Month: November 2014

Focus on the Reserves!

Our squad of 35 players is also competing in a tough Reserves League and will soon also compete in the Reserves Cup. Joe Falero assisted by Karl Barbara, Stephan Langtry and Ian Mañasco lead the team into battle. All of the squad has at one point played for the Reserves as they come back from injury or need minutes on the field. It is a tough job though as all the Premier League sides have a Reserve team that are often filled with First Team players. Yet this is a vital cog in the Gibraltar United machine and whatever team is fielded or whoever is playing team mates, officials and staff are in the stands supporting those on the pitch!


Reserves Results (Up to 25th November 2014)

Lincoln FC Reserves 4 – 1 Gibraltar United FC Reserves (Victor)
Glacis United FC Reserves 1 – 0 Gibraltar United FC Reserves
College Europa FC Reserves 2 – 0 Gibraltar United FC Reserves
Manchester 62 FC Reserves 3 – 0 Gibraltar United FC Reserves
Lions FC Reserves 4 – 1 Gibraltar United FC Reserves (A.Collado)
Mons Calpe FC Reserves 0 – 2 Gibraltar United FC Reserves (Rocca, Gallardo)

Appearances (Brackets denotes Sub Appearances)

Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin                   1
Joe Borge                                       5
Aaron Collado                               1 (1)
Shane Crisp                                   2
Colin Dyer                                     1 (1)
Carl Thomas                                 1
Kenneth Chipolina                       3
Matthew Massetti                         5
Jamie Pratts                                   2 (1)
Micheal Macias                             3
Daniel ‘Figo’ Wahnon                 5
Lee Ramagge                                 4 (1)
Dylan Mañasco                            1
Jared Buhagiar                             1
Dean Debono                               3 (1)           (No longer with Club)
Aden Victor                                   1                1 Goal
Sean Gilbert                                 1
Carl Ramagge                               2               (No longer with Club)
Aidan Casey                                 4
Carl Moreno                                 3
Max Pizarro                                 1
Evan Sayers                                 1 (3)
Karl Eagle                                     0 (2)
Stefan Cumbo                             2
Steven Gilbert                             1 (1)
Adrian Lopez                               1
Kaylan Rumbo                           1 (1)
William Gracia                           1
David Gallardo                           1                1 Goal
Philip Villalta                             2
Damian Rocca                           3 (1)            1 Goal
Andrew Lopez                           1
Lee Muscat                                 1
Shane Howe                               1

Boca Juniors (Gib) Vs Gibraltar United Football Club (Division 2 League Cup)

Match corresponding to the 1/8 Round of the Division 2 League Cup. Played at the Victoria Stadium on Sunday 23rd November 2014

Gibraltar United Football Club 4 – 1 Boca Juniors (Gib)

Lopez (2)

Gibraltar United Football Club

1  Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
15 Carl Thomas
3  Kenneth Chipolina
12 Aden Victor
8  Dylan Mañsco
14 Stefan Cumbo
16 Steven Gilbert
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
9  Lee Muscat


Kaylan Rumbo on for Stefan Cumbo
Aiden Casey on for Steven Gilbert
William Gracia on for Andrew Lopez

Cup football under the floodlights on a rainy November evening in Gibraltar. The opposition Boca Juniors (Gib), that despite their name also have local players filling up their roster. Randal Aldorino clearly stated his intentions in having the League Cup as a serious competition to win by fielding a very strong side. Indeed the two changes between this line up and our last league run out were enforced by injury. Carl Thomas having already substituted the injured Shane Crisp during the last league match and Steven Gilbert replacing the injured Justin Collado. Elsewhere both Aaron Collado and Stefan Cumbo had shaken off knocks to be able to take their places in the starting line up that, though looking very much like a conventional 4-4-2, saw Chipolina play slightly ahead of the defensive line.

United's formation at the start

United’s formation at the start.


United started quick, very quick with the four players playing on the wings quick to get forward into attacking positions and push the Boca defence back onto their 6 yard box. Boca had little by means of response in these early stages of the game and it was clear that they could not cope with Muscat’s sheer power. Indeed, having drawn a blank against Magpies, Lee was keen to get his name on the score sheet. Looking sprightly and sharp he linked well early on with Andrew Lopez as well as playing in both wingers with clever balls. Yet his goal was classic Muscat. Head down, pile driving forwards, his deft feet left one defender after another in his wake. He unleashed a powerful shot that thundered off the bar leaving Alvarez in the Boca goal clueless as to where the ball had gone. It, meanwhile had bounced back into the net. United 1-0 up, Muscat back in among the goals.

Muscat salutes the crowd after his goal.

Muscat salutes the crowd after his goal.

Boca looked somewhat shell shocked as play resumed. United went forwards again and the game took an ugly turn at times with some hard tackles flying in from both sides. Referee, Rojas, had his hands full and should have booked one of our players for retaliation after a typically bullish hustle for the ball in the center of the park. Yet Stefan Cumbo graced us with a moment of sheer class and beauty amidst all the hard tackling and graft. Aden Victor got fouled as he approached the left side of the Boca area. The ref gives the foul. Up steps Cumbo to score the most delightful of placed free kicks beyond the reach of the keeper. A sweeter ball has yet to be struck this season and both sets of supporters applauded the goal, Stefan being a former Boca Juniors player himself. United were coasting at this point with Boca resorting to long balls to a very hard working Berrack up front.

Goal scorer Cumbo gets clattered in a tackle typical of the midfield battle

Goal scorer Cumbo gets clattered in a tackle typical of the midfield battle.

Chances fell to Buhagiar and Lopez but both were saved by the opposing keeper. Boca center half, Crawford was also forced to carry out a dramatic off the line clearance as we approached half time. It appeared that Boca could not cope with United’s blitz. Yet luck was going to throw a bone their way. With the half almost over a hopeful high punt forward hung in the air as Chino Goldwin positioned himself for the catch. Be it the weather, the greasy ball or even the ease with which Chino should have caught the ball something unsettled him as he uncharacteristically fumbled the ball.Boca forward Suarez was quick on hand to pounce upon the mistake to breath in some hope to a side that often looked at sea during the first 45 minutes.

The second half started nervously for United as we lost the ball needlessly on a number of occasions and though Boca showed little attacking prowess the tight scoreline in a cup match situation meant squeaky bum time was on the cards for the United staff if a second goal was not found. Aden Victor run his socks off and Carl Thomas, despite a booking, a ball of endless energy on the right flank. Injury woes however struck again as Cumbo felt the same knee he’d injured last week go. Kaylan Rumbo, who later tried an audacious overhead kick, quickly run on the pitch as a sub and soon followed by Aiden Casey who replaced a waning Gilbert. Nervous times ahead but Captain Andrew Lopez did what good captain’s do. They grab ahold of their ship and steer it to safety. If he had been guilty of perhaps over cooking in the first half he certainly was clinical in two key moments in the second. He tapped in a scrambled effort for his first and then gave a master class in poise and control as he rifled in a shot to beat Alvarez in his near post. It was a difficult chance to convert as the ball was bouncing on a zippy surface and the angle closing all the time.

That goal settled the game at 4-1. Lopez himself being the final sub and it was great to see Willy Gracia back on the field of play after an injury lay off. Gibraltar United march on to the 1/4 finals where Mons Calpe await after they saw off Gibraltar Phoenix yesterday. United’s next match is against….Boca Juniors in the league a fortnight from today, though the Reserves have two outings this coming week against Mons Calpe Reserves and Magpies Reserves.

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Bruno’s Magpies Football Club

Match corresponding to the 7th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division and played on Monday 17th November 2014 at the Victoria Stadium.

Gibraltar United Football Club 6 – 0 Bruno’s Magpies Football Club

Sollitt (O.G.)
J.Collado (2)

Gibraltar United Football Club

1  Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
2  Aaron Collado
4  Shane Crisp
5  Kenneth Chipolina
11 Jared Buhagiar
7  Justin Collado
8  Dylan Mañasco
14 Stefan Cumbo
12 Aden Victor
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
9  Lee Muscat


Carl Thomas on for Shane Crisp
Steven Gilbert on for Aden Victor
Kaylan Rumbo on for Aaron Collado

Genuine autumn chills assailed the vocal but hardcore support of Gibraltar United as they huddled in their usual spot in the stands of the Victoria Stadium. United had Bruno’s Magpies, a decent outfit that had made a solid start to the season and sat pretty half way up the table. Aldorino once again opted with the 4-4-2 that had been serving him so well. The only change from the previous match came in defence where Shane Crisp was once again fit after suffering a broken nose against Gib Phoenix in the first game of the season. Carl Thomas dropping to bench, Muscat once again the spearhead of our attack. Aaron Collado drifting out to the right back berth.

United line up 4-4-2 once again. Crisp in for Thomas

United line up 4-4-2 once again. Crisp in for Thomas.

United, as now is customary started briskly, the cold not affecting the players as they tore in the Magpies. Lee Muscat once again showed his power, determination and skill early on by leaving the whole of the Magpies’right wing in his wake as he cut into the area and loosed a shot. Captain Andrew Lopez got himself a classic poacher’s goal with a tap in centimeters from the line Gary Lineker style. Was another rout on the cards?

Lopez wheels away celebrating his goal

Lopez wheels away celebrating his goal.

However if previous matches had belonged to our frontline, today was a match for our central midfield generals. Mañasco and Cumbo complimented themselves perfectly in the first half. Tackling hard and using the ball wisely, they created and maintained the platform for our team to go forward and assault the enemy goal. Yet luck was not with Shane Crisp. In a rare Magpies attack he over stretched in a tackle and was soon seen hobbling off the pitch to be replaced by Carl Thomas. He slotted into his usual right back berth while Aaron Collado moved back into the middle. Though the Magpies tried, their attacks were often broken up by Dylan and then exploited by Stefan. In once such event Jared Buhagiar scored his third goal in three games (he also netted for the Reserves last week). Not the usual screamer has had us accustomed to of late but a rather more simple goal pouncing on a defensive error, not that anyone was complaining! Justin Collado, having provided the assist for Jared then neatly run in a shot off the post to make it 3-0. Soon after United were forced into another untimely substitution as Aden Victor limped off to be replaced by Steven Gilbert, himself fresh out of an injury. An unfortunate own goal by Magpies Left Back Sollitt meant that as referee Barcelo blew for half time United were coasting at 4-0. Though ‘Chino’ had made some saves he had been largely a spectator on the fringes of the match.

This was not the case in the second half however. United started lethargic and quite sloppy. The distance between the lines widen and mistakes were made that Magpies did not capitalise on. Indeed as our defence came under pressure of our creation Aaron Collado was forced into a hard tackle which saw him carried off a few minutes after. Randal Aldorino threw on his last sub, Kaylan Rumbo into what now was a makeshift formation with Rumbo as center half and Muscat playing almost as center midfield. With Stefan Cumbo also taking a knock on his knee, it meant that Dylan Mañasco had to be fighting fires all over the middle of the park.

Dyalna and Stefan boss the midfield in the 1st Half

Dylan and Stefan boss the midfield in the 1st Half.

An almost immobile Cumbo yet left us with moments of class as he used the ball cleverly in more advanced positions. Magpies went all out for a consolation and Chino had several close shaves that he dealt with authoritatively. It was Justin Collado who settled United nerves with a fine individual finish putting an end to the Magpies’ enthusiastic attempts to get a goal. Dylan closed the scoring with a much deserved goal that he finished with aplomb after a pass from Steven Gilbert. Lee Muscat also played well in a more withdrawn position using the ball wisely and constantly encouraging players around him. Though 3 more injuries meant more pressure for Aldorino 3 more points in the bag and 6 more goals in the for column. A clean sheet as well. The focus now shifts to the 2nd Division Cup vs Boca Juniors (Gib) this coming Sunday. Well done the lads!

Cannons FC vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 6th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division and played on Monday 10th November 2014 at the Victoria Stadium.

Gibraltar United Football Club 8 – 0 Cannons Football Club

A.Lopez (2/1P)
Muscat (3)

Gibraltar United Football Club

1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
5   Kenneth Chipolina
2   Aaron Collado
3   Carl Thomas
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
6   Dylan Mañasco
8   Stefan Cumbo
12 Aden Victor
7   Justin Collado
9   Lee Muscat


Adrian Lopez on for Lee Muscat
Steven Gilbert on for Justin Collado

The first winter chills were being felt around the Victoria Stadium as Cannons and United took to the field. It had been over a week since the 8-1 thrashing handed out to Leo FC and supporters were wondering if the extended break between matches would affect the squad. Aldorino opted for a 4-4-2 formation that saw the return of Aaron Collado to the defence after a few games out with an injury. Kenneth Chipolina, fresh from his début with the Gibraltar Under 19 selection, partnered him in centre defence while Jared Buhagiar swapped positions and slotted into left back. Up front our very own ‘ Der Bomber’. Lee Muscat, led the line with Justin Collado playing just off him. Captain Lopez playing slightly more in the wide areas to the left of midfield.

10-11-2014 22-41-09

United’s line up for the game.

United’s dominance was clear from the off. Europa Point’s earlier result, a 5-1 victory over College Pegasus, put us under some pressure but it was clear from the kick off that the players were hungry. United took quick possession of the ball and dominated it for practically the whole of the match. Cannons could not deal with Lopez’s and Victor’s penetrative and imaginative runs from the wings. Muscat and Collado played well in tandem playing off each other and driving the cannons defence bonkers! The breakthrough came after Lee Muscat was brought down near the edge of the Cannon’s box. The defenders could not live with his sheer pace and power and a lunging tackle brought the striker down. The referee rushed forwards and after consulting his linesman pointed to the spot, the Cannons player getting his name in the book. Captain, Andrew Lopez pulled rank over Muscat and resolutely put the ball on the spot. A thunderous strike to the left of the Cannons keeper saw the net bulge and United go 1 up on the scoreboard.

Andrew Lopez puts away his penno with aplomb.

Andrew Lopez puts away his penno with aplomb.

Conscious of the fact that goal difference is surely to play a massive role in the league, United’s players surged forward. Aden Victor got his 2nd goal of the season after some clever play from Justin Collado. United’s flamboyant winger himself having already scored our second goal. United’s dominance was clear with Cannons finding it hard to leave their half, let alone get hold of the ball. Lee Muscat, however, had no issues with this. He was a constant thorn in the Cannon’s side. His footwork bedazzled their defence while his sheer power overwhelmed them. It was not surprising to see his name on the score sheet midway through the half as he netted the first of his three goals. Indeed a second hatrick on the trot and his 7th goal in two games. Ill leave it to the local sports media to describe his impact on the game!




@GibFootballTalk @GFTMatchDay

@GibFootballTalk @GFTMatchDay

Andrew Lopez netted a second goal in a second half that was a complete rout of the Cannons, who to their credit did not lose their heads or their will to play the game. Jared Buhagiar closed the scoring with a superbly taken strike into the top corner of the Cannons goal. Steven Gilbert made his debut after injury. With Kaylan Rumbo getting a run out with the reserves earlier in the week it meant that players were coming back and the team getting stronger. Stefan Cumbo should have scored the goal of the night when he left two defenders dead on their feet with some deft footwork that was followed with a flawless technique as he wrapped his foot round the ball. With the keeper beaten it was only the width of the crossbar that denied the midfielder. All in all back in top spot and another 8 goal fest. The gauntlet thrown down by Europa Point had been resolutely picked up by Gibraltar and thrown back at their feet. Magpies up next a week from today.