Month: January 2016

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Glacis United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 5th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Sunday 31st January 2016 at 16:30.

Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 0 Glacis United Football Club

Montovio (P)

Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11  Jared Buhagiar
19 Brad Power
26 Jaydan Catania
88 Carl Thomas
21 Duane Robba
24 ‘Pitu’ Anes
77 Kaylan Rumbo
7   Evan Green
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
8  Robert Montovio

SUBSTITUTES

Steven Gilbert on for Evan Green
Neal Medina on for Kaylan Rumbo
Naufal El Andalussi on for ‘Pitu’ Anes

 

As the transfer window winds to a close Gibraltar United’s rejuvenated sqaud knows that today’s game is the biggest of the season so far. A game due to have been played in November but rained off due to storms, its sees an in form Glacis United come up a Gib Utd side that comes off a rather hapless showing vs St Joseph’s last time out. Manolo Nuñez was spoiled for choice as players return from injury and new signings reinforce the club. The injured Jamie Currer leaves his spot to Evan Green who makes his debut. Brad also returned to center half after recovering from the injury he suffered during the warm up last week. Jaydan Catania makes his debut next to Brad at the heart of the defence. ‘Pitu’ Anes also makes a start, Manolo no doubt looking to his class to feed the Gunslinger up front. New signing Neal Medina is joined on the bench by a fit Steven Gilbert who is looking for his minutes since in injuring himself in the 1st Round match versus Europa FC.

31-01-2016 12-34-53

Both teams were perfectly aware of the ramifications of the result. Glacis would catch Gib Utd on points, while Gibraltar would open a 6 point gap on their rivals. As it was the cagey, tense game we all expected unfounded before us. Gibraltar United would have the first attempt at goal quite early on with Robert Montovio getting a shot in after great work by deubtant Evan Green. A block by Argentine, Leo Pereyra steered the danger away. A few minutes later it was United heart’s in mouths as makeshift centre back Kaylan Rumbo diverted a shot past the post. Manolo’s tactical acumen in evidence as he played Kaylan in an unfamiliar position to combat one of Glacis’s main threats.

The game toed and froed for the reminder of the first half. Both sets of players showing the tension with which the game was played. There was little danger to either goal other than two Glacis United free kicks towards the end of the half that did not trouble Chino. The new players were bedding in well and the established stalwarts were guiding the team safely through the first tense 45 minutes. It had the feel of a cup or knock out competition!

31-01-2016 20-13-50

The second half kicked off with no changes as the pitched battle continued on the field of play. That was soon to change after a somewhat magnificent move by fullback ‘Paco’ Thomas. He was felled in the area by Pereyra and the referee, Mr Parody, had no doubt when he pointed to the spot. Gunslinger John Wayne, aka Robert Montovio to you and I, calmly stepped up, took one look at the keeper, sent him one way and the ball the other. 1-0 and some tension relieved.

20160131111246

Glacis United to their credit began to assert more pressure on the steadfast United defence. Brad and Jaydan stood firm and so to did Mr Paraody when he waved Glacis appeals for a penno. Seeing the lie of the land Nuñez gave experienced defender Neal Medina his debut by subbing him on for an excellent Kaylan Rumbo. Terrier-like Steven Gilbert soon followed him onto the pitch. The best coif in the club was getting his first minutes having recovered from an injury that has left him out of the pitch for four months.

Despite some nervy moments Gibraltar were able to see out this most important of results. 3 points that almost taste like 6 against a resurgent Glacis side that most pundits had as favourites for the game. You underestimate the locals in red and white at your won peril! 3 points, clean sheet and sitting safely in 8th ahead of the game versus basement club Angels FC next week.

St Joseph’s Football Club vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 16th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Saturday 23rd January 2016 at the Victoria Stadium at 17:00

Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 4 St Joseph’s Football Club

Gibraltar United Football Club

1  Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
30 David Gallardo
19 Brad Power
23 Derek Asquez
88 Carl Thomas
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
21 Duane Robba
77 Kaylan Rumbo
90 Jamie Currer
8  Robert Montovio

SUBSTITITUES

‘Pitu’ Anes on for Carl Ellul

Following the defeat to Lynx FC las week Manolo Nuñez shuffled his pack around. Jamie Currer made a timely return to the side in place of Sean Gilbert while former Man 62 nad Mons Calpe man Derek Asquez made his Premier Division debut for the club having made his bow for the Reserves in mid week. Steven Gilbert also made a welcome return to the bench 4 months after a knee injury kept him on the side lines. Adrian Lopez’s performances and dedication in the Reserves also got him place on the bench. The match would also see Javi Sanchez on the bench, having seen the Reserves to a 7-0 victory midweek.

23-01-2016 15-09-19

Disaster struck before the match even started with Brad Power aggravating a muscle in his side during the warm up and thus pulling out of the game. Carl Ellul replaced him resulting in a change of line up and formation.

Gib Utd Vs St Joseph 23 Jan 16-5

United started relatively brightly. With Elull in the side the emphasis was on moving the ball forward rather than holding at the back and though no great openings were created it did keep St Joseph’s somewhat on the back foot during the inital exchanges. Lopez and Robba were holding their own in midfield while debutant Derek Asquez was an able deputy for Brad Power who joined officials in watching and supporting his team mates from the stands.

It was United who had the first flash of goal. Jared Buhagiar carried out an excellent overlapping run which Andrew Lopez spotted. The resulting through ball left Jared with a sniff of a chance against Gibraltar’s keeper Jordan Perez. The latter however got to the ball a fraction quicker than Jared. St Joesph’s, with young local Cecil Prescott bringing their most effective play on the right wing, relied on their power and speed and their strong number 9, Merchan, was beginning to assert his authority on the game.

Gib Utd Vs St Joseph 23 Jan 16-34

Robert Montovio also had a chance with a snapshot as well but alas it was not to be for the Gunslinger this week and his powder would be kept dry for a better day. Though not getting much out of the game United were relatively comfortable upto that point with Chino having to intervene sporadically. That all changed in the 35th minute when Mr Gilbert sent Derek Asquez off for an alleged off the ball incident spotted by the eagle eyed Mr Warwick running the line.

In a mad two minutes United went from parity on the field and in the scoreline to being 1 down in both respects. As Derek walked off the pitch St Joseph’s were awarded a free kick, despite some myopic and vociferous protests by their manager. The resulting shot was well saved by Chino and it cannoned off the upright and into the path of the hapless Jamie Currer who unfortunately was unable to prevent from knocking the ball in our net. United once again making life hard for themselves.

Gib Utd Vs St Joseph 23 Jan 16-57

St Joseph’s, with the wind well and truly in their sails pressed hard until the half time whistle but could not penetrate the United defence again. The second half however was one of blue and white dominance during which they scored 3 more times and truly put United to the sword. Jamie’s day went from bad to worse as he limped off with a hamstring injury in the second half.

Though downcast attention now turns to the two massive back to back games coming up. Firstly it is our game in hand versus Glacis United next Sunday. Then, a week later, another immense, season defining clash against Angels FC. 6 points on which the efforts of a whole season can hinge upon.

New Addition the Technical Team

Gibraltar United are very happy to announce the appointment of former Glacis United manager, Javi Sanchez, to the technical team. Javi is no stranger to the local football scene and his appointment shows how the club is gradually growing and developing on and off the pitch.

Javi has managed youth and senior sides for Glacis United and has a wealth of experience to bring to the table. When he became available it was an easy decision for the club to make and we are elated Javi took up our offer. He will work under Manolo with the First Team and also take over the management of the Reserve side.

Welcome Javi to Gibraltar United

1452399_626765070702983_27202096_n

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Lynx Football Club

Match corresponding to the 15th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Sunday January 17th 2016 at the Victoria Stadium at 16:30

Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 3 Lynx Football Club

Montovio

Gibraltar United Football Club

1  Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
19 Brad Power
30 David Gallardo
88 Carl Thomas
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
21 Duane Robba
77 Kaylan Rumbo
22 Noaufal El Andalussi
14 Sean Gilbert
8   Robert Montovio

SUBSTITUTES

Carl Elull on for Sean Gilbert
Aziz Aitlachen on for Andrew Lopez
‘Pitu’ Anes on for Jared Buhagiar

United come into this game in a rich vein of form. 3 consecutive victories (2 in the league and 1 for the reserves) mean squad morale is buoyant for the game versus Lynx.  Manolo Nuñez’ only change to the starting XI is midfield maestro Duane Robba coming in for Carl Ellul who drops to the bench. Big day as well for 17 year old Dylan Borrell who lands the sub goalkeeper’s spot on the bench. The game versus Lynx in the first round was dominated by the diminutive but classy Doxagarat and United will be wise to keep an eye on him. All in all a decent match to spend the time watching on a relaxed Sunday afternoon.

16-01-2016 19-53-18

United had a very bad day at the office with Lynx managing to comfortably win this one. A hat trick by Santos gave the yellow and blacks a 3-1 win. Gunslinger, Robert Montovio netted once again. We’re back in action on Saturday at 5pm versus St Joseph’s FC.

 

Interview with Chino and Brad

‘Chino’ Goldwin and Brad Power took some time off their busy training schedule to spend some time with us chatting about how things have gone so far this season. Both players are having very good seasons so far and have caught the eye of local sports media outlets due to their performances on the field. They are two parts of the greater whole which together makes Gibraltar United and we were eager to see what they had to say. Both were in last year’s squad with Chino an integral part of the Championship winning side. Brad finished his studies in the UK last year but was able to score a couple of goals for the club in the times he was able to play while on holiday.

We asked them first of all if re-signing for the club in the summer was an easy decision to make; they both answered emphatically:

Chino: Yes it was an easy decision to make as we had won the second division league and I felt that with a few additions we could compete with at least the bottom half of the premier league and stay up and then build up from there.

Brad: Signing on this season was an easy decision for me. I wanted to test myself in the premier division and the project and philosophy this club have in place is one which I believe in. At the start of the season we had a good group of players who wanted to prove a lot of the doubters wrong, something we have successfully been doing so far. The challenge in itself was one I was looking forward to.

Both agreed that securing the services of Manolo ‘El Chupete’ Nuñez was the perfect foil to attract and quality players  and keep the majority of the squad together.

Chino: Obviously when I heard that the club had acquired the services of arguably the best coach in local football I was very excited but at the same time a bit nervous as I didn’t know what to expect in terms of whether I was going to be good enough or not. However saying that he has been an influential figure in my development and growth as a goalkeeper and as a team we have improved immensely. Personally I have never had a manager who has been able to teach me the essentials of goalkeeping (apart from Christian Wink in FUTSAL…which was excellent) and for that I am very thankful.

Gib Utd Vs Britannia 27 Sep 15-2

Brad, on the other hand, faced a stern test when faced with his new manager as Manolo had spotted some hidden potential in him. Nominally a striker, Brad has been reconverted into a center back by Manolo. Here is what he had to say about it:

Brad: At first I was not completely on board with the idea of playing at the back. The manager saw potential in me to play there and ever since the first friendly in pre season I feel I have improved game by game. The fact I played as a striker has helped me in terms of how I disliked being defended against, it’s the small things like that which I believe have helped me adapt so quickly to my new role. I feel I have gone from strength to strength with each game I have played. Manolo has believed in me and training with one of the best if not the best manager in the Premier Division has only benefited me. My confidence has grown with each performance and all the positive reviews I have received from team mates and others has only motivated me further to keep on improving. I still have a lot to learn and I know that game by game I will continue to do so. Scoring my first goal of the season was another massive boost to my confidence and I hope to add a few more before the end of the season.

14-01-2016 20-30-16

Both players were eager to express their excitement and desire to test themselves against the best of local football in the Premier Division. They both knew it wasn’t going to be easy but it certainly it was going to help their growth as footballers.

Brad: As a team we knew that this season would be a real test for us. The manager set us targets for each round and we know that we must approach each game differently. We had plenty of doubters at the start of the season and I believe this has worked in our favour, we have played with no pressure and caused numerous upsets already and I’m sure we are capable of a few more. Nobody expected us to have our point tally so far, we will take it game by game and hopefully look up the table instead of below us. Personally testing myself against the best local and foreign players is a challenge I have relished and one in which I feel I have shown my ability at this level.

Chino: Playing in the Premier so far has been a great experience and is a huge difference to the second division because of the quality some of the teams have. Once you get the taste for it you don’t want anything different. You have to be on your toes every second of the game any slight lapse in concentration can effect your team and I’m enjoying every minute of it. The work ethic needed to compete in the Premier Division is something that I thrive off! There have been many ups and downs this season but all in all I think we have exceeded everyone’s expectations, as many people thought that it was impossible to compete with a squad full of local players.

As a final thought we asked them about their hopes and aspirations for the future:

Chino: As any football player would say the ultimate reward would be to represent your country at international level but at the moment my target is to do the best I can for my club and team mates and obviously stay in the Premier Division simply because you want to play with and against the best.

Brad: Right now I’m not looking too far ahead, my focus is to stay in the starting 11 and play week in week out in the Premier Division. If I continue to improve it’s obvious that any local player’s aim is to get into the national side, to test yourself against some of the worlds best is every player’s dream. For now I will take it game by game and hopefully the opportunity arises in the future.

12307476_957111837692356_8667981579357164175_o Gib Utd Vs Europa Point 3 Oct 15-164

Our thanks to Chino and Brad. They will be back in action this coming Sunday at 16:30 versus Lynx F.C.

Glacis United Football Club vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 14th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Monday 11th January 2016 at the Victoria Stadium at 20:30

Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 1 Glacis United Football Club

Montovio
Power

Gibraltar United Football Club

1  Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
19 Brad Power
30 David Gallardo
88 Carl Thomas
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
22 Naoufal El Andalussi
3  Ashley Perez
14 Sean Gilbert
89 Carl Ellul
8  Robert Montovio

SUBSTITUTES

Kaylan Rumbo on for Carl Ellul
Duane Robba on for Sean Gilbert
Byron Espinosa on for Ashley Perez

Gib United have their first of two immense games versus Glacis United in a fortnight tonight. 6 points that could be season defining for either team. United come into the game after a much needed morale booster of a win against Lions FC last time out. Glacis have also had some decent results of late but come into this match after being demolished 11-0 by championship chasing Lincoln FC. Manolo Nuñez is beginning to recover bodies and men. Injuries are beginning to abate and players are also back from suspension. Anes, Rumbo and Cumbo all on the bench for this one. The manager, however rewards the starting XI by keeping faith in them. The only change is David Gallardo coming back into the side replacing the injured Cardona. United’s players are well aware of the importance of this match against our direct rivals and the possible consequences that may derive from it.

United team versus Glacis

United team versus Glacis

The game kicked off in the middle of a rain squall, thankfully the high winds of earlier in the day had abated somewhat. In all honesty Glacis Utd appeared the hungrier team fully aware of the importance of winning this game in order to close the gap between us and them. They had the best of the early exchanges and the first opportunities at goal came from Glacis Utd players, though these early attempts did not trouble Chino. United players seemed nervous and with national team manager, Jeff Wood, in the stands United’s players were in danger of fluffing their lines.

Slowly though, United crept back in the game. Naufal and Andrew started to win the midfield battle and our possessions of the ball lasted longer and longer. Indeed Andrew had his best game by far in his new central midfield position. He moved the ball cleverly and brought others around him into play. Likewise he burst forward on a number of occasions to support our attacks. Glacis however still looked the better team and the team hungrier for the win.

20160111_203702

That is until the 13th minute when Gunslinger, Robert Montovio (John Wayne), got his toe onto a very well delivered Andrew Lopez free kick into the Glacis Utd far post area. The ball out sighted Carlin in goal and most of the defence but not the eagle eyed Montovio. Waiting for his moment he pounced on it like a predator and toe poked it past the hapless Carlin. Peeling away in celebration, Robert celebrated his 6th league goal, something perhaps for Mr Wood to ponder.

Glacis’ confidence seemed to take a knocking and United’s was up. Ashley Perez had a cheeky overhead kick narrowly fly past the Glacis upright and though Glacis retained most of the meaningful possession United’s resolute, but at times desperate defending, kept them at bay. Chino only having one save of note to make 5 minutes from the break from Cortes.

Manolo made two changes at half time introducing Rumbo and Robba into the fray. They had an immediate impact as we began to manage possessions better and seemed to have got control over the midfield once again. Our first attack of the second half led to a corner that once again was floated in impeccably by Andrew Lopez. Rushing onto to it like a destroyer in a North Atlantic swell came Brad Power. Brad has been reconverted into a center back after plying his trade as a striker, Gibraltar’s answer to Dion Dublin maybe? His training as a forward was evident in the class and power (no pun) with which he thundered the ball with much aplomb into the Glacis net from the peachiest of headers the Stadium will see this season. A much deserved goal for an unselfish and tremendous team player that is quickly becoming one of the classiest local center halves around. (Mr Wood take note !) The way his team mates celebrated with him showed how important this goal was for the club but also how popular Brad is in the dressing room.

As the game dragged on, however, Glacis began an avalanche of attacks that United found very hard to contain. The second goal had sparked them on, rather than Gibraltar, to move ahead and get back into the game. Though we hard several chances to finish the game off we couldn’t beat Carlin once again. Rather it was Chino who was the busiest of the two. But as he has proved time and again this season, Mr Goldwin was up for it. His save from a Cortes shot was up there with his many top class saves this season, shades of Peter Schmeichel winning points for the United teams of Alex Ferguson.

The final drama of this game was at the boots of Glacis striker Barletta who was finally able to break through the Great Wall of China with a great finish to a cross by the ever involved Cortes. 2-1 with 15 minutes to go. If I may use another Manchester United euphemism; squeaky bum time was upon us. Glacis threw it all at us, indeed keeper Carlin was another outfield player spending most of his time closer to the half way line than his goal! Yet for all their possession, a penalty shout which Mr Barcelo correctly adjudged as diving United were able to weather the storm and ride out for these most important 3 points of the season. a 9 point gap now opens between us and the teams below us and we now lie 1 point behind Man 62 with a game in hand, ironically against Glacis United in a fortnight’s time.

 

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Lions Football Club

Match corresponding to the 13th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Divsion played on Saturday 2nd January 2016 at the Victoria Stadium at 17:00

Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 0 Lions Football Club

Montovio

Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
3  Ashley Perez
19 Brad Power
15 Steffan Cardona
88 Carl Thomas
11 Jared Buhagiar
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
22 Naufal El Andalussi
14 Sean Gilbert
89 Carl Ellul
8   Robert Montovio

SUBSTITUTIONS

Byron Espinosa on for Steffan Cardona

Manolo Nuñez was once again working with a threadbare squad. Players were carrying injuries over the Xmas period. The likes of Parker and Bosio were out through long term injury while several players had picked up knocks while training for this match, Stefan Cumbo among them. All this meant that new signings Ashely Perez and Carl Ellul had to make speedy debuts. Robert and Carl Thomas were back after serving a one match ban and his impressive performance vs Lincoln last time out earned Naufal a well deserved start in center midfield. Steffan Cardona continued his comeback from injury while Jared moved into the left wing. United in a seldom seen 4-4-2 formation.

Perez and Ellul make their debuts

Perez and Ellul make their debuts

Lions FC were quick to start dominating possession in the opening stages of the game. Yet very little danger of worth was created with Chino having to only deal with crosses floated in from either wing. United were resolute in defence with new signing, Ashley Perez, making his worth felt instantly. Likewise, Carl Thomas seemed to have returned energised from the Christmas break and begun the match in the imperious way he would conduct himself throughout. Brad and Steffan were communicating very well and were marshalling their line very well. Indeed for all the orange possession of the ball it was only once that hearts where in mouths. The ever dangerous ‘Lata’ dropped a shoulder, and opened up and angle for the shot. Some brave red and white shirt got his body between the flight of the ball and the goal and danger averted.

Both Jared and Sean on the wings gave the defence some respite when we had posession and Andrew and Naufal had the measure of the Lions midfield. Indeed most of the first half action happened in the centre of the park. As Mr Barcelo brought proceedings to a close United were hopeful of getting something in the second half. In fact thats exactly what they did.

The indefatigable Montovio was wily enough to latch onto a clever through ball by debutant Carl Ellul. Though he often ploughs a lonesome furrow upfront he cannot be faulted for his efforts and defenders go to sleep at their own expense. He run straight past Pacheco in the full back position and dribbled past the closing centre half. Ask the keeper, Szpilczynski, bore down on him he toe poked the keeper and squirmed the ball underneath his legs and into the back of the net. The tension with which the game was being played was evident in the celebrations after Robert’s goal. Lions looked stunned! United on the ascendant.

United's players celebrate going ahead!

United’s players celebrate going ahead!

Lions immediately cranked up the pressure and put Gibraltar under the cosh from the restart. Once again crosses rained down on Chino’s goal and he was equal to all of them. He was vicitim of some rough handling and was twice down on the ground having bravely come into the crowd to cancel out any danger. Indeed, his shinning moment came in a spectacular one on one with Nathan Santos in which the Gib Utd keeper came up trumps. Surely National team selectors must have noticed how his performances have improved week in and week out. A nervous bunch of United supporters saw Mr Barcelo give 5 minutes of added time, during which Lions were reduced to 10 men. As the final whistle went United’s exhausted players could revel in three well deserved points. Once again we dug deep, showed guts and character and dictated the tempo of a game whose victory could prove priceless! Gib Utd are up into 7th, leapfrogging Man 62 with a game in hand. Next time out will see a massive 6 pointer of a game versus Glacis United.

02-01-2016 19-32-14