Match corresponding to the 1st Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 20:30
Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 2 Manchester 62 Football Club
Montovio (2, 1 P)
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
19 Brad Power
5 Jason Pusey
21 Erin Barnett
22 Jamie Currer
24 Jamie Bosio
8 Andrew Hernandez
26 Ashley Rodriguez
2 Carl Thomas
4 Anthony Hernandez
7 Robert Montovio (C)
Dexter Panzavechia on for Andrew Hernandez
Aymen Mouehli on for Brad Power
Max Bothen on for Jason Pusey
Gibraltar United’s Premier Division kicked off versus Manchester 62 today. Football is back after the long summer hiatus and it pitted United against a team we took 4 points off last season. 6 debutants made their first starts for the club with Jason Pusey and the Hernandez brothers lining up against their former team. Jamie Bosio and Ashley Rodriguez anchor a new look midfield while Erin Barnett makes his first start in a Gib Utd shirt after his deadline day move from Lions FC. The club has made a big effort to recruit quality local players and face the season with optimism and with that never say die spirit that characterised our fight last season. Manolo opted for a 3-5-2 formation and is looking to the new partnership of Montovio and Hernandez upfront to deliver the first 3 points of the season.
United also debuted our new all white away kit that added a retro touch to the line-up. Former Captain Andrew Lopez lined up against United, in a more advanced position that he had been accustomed to off late at United, joining fellow former United player Medina. Man 62 started the game the brighter of the tow possession wise but did not create anything of real danger for our 3 center backs to deal with. Erin Barnett showed from early on why United signed him and Jason was proving to be strong and commanding in the air. Chino had no shots to save as Man 62’s possessions created no real penetration, their only chance in these early stages came from a Currer back-pass that was pounced on by Toncheff but Chino deal with it easily.
United gradually clawed themselves back into the game. Bosio was excelling in his role as Marshall of the midfield and conducted his lieutenants in Pishu and Rodriguez around him. Anthony began to show his class as we began to dominate the ball but like Man 62 found little in terms of that final killer pass. Both defences had little to worry about it was not until Man 62’s Fran Mejias frankly buried a peach of a free kick that left Chino with no chance. The awarding of the foul leading up to the goal is another matter altogether and it was the first of many questionable decisions by Mr Canepa during the game.
The adversity faced by the goal, as usual, spurred United on that finally began to take the game to Man 62. The latter began to withdraw its lines closer to their goal and the pressure finally told. Man 62 debutant keeper Keita flapped at a cross deep into the first half injury time. The ball fell to the excellent Barnett who drilled in a shot into the crowd that was tapped in by none other than poacher extraordinaire John Wayne, ie Montovio. It was just rewards for the team’s efforts and the nature of the goal conceded.
The goal spurred United on at the start of the second half that was the mirror of the first with Man 62 unable to keep the ball and United pressing. Though no real danger to Keita’s goal was forthcoming it was the player’s in Red chasing the ball. That was until the 70th minute. In a rare forray forward the ever dangerous Toncheff, who had minutes before caused Brad to receive a yellow card, rifled in a shot after clearing the defence. Chino was the equal of the shot, parried it and it fell into the path of Ayman Mouheli (who had just come on as a sub for the injured Power). The distance between the keeper and the defender was less than a meter and the ball came off Chino at speed. As he got up to continue the game, the ball safely ensconced in his hands, Mr Canepa blows for a deliberate pass back to the keeper! Despite protestations Toncheff was able to ultimately reap the benefits of the referee’s interpretation of events by thundering a blistering shot past all 10 United men rushing to smother the ball.
But this team does not know when to quit. With Man 62 seeking to kill the game off Max Bothen came on for his debut for Jason Pusey indicating a belated indication from the manager to actually attack the opposition. Perseverance pays off as with time almost up the 62 keeper inexplicably came off his line and barrelled Montovio off his feet near the edge of the area. Mr Canepa did not hesitate to point to the spot despite the vociferous Man 62 protests. To be honest the goalkeeper had no business being where he was and made the ref’s decision easy to make. Robert, as usual, was bang on target.
It proved to be the last action of the game. A turgid one at times but with several explosive flash points. First point on the board and perennial champions Lincoln up next.