Match corresponding to the 19th Round of the Gibraltarian Division and played on Saturday 4th March 2017 at 20:30.
Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 3 Manchester 62 Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
3 Ashley Perez
19 Brad Power
5 Jason Pusey
8 Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez
15 Aymen Mouelhi
23 Jesse Victory
6 Dexter Panzavechia
14 Paul Podesta
4 Anthony Hernandez
7 Robert Montovio (C)
Evan Green on for Dexter Panzavechia
Jamie Currer on for Ashley Perez
United had a number of key players missing. Rodriguez was on deployment with the Regiment while Bosio was out injured, thankfully Jamie’s injury is not as bad as first feared by all. Bothen is still out with a niggling leg injury while Grech also joins those on the sidelines. Jesse Victory continues in the first XI while Brad Power makes a welcome return.
Gib Utd uncharacteristically started the stronger of the two teams and dominated both territory and position for large swathes of the opening 20 minutes of the game. Anthony was showing plenty of evidence of his class and was eager to impress against his former team. His link up play with Robert and with his younger brother Pishu brought a lot of productive play but little bite up front. Robert was to have a goal chalked off for a somewhat dodgy offside call but United showed promising play. Man 62 were relying greatly on the probing passes of Fran Mejias but had done little to trouble Chino.
Things were looking great for the second half with United looking to push on and capitalise on their play but concentration, that vital and often under looked quality in football, evaporated on the 46th minute of the first half. A Man 62 corner found Alvaro Navarro with the freedom of the Gib Utd area. His deep lying run from midfield had not been tracked as United’s defenders were caught ball watching and the Spaniard scored with the last kick of the half. A kick that would eventually result in a mortal blow.
With the start of the second half United’s spirit of last season, ‘el si se puede’, seemed to resurface as our players fought very hard to get back into the game. The introduction of Evan Green further galvanised the team as his direct running and fast play began to harry the Man 62 full back. A promising one-two was Podesta saw the big man find himself goal side of the defence, he seemed poised to charge into the area only for ref, Mr Barcelo, to call back play for an earlier foul when an advantage seemed the most logical thing for the referee to apply. Nevertheless as United continued to surge forward the lack of concentration struck again. Chino fumbled a zipped in cross from the Man 62 left, damp gloves and a wet ball combining, and the ball fell once again to Navarro who buried the gift with aplomb. Shoulders began to droop as the belief ebbed from the players. Yet several of the men on the pitch were heard to shout encouragement to their team mates to once again stoke the fires of confidence.
A shout out at this moment to the Man 62 gaffer, Carlos Inareios, who exhibited fair play of the highest order. Man 62 supporters, and even players on the pitch , were extolling their manager to remove the ball boys in order to waste time. The manager rightly responded that that was not the correct attitude to show and it shows the man’s integrity. His side secured their 3 points, invaluable for their cause, after catching a United totally launched into the attack, on the counter with Payas finally settling the game. A scoreline that certainly flatters Man 62 but does no good to United’s cause that is slowly seeing the cushion with the teams below them start to erode.