FA Trophy: Valletta 5 St Patricks 1
Valletta turned around an early shock as they hit five past Amateur League side Zabbar St Patrick on Sunday at the Centenary Stadium to progress into the next round of the FA Trophy.
The encounter was on paper a David and Goliath contest and naturally, Valletta held most of the ball from the start.
However, contrary to expectation, it was Mark Miller’s Zabbar who opened the score after just four minutes when David Oliveira rose above a crowded defence, and with Valletta goalkeeper Cain Formosa hesitant in his attempt to collect, the ball dipped over and into the net to put St Patrick ahead.
Valletta’s response came three minutes later when Kilian Bevis put in a cross from inside the area but Federico Falcone’s first effort for the Citizens since his return went over the bar.
Enmy Pena Beltre tried his luck next on 11 minutes but once more the chance was wasted with a shot that went wide off the mark.
Their pressure finally paid off after 19 minutes as Bevis hit a slicing shot from inside the area which flew into the bottom corner past Liam Lagana in the Zabbar goal.
Valletta eventually took the lead just before halftime as Falcone made the Valletta supporters chant his name by hitting a volleyed pass to Bevis who repaid the favour by putting in a throughball for the Argentine to slot home.
If the first half was a surprisingly close contest, Valletta changed that within seconds of the restart as a ball from the right found Shaun Dimech, who fired in a low shot past Lagana to make it three for the Citizens.
Zabbar tried to find a way in despite the difficulty on the offensive with a long-distance shot from Timothy Tabone Desira which Formosa calmly collected but instead, it was Valletta who got their poker with a stunning effort from Andrea Zammit. Zabbar were packed inside their own half but Zammit managed to find a way through anyway with a shot from outside the penalty area.
It was game over after 66 minutes when Zammit got his brace with a similar effort as Zabbar now looked dead in the water.
Valletta could have made it even worse for Zabbar on 74 minutes but Jean Marie Nnomo’s long-range effort was tipped over by Lagana.
Source: Times of Malta
VALLETTA: C. Formosa, R. Camilleri, T. Caruana (71 B. Paiber), A. Zammit (77 J. Willy), S. Dimech, E. Pena Beltre (65 S. Mckay), F. Falcone (65 L. Cremona), B. Kamdem, R. Muscat, J. Nnomo, K. Bevis (65 Z. Barbara).
ST PATRICKS: L. Lagana, T. Tabone Desira, C. Magro, M. Attard (26 K. Tanti), D. Oliveira, S. Diacono, A. Cutajar (81 A. Brincat), S. Buhagiar (81 C. Camilleri), N. Borg (70 C. Ebiye), F. Fava, B. Scerri (81 T. Duncan).
Yellow Cards: A. Zammit (V)
Scorers: 4′ Oliveira (S), 19′ K. Bevis, 43‘ F. Falcone, 46′ S. Dimech, 58′ 66′ A. Zammit (V)