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FA TROPHY THIRD ROUND PIT PREMIER LEAGUE CLASHES

Eight Premier League clubs will go head to head in the third round of the 2018-29 FA Trophy after the draw produced no fewer than four direct clashes between top-flight teams.

Valletta FC, the current champions and FA Trophy holders, will start their cup defence against First Division side Marsa with the third-round ties scheduled to take place between November 30 and December 2.

Floriana, FA Trophy winners in 2017, were handed a tough draw as they face Ħamrun Spartans in one the four all-Premier League encounters.

The others are Hibernians-Qormi, Sliema Wanderers-St Andrews and Senglea Athletic-Mosta.

Birkirkara, losing finalists last season, have been drawn against Gozitan side Nadur Youngsters while Mdina Knights, the only Third Division team to reach the third round of the FA Trophy, will meet Premier League side Pietà Hotspurs.

The top six teams in the last season’s BOV Premier League – Valletta, Balzan, Gżira United, Birkirkara, Floriana and Hibernians – were seeded for the third-round draw.

Gżira United, the current BOV Premier League leaders, will face Second Division side Rabat Ajax.

The fourth-round pairings were also drawn during today’s event at the Trophies Lounge.

The winner of the Valletta/Marsa tie will meet either Mellieħa or Lija in the fourth round while the winner of the Floriana/Ħamrun Spartans encounter will set up a fourth-round clash with Birkirkara or Nadur Youngsters.

Whatever the third-round results, the fourth round will surely feature an all-Premier League as the winner of the Senglea/Mosta will come up against either Sliema or St Andrews.

FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Before the draws, Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the Malta FA General Secretary, thanked all those who, in one way or another, are supporting young Kane Debattista who is currently undergoing treatment for a serious illness.

Dr Chetcuti said the welcome given to Kane Debattista and his family by the Valletta and Floriana fans before Sunday’s derby at the National Stadium made it a special occasion which underlined football’s ability to bring people together for a noble cause.

The Malta FA General Secretary also appealed to the local football followers to come and support the national team in their final UEFA Nations League Group D3 matches against Kosovo (17th November) and Faroe Islands (20th November) at the National Stadium.

THIRD-ROUND MATCHES
Floriana vs Ħamrun Spartans
Qormi vs Hibernians
Balzan vs Qrendi
Nadur Youngsters vs Birkirkara
Gżira United vs Rabat Ajax
Marsa vs Valletta
Mellieħa vs Lija Athletic
San Ġwann vs Fgura United
Gudja United vs Xewkija Tigers
Pembroke Athleta vs Żejtun Corinthians
Sliema Wanderers vs St Andrews
Vittoriosa Stars vs Tarxien Rainbows
Senglea Athletic vs Mosta
Siġġiewi vs Melita
Birżebbuġa St Peters vs Żebbuġ Rangers
Mdina Knights vs Pietà Hotspurs

Ties to be played from 30th November-2nd December, 2018

FOURTH-ROUND PAIRINGS
Gżira/Rabat vs Siġġiewi/Melita
Mellieħa/Lija vs Marsa/Valletta
Senglea/Mosta vs Sliema/St Andrews
Mdina/Pietà vs Pembroke/Żejtun
Nadur/Birkirkara vs Floriana/Ħamrun
Vittoriosa/Tarxien vs Birżebbuġa/Żebbuġ
Qormi/Hibs vs San Ġwann/Fgura
Balzan/Qrendi vs Gudja/Xewkija

Ties to be played on 26th-27th January, 2019
 
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