their 7 match unbeaten run in the league, winning this 2nd Round tie to book a place in the Quarter Final of the FA Trophy for the 2nd year running.  Marsaxlokk immediately showed their intention to obtain an early goal.  After only 8 minutes Darmanin had to perform a spectacular save on a Bogdanovic freekick.  But he could do nothing 4 minutes later.  Carabott passed to Vencevicius in midfield.  The Lithuanian lobbed over the defence to put Bogdanovic through, who headed the ball above an advancing Darmanin.  Pieta's reaction came from Woods whose shot was deflected away by Buhagiar.  On the other side Barbara should have done better but his shot went high after dribbling pass Okoh.  Just before half time, Marsaxlokk have Buhagiar to thank when he cleared off the line a ball after Casha failed to interecept a shot by Ekwe.

In the second half Pieta seemed to be better.  In fact 14 minutes into the half they obtained a deserved equaliser.  Frendo's free kick from just outside the area hit the foot of the post with Di Lello depositing the rebound into the net.  Pieta seemed to be taking the upperhand but they were never able to threaten Casha's net again.  In fact it was Marsaxlokk who scored with 12 minutes to go.  A one-two between Buhagiar and Barbara put Richard Buhagiar through.  His shot was parried by Darmanin with the rebound falling in Bogdanovic's path who had the easiest of tasks to put the ball into an empty net - his 5th goal for Marsaxlokk in 5 outings!

Pieta were not dead yet.  An Okoh free kick from about 30 minutes was superbly saved by Casha to a corner.  Then it was again Casha who twice saved the net for Marsaxlokk.  In the last corner for Pieta, goalkeeper Darmanin came forward to give a helping hand to his teammates, but the looseball from the corner fell in Walker's path who advanced on his own to deposit the ball into an empty net from about 30 metres.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Another positive result from our club which put us in the quarter final.  Now we hope for a good draw to make it less difficult for us to go through to the semis for the first time in our short history in the top division.

 

Quarter Final

Marsaxlokk
04/04/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

4-1 (H/T 1-0)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, David Carabott, Kevin Mamo (Nikolai Slavtchev), Justin Tellus, Richard Buhagiar (Charlo Magro), David Camilleri, Trevor Templemann,  Donatas Vencevicius, Minabo Asechemie, Daniel Bogdanovic (Etienne Barbara), Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Johan Zammit, Roger Walker
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Minabo Asechemie, 34', David Carabott 57', Etienne Barbara 81', Malcolm Licari 86'
Man of the match  
Attendance  

REPORT TO FOLLOW

PERSONAL NOTE:  

 

Semi - Final

Marsaxlokk
12/05/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Valletta

1-0 aet (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, Kevin Mamo, David Carabott (Roger Walker), Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, David Camilleri, Trevor Templemann (Nikolai Slavtchev), Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius, Malcolm Licari (Etienne Barbara), Daniel Bogdanovic
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Justin Tellus, Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 115'
Man of the match  
Attendance  
REPORT TO FOLLOW

PERSONAL NOTE:  

Marsaxlokk
18/05/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

0-2 (H/T 0-1)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, David Carabott, Kevin Mamo, Nikolai Slavtchev (Etienne Barbara), Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, David Camilleri, Minabo Asechemie (Malcolm Licari), Trevor Templemann, Donatas Vencevicius, Daniel Bogdanovic
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Johan Zammit, Justin Tellus, Roger Walker
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match  
Attendance  
REPORT TO FOLLOW

PERSONAL NOTE:  

 

Premier Division League 2003/2004 - MATCH DETAILS
Marsaxlokk
23/08/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

2-2 (H/T 0-2)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, Pierre Grima, David Carabott, Roger Walker (Petr Bartes), David Camilleri, Etienne Barbara (Trevor Templemann), Johan Zammit (Carmel Formosa), Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Edmond Grech, Steve Falzon, Darren Desira, Wildon Vella
Yellow Cards Etienne Mercieca
Red Cards  
Scorers: Petr Bartes 57' (1-2), Nikolai Slavtchev 74' (2-2)
Man of the match Nikolai Slavtchev
Attendance 885
For the second year running we were drawn to meet the current champions in our first league game.  After the signing of top players during the summer everyone expected Marsaxlokk to give Sliema a good game.  On the other hand, Sliema were expected to win without difficulty having strengthened their squad with the signing of top players this season, including Bogdanovic and Giglio who were playing abroad.  Marsaxlokk also paraded their new signing.  The most notable debut was that of National Team Captain David Carabott who was returning to Marsaxlokk after leaving them when still in the 3rd Division 16 years ago.  Other players making their official debut were Charlo Magro, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri and Malcolm Licari.  

Sliema wanted to close the game as fast as they could.  In fact they had 4 strikers in their initial formation - Vasejli, Anonam, Bogdanovic and Doncic.  Until the end of the first half everything was going to their plan.  In the first half Sliema dominated for large stretches with Marsaxlokk never being able to construct a decent attack.  Sliema opened the score after 19 minutes when Doncic slotted home after being served by Joe Brincat.  The champions continued to dictate matters and doubled the score on the half hour when Anonam dribbled past Slavtchev before scoring.

In the second half, Marsaxlokk were like another team.  Coach Robert Kelly put in Petr Bartes instead of Roger Walker.  Twelve minutes into the second half Marsaxlokk pulled one back when Bartes' volley from the edge of the area flew past Akanji, after being served by Slavtchev.  (Petr Bartes was playing his last game for our team after playing with Marsaxlokk last season.)  This gave the necessary boost to Marsaxlokk who were believing more in themselves.  Zammit had a header saved by Akanji and Charlo Magro shot high from an ideal position.  However Sliema could have made it three but Bogdanovic's header hit the crossbar.  With 16 minutes to go Marsaxlokk equalised through a Slavtchev free kick to the delight of the Marsaxlokk supporters.

In the final minutes of the game Marsaxlokk could have even scored the killer goal but Akanji saved a Formosa header and Templemann shot wide from just outside the penalty area.

PERSONAL NOTE:  It was a great start for the season.  Let's hope that this game gives us the necessary boost for the season, now that for the next game we will have Tellus and Mamo back from suspension and hopefully another foreigner.

Marsaxlokk
31/08/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Birkirkara

2-3 (H/T 1-1)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, Pierre Grima (Carmel Formosa 94'), David Carabott, Donatas Vencevicius, David Camilleri (Kevin Mamo 76'), Hari Milchev Borislavov (Justin Tellus 66'), Etienne Barbara,  Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Steve Falzon, Trevor Templemann, Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards David Carabott, Kevin Mamo, Donatas Vencevicius
Red Cards  
Scorers: Nikolai Slavtchev 12' (1-0), Etienne Barbara 69' penalty (2-1)
Man of the match Etienne Barbara
Attendance 1,470
Luck was surely not on our side today when till the 88th minute we were still leading 2-1 and not being able to at least obtain a point from this game.  We must say that we again suffered from some dubious decisions by the match officials and it seems that we have to live with these decisions this season, especially when playing against the more established teams.  Everybody at the stadium was surprised when the 4th official signalled seven minutes of added time at the end of the 90 minutes.  This, when the score was 2-2.  But, having said this, we did not lose the game only due to these decisions.  We have also ourselves to blame for not being able to hold on to obtain a positive result from this game.  

For this game we had two new foreigners making their debut - Lithuanian International Donatas Vencevicius and Bulgarian Hari Borislavov.  Also, Justin Tellus and Kevin Mamo were in the squad after missing the first game due to suspensions.  

We opened on the attack and it was not a surprise that we obtained the lead after 12 minutes.  Slavtchev scored directly from a free kick taken just outside the penalty area - an identical goal to the one against Sliema.  From then on Birkirkara tried to react but it was Justin Haber who saved brilliantly from a Licari header to deny him of his first goal for Marsaxlokk.  Birkirkara managed to equalise on the half hour.  Ruben Debono just touched a cross from the right with the ball falling in Michael Galea's feet who had no difficulty to deposit the ball into an empty net.

In the second half Birkirkara opened on the attack trying to take the lead but it was Marsaxlokk who were more dangerous on the break.  Etienne Barbara was in excellent form and from one of his counter attacks he found himself in front of Haber and from a tight angle he crossed the ball to Licari who had the ball cleared just in time by a Birkirkara defender.  Donatas Vencevicius was brought forward and it was from one of his surges forward that Marsaxlokk obtained a penalty when he was floored in the box.  From the spot Etienne Barbara made it 2-1.  Immediately afterwards two shots by Vencevicius could have doubled the lead for Marsaxlokk but one was brilliantly saved by Haber and the other went just wide.  Birkirkara also had their chances - Justin Tellus cleared off the line and Nwoko hit the crossbar with Debono beaten.

With the clock ticking away it seemed that Marsaxlokk were going to obtain their first win of the season.  But with 2 minutes to go, Mamo fouled Calascione on the right and from the free-kick Doda headed in for the draw.  Birkirkara seemed to believe more in themselves, especially after seeing that 7 minutes were being added as injury time.  4 minutes into injury time a harmless through ball was gathered by Ruben Debono, but to everyone's surprise Richard Buhagiar tripped Alan Tabone in the area and from the resulting penalty Dronca gave the lead and the three points to Birkirkara.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Today we surely deserved at least a draw.  We have to be more concentrated throughout the game especially when playing the top teams.  At least we showed that our team is well equipped to compete against all the teams in the Premier.

Marsaxlokk
13/09/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hamrun S

3-2 (H/T 3-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, Kevin Mamo, David Carabott (Trevor Templemann), Donatas Vencevicius, Carmel Formosa, Hari Milchev Borislavov (Pierre Grima), Etienne Barbara,  Johan Zammit
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Steve Falzon, Justin Tellus, Malcolm Licari
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 3' (1-0), 6'(2-0); Carmel Formosa 29' (3-0)
Man of the match Etienne Barbara
Attendance 1,326

In a match that we dominated for about 75 minutes, we managed to put the three points in danger when conceding two goals to give Hamrun some hope of salvaging a draw.  Against an inferior opponent we had Malcolm Licari, David Camilleri and Roger Walker all missing through injury, but still managed to dictate matters for most of the game.

We were already 2-0 up inside the first 6 minutes.  The first goal came when Etienne Barbara exchanged the ball with Johan Zammit before scoring.  The second goal, again scored by Etienne Barbara was almost identical to the first - this time Etienne Barbara received a through ball from Donatas Vencevicius and scored again.  Marsaxlokk continued to dominate the game and after 29 minutes the score was 3-0.  Johan Zammit went round two Hamrun defenders before crossing to Carmel Formosa who headed home.  Marsaxlokk had the chance to score more goals before half-time but first Johan Zammit's shot went just wide and then Etienne Barbara incredibly shot high when presented with the ball in front of an empty net.

In the second half it was the same story with Marsaxlokk dominating the game.  But this time Marsaxlokk did not manage to score and with 18 minutes to go Roderick Bajada scored for Hamrun.  6 minutes later Mauro Brincat put Hamrun again in the game but Hamrun did not manage to score the equaliser in the remaining 15 minutes.

It was a deserved win for Marsaxlokk and it would have been unjust if they lost any points from a game they dominated.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Again, today was evident that we the lack of concentration in crucial stages of the game can cause us losing important points.  We should have never allowed Hamrun to get back in the game the way they did but at the end of the day it is the 3 points that matter.  We should learn from this game not to relax because even the so called 'smaller' teams can punish.

Marsaxlokk
19/09/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta

1-1 (H/T 0-1)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, Pierre Grima (Hari Milchev Borislavov), David Carabott, Donatas Vencevicius, Kevin Mamo, Etienne Barbara,  Malcolm Licari (Steve Falzon), Carmel Formosa (Justin Tellus)
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro,  Trevor Templemann, David Camilleri, Darren Desira
Yellow Cards David Carabott, Justin Tellus
Red Cards David Carabott 80'
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 67' penalty (1-1)
Man of the match Etienne Barbara
Attendance 755
Marsaxlokk managed 'only' a draw against an inferior Pieta side missing Ivan Woods and Fransis Omam.  Marsaxlokk were again missing Roger Walker and David Camilleri who have not recovered yet from injury.  Furthermore, Johan Zammit got injured on Friday and will probably miss the remaing 5 games of the first round.

Marsaxlokk immediately showed their intention to try to take an early lead.  After only 2 minutes Carmel Formosa missed a golden opportunity to open the score.  Even if Marsaxlokk were territorially superior, we had to wait until the 25th minute when Licari arrived just late and failed to connect with Etienne Barbara's cross.  2 minutes later Carmel Formosa found himself in front of Darmanin when served by Barbara, but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper.

In their first real attack, Pieta opened the score.  After 34 minutes Sciberras passed to Anatole Debono who scored from just inside the box.  Marsaxlokk could not react in the remaining 10 minutes of the first half and so Pieta were leading 1-0 at half time against the run of play.

In the second half Marsaxlokk tried to find a way to goal but we had to wait 20 minutes when Licari's shot went just high.  Two minutes later Marsaxlokk were awarded a penalty when Licari was floored in the area by Nisevic.  From the penalty spot Etienne Barbara scored his fourth goal of the season.  

Marsaxlokk seemed to be given a boost by this goal.  But with 10 minutes remaining, captain David Carabott was sent off for a second bookable offence.  His second card coming from a very dubious foul.  The game ended with Pieta trying to score the winning goal without actually coming near Ruben Debono's goal.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Today, we again missed a lot of goalscoring opportunities.  This led to Pieta leading at half-time.  The game was also characterised by some very poor refereeing from Roberto Buontempo.  David Carabott's dismissal was surely a very controversial decision and he will now be missing the game against his ex-team Valletta.  For the next game we should have Roger Walker and David Camilleri back from injury.

Marsaxlokk
26/09/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Valletta

0-2 (H/T 0-1)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Justin Tellus, Carmel Formosa (Trevor Templemann), Kevin Mamo (Richard Buhagiar), Roger Walker, Donatas Vencevicius, Hari Milchev Borislavov (David Camilleri), Etienne Barbara, Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Steve Falzon, Clyde Carabott, Pierre Grima
Yellow Cards Hari Milchev Borislavov, Donatas Vencevicius, Richard Buhagiar
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match Ivan Zammit (Valletta)
Attendance 1,058

Marsaxlokk were beaten 2-0 in a pathetic game, especially in the first 60 minutes.  In fact it was only in the last thirty minutes that we tried to create something in the attempt to salvage the game.  Marsaxlokk had Roger Walker and David Camilleri returning after injury but had David Carabott missing through suspension and Johan Zammit still injured.  Justin Tellus was given his first start of the season instead of the not-fully-fit Richard Buhagiar.  In the first half it was evident the lack of motivation of our squad who seemed to accept the fact that we are being overplayed by Valletta.

In the first half, Valletta were the best team.  In fact Valletta goalie Sean Sullivan was never seriously threatened.  After 15 minutes Valletta took the lead when Gilbert Agius headed in from an Ivan Zammit corner.  For the rest of the half, Valletta controlled easily Marsaxlokk players who were adopting an 'I don't care' attitude in this game.

In the second half Valletta quickly scored the second goal when Bondin's header was tapped in by Penchev with Debono beaten.  Marsaxlokk only came to life in the last half-hour, especially with the inclusion of Richard Buhagiar and David Camilleri.  To make things even worse, Marsaxlokk had what appeared to be a legitimate goal disallowed on the flagging of Vella Clark.  Vencevicius' shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Sullivan and Malcolm Licari rushed in to tap the ball in an empty net.  But to the surprise of everyone at the stadium, the assistant referee flagged for an offside.

The same Vella Clark also flagged another two very dubious offsides against Marsaxlokk.  One of these offsides involved an Etienne Barbara shot that hit the post with Sullivan well beaten.  Soon afterwards Vencevicius' shot was saved by Sullivan to a corner.  With 15 minutes to go David Camilleri had his shot blocked by a Valletta defender.  However, Valletta could have scored a third goal.  But Theuma's header was cleared of the line by Charlo Magro

PERSONAL NOTE:  The lack of motivation and the 'I don't care' attitude shown by most of our players contributed to today's pathetic performance. Our players must shoulder more responsability and improve their attitude towards the game if we want to seriously challenge for a place in Europe.   This was also hampered by the great saves of Sullivan and the controversial decisions of the assistant referee, especially in Licari's annulled goal.  Once again we find ourselves penalised when playing against the so-called top teams when it comes to decisions by the match officials.

Marsaxlokk
05/10/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Msida

2-0 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, David Carabott (Carmel Formosa (Justin Tellus)), Kevin Mamo , Roger Walker, Donatas Vencevicius, David Camilleri, Etienne Barbara (Steve Falzon), Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Pierre Grima, Trevor Templemann, Hari Milchev Borislavov
Yellow Cards Richard Buhagiar, Roger Walker
Red Cards  
Scorers: Malcolm Licari 60' (1-0), Etienne Barbara 65' pen (2-0)
Man of the match Etienne Barbara (Marsaxlokk)
Attendance 1,654
Marsaxlokk, in their new gear sponsored by YAZOO,  obtained their second win of the season in a game they dominated from start to finish.  Msida could not create any real chances by their foreign attackers because of a well organised defence consisting of Slavtchev, Magro and Buhagiar.  In midfield Marsaxlokk were also superior and it was only their goalkeeper that kept the result to just 2 goals.  The only negative note for Marsaxlokk was the knee injury sustained by David Carabott midway through the first half.  From the first impressions it seems that it is a serious injury that could keep Carabott sidelined for months.

Marsaxlokk immediately showed their intentions and began on the attack.  Territorialy Marsaxlokk were superior but they had to wait till the 10th minute when Licari's shot went out when alone in front of goal.  A few minutes later the same Licari was served by Barbara only to see his shot well saved by Omar Borg.    Midway through the first half came the injury of Carabott in a tackle with an Msida midfielder.  Carabott had to be substituted by Formosa.  Near the end of the first half a Donatas Vencevicius shot was saved by Borg.

In the second half Marsaxlokk again continued to dominate.  And it was no surprise that they took the lead.  Licari was served on the left by Camilleri and he scored from close range.  Licari could not contain his joy for his first goal for Marsaxlokk after 6 games.  Five minutes later an Msida defender was judged to have handled the ball in the area and from the resulting penalty, Etienne Barbara scored his 5th goal of the season.

The game was as good as over and Marsaxlokk controlled their lead easily and had even a couple of chances to increase the score through Licari, Barbara and Vencevicius that were all saved by Omar Borg.  In injury time Msida's Malcolm Tirchett (ex-Marsaxlokk) was sent off for throwing the ball at Tellus.

PERSONAL NOTE:  There was an obvious improvement on the performance against Valletta.  This was helped by the return of Camilleri, Carabott and Buhagiar.  However, we again missed some clear chances in the first half and we should pay more attention when in front of goal.  We hope that Carabott's injury is not very serious so that he could return playing as sson as possible.

Marsaxlokk
10/10/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Balzan

4-2 (H/T 1-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono (Maurizio Vallastro), Trevor Templemann, Charlo Magro, David Camilleri, Kevin Mamo (Pierre Grima), Roger Walker, Etienne Barbara, Richard Buhagiar, Nikolai Slavtchev, Hari Milchev Borislavov (Carmel Formosa), Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Steve Falzon, David Carabott, Justin Tellus, Clyde Carabott
Yellow Cards Richard Buhagiar, David Camilleri
Red Cards  
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 39' (1-0), 56' (2-0), 75' (4-2), Malcolm Licari 68' (3-1)
Man of the match Etienne Barbara (Marsaxlokk)
Attendance 634

Despite missing David Carabott and Johan Zammit through injuries, and Donatas Vencevicius on internationl duty, Marsaxlokk obtained their 3rd win of the season against Balzan Youths.  With Etienne Barbara in an irresistible form, the win was never in doubt.  Immediately Marsaxlokk began of the attack and Barbara and Licari both missed the target when in front of goal.  A few minutes later Licari failed to connect with a Barbara cross from the left and immediately after Barry saved a Buhagiar shot from outside the area.

In a rare Balzan attack Zahra shot was saved by Debono, but the Marsaxlokk goalkeeper sustained a shoulder injury and had to be replaced by Maurizio Vallastro who was making his debut for Marsaxlokk.  On 39 minutes Marsaxlokk opened the score when Roger Walker's perfect through pass was slipped past Barry by Etienne Barbara.

In the second half Marsaxlokk continued attacking and after 56 minutes another Walker pass was placed in the net by Barbara for 2-0.  5 minutes later Balzan were awarded a penalty after Kevin Mamo's handsball in the area.  Valenzia's shot was saved by Vallastro but the same player scored from the rebound.  Balzan's joy was short-lived when Licari went round Barry to make the score 3-1.  A minute has barely passed a Balzan scored again.  Filipov's shot was parried by Vallastro and Muscat put the rebound in the back of the net.

Balzan tried to obtain an equaliser but Barbara put the result beyond any doubt when he scored another goal.  With these three goals Etienne Barbara is the current Premier top scorer with 8 goals.

PERSONAL NOTE:  It was another good performance by our team, despite missing some important players.  We hope that Ruben Debono's injury is not very serious and it will not keep him out for long.  Our next game is crucial for us when we will be meeting another team which is hoping to obtain a top 6 position at the end of the first phase, Floriana.  Keep it up!

Marsaxlokk
19/10/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

0 - 0 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Maurizio Vallastro, Nikolai Slavtchev, Richard Buhagiar, Charlo Magro, Kevin Mamo (Johan Zammit), Trevor Templemann, David Camilleri, Roger Walker (Hari Milchev Borislavov), Donatas Vencevicius, Etienne Barbara, Malcolm Licari (Carmel Formosa)
Subs not Used Edmond Grech, Justin Tellus, Steve Falzon, Pierre Grima
Yellow Cards Nikolai Slavtchev, Richard Buhagiar, Charlo Magro, Donatas Vencevicius, Trevor Templemann
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match Gango-Rtsa (Floriana)
Attendance 841

Much more was expected from Marsaxlokk against Floriana than the unmerited 0-0 obtained.  Looking from the bright side, this is the first time we did not lose against Floriana afer 6 official games between the two sides.  Marsaxlokk were missing Ruben Debono and David Carabott both injured, but Johan Zammit played the last 20 minutes after coming back from a hamstring injury.

Marsaxlokk have goalkeeper Vallastro to thank for obtaining a point from this game, who was decisive with a couple of spectacular saves, especially during the second half.  In fact, in the only occasion that Floriana did beat Vallastro, Richard Buhagiar cleared off the line what could have proved to be the winner goal.

The first half was a dull affair with both teams playing destructive football and never really testing the opposing goalkeepers.  In the second half Floriana were the team who tried to score with Marsaxlokk trying to defend as best as they could.  7 minutes into the second half a Floriana attack involving Azzopardi and Holland finished with Cilia beating Vallastro only to have his attempt cleared off the line by Buhagiar.

Minutes later Vallastro saved brilliantly on Bizu when the Brazilian was alone in front of goal.  With 60 minutes on the clock, Vallastro was again the protagonist when he parried a Bajada free-kick with the resulting loose ball falling in Bizu's path who shot wide.  10 minutes after Mifsud Triganza's shot skimmed the bar.  At the other end, in the only real attack of Marsaxlokk in the whole game, Johan Zammit's header from a Borislavov cross went just over the bar.

PERSONAL NOTE:  There seem to be something missing in our team.  One thing is certain - there are players of quality, but consistency is lacking and players should try to play more as a team.  Nevertheless, we have 12 points, 3 more points than we had last season after the first round.

Marsaxlokk
26/10/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

2-3 (H/T  1-0 )

Line-Up Maurizio Vallastro, Charlo Magro, Justin Tellus, Nikolai Slavtchev, Trevor Templemann (Carmel Formosa), Kevin Mamo (Pierre Grima), David Camilleri, Etienne Barbara, Donatas Vencevicius, Johan Zammit (Steve Falzon), Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Edmond Grech, Clyde Carabott, Emanuel Cumbo, Hari Milchev Borislavov
Yellow Cards Donatas Vencevicius, Etienne Barbara
Red Cards Etienne Barbara
Scorers: Etienne Barbara, Nikolai Slavtchev
Man of the match Terence Scerri (Hibernians)
Attendance 1,125
Marsaxlokk lost against Hibs with the odd goal in five, the winner coming 2 minutes into stoppage time by Chukunyere.  It was a game that we never deserved to lose, especially after equalizing with 10 minutes to go and playing with 10 players.  Etienne Barbara was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 65th minute (between Hibs' equalizer - 1-1 - and their 2-1 lead)

Marsaxlokk were again missing David Carabott, Roger Walker and Ruben Debono through injury and had Richard Buhagiar serving a 1 match suspension.  However it was Marsaxlokk who took the lead after 30 minutes. Malcolm Licari's angled shot on the left was blocked by Mario Muscat, with the ball eventually running loose to Etienne Barbara.  Barbara tried his luck from 25 metres, but the ball surprisingly rolled into the net via Muscat's chest, possibly catching him unsighted.

Marsaxlokk were denied their second goal when Paiber intevened in time to deflect Zammit's shot to a corner.  However Hibs were increasing their tempo and it was the bar that denied Scerri's header from the equalizer.  Just before half time Terence Scerri was stopped by the diving Vallastro.

Hibs continued to attack in the beginning of the second half, but it was Gatt's intervention on the hour that made the difference.  The Hibs coach brought in Adrian and Miguel Mifsud to strengthen their attack.  This change disorientated the southseasider's defence and 3 minutes after this double substitution Scerri headed in from close range after being served by Chukunyere. To complicate matters even more for Marsaxlokk Barbara was sent off 5 minutes later for a second bookable offence.  This led to Hibs' lead as 2 minutes later Miguel Mifsud chipped a ball from the left and Adrian Mifsud put the ball past Vallastro.

Marsaxlokk seemed destined to another defeat, but suddenly they equalised through a Slavtchev penalty after Miguel Mifsud was judged to have handled the ball in the box.  When the game seemed to he heading for a fair equaliser, Chukunyere scored a gem of a goal 2 minutes into stoppage time to the delight of the Hibs supporters.

PERSONAL NOTE:  We again managed to lose a game in stoppage time.  We are not being consistent throughout the game and this gives our opponents the chances to score.  The performance was better than the one against Floriana, but the team is still not functioning well.  We must try to play more as a team and not individually if we want to seriously challenge for a place in the top six.

Marsaxlokk
23/11/2003, V. Tedesco Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema

1-2 (H/T  0-1 )

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Richard Buhagiar, Justin Tellus, Charlo Magro, Pierre Grima (Johan Zammit), David Camilleri, Nikolai Slavtchev, Carmel Formosa (Roger Walker), Kevin Mamo, Malcolm Licari, Hari Milchev Borislavov
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Trevor Templemann, Steve Falzon, Clyde Carabott, Manuel Cumbo
Yellow Cards Charlo Magro
Red Cards  
Scorers: Richard Buhagiar
Man of the match Murphy Akanji (Sliema)
Attendance 942
For the upteenth time this season, luck was not on our side and we, once again, lost the game in injury time.  We surely did not deserve to lose this game because, after falling behind after half an hour, we pressed hard for the equaliser.  This was achieved with 3 minutes on the clock ... but we suffered the killer goal in added time.

It was a brave performance from Marsaxlokk against the current champions.  We were missing Vencevicius and Barbara through suspension, and David Carabott still recovering from injury.  On the other hand, Sliema had Massimo Grima back after a three-month doping suspension and Joe Brincat missing through injury.

Play was rather monotonous in the first half an hour and in the first real attack of the game Sliema opened the score when Grima's passed to Giglio whose shot from 30 metres left Debono staring at the ball. Ananam could have doubled the score immediately afterwards but his header was saved by Debono.  Marsaxlokk showed some reaction at the end of the first half when Akanji saved shot from Camilleri and Borislavov.

In the second half, Marsaxlokk attacked trying to equalise.  Akanji perfored a fine save on Richard Buhagiar.  On the other end, Doncic's header went wide.  Bogdanovic should have done better when released on the right but is shot went off target.  Three minutes from time, Marsaxlokk equalised.  Richard Buhagiar rose to head in an accurate pass by Kevin Mamo.

To make things even worse for Sliema, Grima was sent off for elbowing Licari.  But when everyone thought that the game would end one-all, Giglio scored the winner when his shot was deflected into the net by Magro.

PERSONAL NOTE:  It is not possible that we keep on losing games in injury time.  We cannot just blame luck, but we must try to be more concentrated in such delicate stages of the game.  However, our performance is improving from one game to another.  Let's hope for a better result in our next game against leaders Birkirkara.

Marsaxlokk
28/11/2003, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs B'Kara

0-1 (H/T  0-0 )

Line-Up Ruben Debono, David Carabott, Richard Buhagiar (Carmel Formosa), Charlo Magro, Justin Tellus, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius, Etienne Barbara (Johan Zammit) (Trevor Templemann), Malcolm Licari, Hari Milchev Borislavov
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Pierre Grima, Manuel Cumbo, Steve Falzon
Yellow Cards Donatas Vencevicius, Justin Tellus
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match Donatas Vencevicius
Attendance 1,149
Marsaxlokk again lost a game in which they were never inferior to their much quoted opponents.  This defeat puts us in a difficult position and we must begin to collect points if we want to obtain a top six placing come February.  We have now gone through 4 matches without a win, giving space to our direct opponents, Floriana and Valletta, to leapfrog us and put us in 7th place in the table.

Once again our performance was good, but Birkirkara showed their killer instinct when given the slight chance to take the point home.  Birkirkara opened well but as time passed, Etienne Barbara and man-of-the-match Vencevicius started taking control of midfield.  Haber performed a double save on Licari and Borislavov before Debono saved on Roderick Briffa.  Haber was again called to deny Licari when he was clear on the left.

Again, it was the southerners who tested Haber, who had to effect a double save on Licari and then Borislavov. Birkirkara's response came from Roderick Briffa who stretched Debono into a diving save.  Just before the half-time whistle, Mallia headed wide from an ideal position.

After the break, Mallia's shot was saved by Debono.  Marsaxlokk, with Barbara, Vencevicius, Camilleri and Carabott were building up pressure on the stripe's defence.  But, when we were increasing our tempo Birkirkara scored.  Debono just touched Doda's cross when challenged by Calascione and Mallia deposited the ball into an empty net.

Marsaxlokk tried to react after the goal but could never really treaten Haber's goal as Birkirkara controlled the game until the end.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Another pointless game for us against the big-teams of the league.  We have now arrived to the point where we must begin to win points against teams in the lower half of the table.  Today's performance must encourage us, especially when one keeps in mind that the squad will be further strengthened in the January transfer window.

Marsaxlokk
14/12/2003, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Hamrun

1-0 (H/T  0-0 )

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Kevin Mamo, Charlo Magro (Justin Tellus), Nikolai Slavtchev, Richard Buhagiar, David Carabott, David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius, Etienne Barbara, Johan Zammit (Roger Walker), Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Steve Falzon, Carmel Formosa, Trevor Templemann, Hari Milchev Borislavov
Yellow Cards David Carabott
Red Cards  
Scorers: David Carabott
Man of the match Daniel Dengaky (Hamrun S)
Attendance 251
A splendid goal from David Carabott enabled Marsaxlokk to beat Hamrun.  Marsaxlokk were always better than their opponents but couldn't find the way to goal.  When they did, Marsaxlokk found the Spartans' goalkeeper Daniel Dengaky in fine form.  The three points will have delighted the M'xlokk clan but the team's performance again failed to match the standards expected.

Hamrun had to do without the suspended Mauro Brincat, Aaron Attard and Neville Galea.  Moreover Dobrev did not make use of Ivan Casha (who is on the verge of joining Marsaxlokk) and Roderick Bajada, who is expected to join Floriana. After Floriana's win and Valletta's draw the day before, Marsaxlokk knew they had no option, but to dictate matters and try to close the match as soon as
possible.

After just seven minutes, Marsaxlokk could have taken the lead but a Licari header was cleared off the line.  Despite Marsaxlokk's territorial dominance, the next chance of the game was for Hamrun but Gaetan Spiteri's shot was saved by Debono.  Afterwards Licari passed to Barbara whose shot was brilliantly saved by Dengaky.

Hamrun should have taken the lead on 25 minutes but Sultana shot wide from an ideal position.  Johan Zammit should have also done better when his header went wide on 34 minutes.

The second half opened on the same lines, with Marsaxlokk dominating and Dengaky saving all the shots that came his way.  But on 52 minutes a David Carabott shot from about 30 minutes gave Marsaxlokk the lead to the delight of the Marsaxlokk supporters.  Marsaxlokk continued to attack but it was Hamrun who could have equalised on 85 minutes when Sultana's overhead kick hit the crossbar with Debono beaten.

PERSONAL NOTE:  We could not afford to lose any points from this game knowing that we were 5 points behind Floriana and 4 behind Valletta before this game.  We have to look forward for our next game to keep on winning points and secure a place with the top six as soon as possible.

Marsaxlokk
27/12/2003, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta

1-0 (H/T 1-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Kevin Mamo, David Carabott, Richard Buhagiar, Justin Tellus, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius (Roger Walker), Etienne Barbara, Trevor Templemann, Malcolm Licari (Hari Milchev Borislavov)
Subs not Used Maurizio Vallastro, Steve Falzon, Johan Zammit, Pierre Grima, Carmel Formosa
Yellow Cards David Carabott, Kevin Mamo, Trevor Templemann
Red Cards Etienne Barbara
Scorers: Etienne Barbara (pen) 45'
Man of the match Saviour Darmanin (Pieta H)
Attendance 475
This was one of two very important games for our club this season.  Today's win against the revelation of the season puts us in a much better situation before playing against direct contender Valletta next week.  We gave the best performance of the season and had it not been for the excellent game of the Pieta goalkeeper, the result would have been much bigger.

In fact, Pieta rarely tested Debono in our goal.  On the other hand, we had a handful of clear chances that were all bravely saved by Darmanin.  It had to be a penalty just before half-time that gave us the three points.

Marsaxlokk seemed more determined to win and had Barbara immediately just lobbing over the post when in front of Darmanin.  At the other end Ruben Debono parried an overhead kick by Okoh.  Marsaxlokk could have opened the score but Anatole Debono saved on the line from Barbara. After 40 minutes, Tellus put in a through pass to Etienne Barbara who shot into the goalkeeper from an ideal position.

Just when the referee was going to send the teams for half time, Di Lello handled the ball in the area and from the penaly, Barbara scored his tenth goal of the season. 

After the restart, Marsaxlokk controlled without difficulty and even creating some chances in the process.  In fact, Darmanin had to perform a spectacular save on a Slavtchev freekick and then saved superbly on Barbara who was served by Vencevicius.

Etienne Barbara was sent off for the second time this season when he was shown a second yellow card with 23 minutes left.  Marsaxlokk adopted a more cautious approach to the game with Vencevicius and Camilleri controlling the midfield.  Even if Pieta were playing with a player more, they could never threaten Debono in goal.  Team parity was restored on 80 minutes when Ivan Woods was sent off for a two legged tackle from behind on Vencevicius.

This made it easier for Marsaxlokk to control and it had to be Darmanin who came out of his area to block on the advancing Licari.

PERSONAL NOTE:  An excellent performance by our team resulted in a very important win.  We now face Valletta who are 2 points behind us, with a win virtually guaranteeing a top six placing.  We will probably have our new signings - Bogdanovic, Asechemie and Casha - for this game but we will have to do without Barbara who will be suspended.

Marsaxlokk
05/01/2004, Centenary Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Valletta

2-1 (H/T 2-1)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Justin Tellus, Charlo Magro, Kevin Mamo, Trevor Templemann, Minabo Asechemie, David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius, Daniel Bogdanovic, Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Steve Falzon, Carmel Formosa, Pierre Grima, Johan Zammit, Charlo Magro, Roger Walker
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 22', 28'
Man of the match Daniel Bogdanovic
Attendance 860

Daniel Bogdanovic crowned his debut with the seasiders with two goals to give Marsaxlokk the all-important victory that almost secures us with a place in the Championship Pool.  Marsaxlokk had also Minabo Asechemie making his debut, but had Barbara  (suspended) and Carabott (who cannot play on the artificial turf of the Centenary) missing.

This defeat puts Valletta in an embarrassing situation and will probably have to play in the Relegation Pool at the end of the second round. Valletta began on the attack and Veselji (also making his debut for Valletta) just missed a cross from Tonchev.  Immediately afterwards Veselji's header from close range was brilliantly saved by Debono.  In the 19th minute Valletta took the lead.  Agius put Kurt Zammit through who lifted the ball past Debono.

Marsaxlokk immediately reacted and 3 minutes later Licari put a perfect throughpass to Bogdanovic who beat Bondin on the run and shot low past Sullivan.  On 28 minutes Bogdanovic struck again.  Templemann crossed inside the penalty area and Bogdanovic's header finished to the right of goalkeeper Sullivan.  5 minutes later Marsaxlokk scored again when Mamo put the ball into the net after a scramble inside the penalty area.  But, to the surprise of all, the goal was dissallowed for no known reason.

In the second half Marsaxlokk tried to control the game, with Valletta trying in vain to create some danger.  This resulted in most of the half being a drab affair with neither team ever being really dangerous.  Once, Agius tried a shot that went wide and just before the end Pace's shot just went wide.  On the other end Bodanovic could have scored a hat-trick but his shot was parried by Sullivan.

PERSONAL NOTE:  An excellent win that gives us a 5 point advantage on Valletta with 4 games remaining.  It was a very good display from our team that seems to be consolidated with the signing of Bogdanovic and Asechemie.  When one remembers that we were missing Barbara and Carabott, we have to wait and see who will be selected in the first eleven for the next game!

Marsaxlokk
11/01/2004, V.T. Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Msida

1-0 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Nikolai Slavtchev, Justin Tellus (Etienne Barbara), Richard Buhagiar, David Carabott (Trevor Templemann), Kevin Mamo , Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius, David Camilleri, Daniel Bogdanovic, Malcolm Licari (Charlo Magro)
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Pierre Grima, Steve Falzon, Roger Walker
Yellow Cards Malcolm Licari
Red Cards  
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 88'
Man of the match Nikolai Slavtchev (Marsaxlokk)
Attendance 667
After the excellent performance against Valletta, coach Robert Kelly opted to leave out joint league top scorer Etienne Barbara (who was suspended against Valletta).  There was only one change in the starting 11 with captain David Carabott replacing Trevor Templemann on the right flank.  

However, the tight defensive tactics adopted by Msida was proving to be too hard to penetrate.  In fact there were times when Msida defended with 8 players.    It was Msida who had the first chance of the game when Debono had to perform a brilliant save on Sciberras from 5 metres.  Immediately afterwards Bogdanovic had a shot parried by Borg.  The match proceeded with neither team really threatining the opposing goalkeepers.  We had to wait until the half hour when Borg saved a Buhagiar shot from about 30 metres.  In the remaining 15 minutes Marsaxlokk had another 2 shots at goal, with Slavtchev's free kick going above the post and then Asechemie shot high when well positioned in front of Borg.

In the second half Marsaxlokk put on an attacker for a defender when Barbara replaced Tellus.  Even if Marsaxlokk had more possession it was proving to be difficult to penetrate the stubborn Msida defence.  Midway through the second half, Bogdanovic should have done better when presented with the ball in front of Borg, but his shot went wide.  Barbara had a shot, also going just wide when served by Mamo in the penalty area.

When it was thought that the game would end in a draw, Minabo Asechemie put Barbara through who put the ball above the goalkeeper to the joy of the Marsaxlokk supporters.  Msida still had time to equalise but Nwoke did not make the most of his chance when alone if front of Debono.

PERSONAL NOTE:  A hard-earned victory that puts us 2 points away from securing a place in the Championship Pool.  This win also puts us only 1 point behind Pieta.  It seems that our pre-season aspirations to challenge for a place in a European competition are materialising.  Now we have to look forward and try to keep up the momentum gathered in the last 4 matches.

Marsaxlokk
18/01/2004, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Balzan

5-1 (H/T 4-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Kevin Mamo, Trevor Templemann (David Carabott), Richard Buhagiar (Steve Falzon), Justin Tellus, Nikolai Slavtchev, Minabo Asechemie, David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius, Daniel Bogdanovic, Etienne Barbara (Malcolm Licari)
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Charlo Magro, Pierre Grima, Roger Walker
Yellow Cards Minabo Asechemie, Richard Buhagiar, Daniel Bogdanovic
Red Cards  
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 21', 29', Daniel Bogdanovic 19', Richard Buhagiar 23', Malcolm Licari 78'
Man of the match Daniel Bogdanovic
Attendance 993
Marsaxlokk won their 5th consecutive game, this time disposing easily of Balzan to the tune of 5 goals to 1.  4 goals in a 10-minute period midway through the first half were more than enough to secure the 3 points for Marsaxlokk.  Bogdanovic was irresistible today - he scored 1 goal and was involved in almost every attack for Marsaxlokk.

Marsaxlokk began with Licari, Carabott, Magro and Walker on the substitute bench, but immediately showed their intentions when Barbara hit the side of the net in the initial stages.  But when Bogdanovic began his show there was no stopping him.  After 19 minutes, Bogdanovic scored when he shot past Barry when served by Camilleri.  Two minutes later Bogdanovic turned provider when he served Barbara from the left who had the simplest of tasks to put the ball into an empty net.  Another 2 minutes passed Camilleri passed to Buhagiar whose left-footed shot left Barry immobilised to make the score 3-0.

On the half hour, Bogdanovic again served Barbara who again only had to tip the ball into an empty net for his 14th goal of the season.  Balzan could not react and it was only on the stroke of half time that Eviparker's shot was saved by Debono.

In the second half, Marsaxlokk opted to control the game and it was Balzan who scored their consolation goal with 20 minutes to go when Eviparker shot from the edge of the box beat Debono.  With 12 minutes to go Marsaxlokk scored their 5th goal when Licari collected a Vencevicius pass to beat Barry.

PERSONAL NOTE:  An excellent first-half performance from our team.  Our attack is proving to be one of the most deadly in the Premier.  The only negative note is Bogdanovic's yellow card that makes him unavailable for our next game against Floriana (because he had 3 yellow cards when he was with Sliema this season).

Marsaxlokk
31/01/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

2 - 1 (H/T 1-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, David Carabott, Justin Tellus, Richard Buhagiar, Nikolai Slavtchev, Kevin Mamo, Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius (Charlo Magro), David Camilleri, Etienne Barbara, Malcolm Licari (Roger Walker)
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Johan Zammit, Trevor Templemann, Pierre Grima, Steve Falzon
Yellow Cards Malcolm Licari, David Carabott
Red Cards  
Scorers: Minabo Asechemie, Etienne Barbara
Man of the match David Camilleri
Attendance 735

Marsaxlokk registered their 6th consecutive win and are now on 30 points just 2 points behing 2nd placed Hibs and Birkirkara (the former having a game in hand).  The seasiders' supporters responded in numbers to the midweek rumours that Marsaxlokk and Hamrun were discussing the possibility of a merger.  The 'Xlukkajri' were all colours and music with the Band and white and blue balloons.  This was further complimented with the chanting of 'Victor, Victor' at the end of the match to show their support to President Victor Sciriha, with Sciriha waving back to the crowd. 

Marsaxlokk had Bogdanovic missing through suspension and Floriana had to do without the injured Bizu.  Our team was the better team in the first half but it was Floriana who had the first shot at goal when Ruben Debono saved a Holland freekick without difficulty.  On the other side Licari had a shot going high.  After 15 minutes Licari collected a Camilleri through pass but his shot was saved by a well placed Camilleri.  Ten minutes later Barbara saw his shot (from a Vencevicius pass) saved to a corner by Camilleri.  On 36 minutes Marsaxlokk took the lead.  From a Camilleri corner, Cilia tried to clear but the ball hit the ongoing Asechemie who deposited the ball into the net.

Floriana were better in the second half but could not create any danger to Debono in goal.  In fact it was only on two occassions that they were near, with both Wellmann and Gango-Rtsa heading wide in different situations.  Kelly put on Charlo Magro in place of Vencevicius to give more support to the defence.  With Floriana desperately trying to salvage a point, 1 minute into injury time, Buhagiar broke away, passed to Carabott whose shot was parried by Camilleri but the ball finished in Barbara's path who had to difficulty to put Marsaxlokk 2-0 up.

The result was wrapped up for Marsaxlokk, but Floriana scored their consolation goal just before the final whistle when Da Silva headed in a Baldacchino pass.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Our team showed great character today and managed to beat Floriana for the first time.  Now we are only two points behind Birkirkara and Hibs (Hibs with a game in hand) and we are showing that we can challenge seriously, at least, for a place in a European Competition. 

Marsaxlokk
08/02/2004, Hibs Ground

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

1-1 (H/T  1-1 )

Line-Up Ruben Debono (Ivan Casha), Kevin Mamo, Justin Tellus, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar (Roger Walker), Nikolai Slavtchev, Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius (Malcolm Licari), David Camilleri, Daniel Bogdanovic, Etienne Barbara
Subs not Used Clyde Carabott, Steve Falzon, Johan Zammit, Pierre Grima
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Minabo Asechemie 17'
Man of the match Nikolai Slavtchev
Attendance  
Marsaxlokk stretched their unbeaten run to 7 games when obtaining an important draw against Hibs.  This point increased the 2nd phase point tally for Marsaxlokk to 16, 1 point behind the same Hibs and 2 behind Birkirkara, in second place.

It was a game in which Marsaxlokk could have sealed the score in the first half, but at the end a draw was a fair result.  Hibs began the game on the attack without really being dangerous.  In fact it was Marsaxlokk who scored after 17 minutes.  Asechemie collected the ball in midfield, advanced and beat Muscat from the edge of the box to the delight of the Marsaxlokk supporters.  Hibs should have equalized 5 minutes later but Schembri shot wide from an ideal position.  At the other end Bogdanovic's shot went millimeters high.  On the half hour, Muscat had to perform a spectacular safe on a Vencevicius shot from outside the area.  With 10 minutes to half-time, Hibs obtained a deserved equaliser when Schembri flicked in a Xuereb header. Just before half time Debono was called to perform a splendid save on Miguel Mifsud.

In the second half play was concentrated more in midfield with scarce opportunity for goal.  Two minutes into the second half Barbara shot wide.  10 minutes from the end Hibs tried to turn the tables by introducing Scerri and Cohen instead of Miguel and Adrian Mifsud.  On the other hand, Marsaxlokk replaced Vencevicius with Licari to give more strength to their attack.  But the only  incident worth mentioning was when Debono had to be replaced by Casha because of injury 2 minutes into injury time.  This was Casha's debut for Marsaxlokk who just had the time to touch the ball.

PERSONAL NOTE:  An important point for Marsaxlokk which keeps us in touch with Hibs and Birkirkara.  Now, our first game in the Championship Pool will be against Birkirkara and a win will put us in front of Birkirkara for the first time this season.

Marsaxlokk
28/02/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Birkirkara

3-4 (H/T 0-1)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, Kevin Mamo (Charlo Magro), David Carabott (Malcolm Licari), Richard Buhagiar, Justin Tellus, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri, Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius (Johan Zammit), Etienne Barbara, Daniel Bogdanovic
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Steve Falzon, Malcolm Licari, Roger Walker, Trevor Templemann
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 51', 84', Richard Buhagiar 88'
Man of the match Huruna Doda (B'Kara)
Attendance  

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Marsaxlokk
07/03/2004, V.T. Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta

0-0 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Kevin Mamo (Malcolm Licari), David Carabott, Justin Tellus (Trevor Templemann), Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri, Donatas Vencevicius, Daniel Bogdanovic, Etienne Barbara
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Pierre Grima, Johan Zammit, Roger Walker, Steve Falzon
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match Digger Okonkwo (Pieta H)
Attendance  

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Marsaxlokk
12/03/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

1-3 (H/T 0-1)

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Charlo Magro (Malcolm Licari), David Carabott, Richard Buhagiar, Justin Tellus, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Camilleri, Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius (Trevor Templemann), Daniel Bogdanovic, Etienne Barbara
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Johan Zammit, Roger Walker, Pierre Grima, Steve Falzon
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards Etienne Barbara 71'
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 81' penalty (1-3)
Man of the match Stefan Giglio (Sliema W)
Attendance  

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Marsaxlokk
21/03/04, V.T. Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

0 - 0 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, Richard Buhagiar, Charlo Magro, Nikolai Slavtchev, David Carabott, Kevin Mamo, David Camilleri (Roger Walker), Trevor Templemann, Minabo Asechemie, Johan Zammit (Justin Tellus), Malcolm Licari (Daniel Bogdanovic)
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Steve Falzon, Pierre Grima
Yellow Cards Richard Buhagiar, Charlo Magro, David Camilleri
Red Cards Nikolai Slavtchev 43'
Scorers:  
Man of the match Richard Buhagiar
Attendance  
Marsaxlokk failed to win their first championship pool game, again finishing in a goalless draw, this time against Floriana.  This result could jeopardize our fourth position in the table, now that Pieta are only 2 points behind.  We were playing without the suspeded Etienne Barbara and the injured Donatas Vencevicius.  Daniel Bogdanovic was on the substitute bench - recovering from illness.

In the first half Marsaxlokk were surely the better team.  In fact midway through the first half, a lob by David Camilleri found Licari, whose header forced Matthew Camilleri to perform a good save. A few minutes later, Zammit should have done better when alone in front of Camilleri, but his shot hit the crossbar. 5 minutes before half time it was again Licari who missed a good chance when his header finished in Camilleri hands

Three minutes before half-time, Slavtchev was uselessly sent off, apparently for spitting at Andre Rocha Da Silva after the referee awarded a foul to the latter.

For the second half, Tellus replaced Zammit, and despite playing with ten men we were still a bit better that our opponents.  Five minutes into the second half Gango-Rtsa almost deflected a ball into his own net but luckily for Floriana, Camilleri's reaction was immediate to avoid the worst.  After 66 minutes Casha saved a powerful shot from Bajada and on the other end, Asechemie lost a good chance when he headed wide.

With ten minutes remaining, Floriana were also reduced to ten men when Holland was sent off for swearing..

PERSONAL NOTE:  Once again we had a player sent off for a stupid incident.  We cannot afford losing players for such silly behaviour.  Players should show more responsability and respect towards their team mates.  However, the team showed improvement on our last game against Sliema.  We now have a very difficult game against Hibs with Slavtchev, Barbara and Magro (4 yellow cards) all suspeded.

Marsaxlokk
26/03/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

3-0 (H/T  1-0 )

Line-Up Ivan Casha, Kevin Mamo, David Carabott, Richard Buhagiar, Justin Tellus, Trevor Templemann, David Camilleri, Minabo Asechemie, Donatas Vencevicius (Roger Walker), Malcolm Licari, Daniel Bogdanovic (Steve Falzon)
Subs not Used  
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 31', 49', Malcolm Licari 91'
Man of the match  
Attendance  

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Marsaxlokk
13/04/04, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Birkirkara

3-1 (H/T 2-1)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, Kevin Mamo (Nikolai Slavtchev), David Carabott, David Camilleri, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, Trevor Templemann, Donatas Vencevicius, Minabo Asechemie, Daniel Bogdanovic (Etienne Barbara), Malcolm Licari (Roger Walker)
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Steve Falzon, Johan Zammit
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 20' (1-1), Malcolm Licari 45' (2-1), 79' (3-1)
Man of the match Daniel Bogdanovic
Attendance  
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Marsaxlokk
16/04/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Pieta

0-2 (H/T 0-2)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, David Carabott (Nikolai Slavtchev), David Camilleri, Justin Tellus (Johan Zammit), Charlo Magro, Trevor Templemann, Donatas Vencevicius (Roger Walker), Etienne Barbara, Minabo Asechemie, Malcolm Licari, Daniel Bogdanovic
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Steve Falzon, Malcolm Caruana
Yellow Cards Charlo Magro
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match  
Attendance Ivan Woods (Pieta Hotspurs)

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Marsaxlokk
25/04/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Sliema W

0-2 (H/T 0-0)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, David Carabott, Kevin Mamo, David Camilleri, Richard Buhagiar, Charlo Magro, Minabo Asechemie (Etienne Barbara), Donatas Vencevicius (Nikolai Slavtchev), Trevor Templemann, Malcolm Licari, Daniel Bogdanovic
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Roger Walker, Johan Zammit, Justin Tellus
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers:  
Man of the match Ivan Casha
Attendance  

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Marsaxlokk
29/04/04, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Floriana

5 - 1 (H/T 2-0)

Line-Up Ivan Casha, Kevin Mamo (Roger Walker), David Carabott, Nikolai Slavtchev, Charlo Magro, Richard Buhagiar, David Camilleri, Trevor Templemann (Pierre Grima), Etienne Barbara (Donatas Vencevicius), Daniel Bogdanovic, Malcolm Licari
Subs not Used Ruben Debono, Johan Zammit, Mark Sciriha, Justin Tellus
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Daniel Bogdanovic 3, Malcolm Licari, Roger Walker
Man of the match Daniel Bogdanovic
Attendance  

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Marsaxlokk
08/05/2004, National Stadium

MARSAXLOKK vs Hibernians

1-4 (H/T  1-3 )

Line-Up Ruben Debono, Pierre Grima, Charlo Magro, Nikolai Slavtchev, Steve Falzon (Malcolm Caruana), Justin Tellus, Kevin Mamo (Minabo Asechemie), Donatas Vencevicius (Daniel Bogdanovic), Roger Walker, Etienne Barbara, Johan Zammit
Subs not Used Ivan Casha, Richard Buhagiar, David Camilleri, Malcolm Licari
Yellow Cards  
Red Cards  
Scorers: Etienne Barbara 30'
Man of the match  
Attendance  

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