BOV Premier League | Balzan 3 – St Andrews 1

Balzan will remain first in the table for another week after securing a 3-1 win over relegation candidates St Andrews.

Joseph Farrugia of St Andrews in action. Photo: Dominic Borg
Joseph Farrugia of St Andrews in action. Photo: Dominic Borg

Balzan came into this match sitting on top of the table and were looking for a win in order to make sure that they will remain first for another week. This seemed an easy task for Balzan; however, despite sitting twelfth, St Andrews managed to cause some shocking results throughout this campaign. The last one of these results was a 2-1 win over Hibernians in their previous fixture. In addition, St Andrews emerged victorious in their last encounter against Balzan when they registered a 3-2 win.

The first opportunity of the match was created by St Andrews after four minutes. Marcus Grima hit a low shot from distance that went wide.

St Andrews kept insisting and were awarded a penalty on the 11th minute. Bruno Gilio de Oliveira brought down Kemar Reid inside the penalty area and the referee signalled for a penalty. However, Joseph Farrugia’s shot from the penalty spot was poor as Sean Mintoff managed to save without much difficulty.

Mintoff was on the alert once more on the 19th minute as he managed to neutralise Jacob Walker’s effort from distance.

Balzan replied on the half hour mark. Uros Ljubomirac fired a low shot from close range that was blocked by Matthew Calleja Cremona.

On the 35th minute, Balzan went close again. Ryan Fenech sent a dangerous cross in the direction of Bojan Kaljevic who failed to make proper contact with the ball.

A minute later, Ljubomirac’s shot was blocked by Calleja Cremoma. Rebound fell for Alex Da Paixao Alves whose effort was cleared by Liam Grech.

Balzan’s efforts paid off on the 45th minute. Tristan Grant floored Da Paixao Alves inside the penalty area and the referee pointed towards the spot. From the eleven metres mark, Bojan Kaljevic made no mistake.

Marko Micovic’s side doubled their advantage five minutes into the second half. Following a cross by Da Paixao Alves, Kaljevic saw his header hitting the post. Rebound went into the path of substitute Alfred Effiong who finished past Calleja Cremona.

Calleja Cremona denied Balzan from scoring again on the 56th minute. Da Paixao Alves hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was parried by the twenty-three year old goalkeeper.

St Andrews hit back on the 61st minute. Farrugia’s volley from a free-kick forced a good save from Mintoff.

On the 70th minute, Kaljevic received a through ball inside the penalty area, but failed to hit the ball well as his effort ended up off target.

Balzan sealed the issue on the 76th minute. Da Paixao Alves delivered a cross towards the unmarked Kaljevic whose header gave Calleja Cremona no chance.

St Andrews pulled one back in the additional time. Misael Miranda Gomez hit a stunning shot from distance that ended up inside the net.

Balzan starting line-up: Sean Mintoff, Steven Bezzina, Alex Da Paixao Alves, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Uros Ljubomirac, Ryan Fenech, Bojan Kaljevic, Paul Fenech (Alfred Effiong- 45), Milos Lepovic (Jamie Zerafa- 64), Bruno Gilio de Oliveira, Justin Grioli (Jacob Borg- 73)

St Andrews starting line-up: Matthew Calleja Cremona, Liam Grech, Adrian Borg, Misael Miranda Gomez, Kemar Reid, Marcus Grima, Joseph Farrugia, Matthew Gauci, Kavaughn Atkinson (Alexander Satariano – 56), Jacob Walker (Ricardo Martin – 77), Tristan Grant

Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann

Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Dusan Petrovic

Fourth Official: Eman Grech

Yellow Cards: Matthew Gauci (St Andrews), Tristan Grant (St Andrews)

BOV Player of the Match: Alex Da Paixao Alves (Balzan)