100th Anniversary: Valletta United First Competitive match Published on: 07-04-2011

100th Anniversary  - Valletta United First Competitive match

Today marks the 100th Anniversary since Valletta United played their first competitive match against Misida Teams.

Below is an extract taken from The Malta Herald dated April 10, 1911.

“On the 9th April at the National Sporting Ground an Association Game was played between the Valletta United and the Misida Teams.

The start was advertised for 4 p.m and at 3.30 a shower came on and continued for twenty minutes or so, which had a great tendency to lessen the number of spectators. As a consequence, there was only a moderate attendance, but those who braved the inclemency of the weather, enjoyed seeing a good game.

The following teams paraded:

Misida: Perini, Borg, C. Caruana, Sgendo, Azzopardi, J. Troisi, Maher, A. Troisi, Caruana, G. Troisi, Galea.

Valletta United: Dye, Falzon, Palmer, Tonna, Caruana, Fiteni, Speranza, Borg, Sgendo, Busuttil, Bartolo.

The game commenced at 4 p.m., in view of about three hundred spectators and a throw in followed in mid-field. The ground was slightly damp from the shower but in no wise slippery, and did not interfere with the play.

Midfield play continued for over ten minutes, the office of each goal being quite a sinecure.

The Valletta team who were playing with a strong combination at length assumed the offensive, and Perini had to save twice. On third call however, being interfered by one of the kicks, he could not arrest the on ward movement of a shot by Tonna who thus cored the first goal.

Again the Valletta Bots went away and working through the defence of the Misidiana, had a shot at Perini who saved most effectively.

Still the Valletta’s kept up the attack and were ultimately rewarded by success, this time it was right half back Borg who sent in a real thunderer, which escaped the grabbing hand of Perini.

Immediately after the kick out the Valletta team fouled, which led to an attack of the Misidians, and they gained the first corner of the match which was well centered in, and it was Falzon who got possession and cleared with a touch kick.

From the throw out G. Troisi headed and gave Caruana the ball and he dribbled within shooting distance, but his shot went wide.

From the kick out Valletta team attacked through the effects of good play on the part of Caruana on the wing, and when he centered in, it was only to find that no one of his side was in attendance, as Azzopardi receiving the ball unchallenged headed away, and getting in a good kick relieved to past midfield where throws in ensued.

During the next attack of the Valletta team, an infringement on the part of their opponents gave them a penalty kick within the area, and Fiteni taking up position made no mistake in his operation for he sent in the third goal of the match, which Perini never even had a chance of smelling.

The Misidians made a special endeavor to notch a point, and Maher ran the ball along the touch line in time from passing over to W. Caruana who managed to get the position, but his effort proved futile, the ball going wide by yards.

When the time going sounded, the scores were:-
Valletta        3 goals
Misida            Nil

In the second half the Valletta Team, were the first on the war path, with a continued attack for fully five minutes, until the Misidians had their look in, and when they did so they hooked certain scorers, but Busuttil had to be reckoned with, as he rushed on the ball and with a flying header cleared his lines, leading to another Valletta attack, for Palmer collaring the ball; passed neatly across to Dye who made a fine touch-line run, finishing with a beautiful centre, which Palmer collared and kicked over the net.

Valletta again attacked and sorely troubled Perini, the Misida’s goal repelling several strong shots in, until Tonna, the inside right, got hold of the ball in front of an open goal and shot over yards above the bar.

The Misidians then had an exciting time, when Galea neatly took the ball adown the touch-line and finished with a neat centre intro A. Troisi, who being in difficulties gave the ball to his centre W. Caruana and his kick at goal rebounded from Sgendo, caused them to have a second edition, and this time G. Triosi sent along a true shot, which Bartolo collared in style and threw out, as he had time to kick. This the Misidans were all frustrated, and Fiteni hitting the ball to himself led to another Valletta attack, and kicking the ball to Dye this player very skillfully worked the ball into a good position and placed it onto the net”

On the whistle the scorers were:-
Valletta             4 goals
Misida                Nil

Mr. B.A. Cross a noted local sportsman, acted as a referee, and the way fulfilled his multifarious tasks, doubtless is the means of his better much sought after for other similar duties. The linesmen who evidentially knew the game were Mr. G. Griffiths and Mr. H. Bailey.