Match corresponding to the 1st Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Monday 25th September 2017 at 21:00. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank
Gibraltar United 2 – 0 Lynx Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
23 Andres De Oliveira Silva Farinha
6 Brad Power
5 Erin Barnett
2 Alberto Del Rio Fernandez
4 Yalany Baio
24 Jamie Bosio
10 Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho
17 Marco Meireles
8 Filipe Aguiar
19 Manuel Roman Salado
Ayman Elghobashy on for Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho
Michael Negrette on for Marco Meireles
Igor Djoman on for Jamie Bosio
The Premier Division is finally back and it sees United face off against Lynx FC in our first match of the 2017/18 season. United give debuts to 7 new summer signings in a new look line up. Chino has taken permanent ownership of the Captain’s armband, while Brad and Erin form the first centre half partnership of the season. Elsewhere it sees a debut for Aguiar, Meireles, Ramalho and Roman in a formidable attacking line up backed up by Bosio and Baio in midfield. Alberto and Farinha also make their debuts in the full back positions. De Torres and Negrette sit on the bench awaiting their chance following an Under 21 call up.
A blustery, Westerly day greeted United for their first match of the season against Lynx F.C. The match was preceeded by a minutes silence in memory of the passing of Mr Hidalgo Calvente, father to Pedro one of our coaches. The silence was observed impecably by all in attendance and our thanks go to the GFA and Lynx FC for agreeing to it.
United’s attacking intent was clear for all to see from the kick off as Roman kicked off the game. The native of Amsterdam was playing his first game for the club, one of 7 players making their debut from the start (3 more were to make their first appearance from the bench). Jamie Bosio touched upon this in a post match interview, ‘we’ve upped the intensity in our training and preseason matches and even though the team is completely new, it feels like we’ve known each other for a long time already. Today’s performance wasn’t the display of a team playing their first competitive game together which is excellent for us.’ Certainly the hard work preseason is starting to pay instant dividends.
Roman’s devillish pace was creating problems for Lynx since the off. His incessant hounding of the centre backs meant Lynx could not create from the back and they resorted to long balls which were inveitbaly picked up by Yalany Baio. The former Liverpool FC youth player was immense tonight. He was almost everywhere at once covering his defence while winning the second ball and then passing it on to the likes of Meireles and Pipo to create. Indeed United, despite a slow start, grew into the game and began to dominate the match. Chances came for Roman and Aguiar as United’s pressure began to tell.
However credit to Lynx and Allen Bulla who fought back and were more or less on an even pegging by half time. Credit too to the refereeing team lead by Mr Murphy who at all times let the ball flow and applied common sense to their appliction to the Rules of the game. Lynx’s attacking focus was clearly their gigantic forward Gargiulo that towered over everyone on the field. Erin and Brad pefrectly marshalled the Argentine striker who at no time was allowed to take advantage of his prodigious height. A defensive masterclass by the Gibraltarian internaitonals. Brad had this to say, ‘it was a tough but satisfying duel with their striker. We knew exactly what he was going to offer and how he would try to link up play with the players around him. A physical battle is something which I relish and I feel the defence as a whole came out on top yesterday. I have a very good understanding with Erin at the back and we dealt with everything he threw at us. Baio also did an excellent job of winning the second balls.’ Mr Murphy called time on the first half with United feeling pleased with themselves.
The second half kicked off in the same vein and apart from a shot from sub Cano it was all United. Roman had two chances saved while the midfield and defence confidently contained Lynx’s forrays. Manolo moved his bench on the 70th minute and the subs were to have a dramatic impact on the game. Micheal Negrette came on for Pipo and striker Ayman Elghobashy replaced Meireles who had taken a knock. Negrette in particular, was to have a instant impact. He moved to the right flank as Nuñez moved to a 4-4-2 formation. His first peach of a cross was met by the other sub Elghobashy, unmarked on the penalty spot. Whether it was nerves or the fact that the ball was perfect or that he was totally unmarked, he scuffed his lines and missed the header. Another chance going by the wayside.
Yet as usual United kept on plugging and the team got its just rewards on the 80th minute when Roman was found by Elghobashy wide on the ride. He delivered an pin pint accurate cross to Aguiar who was rushing unmarked into the left side of the area; a deft touch to set it up with his left and bang, a cross hit ball that cannoed off the far post into the net. A goal of immense quality in all of its three phases. United deservedly in the lead!
Euphoria on the stands and on the pitch as United continued to surge forward. Negrette was pinging them in from the right and Roman was driving the Yellows mad with his pace and guile. The last act, however was to belong to El Ghobashy. Baio spread the ball to Farinha who found Negrette on the right. One touch, quick look up and youngster floated in another peach that found Ayman far post. He won his tussle with the defender and thrusted the ball into the net for a dream debut goal!!! United 2-0 with 90 minutes on the clock.
Lynx finally had the fight drained out of them and the final four minutes of added time were inconsequential as Mr Murphy whistled for the end of the game United supporters applauded their heroes off the field. A highly anticipated match had delivered and United’s players had banged loudly on the table. Captain Chino spoke to us after the game and said, ‘ this win was vital in order to kick start our campaign on the right foot. The team performed very well considering we have a few new players.’ 3 points and a job well done!