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
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
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!
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?
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.
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‘