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Champions Sliema surge onwards

Published: Wednesday 28 September 2005, 7.07CET
Monthly review: Sliema Wanderers FC possess a perfect record after six matches in the Maltese Premier Division.
by Domenic Aquilina
from Valletta features

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Published: Wednesday 28 September 2005, 7.07CET

Champions Sliema surge onwards

Monthly review: Sliema Wanderers FC possess a perfect record after six matches in the Maltese Premier Division.

Maltese champions Sliema Wanderers FC have continued their dominant form in the Premier Division in recent weeks, recording six wins from six in an ominous statement of intent.

Sixth victory
Sliema overcame Msida St. Joseph FC 2-1 at the National Stadium in their most recent fixture, defeating a gallant Msida side who took the lead through a second-half Roderick Bajada strike. Ivan Woods converted a penalty with six minutes remaining before scoring Sliema's winner in added time. The victory followed Sliema's 3-1 success against Valletta FC, when Daniel Bogdanovic, Danilo Doncic and Ivan Woods were all on target.

Hibernians challenge
Hibernians FC are hot on the heels of the champions. The Paolites lost their first match 3-0 against Sliema, but have subsequently won all of their five games. Hibernians defeated fellow title challengers Birikirkara FC 5-2 on Monday, midfield player David Camilleri hitting a hat-trick and Nigerian Essien Mbong scoring twice.

Birkirkara struggles
Birkirkara, meanwhile, saw their title aspirations fade after the Hibernians loss, which followed a 2-1 defeat against Sliema. Marsaxlokk FC are in fourth after a promising start but with former Nottingham Forest FC player Chris Bart-Williams on the substitute's bench, Atanas Marinov's side recorded 1-1 draws against Msida St. Joseph FC and Floriana FC.

Hogg rescue
Pietà Hotspurs FC are below Marsaxlokk after a thrilling 3-3 draw against Mosta FC. Pietà goalkeeper Andrew Hogg provided the final exhilarating finale to an exciting match by scoring a stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a precious point. Pietà then lost 4-1 to Birkirkara before figuring in a goalless draw with Valletta FC.

Msida slump
Further down the table, Msida and Valletta have suffered worrying recent defeats. Newly-promoted Mosta have five points from their six matches, having thrillingly drawn 4-4 with Floriana. Nigerian Udo Nwoko has been in form for Mosta, scoring three goals in the new campaign. His dazzling runs and dribbles have been a pleasure to watch for everyone at the National Stadium this season.

Basement battle
Hamrun Spartans FC and Floriana are struggling at the bottom. Michael Degiorgio's Hamrun side registered their first points of the season with a 3-1 win against fellow strugglers Floriana. Floriana's defeat by the Spartans was followed by two draws - 1-1 against Marsaxlokk and 4-4 with Mosta.

Last updated: 28/09/05 20.32CET