Match corresponding to the 14th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Wednesday 28th February 2018 at 20:30. Match report brought to you courtesy of Quantocoin and Turicum Private Bank.
Gibraltar United 3 – 1 Mons Calpe S.C.
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
23 Andre De Oliviera Farinha
15 Aymen Mouelhi
6 Erin Barnett
20 Michael Negrette
29 Leo Pereyra
40 Carlos Carrasco Llorens
24 Jamie Bosio
17 Marco Meireles
16 Daniel Ponce de Leon
9 Ayman Elghobashy
Brad Power on for Aymen Mouelhi
Filipe Da Cruz Ramahlo on for Leo Pereyra
Javier Cantelmi on for Daniel Ponce de Leon
Manolo welcomes back Barnett and Meireles from a one match ban for 5 yellows but Baio and Aguiar are still missing through suspension. Roman is now out for the season and that means that the likes of Pipo, De Torres and Prescott are all fighting for a spot on the team and minutes on the pitch. Brad drops to the bench as Barnett resumes his center half position and Negrette comes in to cover at left back and a pivotal match against a resurgeant Mons Calpe.
The team walked out wearing shirts in homage to Roman following his horror injury last week and were keen to gain 3 points in his honour. However, in all honesty, this was the highlight of the first half. A first 45 minutes in which we did not turn up at all. Mons were quicker and faster to the ball, harder to the tackle and hungrier for the win. Indeed, United created little while Chino had a busy game of it. He made two spectacular saves prior to Pibe opening the scoring on the half hour mark. Though the goal had a sniff of offside it was simply what Mons deserved. United seemed powerless to react and with a Ponce de Leon acrobatic overhead kick the highlight for United, the outlook for the second half seemed as bleak as the forecasted weather.
Manolo started the half with two substitutions. Seeking more pace and energy he introduced Power and Pipo on for Mouelhi and Pereyra. Our play had also taken a dramatic turn, whatever rocket Manolo had fired at the players at half time seemed to have its desired effect. As the half progessed spectactors at the stadium were treated to comeback for the ages, one enscribed in the annals of football lore with the sweat and toil of these 11 men in Red and White.
United took the game to Mons with aplomb. Pipo looked sharp and had a shot sail wide as he cut inside. Marco was begining to dictate play while Bosio and Carrasco were simply impeccable in centre midfield. Mons were gradually pushed back into their half as the pressure began to tell. Elghobashy tried his luck and so did Dani, with Grasso in the Mons’ goal equal to both efforts. Having lost control of the match Mons Calpe sought to regain control via some physical play which Mr Barcelo had in check throughout. 53 minutes and Michael Negrette took centre stage. Dani crossed in a ball following another Mons foul. It was headed away only to find that sweet right foot of Michael Negrette. A possible contender for goal of the season from fully 30 meters out saw Grasso have no answer to the rocket the young Under 21 International sent his way. In the words of Andy Gray, ‘take a bow son, take a bow!’.
The crowd went wild with delirium, delirium that was tempered moments later what an uncharacteristic Chino lack of focus almost allowed Pibe in, his squared pass to Blanco and subsequent shot at goal went wide; a timely warning! United continued to attack. Brad put a headed corner wide while Elghobashy once again went close. Mons had no answer to the Red and White tide. Blood was in the air and United had the scent in their noses. The game was there for the taking and United only needed to find that spark, that bit of magic to seal Mons’ fate.
Cue Farinha. The Portugese right back has steadily become a fan favourite with his runs, his determination and his full on attitude to the game. Today he can also add a fantastically taken goal with his left peg to that repetoire. Following a one-two with Dani out on the right Farinha cut inside. Emualting those great right backs of old, he dropped a shoulder, ghosted past the defence and wrapped his left foot around the ball. Grasso dived but nothing the keeper could do would stop a strike of such quality. The ball went straight to the top left hand corner of the goal to give United the lead they so deserved in this second half.
Two spectacular strikes gave the team its rewards for its efforts; and indeed it was a team effort in the second 45. Barnett led from the back like a general leading his troops to battle while Jamie and Carlos provided the platform on which to build our forward momentum. By the time Marco got out third in the 84 minute Mons Calpe were dead and buried.
A true game of two halves United needed the result and the performance following the disappointing draw against Lions last time out. We climb to third pending St Joseph’s game against Lions later in the week. A great mid week game to highlight all that is good and great about this game!