Hibernians extend lead despite draw

Jake Grech in action against Sliema Wanderers

Hibernians have extended their lead at the top of the BOV Premiership despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Valletta.

The reason: second placed B’Kara were beaten by Sirens.

The Hibs clash with arch rivals Valletta promised so much. A chance for Hibs to maintain their unbeaten run, Valletta aiming to get some momentum to theirs.

If supporters decided the outcome of games Hibernians fans would have won hands down.

Both sides started brightly, Hibs maybe creating the better chances with Raphael hitting the post and Degabriele denied by keeper Guamone.

Fontanello then saw his close range effort stopped by Kone, it should have been the opening goal for Valletta.

Maltese football has been derided in the past as being too slow, this game was far from it. Non-stop action from end to end in the opening half hour.

Fontanello was creating problems for the Hibs back four, finding ways to get behind the defenders but failing to find a City player waiting in the box.

Domoraud then went on a run down the left and fired a fierce shot across the keeper only to see it sail inches wide of the post.

The opening goal after 35 minutes from a move started by Domoraud who found Degabriele who then set up Jake Grech to fire past Guamone.

Hibs lead at the break by the single goal and immediately after the restart Grech went close to adding a second.

Degabriele was also unlucky not to find the net.

But tactics or nerves saw momentum swing Valletta’s way as they enjoyed more possession and began to pose more of a threat down the sides.

Hibs almost made it 2-0 when Degabriele got into the box but pulled his shot wide.

Another goal was inevitable with Hibs defending for all their worth under a Valletta onslaught.

Shaun Dimech grabbed the equalisier for City with ten minutes remaining.

That seemed to stir Hibernians out of their defensive slumber as they now began to push forward but a decisive winning goal eluded both teams.

1-1 it finished. A fair result. Hibs dominated the opening 45 minutes, the second half was all Valletta.

The result, together with B’Kara losing to Sirens, means that Hibernians are now three points clear at the top.

And next up for them. Birkirkara.