Match corresponding to the 12th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Sunday 8th January 2017 at 18:30
Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 2 Mons Calpe Social Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
8 Andrew Hernandez
3 Ashley Perez
5 Jason Pusey
21 Erin Barnett
15 Aymen Mouehli
6 Dexter Panzavechia
4 Anthony Hernandez
20 Max Bothen
14 Paul Podesta
7 Robert Montovio (C)
Evan Green on for Max Bothen
Jesse Victory on for Robert Montovio
Jamie Currer on for Ashley Perez
Football is back after the Christmas break and it sees United face up to Mons Calpe who are doing very well in their maiden season in the top flight. Suspensions and injuries mean a shift in midfield with Bosio and Rodriguez unavailable it sees Dexter and Max Bothen filling in the gaps in United’s midfield.
Though the Calpeans justly defeated United 3-1 in the first round, the Red and Whites were out to prove that they could go toe to toe with their opponents in this our first match of 2017 and indeed they did. United dominated possession in the first 10 minutes and were eager to move the ball forward. With four attacking minded players on the pitch it was refreshing to see the team moving into attacking positions with ease. In one such attack Aymen was able to thread a delightful ball wide to Bothen on the left. Max has had limited opportunities so far this season to show his worth but was able to prove tonight he has a place in the this team and this division. He muscled his way past the Mons full back, held the keeper well as he came out to narrow the angle and finally blasted the ball into the back of the net for his first goal for the club. A very well deserved goal for player eager to show his manager his worth.
Mons looked shocked as they were clearly not expecting an ascendant Gibraltar United. The goal seemed to wake them up as their more creative and incisive players began to dictate the match. As United held firm and rebutted all the pressure Mons were piling on little real danger was being created. That was until Cascio dribbled past a static defence and midfield to drill the ball past Chino from distance. Mr Canepa was also being somewhat liberal with the use of his whistle, though in fairness he did handle the game quite well, seemingly seeing every Red and White tackle as a foul. The game descended into a pitched battle across the pitch with tackles flying in and yellow cards being dished out. Both Pusey and Barnett at the back were colossal as well as Pishu who is gradually making the left back berth his own.
Cascio put Mons in front with his second of the game 64 minutes with a sublime goal which Chino could do nothing about. Great quality both in execution and final product. . Manolo Nuñez reacted by throwing on Evan Green and Jesse Victory. Two players also looking to impress their manager and their presence on the pitch served to galvanise the team. Evan made the right wing his own and his bursts of speed and solidity in the tackle served to release Anthony Hernandez to display his magic. Likewise Victory, who slotted next to Dexter in center mid, provided strength and fresh legs. With Anthony having more of a free reign United began to once again dominate the ball. He linked well with Evan and Dexter as shots began to rain down on Friaz in the Mons goal. Yet it was to be Anthony’s moment. Chino launched a ‘DeGeaesque’ measured punt upfield that fell delightfully to Hernandez. Using skill, guile and power he ghosted past the Mons defenders to leave himself the keeper to beat. He confidently slotted the ball past the goalie to bring parity to the match once again and to open his account with the club.
With both teams going for it both keepers were called into action. Chino saved well from Cottrell while Anthony’s quick feet once again left the Mons defence chasing shadows. He left three behind him to square the ball into the path of the onrushing Victory. With the keeper in No Mans Land the ball flew past him and as supporters expected the net to bulge, it cannoned off the upright and into the hands of a grateful Fraiz. Ethan Jolley was to provide one more hearts in mouth moment as his header drifted just shy of the post as Mr Canepa blew for full time. A deserved point in what was a thrilling match to welcome football back after the Christmas hiatus.