Match corresponding to the 24th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Saturday 12th May at 20:30. Match report brough to you courtesy of Quantocoin and Turicum Private Bank.
Gibraltar United 3 – 1 Lincoln Red Imps F.C.
Ponce De Leon
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
8 Filipe Aguiar
15 Ayman Mouelhi
5 Erin Barnett
23 Andre De Oilviera Farinha
4 Yalany Baio
24 Jamie Bosio
39 Leo Pereyra
40 Carlos Carrasco
16 Daniel Ponce de Leon
9 Ayman Elghobashy
Marco Meireles on for Daniel Ponce de Leon
Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho on for Yalany Baio
Michael Negrette on for Leo Pereyra
Farinha makes his expected return to the line up and Elghobashy has recovered from several niggles to take his place up front. Leo also makes a start with Negrette dropping to the bench as Manolo seeks to contain Lincoln’s initial push and play on the counter. Great news as well in seeing Marco back in the team, albeit on the bench, after a bout of illness.
The brief was to equal or better St Jospeh’s result and boy did we better it. Parallels can be drawn to a few weeks ago when we beat Europa for St Jospeh’s to then beat Lincoln the following day. Well following St Joseph’s defeat on Thursday to Europa we face Lincoln Red Imps today.
Photo courtesy William Gracia
Back Row (l to r): Farinha, Barnett, Chino (C), Elghobashy, Mouelhi, Carrasco Front Row (l to r): Pereyra, Aguiar, Bosio, Baio, Ponce de Leon
United started brightly and aggressively and 60 seconds into the match Mr Barcelo had his first massive call to make when Elghobashy showed Roy Chipolina a clean set of heels, burst into the area and was felled; clear penalty from where we were sat but Mr Barcelo emphatically waved Red and White appeals away as the game continued. Was he setting the tone? The fact that Chipolina could not keep up with Ayman was made abundantly clear however.
United had an excellent first 15 minutes with the defence handling Lincoln’s attacks with ease. Farinha and Aguiar neutralised Lincoln’s tried and tested diagonal ball to the wings and provided the basis for our forward momentum. Forward momentum that got its just rewards 9 minutes into the match. Leo floated in a delicious ball that fell inbetween Chipolina and Oli and land at Dani’s feet just as he ghosted past them. His calm touch and subsequent composure allowed him to deftly poke the ball past a helpless Soler to give United a lead that not many in the stadium expected, though the hardcore United support did! He wheeled off in celebration in front of the Lincoln support as he was engulfed by team mates.
Ecstasy that was doubled a mere 120 seconds later as Elghobashy once again left Chipolina and the rest of the Lincoln defence in his wake. He won the byline, powered past the defence and as Soler came out to close the already tight angle he simply rolled the ball under the keeper’s body to score his 9th goal of the campaign and shock the Lincoln support into silence. United 2-0 up and the game 10 minutes old…not what Lincoln’s script had expected.
United ceded some possession then but each and everyone of the eleven men on the field of play went on to have a flawless first 45 minutes. Farinha was simply spectacular and around him the 10 other heroes battled. Carlos, Leo and Jamie made the middle of the park their own while Baio and Dani sacrificed some of their game to graft and toil on the wings. Ayman as always harrassing at the spearhead of our attack. Lincoln began to get frustrated and thier only clear chance was a Falu half volley parried by Chino. The other moments of danger came from crosses and corners. Supporters did not want the half to end such was the ease with which we were controlling the game. As Mr Barcelo blew his whistle a certain needle had worked itself into the game, needle that would overspill in the second half.
Lincoln started the second half with a double substitution that signaled their intent. Joseph Chipolina made his comeback from injury and Merino came on and Lincoln went on to the attack from the whistle. Wave after wave of white attack surged forward but the defence held firm. Mouelhi was being solid in the air and Barnett was throwing himslef into every block and challenge.
Lincoln began to create chances though. First it was a tame shot that Chino handled well, then a ball crashing against the post that kept our goal safe. Then it was Farinha with the first of a couple of goal line clearances. Hearts were palpitating and breaths being held but we were keeping the juggernaut out! Elghobashy was a constant threat though and every ball over the top meant a chase for Oli and Chipolina that frankly they didnt fancy. All that pressure however did have its fruit when Merio pulled one back on 66 minutes to give the game an extra edge moving into the last 25 minutes.
25 minutes of great friction if I may borrow Clausewitz’s phrase. There were some lengthy spells of stoppage due to United players being hurt. Lincoln players, keeper Lolo Soler in particular were taking great umbrage at this and tempers finally broiled over when Baio went over hurting his wrist. Soler was quick to remonstrate, again, and claim play acting. An action that incensed the United bench especially as Baio could not continue. As tempers flared Sanchez Alfaro was sent to the stands and Soler booked for what may be interpreted as unsporting behaviour. Lincoln assistant Coach, Segovia, was also sent to the stands by Mr Barcelo as frustrations began to get the better of people.
Yet try as they might Lincoln could not get through. Carrasco sent another ball off the line as Lincoln desperately sought the equaliser. Alas for them it did not come and hope soon evaporated late in the game as United sealed the three points. Elghobashy won his sprint against the defence for the umpteenth time and with Soler to beat he crashed a curled shot against the crossbar, United supporters could not believe it…yet there to pick up the pieces was Aguiar who had tapped his energy reserves to follow Ayman in. He picked up the rebound, shuffled his feet and neatly put the ball away to seal the points.
Watching the match was almost as exhausting as playing in it but what a massive three points! It now opens a 5 point gap with St Joseph’s in 4th and it largely negates the advantage of their game in hand. 3 more massive games to go with the next one against Glacis United on Friday evening at 20:30.
Vi et Animo, Ad Victoriam