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