12/02/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/02/2019 09:31
A hectic weekend of FA Trophy action saw 16 teams progress to the fourth round of the Knock-Out competition with the matches scheduled to take place between January 24 and 26, 2020.
Holders Balzan cruised to a 3-0 win over Division Two outfit San Ġwann, a game where Balzan coach Jacques Scerri handed a first-team start to Malta U-21 players Zachary Grech and Marcus Grima.
There was also a comfortable win for Valletta, last season's losing finalists, who scored four first-half goals in a 4-0 win over St Andrews. Defender Steve Borg scored a brace for the Citizens.
Senglea Athletic took centre-stage last weekend as they came back from a goal down to beat Gżira United 2-1 only five days after the latter had emerged victorious with a 3-1 scoreline in their league encounter.
An uplifting result also for Santa Lucia who had the better of fellow Premier League side Sliema Wanderers 2-0, ending the Blues' hopes of adding to their record haul of 21 FA Trophy triumphs.
Hibernians found their scoring touch in the second half with Terence Groothusen netting twice in a 3-0 victory over First Division side Żejtun Corinthians.
There were big wins for Floriana, Mosta and Pembroke Athleta.
The Greens were in fine form to knock out Melita, beating 6-1, Mosta overpowered Division Two side Rabat Ajax 7-0 while Division One side Pembroke Athleta are looking forward to an enticing fourth-round tie with Hibernians following their 6-0 victory over Żabbar St Patrick.
Ħamrun Spartans and Birkirkara also moved into the Last 16 after hard-earned wins. French forward Wilfried Domoraud scored a brace as the Spartans edged Premier League bottom side Tarxien Rainbows 2-1. Birkirkara needed a last-gasp goal by Argentine Federico Falcone to see off Gozitan side Nadur Youngsters.
Kerċem Ajax also bowed out of the FA Trophy following a 4-1 setback against Sirens, buoyed by their positive Premier League run.
Gozitan teams still enjoyed a fair degree of success in the FA Trophy third round. Victoria Hotspurs made it to the next round after winning a highly entertaining match against Żebbuġ Rangers 5-3. The Hotspurs will meet BOV Premier League side Gudja United in the fourth round after the latter beat First Division leaders Lija Athletic 3-0.
Xewkija Tigers also advanced after a 5-2 win over Mġarr United.
Finally, in the two all-Division One encounters, Pietà Hotspurs attained a resounding 3-0 win over Mqabba while Swieqi United prevailed over Qormi 5-4 on penalties after the latter had fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.
Meanwhile, the FA Trophy Last 16 line-up is now complete.
There are four direct clashes between Premier League sides as Balzan take on Santa Lucia, Valletta face Sirens, Floriana cross swords with Senglea Athletic and Mosta meet Birkirkara.
FOURTH ROUND FIXTURES
Swieqi United vs Ħamrun Spartans
Balzan vs Santa Lucia
Pembroke Athleta vs Hibernians
Victoria Hotspurs vs Gudja United
Pietà Hotspurs vs Xewkija Tigers
Floriana vs Senglea Athletic
Valletta vs Sirens
Mosta vs Birkirkara
Ties to be played from 24th-26th January, 2020