Match corresponding to the 11th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division. Played on Tuesday 20th January 2015 at the Victoria Stadium at 18:15
Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 0 FC Hound Dogs
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
88 Carl Thomas
5 Shane Crisp
2 Aaron Collado (C)
11 Jared Buhagiar
16 Steven Gilbert
21 Dylan Mañasco
77 Kaylan Rumbo
89 Aden Victor
23 Stefan Cumbo
99 Shane Howe
Justin Collado on for Steven Gilbert
Lee Muscat on for Shane Howe
Andrew Lopez on for Kaylan Rumbo
Cold, rain, wind. January in three words. A wet day in Gibraltar today that was perforated by a biting Northerly wind that brought icy chills with it. An icy chill that seemed to have permeated through the Gib Utd squad today as we toiled to a 1-0 victory over a gritty FC Hound Dogs team joint bottom of the league. Aldorino had stuck with the 4-4-2 from the previous game and also recovered some key players. Kaylan Rumbo got a starting berth in place of the missing Willy Gracia but it was the heavy artillery on the bench that caught everyone’s attention. Justin Collado and Andrew Lopez were back from representing Gibraltar at the FUTSAL Euro Qualifiers in Bulgaria. They did both the club and out nation pride with Justin even nabbing a goal. Well done to both and an honour for the club to have you in our ranks. The other outstanding name on the bench was of course Lee Muscat. Back after an long, injury enforced absence it warmed all our supporters up on this very cold of days to see him on the bench. Aaron Collado retained the arm band despite Andrew’s presence on the sub’s bench.
United started very, very lethargic. To the Hound Dog’s credit they were much quicker off the blocks and it took us a good five minutes to actually play in our opponents half. Our passing was nervy and our movement stiff and predictable. To coin a tennis term a lot of ‘unforced errors’ were committed by our players. The cold had certainly seemed to have more of an effect on us than on the Hound Dogs. Yet once we got control of the ball and played our football we threatened to create. Cumbo looked spritely as usual using the ball cleverly but the Hound Dogs defence was well marshalled and kept its discipline closing down our forward players quickly and denying our wingers much space in which to work in. Likewise the careless play demonstrated by United meant that the ball zipped aimlessly across the greasy surface. The one time Kaylan and Stefan combined a number of passes together Kaylan was an inch away from tucking away Stefan’s rasping cross.
Both keepers however were tested with both Chino and the Hound Dogs keeper showing quick reflexes to dive low and fast to deny shots that were seeking the bottom corners of the net. As ref, Luque Gonzalez brought the first half to a close supporters were wondering if either the temperature or the match were going to warm up. Any expectations as to the latter were quickly dashed as the second half continued where the first left off. Sloppy passing and uncoordinated movements in attack gave the Hound Dogs defence plenty of opportunity to frustrate our players. Yet it only takes one moment and United thought they had taken that moment only for Jason Costa to clear off the line. Aldorino was quick to react and Justin Collado was qucikly sent on in place of Gilbert. The forward line received and injection of pace and urgency. Lopez and Muscat followed soon after. Our four top scorers were now on the pitch and the expectancy in the crowd rose.
Yet the spark was never really lit. Lee is far from his best form, understandable due to his injury and Andrew and Justin may be feeling the effects of their FUTSAL exploits. However chances were created. With the score at one nil, Lee produced a trademark shuffling run that allowed him to muscle his way through the defence. As the defenders fell at his wake he deftly tapped a shot beating the diving keeper only to have the ball tap the bottom of the post. Likewise Aden Victor, from a Muscat pass, let fly a shot that must have shaved splinters off the post, it came that close! By then we had scored our goal courtesy of Stefan Cumbo ably assisted by an almighty fumble by Carcaño in the Hound Dogs goal. Stefan shot from distance and it appeared a bread and butter take for the keeper. Yet, inexplicably (though a greasy ball and surface must take a fair share of the blame) he let the ball run through his fingers and spill over the line. Not the classiest of Stefan’s many goals this season but certainly the most important one.
All in all a match with little to remember but an essential and vital 3 points to maintain the 5 point gap between a rampant Angels FC that have overthrown Europa Point in second place. FC Hound Dogs are deserving of a better league place on this showing. Minds now turn to our next match on Sunday against College Pegasus.