Premier League

Gibraltar United vs Gibraltar Phoenix Football Club

Match corresponding to the 8th Round of the Gibraltar Premier Division and played on Saturday 25th November at 20:30. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.

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Gibraltar United 2 – 2 Gibraltar Phoenix FC

Ramalho (2)

Gibraltar United

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
3   Mattia Rosato
5   Erin Barnett
6   Brad Power
23 Andre De Oliveira Farinha
35 Igor Djoman
4   Yalany Baio
10 Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
19 Manuel Roman Salado


Jamie Bosio on for Igor Djoman
Aymen Mouehli on for Michael Negrette
Javier Cantelmi on for Manuel Roman Salado

Suspensions and form have forced Manolo’s hand for this crucial game against Phoenix. Elghobashy starts a three match ban while Aguiar misses out today for his double yellow versus Glacis United. Roman comes back into the starting XI while Pipo takes up Aguiar’s berth. Bosio and Mouelhi are rested while Djoman makes his first start in the Premier Division. Brad also makes his first start since his injury in matchday 2. A win is an absolute necessity to get our season back on track and leap frog St Joseph’s back into second place.

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A game that United threw away through  profligacy on front of goal and negative tactics on the part of the manager. Phoenix were able to peg back a 2 goal disadvantage in the last 10 minutes of the game, a game that Gib Utd had dominated for 80 minutes.


United were in complete control of the match from the kick off. Though Phoenix had a fair amount of possession United’s defence marshalled by Barnett and midfield, where Baio excelled once again, stifled any attacking intent. The first chance of the match came from a powerful Roman shot that was well handled by Phoenix’s man of the match, thier keeper Ruiz Garrido.

Phoenix tried to impose their physicality but United, with Djoman  supporting Baio in midfield were able to counter that threat and use the flanks to great effect. Ramalho in particular grabbed his chance with both hands. He used his guile and skill to great effect throughout the match and he created the first of four clear chances wasted by Salado as he put him in on through the keeper only for the striker to blast his effort wide.

United took the lead in the half hour mark with Negrette chalking up another assist by feeding Pipo on the edge of the box. Following some fancy footwork from the Portugese magician he was able to put the ball past Garrido to give United a well deserved lead. United in cruise control as Phoenix were forced into an early sub due to injury. Meireles then put Roman through on the keeper for the second time on the cusp of half time. As Garrido came out to narrow the angle Roman put his right footed effort wide of the marl. Mr Warwick brought the first 45 to end immediately after.


Roman had another excellent chance to score again straigth after the kick off. He was put through by Djoman but his lob over the keeper sailed aimlessly over the bar. Though he had left his shooting boots at home Roman’s pace was impossible for the Phoenix defence to deal with. He harried them incessantly and was a constant darting missle as Phoenix tried to play the ball out of defence. A third one on one on the keeper, a chance he forged due to his electric pace, forced Garrido into the save of the match as he brilliantly turned the effort wide. One can forgive Roman no squaring the ball to Pipo, unmarked in the area and certain to score, seeing that his efforts had created the chance.

Pipo was, however, to chalk up his second goal a few minutes later. He displayed some dazzling footwork in the 6 yard box sending defenders one way and then the next, the latter completely aware that any touch would have meant a penalty. Pipo was left to calmly give the keeper the eyes and slot the ball past him to put United 2-0 up and seemingly heading to three points.


Shortly after it began to unravel. Roman squandered an umpteenth chance sending a shot so close wide of the post that it must have shaved silvers off it. The manager then made his substitutes and it allowed Phoenix to creep into the game. Djoman and Negrette came off for Mouehli and Bosio. He handed the initiative to the opponent at at time when United were dominant and asserting themselves in all facets, indeed Chino had only one save to make from Narvaez to that point.

As a more defensive mentality took hold United went deeper and deeper and allowed Phoenix that silver of hope. What seemed an unecessary shift of mentality set off a red alert when Narvaez pulled one back. Nervousness and uncertainty crept into United’s game, whatever masterplan Manolo had had in mind was unravelling before his very eyes as wave after wave of Phoenix pressure, not seen before this point, assaulted Chino’s goal. The mistake was finally compounded in the 88th minute, yet another late goal conceded, with Phoenix getting an equaliser from Carrasco, though it had the strong wiff off offside. Rosato had a late chance to seal the game but his header, subsequently flagged offside, went over the bar from point blank range.

A game that was in the bag ended up as a draw through negative tactics and a bad day at the office for Roman. A game that United should have put to bed way earlier was settled late on. United now third face Europa FC on Sunday 3rd December in the last game before the extended break.

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Gibraltar United FC vs Europa Point Football Club

Match corresponding to the 27th round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Monday 22nd May at 20:30. Match report is brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank, thanks for your support!

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Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 2 Europa Point Football Club


Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Ashley Perez
17 Kaylan Rumbo
5   Jason Pusey
19 Brad Power
8   Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez
15 Aymen Mouelhi
26 Ashley Rodriguez
23 Jesse Victory
9   Evan Green
4   Anthony Hernandez
7   Robert Montovio (C)


Erin Barnett on for Brad Power
Paul Grech on for Ashley Rodriguez
Jamie Currer on for Evan Green

The last game of the season sees us already safe as Man 62’s last results have meant that United are safe and the former are resigned to have to play the playoff. An unusual line in up in the usual left back was in goal covering for the injured Chino. Jesse Victory comes into the line up in place of Paul Podesta while Kaylan Rumbo covers at left back.

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There was definitely an end of season feel to the game during its early stages. United safe in the league and Europa Point already relegated. The early exchanges saw United keeping possession as Europa Point’s youngsters tried to engage in a pressing game that would force United into a mistake. In a snapshot of what our season has been like United were very solid at the back but lacking the creative spark to make a chance that would break the deadlock.

As it was Perez was the first ‘keeper’ that was called into action as he easily gathered up a shot from Dannoun. United’s only real chance of the game came from header from Pusey that flew harmlessly wide. Nothing much more to report and supporters were hoping for a more entertaining match in the second half.

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It was a MUCH more entertaining match no doubt in the second half. Three Red and White chances came in quick succession. A Jesse Victory through ball found Robert only to find an excellent Hankins in goal be the equal of the effort. A few minutes later an excellent cross into the box by Rodriguez was an inch away from Montovio’s extended toe. Thirdly Anthony was put clear by a defensive mistake only to once again be thwarted by an excellent hand from Hankins. The teenage keeper has been Europa Point’s highlight of the season since his loan move from Lincoln and his future certainly looks bright.

Europa Point took the lead amidst all this United dominance. Golpe was given the freedom of the Victoria Stadium by the United team to travel deep into the United half and unleash a powerful shot from distance that Perez could not stop from trickling into the net. The passivity of United’s tackling in the middle of the park had meant that the opposing player was allowed to the edge of the box unhindered.

As is customary United fought back ferociously and Europa Point’s lead was short lived with Robert finally finding the net after an assist from substitute Paul Grech, playing against his former team. The solid Hankins was finally beaten and United were now looking to put the game to bed. Anthony was once again foiled by Hankins and as the game petered to a close it entered its most frantic stage.

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First it was Europa Point that took a surprise lead for a second time in a very similar fashion to the first goal. The lack of tackling anywhere near Ethan Britto allowed the youngster to approach the area unopposed and once again beat Perez from distance. United players looked shocked, but not as shocked as supporters in the stands who could not believe what they were seeing. 3 minutes later United scored after Anthony was finally able to out fox both defenders and his nemesis Hankins to nestle the ball into the corner of the net to bring the score to 2-2.

Europa Point had the last say of the game as they had the ball in the net again at the death only for the ref, Mr Gilbert, to initially give the ball and then after some consultation with his assistants flag it off for offside. The controversy was followed by a number of bookings and a final whistle that brought an end to this most arduous of seasons.

Though a full season review will follow shortly it has been a long 27 game season that sees United improve one position on last year finishing on 7th.

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The Premier League final standings.

The players and staff enjoyed a well earned pizza and beer break in the changing rooms as attention now turns to Under 21 and Full Internationals as well as what promises to be an exciting pre-season as the transfer window opens in matter of weeks.

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A massive thank you goes to our sponsors, supporters, technical staff and of course the players that have given their all for 27 games and over 11 months of a long, hard season. Enjoy the Summer and we will be back soon!

Vi et Animo, Ad Victoriam

Europa Football Club vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 26th Round of the Gibrltarian Premier Division and played on Friday 12th May at 20:30. Match report comes to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank

Turicum Logo 2016, white on blue background, two lines - 2 June 2016

Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 7 Europa Football Club

Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
3   Ashley Perez
5   Jason Pusey
19 Brad Power
21 Erin Barnett
8   Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez
26 Ashley Rodriguez
15 Aymen Mouelhi
9   Evan Green
14 Paul Podesta
4   Anthony Hernandez


Jamie Currer on for Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
Robert Montovio on for Anthony Hernandez

Following last weeks morale booster of a win against Glacis United, the Red and Whites faced title challengers Europa FC. With Jamie Boiso out for the season Ashley Rodriguez joined Aymen in midfield in what proved to be the only change in the line up vis a vis last week. Now doubt a very tough 90 minutes ahead, that were soon going to be made even tougher.

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Credit goes to Chris Correa and Correa Photography for all the photos used in toady’s write up.


Line up

United were well aware of the task ahead of them in this penultimate game of the season. Our earlier games against Europa FC has seen tenacious rearguard performances that resulted in respectable score lines and decent team performances and for about 10 minutes United were able to be in a game that also had supreme importance for Europa and their title aspirations.


Pishu in amongst it in the opening exchanges.

Double disaster struck on the tenth minute. Europa FC opened the scoring via a Toscano goal that Chino tried desperately to keep out. As Mr Warwick indicated for play to resume the keeper stayed on the ground wincing in pain and motioning for help; he was clearly in pain and some distress. Medical staff from both teams, including the GFA doctor, rushed onto the pitch amid calls for an ambulance. It took a while to stabilise Chino’s shoulder but the prognosis was not a good one, a suspected dislocated shoulder. An injury to Dani Wink meant that Ashley Perez had to go into goal, something he already did early in the season against the same opposition.


Our thoughts are with Chino.

Europa, as expected, dominated the game from this point on and a deluge of goals followed. Credit however needs to go to the team and the stand in keeper that did pitch in with several good saves of note. At no time did Red and White heads drop or at no time did the fight leave the team as they worked doubly hard to ensure Ashley had the necessary protection.


Perez in goal!

United were to also have several chances, two in particular with the score at 2-0. First Anthony had a goal disallowed for offside, a close call if ever there was one. Currer drifted in a ball from the left that Anthony buried with certain aplomb only for the officials to have it chalked off. Aymen followed up soon after with a miss from close range. A goal was the least this team deserved as they faced adversity against perhaps the best drilled and organised team in Gibraltar.


Anthony had a goal disallowed for offside.

Attention now turns to the season defining game against Europa Point on the 22nd May. United know a win means we are safe, though events may conspire between now and kick off that might ensure our safety without having to kick a ball in anger as Man 62 play both their remaining games before we do. Ultimately our fate rests in our hands and the players are well up for the fight. The final say in this report is a tale of two keepers. Firstly thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery go to Chino, and total respect goes to Ashley Perez who stepped into the breach in the most Shakespearean of ways!

Europa Point Football Club vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 18th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Saturday 25th February 2017 at 18:15

Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 1 Europa Point Football Club

Gibraltar United Football Club

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
3  Ashley Perez
5  Jason Pusey
15 Aymen Mouelhi
8  Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez
24 Jamie Bosio
23 Jesse Victory
6   Dexter Panzavechia
14 Paul Podesta
10 Anthony Hernandez
7   Robert Montovio (C)


Ashley Rodriguez on for Jamie Bosio
Kaylan Rumbo on for Anthony Hernandez
Evan Green on for Robert Montovio

Jesse Victory and Anthony Hernandez are rewarded with recalls to the first XI after their performances against Europa FC last time out. Montovio is also back after injury which means Rodriguez and Green drop to the bench while Barnett has been unable to recover from a niggling injury.

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If last week was all about losing with honour this match was quite the opposite. Gib Utd proved incapable of breaking down a dogged Europa Point side. Though the first half was one of United dominance the lack of bite up front meant that on loan Lincoln keeper Hankin only had to deal with floated in crosses. One of those crosses was summarily meant by Aymen’s head and was only a whisker wide. An Ashley Perez cross cum shot cannoned off the upright and the ball unluckily went between the open legs of Podesta. Fortune, that fickle mistress deciding to abandon United for the moment.

The second half could not have had a worse portent. Jamie Bosio went into a 50/50 tackle with another Lincoln loanee Debarr. Both players clashed fiercely in a fairly contested contest but Jamie’s cry of pain was audible to anyone at the Stadium. He writhed in pain on the floor as the physio run on. Any concerns supporters had quickly deepened as news filtered through that an ambulance had been summoned. Jamie was stretched off the ground and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

United continued to fail to penetrate Europa Point’s defence with aimless long balls and substitutions had no major impact on the result. A somewhat generous penalty given by Mr Warwick in the 90th minute sealed the 3 points for Europa Point who give themselves a life line in their fight for relegation. For United these are worrying times as form has dipped the first murmurs of disgruntlement can be heard amid supporters.

Mons Calpe SC vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 3rd Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Saturday 15th October at 18:15.

Gibraltar United Football Club  1 – 3 Mons Calpe SC


Gibraltar United Football Club

11  Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
22 Jamie Currer
21 Erin Barnett
19 Brad Power
5   Jason Pusey
2   Carl Thomas
24 Jamie Bosio
26 Ashley Rodriguez
15 Aymen Mouehli
9   Evan Green
7   Robert Montovio (C)


Paul Podesta on for Carl Thomas
Andrew Hernandez on for Aymen Mouehli
Kaylan Rumbo on for Evan Green

Premier Division football resumes after the recent Internationals and Gib Utd face a familiar foe in Mons Calpe SC. United remain unbeaten versus their opponents today after meeting and beating Mons 3 times during the Second Division Championship season in 2014/15 but the 2016 version of Mons Calpe is currently the surprise package of the Division sitting joint top and unbeaten so far. Anthony Hernandez is still missing through injury so Evan Green makes his first appearance of the season with Manolo seeking his pace to supplement Robert’s movement up front. Jamie Currer returns in the left wing back role with Ashley Perez dropping to the bench. Elsewhere its as we where with young Tyron ‘Tiger’ Oton making his first appearance in a call up with the subs keeper berth on the bench.

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United suffered a very bad day at the office with Mons Calpe deservedly taking the 3 points home in a match that saw United show very little attacking intent until the dying moments of the game. That said Mons had two chances for their goals and little else. United started the match looking to their solidity to hold Mons’ dangerous forward ‘Pibe’, formerly of Glacis United. As is becoming the norm, United gifted possession to their rivals relying instead on their strengths at the back to provide counter attacks.

As it was Mons had plenty of the ball but little penetration to bother Chino with. The first goal when it came was the antithesis of what United stand for. A darting run was covered by Chino. A deft dink over the keeper left the ball in the 6 yard box with two of our defenders to cover the line and the ball. A catalouge of errors left the ball at the feet of Di Piedi to tap in unexpectedly among the perplexed look of our defenders. Their second goal, courtesy of Otero came with a free header from the penalty spot from a corner. United went in 2-0- down at half time with nothing to show in terms of attacking intent other than the incessant running and chasing down of Evan Green.

Evan was joined by half time substitute Paul Podesta who changed the dynamic of the team somewhat. He gave our attack a focal point and he was impeccable in the air winning every ball that came his way and also winning the physical battle too. Testament of this is the fact that two of Mons’ defenders started to pick him up and our first chances were to come due to his fighting spirit. Evan Green was provided with a gilt edged chance from about 10 yards out. Following good work from Paul and Robert he found himself in space but with ball falling to his weaker left foot he drilled his shot wide at a time when United were putting Mons under the cosh.

The first 20 minutes of the second half showed that when this team shows attacking intent it can hurt and bring damage to bear on its opponents. The question is why wait? With ‘Pishu’ Hernandez coming on for Aymen United’s left wing saw the best of our forward play with Currer, Hernandez and Podesta harrassing the Mons right back Dos Santos. Little work however for the Mons keeper was created. It was Mons instead who were gifted a 3rd goal when the whole of the defence just stood still to give Cascio enough time to lob the ball over ones head and rifle the ball past Chino.

The last act was to fall to Jamie Bosio, who gave his all in the heart of the midfield; getting booked but receiving little protection from the ref. Half falling over he lobbed the Mons keeper from just outside the 6 yard box to open his account with the club i a spectacular manner. Little consolation but United supporters in the stands will expect a more ambitious approach from the manager int he games to come.

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Europa Football Club

Match corresponding to the 2nd Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played at the Victoria Stadium on Saturday 3rd October 2015 at 19:30

Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 2 Europa Football Club


Gibraltar United Football Club

1    Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11   Jared Buhagiar
23  Kenneth Chipolina
2    Aaron Collado
88  Carl Thomas
90  Jamie Currer
99  Jamie Bosio
16  Steven Gilbert
18  Byron Espinosa
10  Andrew Lopez (C)
8    Robert Montovio


Justin Collado on for Jamie Currer
Naoufal El Andalussi on for Steven Gilbert
Alan Parker on for Andrew Lopez

United faced off against Europa FC. Another historic name of local football but with an opposing philosophy to the one adopted by Gibraltar United in that their ranks are full of foreign players. Local sporting media picked up on this in the build up to the game. Whatever their philosophy no one can deny that Europa have made a great start to the season. They took Lincoln all the way in the Pepe Reyes Cup and played very well in their league opener against the Red Imps last week. They have qualified for the Europa League for two seasons in a row and no one in the club was taking this match lightly. Nuñez’s line up indicated as much.

Gib Utd XI vs Europa FC

Gib Utd XI vs Europa FC

With Mark Casciaro serving a ban imposed on him by the GFA it was left to Steven Gilbert to take on the mantle of defensive midfield cover. He would no doubt be busy. Mindful of not seeing much of the ball, Nuñez went for the ultra fit Currer at the expense of Bakkari to support Carl Thomas on the right side of our team. A midweek injury to Lee Buhagiar meant that Kenneth Chipolina, on loan from Lincoln FC, made his second debut for the club. Both he and Byron Espinosa had played a full 90 minutes for the Reserves midweek. ‘Chino’ Goldwin was also back in goal having served his one match ban in the aforementioned Reserves game.

Your usual reporter was unable to attend the match but thanks to @GFTMatchDay@5point_4 and @FGScoreCentre for their excellent coverage of the match keeping us all abreast of the goings on at the stadium. It was clear that Europa FC would be having the lion’s share of the possession and so it was. Their first goal came from a header on the 6th minute from Pedro Carrion. Headers were to be a constant source of threat throughout the match as most of Europa’s chances came from such opportunities. 3 more times at least in the first half, with Chino excelling himself on one particular save. The second half was more of the same. Their second goal came from a well delivered cross that was put away by Javi Martinez in the 77th minute. Good to see Naoufal El Andalussi and Alan Parker making their senior debuts for the club.

Captain Andrew Lopez spoke to us after the game telling us he was proud of the effort every single player had made on the pitch. He conceded the goals were mistakes that can be rectified and he was proud to lead such a group of players against such a prestigious club. He saw the performance against one of the top sides as one to build a lot of confidence on moving forwards especially in our next game verses champions Lincoln FC. Indeed these thoughts were echoed by other supporters and opposition players alike.

No games now until the 16th October as Gibraltar play their last two UEFA Euro 2106 qualifiers away at Georgia and versus Scotland in Faro. Good luck to our goalkeeper Liam Neale who is joining the squad.

FC Britannia XI vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 1st Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played at the Victoria Stadium on Sunday 27th September 2015 at 16:30.

Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 1 FC Britannia XI


Gibraltar United Football Club

1    Kyle ‘Chino’ Golwin
11  Jared Buhagiar
3   Lee Buhagiar
2   Aaron Collado
88 Carl Thomas
25  Mark Casciaro
99  Jamie Bosio
10  Andrew Lopez (C)
20 Abderrahman Bakkari
7   Justin Collado
8   Robert Montovio


Byron Espinosa on for Justin Collado
Steven Gilbert on for Jamie Bosio
Liam Neale on for Abderrahman Bakkari

Football is back. Gibraltar United took to the field for the first time since that evening on the 2nd June when we were crowned Division 2 champions. It all seems a life time away and much has changed in the club. Manager, Manolo Nuñez put out his first XI as United manager and he kept faith with last year’s solid back 5. Mark Casciaro remained the play maker at the hub of the midfield with débutante Jamie Bosio alongside him. Abdul Bakkari and Robert Montovio, both no strangers to football at this level also made their debuts. Club stalwarts Andrew Lopez and Justin Collado finalised the first United XI to play Premier League football for the first time in years. Supporters in the stand were expectant as the match pitted the last two winners of the Second Division against each other.

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The match, to be honest, started in a very turgid and pedestrian manner both sides not wanting to make a slip up that would mean an early goal. Britannia clearly had the best of the opening exchanges with our defense looking uncharacteristically nervous. Perhaps the occasion or the nervous anticipation prior to the match had got the better of the players but we were cagey at best. Britannia had no real class players to speak off and their play was largely based on punts over the top seeking to exploit the pace of winger Pishvaie. The first chance of note came on the 12th minute when ‘Chino’ was able to easily parry a tame Camacho header. That was pretty much it, other that a game full of stops and starts with lots of fouls. There was little opportunity for the football to flow such was the tension on the pitch. Ref, Mr Warwick had at this point a solid control of the match, something that unfortunately was not going to last.

The only genuine heart in mouths moment came on the 30th minute when an Otero header from a whipped in cross beat Chino and came off the crossbar. It was almost fumbled into our own net by one of the defenders but thankfully slid out for a corner. United had little to show up front with Robert Montovio ploughing a lone furrow chasing shadows. No matter how hard Collado or Abdul tried they couldn’t get in decent support positions to give the isolated Montovio some support. Just before half time a clearly offside Britannia goal was disallowed by the assistant. As the whistle blew United supporters where somewhat downbeat, Britannia had won the first half on points.

United in defence

United in defence

The second half started brighter for United as Mark Casciaro began to get more and more of the ball. He was everywhere on the pitch today, covering every blade of synthetic grass, getting tackles in and getting his team mates to move around him. Indeed, he became the target of some rough handling by the Britannia players and the referee failed to give him any meaningful protection. Yet despite the improvement it was Britannia that had the clearer chances, all of which did not really trouble the dependable Chino in goal. Manolo Nuñez had seen enough and on the hour mark sent in Byron Espinosa, for his debut, and Steven Gilbert to have fresh legs and lungs on the pitch. The next incident, however was to have a definite impact on the game.

Britannia winger Camacho pounced on an error by Lee Buhagiar to put himself on a 1 on 1 situation against Chino. As he bore down on the keeper his touch was somewhat heavy and the ball veered towards the corner. Chino, already committed, was adjudged by Mr Warwick to have clipped a clever outstretched leg. He pointed at the spot and called the keeper over. His red card hoisted above an unbelieving Chino meant the keeper had his marching orders. The crowd instantly heckled the referee. Though the penno was understandable the red card was not. The ball was clearly veering away from the goal yet off he went and Liam Neale made his debut under the most stressful of circumstances. He nearly even got a hand to it but Pishvaie netted Britannia’s first goal of the season. It was not the last time this individual was to have some centre role in the match!

Going down to 10 men seemed to galvanise United that surged forward as we used to do last season. Byron Espinosa should the class that mark him as a player of immense potential. He was put through by a delightful Steven Gilbert ball having ghosted in from the wing. It was only a last ditch tackle by the defender that stopped him from going 1 on 1 with Barnfather in goal. Gaining in confidence United sought the equaliser. Andrew Lopez run his socks off while Montovio prodded and was looking for the space in which that killer ball could be delivered. Yet as legs tire so do minds, a quick Britannia counter from a ball we lost saw Mancilla rifle off a quick shot that hardly left the ground. Liam, only recently on the pitch, dove quickly and parried the goal bound shot with his legs. The young keeper showing why he is in the Gibraltar National Squad.

Tried as they could, despite Britannia’s time wasting, United could not find the much desired breakthrough until the 85th minute. Following a save from a Britannia free kick Liam launched the ball forward. Robert immediately got in between the sky blue center halves and he must have disconcerted them as a very poor pass was intercepted by him. He danced past the defenders and left the keeper for dead with a cool finish from the left side of the area into the far corner of the goal. Supporters erupted in joyous celebration as the refereeing upto that point had left a lot to be desired.

Robert celebrates in front of the United support!

Robert celebrates in front of the United support!

Unfortunately the refereeing was to take a turn for the worse. With seconds remaining Montovio was shoved to the ground by Britannia player Pishvaie after some handbags between attacker and defenders. Pishvaie had no reason being there but in he went to shove Robert to the ground. With tensions running high players of both teams congregated on the scene as more shoving and pushing ensued. Pishvaie seemed especially up for it and continued goading the United players. All the while Mr Warwick stood observing the scene. As tempers settled Pishvaie saw the red card to which there was more shoving and pushing. What is inexplicable is the referee’s next action. With all the pomp in the world he marched to Mark Casciaro and brandishes a red card to the astonishment of everyone in the stands. Mark had not shoved or pushed anyone or incited or aggravated the incident. Considering he had been kicked from one end of the pitch to the other it was surprising to say the least that he was sent off for something he was not involved in. Meanwhile Pishvaie, adding dissent to his red, was still on the pitch reluctant to leave. The whistle blew soon after but the incident had left a bad taste in supporter’s mouths as we had fought hard for a point.

Next up is the Reserves against Lions Reserves while our next match is next Saturday against Europa FC.

Interview with Club Captain Andrew Lopez

Club Captain Andrew Lopez took time from being a father, his full time job and the busy training schedule to speak to us about how he is feeling about the forthcoming season. In many ways Andrew is the heart and soul of the Club who has worked tirelessly since the relaunch of the club. He is now also part of the Committee and has given, and continues to give all for the Cause.


We first asked Andrew how he felt the pre season had gone. He was quick to point out that pre season kicked off 3-4 days straight after the league had finished. At first it was a shock to the system but the squad was soon working extremely hard since as we need to have a higher level of fitness to compete. The introduction of the new professional manager has helped us improve a lot.

As one of the longest serving members of the squad we asked him about the quality of player that the club had been able to attract during the off season. His answer was emphatic!

“The team is starting to form a solid foundation. Many Gibraltarian players have joined the cause willingly wanting to help this great club achieve its goals. The importance of maintaining ‘only local players’ is a major boost for all those who have been side-lined ever since Gibraltar attained UEFA membership due to the influx of foreign players. We have signed great players with keen ambitions to perform, which is what we are always after. Youngsters as well as experienced players who have boosted the morale, which was already high with having won the 2nd Division and promotion to Premier last season.”

“We have great players in the squad, and I can’t really mention anyone in particular as there are so many quality and technically gifted locals, who can indeed perform to the highest level. All I can say is that the GFA manager should be looking thoroughly at this squad for locals who will be playing the full 90 minutes and I can guarantee they will give their all for Gibraltar. Call ups will are sure to come as the quality in the squad is unmistakeable.”


Andrew was as emphatic when asked whether he felt the team was ready for the challenges to come:

“We have set standards very high, if we wouldn’t, what would be the point? We always need to set high objectives or achievements in order to perform to the maximum. This will get the best out of our players, especially if they want to give all they have for this club. The main objective is challenging for the Europa League spots, we cannot get any higher than that, however, I do believe staying in the Premiership is more than essential this year.”

We also enquired at to his feelings in leading a squad comprised only of locals:

“As Club captain, it is a great honour being part of a squad comprised completely of Gibraltarians. As mentioned earlier, everyone at the club wants to succeed… sometimes the willingness and ‘amor propio’ as we say, can take your further than skill or professionalism on its own. We are a great bunch of players and the love I have for this club and its players is something I cannot really explain. I always go out of my way to help the club in good and bad moments and so do many other players who have a long history here.

I understand the difficulty of having ‘only locals’ in a strong Premier League filled with foreigners who have been playing in some more professional leagues throughout their career. I can truly say that if most of us were born in any other country which was UEFA approved, we would have been competing in professional leagues too, as the skill and technique of many Gibraltarians is something which you cannot deny. Its just unfortunate that we have only just joined UEFA a couple of years ago. This, however, will benefit many of our  youngsters who now have something great to look forward to; the Champions League!


Andrew left us with this final thought: “We must keep focused and work together as a team, but i can really say we are more than a team, we are a family and will push ourselves in becoming a strong force.”

We thank Andrew for his time and I know he is more than eager for the ball to start rolling this weekend and cannot wait to lead his troops into battle. Andrew certainly epitomises our club motto of ‘Vi et Animo, Ad Victoriam’. With Heart and Soul to Victory! Remember Sunday, 16:30 vs FC Britannia FC XI. Football’s back!