Month: May 2015

College Pegasus vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 25th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division and played on Thursday 28th May 2015 at the Victoria Stadium at 20:00

Gibraltar United Football Club 8 – 1 College Pegasus

Muscat (2)
Gallardo (2)
L.Buhagiar
Andrew Lopez (2)
Gilbert

Gibraltar United Football Club

13 Joe Borg
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
5  Shane Crisp
69 Adrian Lopez
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
25 Mark Casciaro
90 David Gallardo
99 Shane Howe
9   Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTIONS

Matthew Massetti on for Lee Buhagiar
Steven Gilbert on for Mark Casciaro
Evan Coleing on for Adrian Lopez

Gibraltar United was cast in the role of Bellerophon and was tasked in taming the College Pegasus if the aim of Promotion was to be attained. Ian was forced into some changes. Dylan had injured a knee in training which meant that Mark Casciaro was straight in after serving a three match ban to partner Aziz in centre mid. Shane Crisp made a welcome return to the starting XI, a Gib United stalwart and red and white through and through it was great to see him march out. He replaced the injured Aaron Collado. It was just as gratifying to see David Gallardon earn himself a spot in the team. He is in a rich vein of form and has 4 goals in 2 games, getting 2 last week verses the Hound Dogs and 2 in the Reserves as well. Captain Andrew Lopez went back outfield after 90 minutes in goal last week while Adrian Lopez retained the right back berth after a few powerful performances off late. With Europa Point as temporary leaders, they beat Leo FC yesterday, United needed the win to keep those promotion hopes alive.

United's last but one XI

United’s last but one XI

United started this game with a bang and made sure that Pegasus never got a sniff in. College only had 10 men on the field but with United in this rampant form not even 13 could stop the rout that followed. Lee Muscat opened the scoring early doors with a nice finish and it was no turning back from there. David Gallardo soon got our second and his 5th in 3 games, he has indeed tapped into a very rich vein of form. This after missing a sitter that would surely grace any end of season DVD Bloopers, one of the many we have been guilty of. Lee Buhagiar soon followed with a tapped in ricochet and with College Pegasus floundering the match was all but over. The danger was in the key players carrying 4 yellows and at risk of missing the title decider next Tuesday.

United's players celebrate one of the goals.

United’s players celebrate one of the goals.

Mindful of this stand in manager Stephan Langtry, Ian was away on family duties, replaced Lee Buhagiar at half time with Matthew Massetti. United started where they left off as Muscat and Gallardo both got their second goals putting the result beyond any reasonable doubt. As cruise control set in Casciaro came off to be replaced with perhaps the most culture coif in the club, Steven Gilbert. He brought fresh energy and impetus to the midfield as well as dashing hair. His goal, according to his team mate and Uncle, was a very rare occurrence and he celebrated in style making sure his coif was as immaculate as always. His brother Sean, fresh from University, however was sporting a rather dubious set of newly laid braids in the stands, to the great mirth of his team mates.

United's dominance obvious in the Second Half.

United’s dominance obvious in the Second Half.

Captain Andrew Lopez signed the scoring off with two well taken goals, in particular his second which was a masterful dropping volley buried with aplomb. Joe Borg was very unfortunate to concede a very harsh penno. In Pegasus’ only attack very late in the game he cleanly tackled the advancing forward but Mr Newman pointed to the spot. It was harsh on Joe but had the second linesman turned up he would have clearly assisted the ref in making the correct decision. A clearly frustrated Joe got himself booked and to top it all he got a massive chunk of the ball but alas could not stop College from getting a consolation.

So ladies and gents its down to the last game of the season. 3 points will earn us the right to Promotion as Champions. Olympique 13 stand in our way next Tuesday at 20:00. We ask for your support in this most crucial of games for these local lads who, in 10 short months, have worked so hard to put the club back where it belongs.

Vi Et Animo, Ad Victoriam

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Hound Dogs Football Club

Match corresponding to the 24th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division and played on Thursday 21st May 2015 at the Victoria Stadium at 18:15

Gibraltar United Football Club 4 – 1 Hound Dogs Football Club

Muscat (P)
J.Buhagiar
Gallardo (2)

Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Andrew Lopez (c)
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
69 Adrian Lopez
99 Shane Howe
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
88 Carl Thomas
23 Stefan Cumbo
9   Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTES

Steven Gilbert on for Stefan Cumbo
David Gallardo on for Carl Thomas
Evan Coleing on for Shane Howe

Yes regular readers your eyes are not deceiving you, forward Andrew Lopez was keeping goal for this match. Its not a typo and the world has not gone mad. Both regular keepers were unavailable for the match today. Joe Borg was away on European Cup hockey duties while Chino was serving a one match ban for accumulation of yellow cards. Andrew, leading by example, stepped up to the plate and put his reputation as a decent shot stopper on the line, no pun intended. Elsewhere continued absences due to suspensions caused several changes. Carl Thomas was pushed forward into right wing while Stefan Cumbo made a welcome return to the first XI supporting Muscat up front. Adrian Lopez , after impressing in the reserves, was at right back while Shane Howe continued his run of starts. Also great to see Shane Crisp making the bench after 90 successful minutes for the Reserves after an injury plagued season.

A unique line up with Andrew Lopez in goal.

A unique line up with Andrew Lopez in goal.

Is it Chino? No wait its Andrew!

Is it Chino? No wait its Andrew!

The game started tensely, Gib Utd players fully aware of the significance of this Terrific Tuesday of Second Division Football. With one linesman turning up late it wasn’t the most auspicious of starts for Officialdom though! Utd started well dominating the ball and passing it with assurance and confidence. A green and black wall faced them however. Hound Dogs had set up stall to dig the trenches deep and launch quick counter attacks via the avenue of the long ball. Yet with players like Aziz on the pitch even the tightest of locks can be picked by a clever pass. Indeed it was him that set Jared free down the wing on an overlapping run but the latter’s cross was gathered up by Carcano in the Hound Dogs goal. Lee Muscat had an effort soon after but Carcano was equal to the weak shot sent his way.

It was all United. A Buhagiar cross was almost bundled into the Hound Dogs goal by a defender and chances were falling to most of United’s forward players. But as has been the case in recent matches we were finding it hard to crack in the first goal. Shane Howe’s excellent dribble and cross found Stefan, his shot was equal to the cross but once again Carcano was able to parry the effort. Was the goalie going to have one of those games? Unfortunately for Stefan it would be the last contribution he would make as he limped off with  a hamstring injury soon after. Steven Gilbert coming on to replace him.

The deadlock was broken by Muscat. His powerful run into the area could only be stopped by a foul. Though it was just inside the box referee, Mr Newman (who had a good game talking to players rather than digging unnecessarily for yellows) had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. A stonewaller! Muski, as confident as always, prowled up to the ball and gave Carcano no chance. League goal number 20 for the prolific striker and United nerves calmed. Carcano had been beaten and the domination the team were exhibiting would surely mean 3 points. Well football wouldn’t be the game it is if it didn’t go against the grain. United’s lead lasted 8 minutes. In a rare foray forward John Luke Olivera equalised from a corner, to be honest he had the Freedom of the Gibraltar United Area and shot with not a defender in sight to pressure him. Stand in keeper Lopez, who’d dealt with crosses very well, had no chance really. Silence in the stands and wry smiles on the Angels players watching in the stands. Muscat clipped the post just before half time to get supporters of their seats but no cigar for the Number 9 on this occasion.

1-1 at half time

1-1 at half time

United came out in a determined fashion. Muscat, Howe and Aziz with an absolute peach of shot had chances within 8 minutes of the restart. Having exhausted all supplies of pipitas in the previous two games United fans resorted to chewing on well worn out finger nails as Hound Dogs held on grimly for dear life. If other teams brought the credibility of the Division into question with dodgy forfeits, our opponents today deserve the credit for giving United a staunch fight. However no levee can keep a deluge at bay forever, and it was Jared Buhagiar who buried a delightful ball from Muscat with gusto and aplomb! His wild celebrations on the pitch were mirrored in the stands as jubilant supporters celebrated wildly. No more wry smiles from the Angles contingent as they made their way to the changing rooms to prepare for their 8pm kick off.

Suspended Keeper Chino, and midfield maestro Willy Gracia celebrate Jared's goal.

Suspended Keeper Chino, and midfield maestro Willy Gracia celebrate Jared’s goal.

The Hound Dogs had finally had their bark silenced and their bite muffled! Seeking a win by a larger margin, Mañasco threw in David Gallardo. David was man of the match in our last Reserve outing netting two and his presence is testament that hard work in the Reserves gets you your chance. Indeed it was David who finally put daylight between the sides with a neat little finish into the bottom corner. 3-1 and cruising. He added a second a few minutes later after heading in an Aziz freekick. 4-1 the result was safe. Yet there was time and opportunity to get more. Evan Coleing, who had replaced a tiring Shane Howe (as usual Shane worked hard for his team), added a spectacular miss to the many this season (we should perhaps consider a Bloopers DVD) as he missed from inches out as he blazed a cross over the bar. The less said the better for Evan, who took the banter of his team mates in good cheer! Mr Newman brought proceedings to a close soon after. A priceless three points that were worth their weight in goal at around 21:45 when Europa Point beat Angels FC 2-1 to leave United clear at the top by a point with two to play. 180 minutes of frayed nerves to come.

Vi Et Animo, Ad Victoriam

 

The Run In

Crunch time in the Second Division this week as perhaps the biggest game of the season is being played on Thursday evening. Though United play on Thursday at 18:15 versus Hound Dogs F.C, it is the following 20:00 kick off that will surely take most of the attention when leaders Angels F.C. face off against Europa Point F.C. The game in itself is already a big one but after the events of last week its magnitude has increased tenfold.

Angels hold a two point lead over Gibraltar United after their match versus Scorpions was forfeited in controversial circumstances. Social Media had somewhat of a meltdown when local sports media began to report that Scorpions F.C. had forfeited their match against Angels F.C. and were not going to subsequently be able to fulfil the rest of their Division 2 fixtures. Speculation abounded for 24 hours or so until the powers that be at Scorpions F.C. clarified the situation and assured that they would be fulfilling their final three fixtures under new management. How convenient that Angels F.C. had a forfeit against one of the toughest teams in the Division but even more convenient was the fact the 24 hours later there comes a cast iron assurance of fixtures being fulfilled. Credibilities at stake?!?!?!?!

Anyhow, those teams still in the fight for Promotion go into this most important of weeks knowing what has to be achieved. All three know that a win will put them one step and three points closer towards that goal. United know that the profligacy shown against the Red Imps cannot happen again if the hard work shown during the season is to have its just rewards. Angels know Europa Point’s only hope is to defeat them, a defeat that would leave United top in the eventuality of a Gib Utd win over the Hound Dogs, by no means a certainty after a narrow 1-0 victory last time out.

We urge our supporters to come out to the stadium on Thursday for both matches in what promises to be a Terrific Thursday of Second Division Football. Come support your team and help them with that last push over the finishing line.

Vi Et Animo, Ad Victoriam

The Race for Promotion

The Race for Promotion

Lincoln Red Imps vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 23rd round of the Gibraltarian Second Division and played on Monday 11th May at 18:15 at the Victoria Stadium.

Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 0 Lincoln Red Imps

Gibraltar United Football Club

13 Joe Borg
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
69 Adrian Lopez
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitalchen
26 Evan Coleing
99 Shane Howe
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
9  Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTIONS

Stefan Cumbo on for Shane Howe
Steven Gilbert on for Adrian Lopez
Matthew Massetti on for Aaron Collado

United faced Lincoln Red Imps on a warm Monday afternoon. Evan Coleing got a recall against his ex team while Shane Howe was rewarded with a starting berth after his goal versus Mons Calpe last time out. Adrian ‘Weevz’ Lopez also made a start at right back. Mark Casciaro was missing after a retrospective ban imposed on him after an incident in our last match and Ian continued his rotations in goal with Joe Borg given responsibility for the sticks today. Justin Collado was also serving a one match ban after a red card in the Mons Calpe match.

United line up in a 4-3-3

United line up in a 4-3-3

Red Imps were definitely up for the game, and credit to them as it gave the league’e credibility a massive boost. The young Lincoln lads were eager to show their worth and players like Torilla and Lane showed flashes of their class and potential early on. Indeed in all honesty they had the lion’s share of the early periods of the game and at times put pressure on our defence. Both Lee and Aaron, however, were both solid rocks heading and kicking away all balls being hung into the box and coping well with the Red Imps attacks. Yet for their efforts it was United with the first clear chance. Shane Howe, who had a pretty decent half was able to send in a pretty decent cross that found Muscat unmarked in the penalty spot. His tame header however was neatly saved by Moxham in the Red Imps goal. He was likewise able to also save an Aziz shot down to his right. Indeed a lobbed Aziz ball had Moxham retreating wildly and he was able to just parry the shot over the crossbar.United had ridden the initial Red Imps surge and were starting to impose their dominance.

United center halves attack a corner during the first half.

United center halves attack a corner during the first half.

Yet amid the constant Red and White attacks the Red Imps youngsters show their quality in a quick break. A clever one two had left Mañasco for dead with Dean Torilla then finding Louis Consigliero. His shot had beaten Joe but ricocheted off the upright and was cleared by Adrian Lopez into touch. Indeed the Red Imps midfield had a good first half but had only been able to produce one clear cut chance. Just before referee Mr Canepa blew for half time Andrew Lopez had a shot saved by Moxham. United seemed to have lost the first half on points and Ian Mañasco’s thunderous face said it all as he escorted his troops off to the changing room.

Whatever rocket he gave them seemed to have worked. Cumbo replaced Howe and the second half kicked off the polar opposite of the first. United were dominant from the off. The ball was moving quicker, and our forward players were having more of a say. Andrew in particular who had a quiet first half began to work his full back. He was regularly getting in behind and using the ball cleverly while also creating decent play with Jared. Indeed he had a very decent effort cleared off the line with Moxham left hanging. Credit to the Red Imps defender who never gave up.

United chances kept on coming and the Red Imps were resorting to last ditch defending and a certain amount of time wasting in order to try and break United’s flow and stem our attacks, abandoning their earlier attacking impetus . Evan Coleing made some space for himself but the ball would not fall favourably onto his left foot while Muscat smashed a shot against the stanchion of the goal with Moxham flaying wildly in the air. Moxham, had a great game and, despite an injury, pulled off another great save from Aziz that was nestling into the top corner. The goal seemed inevitable.

United dominating the second half

United dominating the second half

The frustration was only to increase as Andrew Lopez missed a sitter from three yards out the ball delivered by Muscat stuck under his feet with the open goal beckoning like the open gates of Hades. The impotency in front of goal was beginning to affect our players and frustrations only increased at the perceived time wasting on the part of the Red Imps. Tempers flared and rash tackles were starting to fly in. Lee Buhagiar got himself in the book and at times United were living dangerously as the Red Imps threatened to break away. Steven Gilbert replaced Adrian as Ian went for the jugular. Indeed Stefan Cumbo had a good chance saved by Moxham soon after.

Red Imps Manager, Nicky Consigliero, had  busy day attending a spate of injured players.

Red Imps Manager, Nicky Consigliero, had a busy day attending a spate of injured players.

As the minutes trickled away as the grains of sand in an hourglass, United supporters once again found themselves short of pipitas, peanuts, finger nails or anything else they could chew on. The excellent Aaron Collado suddenly pulled up painfully as he stretched for a tackle. Massetti replaced him . Aaron was trying to cut out a quick long balled counter attack, the Imp’s only resort left. Indeed it was on one of these long balls that Lee Buhagiar saw red for a second yellow after a foul on the advancing Red Imps player. The offence was committed centimeters outside United’s box. The resulting free kick was disappointing and Mr Canepa brought proceedings to an end shortly after.

Though we remain one point clear of Angels FC they now face two hard nuts to crack, Scorpions and Europa Point! If the Premier Division was wrapped up weeks ago by Lincoln the ‘Segunda’ is proving to be quite the opposite. This, dear readers, is going down to the absolute wire and if you enjoying watching closely fought football come down and support the lads in our next match against FC Hound Dogs on the 21st May. Its all there to play for but now over to Angels. To quote the great Sir Alex, ‘squeaky bum time.’ 22 local players on the pitch today. A rarity in either Division nowadys!

Current top 4

Current top 4

Vi Et Animo, ad Vicotriam

 

Mons Calpe SC vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 22nd Round of the Gibraltarian 2nd Division and played at the Victoria Stadium on Wednesday 6th May 2015

Gibraltar United Football Club 4 – 2 Mons Calpe Social Club

Muscat
Lopez (P)
Howe
Rocca

Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
88 Carl Thomas
25 Mark Casciaro
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
7   Justin Collado
9   Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTES
Damian Rocca on for Mark Casciaro
Shane Howe on for Carl Thomas
Matthew Massetti on for Andrew Lopez

What is it with United and Mons Calpe! Another nail biter of a game contested from the first minute to the last. Ian had Dylan Mañasco back from a 3 match ban and he slotted into his usual role in defensive midfield alongside Mark and Aziz. Lee Muscat was back up front and as we were elsewhere. Places on the bench for Rocca, Massetti and Howe. 5 Finals to go and the team seemed raring to go!

Gib Utd Team

Gib Utd Team

A light westerly breeze meant perfect footballing conditions for a match that United felt confident they could win. With a powerhouse team on the pitch Gib Utd fans felt confident there was enough fire power to blast past a Mons Calpe side that had gone through some turmoil during mid season with a change of manager and personnel. Mr Warwick started the match and immediately the ball went forwards looking for a Muscat hungry for goals having missed out on the last matches through a back injury. Indeed in one of our first attacks he was felled in the area in what looked like a stone wall penno to everyone on the pitch and the stands bar the match officials. Despite the frantic protests, Mr Warwick waved play on. Shortly afterwards Justin sent in a devilish cross that was just missed by Muscat’s head. Was the writing on the wall so soon for Mons?

The officials lead the teams out

The officials lead the teams out

It certainly seemed so as Justin once again crossed a ball in the Mark Casciaro sent over the crossbar from point blank range. Justin himself proved to be as profilgate as he crashed a ball against the crossbar later on in the match from yards out. Was the levee going to break and the goals flood in? Not quite as in a rare surge forward a looping header flew over Chino’s head. Such was the dominance United had shown up to that point that fans in the stands were actually asking each other if the ball had actually hit the net. Indeed it had, United players looked shell shocked but to their credit held their heads up high and from the kick off resumed from where they left off.

Aziz showed us his class once more in a delightful through ball that Muski met with blistering pace and power. Payas had no chance in the Mons goal as Muscat fired one past him to put United back into the match. Shortly after Mr Warwick blew for a blatant handball. If he hid his whistle previously he had no choice but to blow this time around. Up stepped Lee, surely his second of the game and his 20th of the season. Yet credit to Jamie Payas in the Mons goal who guessed where Muski was going to place the ball and made a class save down to his left right by the post.

Payas saves Muscat's penalty!

Payas saves Muscat’s penalty!

Unbelievable scenes as one would have put their own house on Muscat scoring. Tempers began to flair with Mark Casciaro and Dylan both going into the book. Justin Collado also saw a harsh straight red soon after his miss mentioned above, yes the tackle was strong but a fair one and targeted at the ball and not the player. Yet despite his vociferous protests he had no choice but to walk. United with 10 men once again against the odds. Yet Fortune is a fickle mistress and her favourable winds did bless us once again as Mr Warwick blew for a penalty for a second time, guilty conscience mayhap? Muski delegated penno taking duties to Captain Andrew Lopez and he did not disappoint selling Payas with the eyes and slotting past him putting our 10 men 2-1 up a few minutes before half time.

Supporters had barely time to catch their breath and a pint before play had resumed and a third stonewall penno had been given….no wait, Mr Warwcik deemed a clear foul on Mark Casciaro inside the opposing half’s box fair play and waved play on even to the surprise of the Mons players themselves. Mark was understandably irate and carrying a booking was soon subbed off for United’s own Teddy Sheringham, Damian Rocca. He slotted into midfield just behind Muscat. United forgave Mons far too often. Aziz had an excellent chance which Payas gratefully picked up and Muscat crashed a shot against the upright with only the keeper to beat. Nerves broke when Mons scored a belter of a goal totally against the run of play after burying a rebound from the D.

Nails had been bitten off and there were no more pipitas to be seen anywhere. Ian, threw caution to the wind and took off Carl Thomas for Shane Howe. Right back for a forward with 10 men. Yet Fortune favours the Bold as it proved to be a decisive change. A very clever interplay between Damian and Lee found the ball at Shane’s feet somewhat to the right of the Mons area. He dropped a shoulder, left the defender behind, run into the area and placed the ball deftly and expertly into the far corner of the goal. His effort was met with joyous celebrations on the stands. Players and management likewise! Everyone realised the importance of that goal and more so that such a hard worker and grafter and Shane got it, against his former team and all.

Damian put the result beyond all doubt with a very classy finish from outside the area. Jamie Payas is known for his rash rushing out of goal. Receiving the ball, Rocca was intuitive enough to know the keeper would be rushing out. Waiting for the precise moment he slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper and we all saw it trickle past the line finally putting an end to this most stubborn of Mons Calpe efforts. Indeed Angels FC cannot complain and they are a great advert for 2nd Division Football after this effort today. That said United with the 3 points and 4 games to go to the Promised Land!

Vi et Animo, Ad Vicotriam

5 Finals to Go!

As it stands.

As it stands.

 

Division 2 is as tight as it has been all season long. As we approach the final hurdle the team’s focus and concentration has to be at its highest as Angels FC, having won their game in hand, stand alongside United at the top of the table on 53 points. Though we have a superior goal difference (for the moment) and the head to head having beaten them twice in the league, we cannot allow complacency to set in. Manager, Ian Mañasco has been training and drilling the squad hard with one goal, the league title and promotion! He knows that Angels FC will not give up the fight as they have fought and clawed their way into contention. One cannot discount Europa Point either. Though they stand 5 points behind they still have Angels FC to play and can still have a role as ‘Kingmaker’. Scorpions lie a point further behind but after an ill disciplined and disastrous result against Europa Point last Thursday they may be the classed as outsiders for Promotion.

The lads, all local and developed here in Gibraltar, need as much of your support as possible. The only local squad with a sniff of Promotion to the Premier League and the only team with a committed philosophy to develop and nurture local talent. We proudly carry our nation’s name on our crest and are well aware of the legacy this club has in the local scene. As such it needs your support for the last push. Having fought so hard since last August we are almost there but this last step is the hardest to take. We urge our supporters and fans to come to the Stadium to support your local lads as they try to win this final 5 games and achieve our goal of promotion. It’s red hot and it promises to be a very entertaining month! As always we will keep you in the know through all our social media outlets! Come on the Red and White! Starting this Wednesday against Mons Calpe SC at 18:15!

Vi et Aniamo, Ad Victoriam

Remaining Matches

Gibraltar United FC Angels FC Europa Point FC
Mons Calpe Gibraltar Phoenix College Pegasus FC
Red Imps Gibraltar Scorpions Mons Calpe
Hound Dogs FC Europa Point FC Angels FC
College Pegasus Mons Calpe Leo FC
Olympique 13 FC Leo FC Cannons FC