Match corresponding to the 17th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division played on Thursday 19th March 2015 at 18:15 at the Victoria Stadium.
Gibraltar United Football Club 3 – 0 Leo Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
3 Lee Buhagiar
2 Aaron Collado
89 Aden Victor
25 Mark Casciaro
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
26 Evan Coleing
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
9 Lee Muscat
Shane Howe on for Evan Coleing
Joe Borg on for Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
Stefan Cumbo on for Lee Muscat
Winter is in its death throes but judging by the state of the weather in our two games this week it does not want to leave. It rained for most of the match, indeed it raised in intensity as it progressed! Mañasco continued his policy of rotation in goal and Chino Goldwin got his chance between the sticks after keeping goal for the Reserves on Tuesday. Aden Victor came in at right back relegating Carl Thomas to the bench while Justin Collado missed out due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Evan Coleing retained his staring berth and striker Lee Muscat was recalled to the starting eleven after his goal from the bench last time out. Once again Gibraltar United set out stall in a 4-3-3 with the middle 3 of Casciaro-Mañasco-Aitlachen bossing the game.
The game started brightly for Gib Utd and in a harbinger of things to come Leo started well entrenched in their half expecting to soak up a large number of attacks. Possession of the ball was clearly red and white with Casciaro and Aziz in particular looking well up for the game.Indeed it was the former that provided our first chance with a classy ball into Evan Coleing who’s rasping shot literally scraped post an inch from the post being defended by Leo keeper Santos. Aziz was also to get the gathered supporters off their feet as a deftly struck and well placed shot beat the flailing keeper but ricocheted off the crossbar. United were looking good and in total control.
United dominant but finding it hard to break the deadlock, a common theme in our recent games. Leo was packing the defence but were struggling to deny us chances. Their keeper, Charlie Santos, was pulling off some excellent saves and keeping our goal at bay. There was nothing, however, he could do to stop Lee Muscat from blasting the ball for United’s first. Reaping the benefit of some good midfield play he cut in from the right of the area, ploughed straight down the middle and rifled the ball past Santos. It was a justly deserved goal as Leo had had one tame shot from afar and nothing else. United were one up and cruising.
The half time whistle came amidst a downpour of rain. As both teams came back on the pitch the rain continued, indeed increased in intensity, mirroring United’s desire to get the three points and put more distance between us and our immediate rivals. Mark Casciaro, who gave a master class in ball retention and passing, had out first chance but his shot was once again parried by Leo’s best player Santos. A few minutes later there was nothing the keeper could do as Mark delivered a pin point peach of a cross that found an unmarked Lee Muscat in the area. Lee did not disappoint and met the quality of the cross with a bullet header of similar quality to put United two up and bagging his 15th goal of the season. Indeed the chances were beginning to come thick and fast.
Aziz had another shot stopped by an excellent Charlie Santos diving save, following an excellent free kick routine. United’s first change saw a tiring Evan Coleing come off for Shane Howe, who’d had a very good game for the Reserves earlier on in the week. He immediately had two good chances that went wide of the mark. United’s second sub was a forced one however. Chino had hurt his ankle coming out for a clearance and he was seen gesturing to the bench asking for a sub a few minutes later. On came Joe Borg to replace him and essentially watch the game as Leo practically had no chances in the second half. By the time Stefan Cumbo came on United had notched a third goal
Andrew Lopez floated in a corner from the right side that seemed to end up in the net, an Olympic goal but one perhaps for the dubious goal committee as it could have been palmed into the net by the Leo keeper. Yet Andrew can rightly claim the goal, a difficult feat to score straight from the corner flag! Referee, Gordillo, brought proceedings to an end and United were six points clear at the top and firing on all cylinders.