Match corresponding to the 6th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Friday 10th November 2017 at 20:30. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.
Gibraltar United 0 – 1 Lincoln Red Imps FC
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
23 Andre De Oliveira Farinha
5 Erin Barnett
15 Aymen Mouelhi
3 Mattia Rosato
24 Jamie Bosio
4 Yalany Baio
8 Filipe Aguiar
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
19 Manuel Roman Salado
Ayman Elghobashy on for Michael Negrette
Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho on for Jamie Bosio
Tito De Torres on for Andre De Oliviera Farinha
Manolo gives recent signing from AS Roma, Mattia Rosato his debut in detriment to Alberto who drops to the bench. Otherwise it’s as we were with the manager retaining faith in the unit that has won three games on the bounce. Roman, full of confidence after his brace last week, leads the line with a compact and solid unit behind him.
A very peculiar sight greeted the gathered supporters at the Victoria Stadium this evening as the teams walked out. United as the Home team were resplendant in their Red and White striped kits, Lincoln as the Away team sported their Home colours of Red and Black stripes. The question being asked around the stands was if the referee had actually seen the kits before kick off as the potential for a kit clash and the confusion arising out of it was immense. This shot taken in the second half highlights the issue.
Lincoln kicked off the highly anticipated match and for the first 30 minutes United looked the more threatening of the two teams. Roman had Soler in action early on and Negrette blazed a long range shot wide after some fancy footwork afforded him space to shoot. Rosato, making his debut, was impressing with his pace and power but was soon in the book after a clash with Jean Carlos Garcia that left the latter with a bloodied nose. The game was close and intense with Lincoln enjoying spells of possession but creating little.
Their first chance fell to Bardon who fired from close in but could not beat Chino who pounced on the shot and kept the score at 0-0. Their second attempt came from a Calderon free kick that was once again saved by Chino. As the half crept to a close however, United rode their luck. A Falu header was brilliantly saved onto the crossbar by the United Captain, hit the line and was met by the cat like Chino that reacted faster than anyone to the action to safely gather the ball up. Mr Canepa shortly blew for half time and brought an exciting 45 minutes to a close. Both teams were evenly matched up with perhaps Lincoln being the most clinical but coming up against an inform Chino in goal.
United kicked the second half off and the match continued to stay at even pegging with both teams enjoying spells with the ball but not finding a way through. United’s attacking players were lacking the penetration to feed Roman while Lincoln’s forays were largely long balls looking for Falu. It was clear that this was a game of fine margins and the tension was palpable. Tension that was fed by a refereeing performance that agitated a lot of the match going public.
Chino was finally beaten by a Falu Aranda shot in the 65th minute. The keeper was able to parry a powerful Cabrera shot from distance but the force behind it made it ricochet off Chino’s gloves. Falu was quickest to react and struck the ball past the keeper and into United’s net. Manolo reacted instantly and threw on Elghobashy and Ramalho, both scorers in the week with the Reserves. The former’s strength and power was an instant handful for the Lincoln defence that soon had 3 men in and around Ayman. Pipo’s close ball control and class are a wonder to behold but the Red Imp’s line held firm. As time ebbed away De Torres was given his debut replacing an exhausted Farinha to add further attacking impetus as United sought an equaliser.
Mr Canepa started to brandish yellow cards as is if they were sweets on Halloween as 5 players went into the book in the last 10 minutes of the game as tensions rose and the clock wound down to full time. Aguiar blasted United’s final clear chance over the bar as the referee brought the match to an end after 5 minutes of added time at the end.
Though the match and the points had been lost United players and staff can be proud that they went toe to toe against Lincoln for most of the match. This was evident in the tightness of the scoreline and the tension evident on the pitch. A first defeat of the season in any competition and a very honourable loss too. It leaves United still in second place awaiting the outcome of the St Joseph’s vs Europa match being played on Saturday. Our next game is on Saturday 18th November when we square off against Glacis United.