Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 00:22by Paul Cachia, Tedesco Stadium
Floriana see off Balzan
Micallef 42; Woods 60 pen; Caruana 86;
The final scoreline might indicate that it was an easy win for Floriana against the sort of opposition they should be taking into their stride if they want to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
In reality, Michael Woods’s men didn’t have a stroll in the park. Having struggled to impose their play, they looked like dropping points against Balzan Youths until a penalty by Ivan Woods restored fluency to their football.
Floriana took the game to Balzan in the early stages.
Woods created the first chance in the first minute when he met Christian Caruana’s cross but he was thwarted by former Floriana goalkeeper Matthew Camileri.
But for all their possession the Greens lacked bite in the final third and it was Balzan, who created the best chance after 24 minutes.
Fagner Bernardes advanced through the middle and switched the ball to Kris Bright but the latter sent his effort wide.
On the half hour mark, Pablo Doffo’s thumping drive from a free-kick was pushed to a corner by Camilleri.
Yet, Floriana struggled to deal with Balzan’s dead-ball situations and on 41 minutes Bright headed home Bernardes’ corner.
Floriana soon equalised a minute later when Manolito Micallef headed the ball home from Joseph Okonkwo’s delivery.
It was Floriana who once again carried the momentum after the break and Caruana went close but saw his effort blocked by Camilleri.
The Balzan goalkeeper hurt himself in a bid to save Caruana’s header and had to be replaced.
The Greens finally took the lead on the hour mark when Micallef was clumsily brought down by Clifton Ciantar . Woods stepped up to score.
Floriana wrapped up the points four minutes from time when Woods picked up the ball from Mintoff to feed the overlapping Caruana who shot low into the bottom corner of the net.
W. Amamoo-6, O. Bugeja-5 (80 T. Paris), M. Micallef-7.5, T. Farrugia-7, D. Pisani-6, P. Doffo-7, I. Woods-6.5, C. Cassar-6 (76 C. Borg), J. Okonkwo-5 (46 J. Mintoff-5), C. Caruana-6.5, B. Odwong-6.
M. Camilleri-7 (52 F. Tabone), C. Ciantar-5, R. Forace-6, Y. Camilleri-6, J. Francica-5 (73 L. Micallef), B. Guga-5, D. Grima-5, N. Tasic-6, M. Ciantar-5 (85 M. Borg), F. Bernardes-7, K. Bright-6.5.
Referee: Paul Caruana.
Yellow cards: Bright, Bugeja, Bernardes, Ciantar, Francica.
BOV player of the match: Manolito Micallef (Floriana