28.10.19 FA Trophy: Owls dispatch of Mellieħa to reach third round
Swieqi United made comfortable work of Mellieħa in the second round of the FA Trophy, running out 4-1 winners in a match where the Owls were the dominant force for large periods.
Coach Rodney Bugeja continued to put faith in youth, with the average age of the starting XI being 21.78 years, and 16 out of the 18 players called up for the match being, at one point in time, part of the Club's Minors team.
The Owls stormed out of the box, and were ahead after just two minutes, when Matheus da Souza was on hand to slot a ball in at the back post. While Swieqi United continued to dominate possession in the first half, they didn't create too many chances, and indeed, the teams went into the break only 1-0 to the good.
The Orange, however, stepped their efforts up a gear in the second half. They looked a new side, especially with the introduction of Kyle Muscat into the team. Felipe Fernandes scored the team's second on the hour mark, when his shot took a wicked deflection off a Mellieħa defender, and Fernandes then increased the Owls' lead seven minutes later with a crisp shot from inside the box. Luke Taliana then got his first goal for the senior squad in the 82nd minute, after he met Fernandes' smart cross at the back post.
Mellieħa then managed to score a great consolation goal through David Fenech, whose curling shot from outside the box left goalkeeper Craig Abdilla with no chance, but the result had long been sealed by that moment in time. The Owls therefore progress to the third round of the FA Trophy.
Line up: C. Abdilla, A. Shaw, D. Borg, K. Sultana, S. Gatt Baldacchino, G. Bugeja, A. Schembri Wismayer, L. Zammit, T. Ayorinde, F. Fernandes, M. da Souza
Substitutes: E. Gatt, K. Muscat, G. Hummel, T. Camilleri, I. Salis, L. Gatt, L. Taliana
Match report: Matthew Borg
Photo credit: Jeffrick Cachia