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
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
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.
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.
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.