Two second-half goals from defender Francisco Zuniga helped Bruno’s Magpies beat Manchester 62 4-0 last night at the Victoria Stadium.
Photo (C) David Roberts
The match, which saw a crowd of about 30 or so people attend with fans allowed back for the first time, was a straight-forward affair for Magpies, who had benefitted from more rest than their opponents, who had won in the Rock Cup on Tuesday night against College 1975. Magpies saw Kelvin Morgan miss out after picking up his 5th yellow card in the last game, while for Manchester, Mikey Borge took place in goal over Ayden Vinales, who had saved two penalties in the cup shoot-out.
Zuniga had the earliest chance of the game, when he headed over from Alan Parker’s deflected free kick, before Javi Gallardo’s lobbed effort went over both Borge and the Manchester 62 crossbar. Johnny’s side did find the breakthrough not long after though, as Jayce Consigliero’s threaded pass set up Rubo to score his 14th of the season, eight of which have come in the Challenge Group. The striker should have doubled his tally, but headed straight at Borge soon after, before Magpies keeper Alan Martin had to make a smart stop, denying his team-mate Dan Bent from heading into his own goal.
Injuries to Jean-Carlos Garcia, and seemingly also to Jeremy Lopez, either side of half-time, would have concerned Magpies, while Manchester also lost Robert Montovio and Robert Guiling to injuries as well, with the pair now major doubts for next week’s Rock Cup semi-final against Glacis. The second half was a much slower contest as Magpies comfortably extended their lead and ensured no slip in concentration. Zuniga doubled their sides lead from close range after 55 minutes, before the 30-year-old Mexican made it 3-0 from a set piece. Another set-piece would prove to be Manchester’s final undoing, as after some unconvincing goalkeeping, Ruben Diaz appeared to get the final touch to wrap up the game at 4-0.
Bruno’s Magpies: Martin; Garcia (De Haro, 42), Gallardo (Cataruozzolo, 78), Diaz, Zuniga, Lopez (Livingstone, 50), Coombes, Bent, Consigliero, Parker, Rubo (Assumpcao, 78)
Unused Subs: J. Perez, Fernandez, Vinet
Manchester 62: Borge; Sardena (Sanchez, 62), Pereira (Mifsud, 70), Montovio (Farmer, 44), Negrette, Ballantine, Thomas (Asquez, 70), Guiling (Moir, 62), Edzes, Clenahan, Garcia
Unused Subs: McCarthy
Yellow Cards: Ballantine, Thomas
Red Cards: None