06.03.17 San Gwann prove too strong for decimated Swieqi.
With Swieqi United's injury-hit squad already in serious difficulty, with notable absentees including Roderick Taliana, Luke Scicluna, Benji Frendo, Jordan Coleiro and Sam Bartolo, the team suffered a further setback right before kick-off when Matthew Laferla, Dean Grech and Nicholas Schembri had to pull out of the squad.
A mere 10 minutes before kick-off, Thomas Camilleri was also forced out of the squad due to an injury picked up during warming-up, leaving the coaching staff with very little options and a ravaged bench. 18 year old Benjamin Giles then made his full debut for the seniors team as did Jon David Ferry - both playing as midfielders.
In fairness, the brave and inexperienced Orange did very well in the first half playing some neat football and going close on a couple of occasions. When San Gwann scored on 27' minutes through Jan Tanti, Swieqi reacted positively and won a penalty when the San Gwann goalkeeper fouled Dylan Gouder. Glendon Refalo then converted the spot-kick. Both teams entered the dressing room at 1-1.
In the second half, San Gwann's experience and quality began to pay dividends. The Orange conceded a penalty after Pierre Muscat handled the ball in the box and Abeeb Williams duly converted on 51' mins. Sergio Hili then scored a hat-trick on 67', '69' and 74' to cap a poor second half showing by the Owls. Nikolai Dimech was then brought on late in the second half - ensuring another Minors player made his full debut. The Orange will now be looking to bounce back quickly to erase this painful memory.
Formation: 1) Edward Gatt 2) Kyle Muscat 3) Sean Gatt Baldacchino 4) Pierre Muscat 5) Jon David Ferry 6) Benjamin Giles 7) Dylan Gouder 8) Kenneth Ekezie 9) Glendon Refalo 10) Alan Schembri Wismayer 11) Bruno Menezes
Match Report: Michael Calleja
Photo credits: Jeffrick Cachia