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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.

Lineups:

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

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Livingstone offered scholarship at Larne

Bruno’s Magpies teenager Kye Livingstone has been offered a two-year full time academy scholarship at Northern Irish Premiership side Larne.

Photo (C) Bruno’s Magpies

Livingstone, who made his debut last season for Magpies and has seven league appearances this time out, will be playing for the U20 side of the team who are currently 5th in the Northern Irish Premiership, three places behind Dayle Coleing’s Glentoran side. The 18-year-old will also occasionally be given the chance to train with the first team, according to Magpies who announced the news this morning.

The right-winger, who has also been involved with the Gibraltar U19s in their recent friendlies against club sides, as the youngsters prepare for upcoming qualifiers, is a player that has perhaps gone slightly under the radar locally, potentially aided by developing away from one of the so-called Big 3 teams. At Magpies though, he has been afforded the chances to grow as a player, and subsequently catch the eye, with the end result being earning this academy scholarship and a chance to further his career outside of Gibraltar.

Larne, who were taken over by co-founder of online estate agent Purplebricks, Kenny Bruce, back in 2017, were promoted to Northern Ireland’s top flight in 2019, and in their curtailed first season, finished sixth on a PPG method. This season they are fifth, and set to at least enter their league’s playoff for a Europa Conference League spot next season. They are based in Larne, County Antrim, and their stadium, Inver Park, has both a similar capacity (2,500) and a similar artificial pitch to that of the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar.

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Magpies earn all 3 points vs College

Goals from Evan De Haro, Javi Casares and Rubo saw Bruno’s Magpies win 3-0 against College 1975 last night at the Victoria Stadium.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Magpies saw Jordan Perez return in goal, Kelvin Morgan returned after serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation, and there was also a start for 18-year-old Kye Livingstone. Meanwhile, for College, they made two changes from the side that beat Europa Point 6-0 last weekend – Mark Warwick and Cristian Pacheco replaced Edu Oliva and Etien Victory respectively.

After having lost 8-1 to Magpies earlier this month, this game was perhaps expected to go down a similar route, and after both De Haro and Casares scored in the opening 20 minutes, College may have feared the worst. However, Magpies were to only score once more, as Rubo kept up his goalscoring streak to add a third for manager Johny’s side – they are seven points clear of Glacis having played two games more, while College are now very likely to finish 10th, with only two games left in their season.

Lineups:

Bruno’s Magpies: J. Perez; Gallardo, Zuniga, Cataruozzolo (Fernandez, 66), Morgan, Coombes, De Haro, Livingstone (Parker, 51), Bent, Casares, Rubo (Assumpcao, 53)

Unused Subs: Zamora, Diaz, Lopez, Consigliero

College 1975: Warwick; Ramundo, Mendez (Ruiz, 50), Perez, Matto (Hughes, 56), Pacheco (Valero, 63), Franco, Gracia, Thorne, Gallardo, Molina

Unused Subs: Ruh Dos Santos, Galan, Parragues, Parkinson

Yellow Cards: De Haro, Bent; Ramundo, Perez, Gallardo

Red Cards: None

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Zuniga brace helps Magpies ease past Manchester

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.

Lineups:

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

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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.

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Five-star Glacis blow away Magpies in convincing win

Glacis United moved to within two points of Bruno’s Magpies at the top of the Challenge Group after an eye-catching 5-1 victory against the group leaders yesterday evening.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Magpies saw David Zamora return in goal in place of Alan Martin, while Kelvin Morgan was on the bench after returning from international duty. For Glacis, they were unchanged from the 4-1 victory vs Manchester 62, with Lython Marquez returning to the bench after a one-match ban.

Glacis would have the early chances, and went ahead after 10 minutes, as Craig Galliano made it goals in back-to-back matches with a deflected effort into the bottom corner. Miguel Londero missed a glorious chance on the half hour mark, but a few minutes later Glacis doubled their lead – Zamora got caught out from a corner and Job Derksen was on hand to head the ball into the back of the net.

Despite a Magpies triple-sub at half time, things went from bad to worse as Ruben Diaz, one of the trio bought on at the break, was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity when he fouled Darlington Nwosu. Moments later, Magpies were made to pay further as Jamie Bosio headed in from a well-worked corner to get his first senior goal since his return to the league.

With 15 minutes left, Glacis would get a fourth – Marquez, who came on for Galliano, saw his shot saved, but the rebound was slotted in by Nwosu for his fifth goal in three games since signing for the club. Rubo would pull a goal back for his side to ensure he scored for six matches on the spin, but Glacis restored their four-goal lead five minutes from time as Wessel Witbreuk drilled a shot into the bottom corner to wrap up a comprehensive victory for his side.

Glacis now move to within two points of Magpies with five games to go in the group, while for Bruno’s, they’ll need to pick themselves up quickly before a tough Rock Cup tie next week vs St Joseph’s.

Lineups:

Bruno’s Magpies: Zamora; Garcia, Gallardo, Zuniga, Assumpcao (Diaz, 45), Jones (Livingstone, 71), Coombes, De Haro, Casares (Cataruozzolo, 45), Parker (Lopez, 45), Rubo

Unused Subs: Martin, Morgan, Soussi

Glacis: Zappacosta; Smith, Thorne-Llambias, Castle (Lopez, 77), Derksen, Bosio, Witbreuk, Galliano (Marquez, 71), Ajayi, Nwosu (Borghi, 77), Londero

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Andrulli, Currer

Yellow Cards: Casares, Cataruozzolo

Red Cards: Diaz

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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.

Lineups:

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

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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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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.

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Morgan on target in Magpies win

Rubo, Javi Casares and Kelvin Morgan were all on target for Magpies in a comfortable 3-0 win over College 1975.

Johnny Parrado was hoping for a response from his players after their 4-1 defeat to Mons Calpe earlier in the week and his wishes were answered when Rubo put Magpies ahead after 15 minutes.

Javi Casares doubled Magpies lead from the penalty spot in the 27th minute and put the game beyond reach for College. No further goals in the first half but College were dealt a blow when Stefan Thorne and Jemar Matto were forced off with injuries.

Magpies controlled the game from start to finish and made it 3-0 after 85 minutes when Kelvin Morgan original penalty was poorly taken and saved but the referee ordered for it to be retaken.

Morgan stepped up again with a bit more power behind his shot and hit the post but the 23-year old reacted quickest to tap in the rebound.

Questions will now be raised about this Magpies squad and coaching team on how such a promising season has ended so disappointingly.


Lineups

College 1975 – Oliva; Mendez (Ruiz Lopez 6), Perez, Matto (Parkinson 45), Victory, Franco, Gracia, Marin (Pacheco 64), Thorne (Hughes 45), Gallardo, Molina

Unused subs: Warwick, Rodriguez, Wahnon

Magpies – Zamora; Garcia, Zuniga, Jones, Fernandez, Vinet, Coombes, De Haro (Morgan 58), Bent, Casares (Consigliero 65), Rubo (Parker 74)

Unused subs: Perez, Gallardo, Cataruozzolo, Perez

Yellow cards: Oliva, Franco, Gallardo, Hughes; Bent, Casares, Rubo, Morgan

Red cards: None