Match corresponding to the 12th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Saturday 17th February at 18:15. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Qunatocoin
Gibraltar United 1 – 0 St Joseph’s F.C.
Ponce de Leon (P)
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
20 Michael Negrette
6 Brad Power
5 Erin Barnett
23 Andre De Oliviera Farinha
4 Yalany Baio
40 Carlos Carrasco Llorens
24 Jamie Bosio
17 Marco Meireles
16 Daniel Ponce de Leon
9 Ayman Elghobashy
Leo Pereyra on for Daniel Ponce de Leon
Filipe Da Cruz Ramahlo on for Jamie Bosio
Alberto Del Rio Fernandez on for Andre De Oliviera Farinha
Suspension forces Manolo to suffle his pack as Aguiar is serving a one match ban due to an accumulation of 5 yellow cards. Negrette and Power come back into the side for this pivotal match against St Joseph’s, the latter in an unfamiliar left back role. Both clubs know that a win will mean a big step forward in deciding who finishes 3rd this season. United come into the game in good form and so to St Joseph’s in what promises to be a cracker.
The match promised much and boy did it deliver. Two teams going for it knowing that the 3 points were crucial for their respective causes. St Joseph’s started the game very well positioned on the pitch and it took a while for United to find their rhythm. Dani was well shackled by sometimes two players at a time while the 3 central midfielders were all hands to the pump, Carrasco and Bosio were to go ahead and have tremendous performances.
The initial exchanges saw little goal mouth action with the pitched battle centered around midfield but as the play began to get more expansive chances galore were to fall to both teams, indeed Chino and Garica in the St Jospeh’s goal thr respective man of the match for their teams. Dani had our first chance with a powerful shot driven just wide while moments later Garcia made his first save of the match from an Elghobashy shot. United had woken up and took control of the game. Yet St Joseph’s are a tough side and fought back hard as possession ebbed and flowed and the fairly large crowd at the stadium were treated to a tense but entertaining match.
Such a tense affair would preclude a flurry of bookings and when Barnett went into the book early doors it augured what would a total of 13 bookings in a match that at times took on an ugly turn. Marco and Dani took our danger forward while St Joseph’s looked to JP Duarte and Galvin to create. Both defences were holding firm with Negrette holding his own at left full back. As United surged forward Bosio broke through into the box, whiel waiting for the through ball he was tackled from behind and Mr Canepa rightly pointed at the penalty spot despite the vociferous St Joseph’s appeals. Dani stepped up and rifled in his second penalty of the spot and his third goal for the club leaving Garcia no chance to get it.
Elghobashy headed wide shortly after from a Farinha cross and the Egyptian, who was having a decent game in harassing the St Joseph’s defence, was to also have another effort safely held by Garcia. The last chance of the first half was to fall to Muñoz but Chino was equal of the effort and would ensure that United would take a slender lead into the changing rooms. Several players on boths sides were very riled up and the worry was that 22 players would not finish on the field of play.
St Joseph’s came out the much better team in the second half knowing that a point was the bare minimum they needed out of this game. They asserted a tremendous amount of pressure in the first 15 minutes of the half that saw United under the cosh and suffering. Towering above that pressure was Chino that made a series of saves to keep his goal safe. Two in particular stand out, a close range reflex save from a header and a save from a dangerous free kick from the let of our area. The latter captured by Vanessa Correa on Twitter.
The skipper’s performance inspired his team mates ahead of him. With St Joseph’s fully comitted to the attack gaps opened up for Ayman to exploit. He twice got himself in the area but twice Garcia pulled off tremendous saves to keep the match at 1-0. Marco also could not best the keeper and several efforts went wide. The match was on a knife edge and it nearly toppled over when Barnett hand balled in the area following some deft ball control by Galvin. Mr Canepa, correctly so, pointed to the spot. Up stepped Galvin…
United off the hook and with time ebbing away the goal of 3 points getting closer and closer. A flurry of bookings ensued and Mr Canepa did very well in keeping the match under his control as tempers and frustrations simmered. Leo came on to add some composure to the middle of the park, replacing a tiring Dani who once again had a blinder. Pipo and Alberto also came on with 15 minutes to go to safeguard Farinha on a yellow and for Bosio who had had a tremendous game. More and more gaps were opening in the St Jospeh’s rearguard but tired minds meant that neither Pipo, Ayman nor Marco could convert the chances offered them. Mr Canepa called time on the game after the 5 minutes of alloted extra time were up to leave United with the 3 points and still in 4th but tied on points with St Joseph’s and with the head to head firmly in favour. Objective achieved!!
Photo courtesy of Neil Wilson
There were several unsavouy incidents at the touchline on full time involving several players from both teams and the St Joseph’s technical staff. Scenes like these have no place in or around a football pitch and we urge all sides to be tempered and remember that an increasingly number of young, football loving people are attending the games at the Stadium and the best of examples have to be set.