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Hernandez: “I think the club is in the right direction to winning a trophy this season”

FG caught up with St Joseph’s and Gibraltar’s Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez to talk about the recent win vs Mons Calpe, his sides chances at a trophy this season and more.

Photo (C) Black and Burst

Pishu played 45 minutes in St Joseph’s 4-0 win vs Mons Calpe and was a key part of the team in that match – how did he feel the game went: “I think it was a match which was very important for us to win. We had dropped 6 important points in the lead up to this game and therefore it was important for us to get back to winning ways and stay close to the top spot in the league. I think this win puts us in a good position to remain title contenders.”

The 22-year-old has proven himself to be very versatile, playing at full-back, in the centre of midfield, and against Mons Calpe on the right wing – how important does Pishu think being comfortable in multiple positions is? “That is true. I do feel comfortable in multiple positions and I am happy that managers are comfortable and confident on playing me in multiple different positions. This is something I try to work towards and keep an open mind.”

St Joseph’s sit third, three points off the top and face Bruno’s Magpies in the Rock Cup – so what chances does Hernandez give of his side lifting a trophy come the end of the season? “I think the club is in the right direction to winning a trophy this season and has been for a number of years now. The team is more ready than ever and if we can get momentum again I think there is no stopping us.”

Finally, the midfielder is in the preliminary squad for Gibraltar’s upcoming internationals – does he think he’s done enough to earn his space in the squad: “I have been training extremely hard to present myself as an option to Julio and the GFA. If he does select me for the final squad it is a privilege and I will make sure in contributing the most I can!”

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Chibuike Nwosu hat-trick seals win for Glacis

Glacis United returned to winning ways as a hat-trick from Nigerian striker Chibuike Darlington Nwosu saw them sweep College 1975 aside 4-1.

Nwosu got his first after 20 minutes when he got on the end of Wessel Witbreuk’s cross to guide the ball past Warwick. The 20-year old then made it 2-0 for Glacis just two minutes later and they looked well on their way to secure the three points.

Glacis continued to dominate and went into the break holding a two goal lead.

College was given a lifeline when Adam Gracia pulled a goal back just two minutes into the second half but Glacis’ two-goal lead was restored in the 55th minute through Samson Bolaji Ajayi.

Nwosu completed his hat-trick in the 58th minute to make it 4-1 to Glacis before they found themselves with 10 men after Lython Marquez was sent off for a second bookable offence.

This win sees Glacis closes the gap to Challenge Group leaders Magpies to five points while College 1975 remain tenth.


Lineups

Glacis United – Zappacosta; Smith, Thorne-Llambias, Derksen, Brinkman (Castle 79), Bosio, Witbreuk (Galliano 67), Marquez, Ajayi, Nwosu (Kaleba 90), Londero

Unused subs: Fluxa, Andrulli, Borghi, Currer

College 1975 – Warwick; Ramundo, Hughes (Gracia 46), Perez, Victory (Parkinson 46), Pacheco (Marin 65), Ruh (Galan 88), Franco, Parragues (Ruiz 69), Thorne, Molina

Unused subs: Migge, Valero

Yellow cards: Zappacosta, Brinkman, Marquez, Kaleba; Warwick, Ramundo, Hughes, Ruiz

Red cards: Marquez

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Manchester 62 in comfortable win over Europa Point

A brace from Dylan De Los Santos and goals from Robert Guiling and Liam Thorne helped Manchester 62 towards a 4-1 victory over Europa Point yesterday.

Photo (C) Rough and Ready

Europa Point saw the likes of Louis Parral, Elias Juel-Saleh and Omar El Yettefti return to the starting lineup, while for Manchester 62, Guiling added more experience back to the starting eleven, while David Moir and Patrick McElwee were among those in the lineup.

It took just over 10 minutes for Manchester to open the scoring, as a low cross from Michael Negrette found De Los Santos who fired his side into the lead. Europa Point equalised 10 minutes before the break through John Stewart’s effort, and the sides went in level at the break.

10 minutes after the break, Manchester would turn to their most experienced player to put them back ahead, as Negrette again played assistant, setting up 40-year-old Robert Guiling who got his first goal in only his second game since returning to football. Two then became three for Manchester as De Los Santos drilled home from the edge of the box to give his side some breathing space.

Substitute Liam Thorne was looking lively, and he wrapped up proceedings by making it 4-1 in injury time after some good play from fellow sub Tito De Torres. Manchester remain in 9th overall (and 3rd in the Challenge Group), but have now opened up a six-point gap on College 1975 and Europa Point below them in the table – Europa Point remain bottom after back-to-back 4-1 defeats.

One other aspect of note was how many Gibraltarians played in the match – Manchester started with seven HGP’s while Europa Point started with six – the pair ended with nine and seven respectively as 22 different Gibraltarian’s played a part in the match.

Lineups:

Europa Point: Tudela; Wilson (McGrail, 79), Parral (Torrilla, 63), Webber, Martin, Martinez (Chiles-Cowell, 63), Juel-Saleh, El Yettefti, Webber, Stewart, McCarthy (Evans, 79)

Unused Subs: Victor, Podesta, Lopez

Manchester 62: Vinales (Borge, 83), Moir (Thorne, 53), Casciaro, Pereira (De Torres, 77), Negrette, Thomas, De Los Santos (Zammitt, 77), Guiling (Mifsud, 77), McCarthy, McElwee, Clenahan

Unused Subs: Montovio

Yellow Cards: Webber, Stewart; Pereira

Red Cards: None

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De Barr: “Mick is a legend of football in Gibraltar”

After Lincoln’s 3-0 victory vs Europa last week, we caught up with Lincoln and Gibraltar’s Tjay De Barr to get his thoughts on the win, manager Mick McElwee and more.

Photo (C) Black & Burst

De Barr played practically the whole of Lincoln’s victory, coming off at the end for Jack Sergeant – how did the 21-year-old view the victory: “I think the team who wanted it more won the game. At parts Europa dominated the possession of the ball but we controlled the game defensively throughout the whole 90 minutes. It was a big game where we knew there could only be one outcome & it was to go home with 3 points so we are very happy with that.”

Lincoln now sit top of the league, level with Europa, but Lincoln importantly hold the better head-to-head record with just one meeting to go – how important does De Barr feel that is psychologically to Lincoln? “Knowing that we are ahead after the win has given the squad a boost for what’s left of the league. There are still many games to be played so we need to focus on ourselves and build on every performance, with our heads down, working hard and remaining focused.”

Mick McElwee returned to Lincoln as manager this season and is one of the key figures in the clubs history – how does the Lincoln and Gibraltar attacker feel McElwee has done so far in his return? “At the moment I think Lincoln as a whole have underperformed. I can imagine it hasn’t been easy for Mick after being out of management for a few years and coming back to work with a new team who signed many new players.

However, now everything is starting to click now and that’s thanks to Mick, his technical team and all the players. We know how special Mick is, he is a legend of football in Gibraltar for his years spent at Lincoln and all the titles the club has thanks to him. I hope we can add another league title under Mick McElwee.”

Finally, De Barr is expected to play a key part in Gibraltar’s internationals this year, starting with the triple header vs Norway, Montenegro and the Netherlands later this month – how much is the 21-year-old looking forward to getting back together with the national team after last year’s Nations League success: “These are my first Fifa World Cup qualifiers and it feels special to be part of this. Three big games upcoming and the squad will prepare with everything we’ve got like always. This is another level completely to the Nations League so as always we will work hard, remain humble and learn from this amazing experience we are about to earn.”

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Mustapha Yahaya is FG Player of the Week

With the leagues now split, FG Player of the Week makes a return and will replace Team of the Week – Lincoln Red Imps midfielder Mustapha Yahaya wins it this week for his powerhouse performance against rivals and former club Europa.

Mustapha Yahaya – Lincoln Red Imps (1st)

Yahaya put in one of his usual performances which most of us are so accustom to nowadays. The midfield battle between himself and Carrascal was interesting to watch but the Ghanaian made sure Liam Walker would not have enough time on the ball to damage Imps.

Jesse Victory – Lynx (2nd)

One of the best in his position, Jesse has gone from strength to strength and become a vital part of Lynx’s plans. Normally just sitting in front of the defence, Jesse has found himself in a more attacking role this season which he has flourished in. The 24-year old controlled the midfield alongside Bauti, great in possession and scored the winner in Lynx’s win over Lions.

Roy Chipolina – Lincoln Red Imps (3rd)

Age is just a number after another stellar performance. After missing most of Round One through injury, the Gibraltar captain would make his return and has looked a very strong figure in Lincoln’s defence – great news for the National Team also ahead of the internationals.

Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez – St Joseph’s (4th)

Pishu only played 45 minutes, which shows how well he played to make it into the top 4 this week. The 22-year-old replaced Sykes Garro at half time, and with Julio Ribas in the stands, Hernandez looked like a player possessed playing on the wing, putting in a stellar performance and making a late push to return to the national team for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

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Jolley: “We have been the team to beat”

FG caught up with Europa defender Ethan Jolley to get his thoughts on their defeat to Lincoln last week, the title challenge and more.

Jolley reflected on Europa’s 3-0 loss to Lincoln, “I felt the team performed well against Lincoln. We had our own game plan as they have theirs and I thought we had a good game but on the day we were nowhere near our best. We have had much better games where we dominate and finish our chances as we have done previously.

Lincoln move level on points with Europa and currently lead the race with a better H2H over their rivals – we asked Ethan he feels there is more pressure on the team now, “Being in a team that’s fighting for the title year in year out there’s always pressure. I think we have been the team to beat for the past couple of years as being unbeaten and champions from the previous year. I must add its good to have pressure as it keeps us on our toes. The loss last week might help as a wake-up call for us to want it even more.

Europa’s lack of HGP’s was on show for everyone to see in their defeat and one which head coach Rafa Escobar still hasn’t been able to find his strongest team as of yet – we asked if this problem may jeopardise their title challenge, “Having more HGP’s is always good which we might lack in but I don’t necessarily think it could jeopardise the title challenge as I think we have a very good group of HGP players.

We asked Ethan how he feels heading into the international break, “Personally, I feel good going into the International break. Even though there have been some stops due to the Covid, I feel fit and eager to get going with my fellow international teammates.

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Adam Gracia nets in College win

Adam Gracia scored one of the quickest goals of the season as College 1975 secured their first-ever National League win by beating Europa Point 4-1 last night.

Europa loanee Adam Gracia opened his account for College in an emphatic fashion by scoring in the first 60 seconds to give his side a 1-0 lead. It didn’t last for long tho as 9 minutes later Europa Point equalised through an own goal by Guillermo Perez Sanchez.

Luis Manuel Gallardo Monje got his 7th of the season in the 37th minute before Guillermo Perez Sanchez made up for his earlier error by scoring in the right net to make it 3-1 at half-time.

An own goal by Jamie McCarthy just after the hour mark made it 4-1 to College and moves them off the bottom of the table.


Many football fans still don’t agree with the league split but last night’s result is a prime example of the importance it has on the lower teams, games like these are confidence boosters and ones for younger players to be able to gain valuable experience.

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup draw

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup makes its return after last season’s exclusion due to Covid and has seen Magpies being drawn against St Joseph’s the pick of the first round.

First Round (6-7th April)

  1. FCB Magpies vs St Joseph’s
  2. Europa FC vs Europa Point FC
  3. Glacis United vs FC Hound Dogs
  4. Lincoln Red Imps vs Lions Gibraltar

Quarter Finals (13-14th April)

  1. Europa or Europa Point vs FCB Magpies or St Joseph’s
  2. Glacis United or FC Hound Dogs vs Mons Calpe
  3. Lincoln Red Imps or Lions Gibraltar vs Lynx
  4. Manchester 62 vs College 1975

Semi Finals (20-21st April)

  1. Winner QF 3 vs Winner QF1
  2. Winner QF4 vs Winner QF2

Final (19th May)

  1. Winner SF2 v Winner SF1
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Javi Casares nets double in Magpies win

Javi Casares’ double helped Magpies remain top of the Challenge Group with a hard-fought 4-1 victory over Manchester 62.

Magpies got off to the perfect start when captain Rubo put his side ahead after only four minutes. The strike partnership of Rubo and Morgan continued to cause the Manchester defence problems but several excellent saves by Ayden Vinales kept the score at 1-0.

Keiron Garcia equalised for Manchester 62 just after the half-hour mark when the Gibraltar U21 international smashed the ball in from close to make it 1-1.

Despite Man62 having two penalty appeals early in the second half, it would be Magpies retaking the lead through Javi Casares tapping in a rebound after Shay Jones’ strike hit the crossbar. 10 minutes later and Keiron Garcia saw red for a tackle on Kelvin Morgan – a poor decision from the referee which left Manchester playing with ten men.

Rubo stepped up and took the resulting penalty which was saved by Ayden Vinales. Casares got his second of the night in the 71st minute before second-half substitute Alan Parker made it 4-1 with six minutes remaining.


Lineups

Manchester 62 – Vinales; Sardena (McElwee 78), De Los Santos (Montovio 78), Negrette, Ballantine, Sanchez (Clenahan 67), Casciaro, McCarthy, Edzes, De Torres (Pereira 61), Garcia

Unused subs: Borge, Moir, Thomas

Brunos Magpies – J.Perez; Garcia, Gallardo, Zuniga (Diaz 46), Jones, Morgan, Fernandez, Bent, Consigliero (B.Perez 46), Casares (De Haro 83), Rubo (Parker 74)

Unused subs: Martin, Livingstone, Marquez

Yellow cards: Vinales, Sardena, McCarthy, Edzes, Garcia; Zuniga, Jones, Consigliero

Red cards: Garcia

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Kike brace sends Europa to defeat

Two goals from Kike against his former club saw Lincoln cruise to a 3-0 victory over Europa last night.

Photo (C) Black and Burst

David Polaco returned to the starting lineup for Europa, while Lincoln were unchanged from the victory vs St Joseph’s, but saw Graeme Torrilla and Ethan Britto return to the matchday squad.

Kike gave Europa a warning when he hit the crossbar after a counter attack, but the Lincoln striker went one better moments later. Europa failed to clear their lines, and Kike, who had a successful spell at the club before leaving for Linense, tapped in to give Mick McElwee’s side the lead.

The goal woke up Europa somewhat, who had efforts from Dylan Borge and Alejandro Carrascal, but they needed a great challenge from Ethan Jolley to stop Lee Casciaro going in on goal just before the break. At half time, Europa manager Rafa Escobar made a quadruple substitution, replacing Dylan Borge, Jesus Romero, Jayce Olivero and Blas Alvarez with Mohamed Badr, Christian Lopez, Chico Diaz and Marco Rosa.

Five minutes after the break, Kike had a great chance to double Lincoln’s lead but put his effort wide, while on the hour mark Rosa saw his effort saved by Chino in the Lincoln goal. Then, a few minutes after Liam Walker went close to an equaliser by hitting the woodwork, Lincoln made it two – Fernando Carralero’s ball over the top caught the Europa defence sleeping, and Kike got his second of the evening to wrap up the three points.

There was time for Carlos Martinez to get a third for Lincoln, and Chino saved well from a Walker free kick in injury time, but Lincoln cruised to three points in the table-topping clash. They now sit top courtesy of the head to head record over Europa, who lost for the first time domestically since May 2019, which was also to Lincoln. The result would have also been looked at favourably by St Joseph’s, who are third but only three points off the top now.

Lineups:

Europa: Romero (Jolley, 45); Jolley, Olmo, Alvarez (Rosa, 45), Juampe, Walker, Yome, Olivero (Badr, 45), Carrascal, Borge (Diaz, 45), Polaco

Unused Subs: Ayew, Gallardo, Willy

Lincoln: Chino; Wiseman, Lopes, L. Casciaro (Torrilla, 77), De Barr (Sergeant, 90), R. Chipolina, Toscano, Carralero (Britto, 87), Martinez (Moreno, 87), Yahaya, Kike

Unused Subs: Soler, Coombes, Wall

Yellow Cards: Yome, Olivero, Polaco; De Barr, Kike

Red Cards: None