Magpies secure top spot in Challenge Group

Bruno’s Magpies ensured they would finish this season top of the Challenge Group after beating Europa Point 7-0 last night.

Photo (C) David Roberts

After Glacis’ defeat to Manchester the night before, Magpies knew a win tonight put them in an unassailable lead at the top of the Challenge Group – they made four changes from the win vs College 1975, as Ruben Diaz, Nacho Fernandez, Jeremy Lopez and Jayce Consigliero came into the starting eleven. For Europa Point, Daniel Tudela started in goal, while both Josef and Jacob Webber also started – Tarik Chrayeh was on the touchline seemingly as manager for Europa Point.

The game got off to an incredibly slow start, as Magpies took their time waiting for gaps to appear in the Europa Point defence, and after a couple of early efforts went wide, they broke the deadlock on the 12th minute – Consigliero’s cross from the left wing found Kelvin Morgan who opened Bruno’s lead. Europa Point’s young team kept trying to attack and make opportunities, but it was clear they were not going to be able to stop Magpies from extending their lead, which they did four further time in the half.

First, after Tudela had blocked Morgan’s shot well, Fernandez teed up Javi Casares to double Magpies lead, before defender Francisco Zuniga made it 3-0, heading in from a set-piece. Three minutes later, Rubo got his first of the night, heading in from a powerful cross by his strike partner, Morgan. There was enough time in the half for a fifth – Rubo getting his second of the night from the penalty spot, and at that stage, it looked bleak for Europa Point.

Brunos used the commanding half time lead to give opportunities to two of their Intermediate Squad players, with Tristan Olivares replacing Lee Coombes at half time, and Christian Mason coming on after 63 minutes for Rubo – who had by that point scored two further goals to make it 7-0, and four on the night for the Spanish striker who now has 13 goals in the Challenge Group this season.

Rubo’s departure saw Magpies take their foot off the gas, although Tudela still had to be alert to stop another Magpies sub, Javi Gallardo, from scoring on two occasions. Otherwise, the game very much faded out to a conclusion, and 7-0 was to be the final score on the night. Europa Point are now confirmed to finish bottom of the Challenge Group after a torrid second half of the season both on and off the pitch – a big summer awaits the club no doubt. For Magpies, top spot in the Challenge Group is believed to secure a bye in the first round of next season’s Rock Cup (as announced when the National League was created), but that has yet to be confirmed for next season, and it of course depends on how many teams enter the competition too.


Bruno’s Magpies: Perez; Diaz, Zuniga, Cataruozzolo (Gallardo, 53), Morgan, Fernandez, Lopez, Coombes (Olivares, 45), Consigliero, Casares, Rubo (Mason, 63)

Unused Subs: Zamora, Livingstone, Martin, Bent

Europa Point: Tudela; Acharki, Parral, Jos. Webber, McGrail, Wilson, Martin, Martinez, Jac. Webber, Chiles-Cowell (Juel-Saleh, 45), McCarthy

Unused Subs: Victor, El Yettefi

Yellow Cards: Diaz, Cataruozzolo, Jos. Webber

Red Cards: None


Glacis and Manchester secure wins in Challenge Group double-header

Glacis and Manchester 62, both Rock Cup semi-finalists last week, both won in yesterday’s Challenge Group double-header, beating College 1975 and Europa Point 2-0 and 4-0 respectively.

Photo (C) David Roberts Sports Photography

The first game saw Glacis come up against College, knowing they needed a win to keep their Challenge Group aims intact – it took them time to eventually break through College though, needing a 68th minute penalty from Craig Galliano to open the scoring. Lython Marquez, who scored the winner in midweek, made it 2-0 with just over 10 minutes to go and wrapped up the points for his side.

For Manchester 62, they confirmed their final position of ninth place with a comfortable 4-0 victory against Europa Point in the evening. Manchester controlled the game from start to finish, and raced to a 3-0 half time lead courtesy of goals from Robert Montovio, Michael Negrette and Scott Ballantine. They were only to get one more goal though in the second half, with Mariano Pereira scoring five minutes from time to complete the four-goal victory.

This week’s Challenge Group fixtures see Manchester and Glacis face off once again, on Thursday night, before Bruno’s Magpies take on Europa Point in Friday night’s fixture at the Victoria Stadium.


Gracia scores four in College 1975 win

On-loan striker Adam Gracia scored four as College 1975 beat 9-man Europa Point 6-0 last night at the Victoria Stadium

Photo (C) David Roberts

College, who had beaten Europa Point 4-1 when the two sides met last month, came into this game knowing that a win would all but ensure they would not finish last for the season, and after the disappointment of losing on penalties to Manchester 62 in the Rock Cup in midweek, they took advantage of Europa Point having John Stewart and Jacob Webber sent off to secure a comprehensive victory.

Adam Gracia, who has now scored seven goals in as many league games since his loan spell from Europa in the winter, opened the scoring after 13 minutes, before Luis Manuel Gallardo doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Gracia completed his hat-trick with goals in the 58th and 67th minute, 19-year-old Kaylan Franco scored in back-to-back games to make it 5, and Gracia wrapped up the scoring with four minutes to go to secure a 6-0 victory.

Europa Point, who only had 15 players in their squad, will no doubt be concerned at the two sending offs depleting their squad further, as well as the performance, and after the game they tweeted the following:


Europa Point: Tudela; Wilson, Parral, Jos. Webber, McGrail (El Yettefti, 66), Martin, Martinez, Jac. Webber, Stewart, Chiles-Cowell (Juel-Saleh, 76), McCarthy (Acharki, 59)

Unused Subs: Victor

College 1975: Oliva (Warwick, 82); Ramundo (Valero, 59), Mendez, Perez, Matto (Parkinson, 45), Victory, Franco, Gracia, Thorne, Gallardo (Pacheco, 59), Molina (Ruiz, 77)

Unused Subs: Parragues, Marin

Yellow Cards: Jos. Webber, Jac. Webber, Stewart; Gallardo

Red Cards: Jac. Webber, Stewart


Saints and Europa to meet in Rock Cup quarter-finals

St Joseph’s and Europa will face off in the Rock Cup quarter-finals after securing wins against Bruno’s Magpies and Europa Point respectively yesterday.

Photo (C) Rough & Ready

Saints opened the cup this year with a tight 2-1 victory against Bruno’s Magpies in the early kick-off. Juanfri had put St Joseph’s 1-0 up just before half-time, before Javi Casares equalised for the Challenge Group leaders soon after half time. The tie looked like remaining at 1-1 until five minutes to go, when Andrew Hernandez pounced on a loose ball to grab the winner for Raul Procopio’s side.

Europa’s game was much more of a formality, as they comprehensively beat Europa Point 10-0 in the later kick-off. From the get go, the gulf in class between the two was clear to see, and fresh off making his international debut against Montenegro, Dylan Borge grabbed four of the 10 goals – Liam Walker and Adrian Gallardo scored two each, while Mikey Yome and Olmo scored the other goals as Rafael Escobar’s side comfortably set up the quarter final tie vs their title rivals.

Today’s fixtures see Glacis take on Intermediate League side Hound Dogs in the 6:30pm kick-off – the winner of that tie will face Mons Calpe, while in the later kick-off, Lincoln take on Lions, with the winner set to face Lynx in the last eight. The other quarter final, already set in stone, sees Manchester 62 take on College 1975 – all quarter-finals are scheduled for between the 13th – 14th April, with the semi-finals a week after, and the final on 21st May.


Rubo brace helps Magpies brush aside Europa Point

Two goals from Rubo, as well as strikes from Jean-Carlos Garcia and Javi Gallardo saw Bruno’s Magpies beat Europa Point 4-0 last night.

Photo (C) Black and Burst

Europa Point saw Josef Webber, Kyron McGrail and James Chiles-Cowell come into the side after the 4-1 defeat to Manchester 62, while Magpies handed starts to Alan Martin, Ruben Diaz, Jeremy Lopez, Lee Coombes, Evan De Haro and Alan Parker, with Kelvin Morgan absent due to being on international duty with Gibraltar.

After Rubo and Coombes both had efforts that didn’t go in, Magpies eventually took the lead after 24 minutes, when right-back Jean-Carlos Garcia volleyed in a cross from left-back Javi Gallardo. Daniel Tudela, who captained Europa Point, was clearly the busier of the two keepers, and he kept the score at one saving efforts from Lopez, Rubo and Francisco Zuniga, before Rubo finally made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time with a great finish past the keeper.

Rubo got his second, and Magpies third on the hour mark, before Javi Gallardo wrapped up the three points with a drilled effort 20 minutes from time. The win sees Magpies strengthen their grip on the top of the Challenge Group, while Europa Point’s struggles continue and they remain bottom.


Europa Point: Tudela; Wilson, Webber, McGrail, Martin, Martinez, Juel-Saleh, El Yettefti (Torrilla, 67), Webber, Chiles-Cowell (Parral, 54), McCarthy

Unused Subs: Victor, Podesta, Castle

Bruno’s Magpies: Martin; Garcia (Marquez, 76), Gallardo (Livingstone, 76), Diaz (Bent, 60), Gil, Lopez, Coombes, De Haro, Casares (Jones, 60), Parker (Vinet, 68), Rubo

Unused Subs: Zamora, Cataruozzolo

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None


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.


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


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.


Kelvin Morgan hat-trick inspires Magpies

Kelvin Morgan scored a second-half hat-trick to send Magpies on their way to a 4-0 victory against Europa Point yesterday.

The 23-year old netted all three goals inside 14 minutes, his partner Rubo popped up with a goal also, as Magpies found some positivity in a below-par season.

Magpies were frustrated for large parts of the first half with Europa Point defending solidly and keeper Daniel Tudela pulling off several important saves.

It took Morgan 5 minutes to grab his first goal after coming on for Alan Parker. The ball fell to the striker after getting onto a low cross by Jaron Vinet and firing low past Tudela.

Rubo would double his sides lead just three minutes later when the striker headed in from Javi Gallardo’s cross. Vinet would set up Morgan again for his second on the 74th minute before completing his hat-trick two minutes later.

Magpies finish seventh, one point behind Lions and will face Glacis, Manchester 62, Europa Point and College 1975.


Lions qualify for Championship Group

A second late winner in as many games saw Lions secure their Championship Group place in a 1-0 win over Europa Point yesterday.

Photo (C) Black & Burst

Europa Point saw debuts from the start handed out to Kailan ‘Ping’ Perez, Luke Evans, Louis Parral and Andrew Lopez, with teenagers Kyron McGrail and Ellis Wilson appearing off the bench, while Lions bought Borja Valades back into the starting lineup and started Didi Peacock – between the two sides 13 HGP’s started the fixture.

In a first half of few chances, Lions were the more active of the two sides, with Europa Point keeper Daniel Tudela kept busy by the likes of Peacock and Ivan Ruiz, although Ping, who was playing against his former club, did have a chance to put Europa Point ahead just before the break which he headed wide.

The second half went much the same way as the first, with Tudela pulling off some very good saves to keep the scores level. However, Europa Point had a glorious chance to go ahead just before the hour mark, and despite a brilliant team move, John Stewart squandered the chance to put his side in the lead.

Ruiz was pulling all the string and coming closer with each effort to scoring, including hitting the post in the 87th minute with a free kick, and the former Glacis and Gib Phoenix midfielder would have the final say. After Lions won an 89th minute penalty, the 30-year-old coolly finished with a Panenka penalty to send Lions into the Championship Group with a game to spare. Ping, who had limped off injured with no subs available to replace him, was sent off soon after, and the game drew to a conclusion. Europa Point remain 10th, but will have taken some confidence from the performance of their strengthened team.


Europa Point: Tudela; Ping, Evans (Jac. Webber, 33), Jos. Webber, Hayes, Martinez (Wilson, 65), El Yettefti (McGrail, 67), Parral, Stewart, Lopez, McCarthy

Unused Subs: Garcia, Juel-Saleh, Chiles-Cowell, Torrilla

Lions: Valades; Tovar, Bosio, Breakspear (Prescott, 82), Cintas, Peacock, Buhagiar, Ruiz (Jimenez, 90), Verjaque (Pomares, 45), Cortes, Hastings

Unused Subs: Victor, Rumbo, Gaivizo, Dobinson

Yellow Cards: Ping, Hayes, El Yettefti, Stewart, Lopez, Wilson; Breakspear

Red Cards: Ping


Lopez and Perez return in Europa Point haul

Andrew Lopez and Kailan ‘Ping’ Perez have made their return to football as Europa Point make nine new signings.

Andrew and Kailan are no strangers to Gibraltar football and will add vital experience in a young Europa Point squad. Europa Point head coach Steve Cummings added seven more names as they prepare for the restart of the National League.

23-year old Kyan Prescott joins on the back of stints at St Joseph’s and Europa reserves, Luke Evans returns after a short stint at Glacis United and 26-year old goalkeeper Aidon Garcia comes in to give competition to Daniel Tudela following the departure of San Mustafa.

Four players which the Europa Point hierarchy will be pleased about is the arrival of four U19 players, all which are known very well by head coach Steve Cummings.

Elias Juel-Saleh comes as a free agent after Boca’s expulsion from the league while Davan Martin, Ellis Wilson and Kyron McGrail have been loaded by Lincoln Red Imps til the end of the season.

Speaking to FG, Steve Cummings have us his thoughts on his new signings – “We believe that we have had a very successful transfer period, we have been fortunate enough to sign some experienced HGP and some GFA U21, U19 and U17 selection players. Our club aim is to help the players who want to develop the opportunity to play in the Gibraltar National League. The more of these guys get exposure to playing in this league it can only benefit the GFA selection teams in the up and coming UEFA qualifiers, as a local coach I feel we have the obligation to promote and provide These types of opportunities for our more youngest talented elite players and on the hope that this will provide a wider range of eligible players for the GFA senior squad.”

He added, “We are all building and we should all be developing in that direction for our national football.