13.10.15 Superb Win for the Young Owls
The U-17s have had a good start to the season as they qualified from the playoff against Mgarr and played Melita to a draw. Yesterday the stage, ironically at Mgarr, was set for a deciding match between Naxxar and Swieqi. The prize? A place in Section B.
Keeper Edward Gatt and centre back Caden Zammit were replaced by Jake Zammit and Francesco Borg Bonello respectively due to injury concerns. Paul Pace and Jacob Borg started as wing backs today with centre back Dale Vella while the midfield trio of Matthew Gatt, Kurt Darmanin and yesterday's captain Luke Gatt were confirmed again. Upfront Matthew Catania, James Pace and Ben Giles DeBrincat featured for manager Andrea Vella.
Swieqi started the game positively and despite some scrappy play later in the half they managed to take control of possession and run of play. Luke Gatt wore the captain's armband with pride and reminded us of his talent as he got in some utterly sublime touches on the ball. It was with one of these touches that Luke got away from his marker, approached the goal and then ever so coolly struck the ball into the net. Minutes later Swieqi seemed to have the game in the bag as Darmanin and both L.Gatt and M.Gatt overwhelmed the opposition. Almost out of nowhere the ball sailed towards Giles who pulled out an incredible volley that stamped itself on the crossbar. The offside flag went up and Naxxar breathed a sigh of relief as the half slowly came to a close.
The second half began in similar manner with Swieqi trying to impose themselves on their opponents. Defensively, Borg and Borg Bonello showed experience far above their age. Paul Pace owned his left flank all day and Vella managed to get Swieqi out of some sticky situations.
As the second half progressed Ben Giles got down to business and scored an excellent second goal. Naxxar got back a goal with a very good corner and header. Swieqi's third came once again from a cutting run by Giles, whose shot was spilled by the keeper. Catania got it back to Pace who made it count.
Sultana, Galea and Farrugia came on and slid in effortlessly into the game. Swieqi coasted to the final whistle and could have scored even more goals as the ball hit the woodwork twice.