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The round 2 fixture with our local rivals was a game that both teams needed to win. Hotspurs are fighting with Kercem for the final place in the championship pool while we are competing for first place.

The game started quietly with both teams happy to settle. The first real chance came for our team from a corner, when Eric Chidi saw his header come back off the crossbar. Eric was not to be denied however as with 30 minutes gone we started to dominate the game. A fantastic ball forward from Fernando Giarrizzo set Eric through on goal and he bravely beat the keeper to give us the lead.

Joseph Vella was causing problems for the Hotspurs defense and in another good attacking move he appeared to be brought down in the area. The referee decided that it was a fair challenge, but Joseph was seriously hurt as he fell and was unable to continue the game.

Incredibly, things were to get worse as Hotspurs launched a hopeful ball into our box and as Simon Agius tipped the ball over the bar, he too was hurt. He tried to continue, but the very next action ended his game too. Saturday Nanapere hit a shot from the edge of the area, and Simon was unable to make the save. He was stretchered off to join Joseph in the hospital, and the game was even at 1-1.

Half time brought some relief, but also a sense of disbelief at what had unfolded. But our boys have shown mental toughness this season and it was to be the same again. Although we tried hard, we were unable to win the game, but we defended well and reserve keeper Joel Xiberras performed very well to keep a clean sheet.

A draw was not an ideal result for either side, but it was probably a fair result on a tough day for our boys. We now face Kercem in another very important game on February 2nd, and we wish Joseph and Simon speedy recoveries.

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