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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
‘Vi Et Animo, ad Vicotriam‘