From the Past: Valletta Slaughter Spartans Published on: 03-02-2011
From the Past: Valletta Slaughter Spartans 12th April 1959Malta's League title for 1958-59 was virtually decided on the 12th April, 1959 when a packed Stadium saw Valletta F.C. slaughter Hamrun Spartans in the First Division Competition by 9 goals to 2. Valletta cannot fail to gain maximum points in what lies ahead and this would give them the nonour which they richly merit.
To be exact the capacity crowd saw only half a match because many spectators left at half -time when Valletta had run up a 4-0 margin and the Spartans were a disintegrated team playing with 10 men as their goalkeeper had gone off hurt.
To Valletta the 9-2 margin must be the acme triumph. To the loyal Spartans supporters it was indeed a cup of woe.
There was drama behind the scenes when the authorities changed the official who had been appointed to referee the match.
One of the linesmen took over while the referee of the previous match was roped in as a linesmen.
SetbackSpartans were but a shadow of the efficient combination seen early in the season. They took the filed without Chetcuti in goal, Bonello at centre-half and Cassar at outside-left. That in itself was a setback before the very first whistle had been given to start the match. The handicap became a hundredfold heavier when valletta took the lead in the very first minute of the match. The scorer was Mario Azzopardi who hit the ball with the left foot wellwide of the goalkeeper after Scifo, making a reappearance in the Hamrun goal, had weakly palmed out a free-kick taken by Darmanin, a stalwart Valletta half-back.
ChancesThe Spartans summoned their resources and surged into an attack and could have got an equalizer when a shot by Borg from the edge of the 6-yard box travelled across the goalmouth and went dead with Taylor Beaten. Hamrun had another chance but a promising movement broke down through a bad pass by Scicluna; Valletta struck back down the left and when the ball was switched to the right J. Zammit fired in a dipper which Scifo completely misjudjed. That made it 2-0.
Prior to that Valletta had mised two great chances. One was when F. Zammit hooked the ball over the bar of a gaping goalmouth and the other was when Grech headed the ball against the horizontal.
Immediately after the second goal Valletta launched another furious attack and Scifo was injured when flinging himself down to gather the ball, he was kicked accidentally, by F. Zammit who turned a somersault and landed in the net.
Scifo received trainer's attention but was unable to carry on and relinquished his jersey to centre-forward Scicluna. That was both the end of the begining and the begining of the end. Valletta could do nothing wrong. Hamrun could do nothing right. The Citizens were brushing past the opposition as if they were toppling skittles in a bowling alley. J. Zammit notched No. 3 from acute angle (29th. min), after Scicluna had brought off a capital save at the foot of the post. Azzopardi got Valletta's fourth goal 9 minutes before the half time as the result of tremendous Valletta pressure.
Tha game in the second period was no more and no less a slaughter of the innocents. From the kick-off F. Zammit headed in after a Darmanin shot struck the upright. This player helped himself to three more goals (15', 38' and 40'). Before F. Zammit got his spate of goals Calleja (20') and Borg (32') netted for the Spartans. But these goals were only incidental. Just before the final whistle Azzopardi got his hat-trick.
Highest ScoreFor the record this is the highest score ever recorded in the Competition for some time past. The lessons derived from this match are that there is no side which can live up to the rampant Citizens. There is nobody who can rob the Citizens of the highest honours in the Malta soccer calendar this season.
An how they deserve their League pennant for their consistency and all-round superiority!
Extract taken from: Times of Malta