Another point to Exiles tally

Exiles Elia Caterers 8 Valletta United 8

Partial scores (0-2) (0-2) (2-1) (4-3)

Exiles struggled to save a point of a match which was tilting towards a better-organized Valletta United outfit when both teams met last night.

It’s a hard-won point for Marco Cuk’s boys considering the team played below expectations against a team that had failed to win any points in their seven previous outings.  The Citizens were  quick to retreat into their defensive position to ensure that no balls were fed to Exiles’ centre man Nikic who failed to find the net. Their crowded defence forced Exiles to swing the ball around with the final shot being finished in a hastily and sometimes erratic manner. Exiles were caught a few times on the counter. The match could have taken a twist towards Valletta in the third session when their ‘dangerman’ Toth came face to face with Exiles’ keeper Matthew Castillo who smothered the point blank shot a few metres away from his goalpost. A possible three-goal lead was reduced to one from the resultant attack which Exiles converted.

In the defence Exiles failed to take adequate measures against Martin Toth who was crafty enough to evade the loose marking to squeeze a poker. The players should be instructed to mark the most dangerous player and ‘risk’ the shot from the rest of the opposing players. In the attack, players cannot just pot at goal hoping to solve the situation individually – it’s a team sport with each player supposedly knowing his role. These basic rules were evidently missing last night.

An incident in the last sixteen seconds of the third session, with the partial score in favour of the Lillywhites (5-6) they had eight men in the pool after a substitution but was deemed by the officials as being ‘normal’ with the clock being reset back despite protests from the Exiles bench. In the fourth session an irregular entry on Valletta’s part, made the team play another 20 seconds man-down without the infringing player being red-carded.

Both sides had four man-up situations converting two of them. There was also a simultaneous exclusion.

Marco Cuk made use of all players including second goalkeeper Gianni Ciappara who made a short appearance in the last 26 seconds of the fourth quarter with the score standing at 8-8, after a time-out called by Bogdan Rath; Matthew Castillo, Mark Fenech (2 goals), Andrea Bianchi (1 goal), Michele Stellini, Timmy Sullivan, Sean Xerri de Caro, Slobodan Nikic, Kurt Griscti, Nicky Paris (2 goals), Aurelien Cousin (2 goals), Benji Lanzon (1 goal), and Philip Paris.

Our next match is scheduled for next Saturday the 11th August 2018 at 18.00 when they take second in the table Neptunes.





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