Match corresponding to the 2nd Round of the Gibraltarian FA Rock Cup and played on Monday the 2nd February 2015 at 20:30.
Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 6 Lincoln Red Imps Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
3 Lee Buhagiar
2 Aaron Collado
88 Carl Thomas
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
8 Dylan Mañasco
77 Kaylan Rumbo
89 Aiden Victor
7 Justin Collado
99 Shane Howe
Evan Coleing on for Shane Howe
Steven Gilbert on for Kaylan Rumbo
William Gracia on for Dylan Mañasco
It wasn’t to be. Despite the appeals to the magic of the cup and a surprise lead, Lincoln FC showed why they are perennial champions and why they deserved to fly Gibraltar’s flag for the first time ever in the Champions League. Gib Utd’s management staff had a decision to make as regards this match. With 4 key league fixtures coming up in the month of February would we rest players or play a strong side. The latter option was chosen with a team full of league regulars. A brave option but also a reward for these players to test their mettle against Gibraltar’s finest. The only change from the previous line up was Kaylan Rumbo coming in for Stefan Cumbo who drops to the bench. Former Lincoln players Lee Muscat and Mark Casciaro were unavailable through injury and suspension respectively.
It all started so brightly. We rattled Lincoln with several hard tackles and our lines held firm and tight. For a brief moment we retained possession and the quick play so characteristic of our style reared its head. The ball moved swiftly through midfield, out the wing and then cut inside to find Aiden Victor who smashes in a sweet ball past the Spaniard Navas in the Lincoln goal. Cue pandemonium among the large number of United supporters in the stands (thanks guys and gals for the turn out) and stunned silence from the Lincoln end. Was an upset on the cards?
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The goal awoke the sleeping giant and Lincoln showed their class. Walker and Mejias began to dictate play in the center of the pitch and were gradually asserting their dominance. Chino made a terrific point blank save 15 minutes in (Lincoln’s first real attempt) and soon followed it up with a double save that even Manuel Neur would have been proud off. 25 minutes in referee Barcelo decided to take a hand in affairs and gave what seemed an unjust foul outside our area. The resulting shot is parried by Chino only to have Ryan Casciaro tap in from the rebound. 2 minutes later Lee Casciaro puts his brother Kyle through on goal and he didn’t miss on the one on one. The avalanche continued but Chino proved the better of a thunderous Liam Walker shot, acrobatically parrying the ball out of play.
Once again Chino was the better of another Lincoln forward as he deflected John Paul Duarte’s toe poke wide. The Lincoln team sheet read almost as a Gibraltar Team sheet but for the time being we weathered the storm. To Lincoln’s speed we responded with heart, courage and 110% effort showing the supporters watching that we deserved a place in the Premier Division next season. All 11 Gib Utd players on the pitch were at full throttle and despite the lack of possession, something we are normally not used to, still held our heads above water. By half time however both JP Duarte and Lee Casciaro had also got their names on the score sheet.
The 2nd half kicked off with former Red Imps player Evan Coleing replacing Shane Howe. 1 minute into it Chino Goldwin was once again called into action as he tipped Liam Walker’s 20 yard effort over the bar. From the resulting corner Liam Walker unleashed the sweetest volley that will be seen in the stadium this year. Chino, beaten, could only see ball rattled the crossbar. He hit the ball with such force that the bar is still rattling! Lincoln would score another two goals to make the score a final 6-1. Yet Gib Utd’s supporters never lost their voice and neither did their players dip their efforts on the pitch. Indeed we came very close to nabbing a second goal when Kaylan Rumbo drifted a header narrowly wide.
Our players can be proud to have stood up to players who have played in the Champions League this season and have shared a pitch with the World Champions. They were plenty of international caps on show but we look to our own and applaud their guts, efforts and determination to keep going to the final whistle. We are now fired up for Olympique 13 next Monday in the league as we return to our real battle, the one for promotion! Well done lads we learn and move on!