St Andrew's gave coach Danilo Doncic a winning debut after beating neighbours Pembroke Athleta 4-1 this afternoon.

Joseph Farrugia, the St Andrew's captain, was central to his side's win as he scored his the opening two goals, both from penalties, and had a hand in the third goal, but this derby was conditioned by the sending-off of Pembroke's Asani Djeljilj late in the first half.

Northern Irish referee Neil Robinson stole the attention as, apart from Djeljilj's red card, he also dismissed Pembroke coach Winston Muscat and showed no fewer than 10 yellow cards.

A lively first half produced three goals, two penalties and a sending-off, with Robinson awarding St Andrew's a penalty after 17 minutes, after Ivan Edgardo Paz's corner from the right created a goalmouth scramble and Siraj Arab appeared to clear the ball with his hand.

Joseph Farrugia drove his shot past the diving Matthew Calleja Cremona.

Pembroke took only two minutes to level matters. Paltemio Barbetti's pass found the Saints' defence off balance as the ball dropped invitingly to the unmarked Jhonathan Mariano who lobbed the ball over Jake Galea.

St Andrew's were again caught on the backfoot as the back when a quick one-two between Mano Micallef and Gauci ended with the latter sending his shot marginally high.

Pembroke paid dearly for this miss as the Saints regained their lead close to the half-hour mark.

Paz advanced through the middle before laying the ball to the overlapping Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, whose cross from the right rolled towards Kyrian Nwoko. The Malta U-19 striker controlled the ball before hitting a shot that was repelled by Zoran Levnaic. Robinson again whistled a penalty and Farrugia made no mistake.

At the other end, Brandon Muscat's cross-shot from the right wing almost surprised Galea as the ball landed atop the crossbar.

Late in the first half, Pembroke appealed for a penalty after Mariano was brought down by Won Bon Che but the referee deemed that the foul had occurred just outside the box. Amid the ensuing protests, Pembroke's Asani Djeljilj was dismissed after receiving a second caution for dissent. The free-kick, taken by Brazilian Mateus, was blocked by the St Andrew's wall.

At half-time, Winston Muscat, the Pembroke Athleta coach, was also ordered off the bench for remarks he made towards the Northern Irish referee.

To rub salt into Pembroke's wounds, St Andrew's increased their lead five minutes into the second half when Ziga Kastrevec headed home from Farrugia's free-kick.

The game looked over as a contest but, with 16 minutes left, Pembroke should have reduced the arrears when Arab advanced menacingly on the counter but his rising effort was off target.

St Andrew's had a good chance to sirens their lead but Michael Johnson headed wide from Farrugia's free-kick.

In stoppage time, St Andrew's increased their winning margin as substitute Jacob Walker was on hand to tap the ball home after receiving from Beltre, who had burst clear on the counter.

Jake Galea, the St Andrew's goalkeeper, then denied Pembroke a goal when pushing away Matteus's free-kick.

Farrugia, the St Andrew's captain, was named BOV player of the match.


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