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Lincoln return to winning ways

Lincoln Red Imps returned to winning ways after last week’s shock draw with a commanding 2-0 victory over Mons Calpe.

Mick McElwee made three changes to the side which drew to Boca with Lolo Soler, Graeme Torrilla and Jamie Coombes replaced Kyle Goldwin, Julian Valarino and Alex Moreno.

Lincoln started strong and looked to control the game early on with the vocal Scott Wiseman barking orders from the start. Cesar Vega’s men made it difficult for Imps to create any chances but when they eventually broke down the defence, Kike shot over from close.

Mons nearly took the lead in the 37th minute but great reactions by Lolo Soler prevented Bernardo Lopes from scoring an own goal. Three minutes later and Lincoln took the lead through Mustapha Yahaya’s header.

Disaster struck just after the hour mark when Tjay De Barr and Ethan Santos clashed which left the Mons defender on the floor. Shouts for the Lincoln physio to assist confirmed the injury was serious and he was soon followed by the ambulance.

It is believed the defender sustained broken ribs and was replaced by Ayman Boulaich. A total of fifteen minutes was added on for injury time in which Lincoln made it 2-0 through an unfortunate own goal by Emanuel Ojeda.

This win sees Lincoln rise into third while Mons drop in seveneth.


Lineups

Mons Calpe – Fraiz; Dos Santos, Santos (Boulaich 79), Rodriguez, El Hmidi, Caballero, Muscat (M.El Andaloussi 90), Ojeda, Diaz, Sendin (Mallemaci 62), Ronco (N.El Andaloussi 68)

Unused subs: Perez, Pinero, Bernardes

Lincoln – Soler; Ronan, Wiseman, Lopes, Torrilla, De Barr, Toscano, Yahaya, Kike (Hernandez 70), Coombes, Gamiz (K.Casciaro 70)

Unused subs: Goldwin, Clinton, Valarino, Moreno, Azopardi

Yellow cards – Diaz; De Barr, Yahaya

Red cards – None

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Walker penalty helps Europa beat 10-man Mons

Goals from Liam Walker, Juampe and Dylan Borge helped Europa on their way to a 3-0 victory over a Mons Calpe side who had 10 men for more than half the game.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Europa handed a first league start to Mitch Gibson, while Jesus Romero started in goal ahead of Christian Lopez – there was also notably no place in the squad for Gib international Mohamed Badr. Meanwhile, Mons Calpe welcomed Ethan Santos back from suspension to start in their eleven.

From the get go, Europa were the more dominant side, and Christian Fraiz was kept busy in the Mons goals by saving efforts twice from Juampe as well as Liam Walker. Ethan Jolley came closest to scoring when his shot hit the bar, but five minutes before the break came the turning point. Mons Calpe defender Mark Ballester was penalised for handball in the box and was sent off – Walker stepped up and scored his penalty to put Europa 1-0 up. Of note, Mons took their time to get back to 5 HGP’s and may be investigated for that, much like Boca and Glacis were before the international break.

1 became 2 just before the break, as Juampe found a way past Fraiz – a blow which Mons were not able to come back from. To their credit, the 10 men battled hard in the second half, and Romero had to make a great save to stop Mons getting one back. Gibson hit the post for Europa, but his replacement, Dylan Borge, would wrap up the three points by rifling his effort into the top corner – his fourth goal in as many games this season.

Lineups:

Europa: Romero; Jolley, Ayew (Becerra, 69), Juampe (Bautista, 80), Walker, Yome, Olivero, Aviles, Rosa (Alvarez, 69), Polaco (Quillo, 69), Gibson (Borge, 69)

Unused Subs: Lopez, Poku

Mons Calpe: Fraiz; Dos Santos, Santos, Rodriguez (Muscat, 72), El Hmidi, Caballero (Mallemaci, 62), Ojeda, Ballester, Diaz, Sendin (N. El Andaloussi, 45), Ronco

Unused Subs: Perez, Bernardes, Boulaich, M. El Andaloussi

Yellow Cards: Juampe, Polaco; Ojeda, Diaz

Red Cards: Ballester

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Diaz scores four in Mons 6-0 win

Diego Diaz scored four last night as Mons Calpe easily beat 10-man College 1975 6-0.

After a 5-0 loss to St Joseph’s last time out, Mons had the perfect fixture on paper to bounce back to winning ways, but it did take them 33 minutes to break down College – Diaz header beating Migge in the College goal. From there though, it became the usual story of conceding for College – four minutes later Diaz would lob the keeper and get his second to put Mons in a comfortable half-time lead.

There would be no holding off for Mons either – Diaz got his hat-trick after 56 minutes, heading in Naoufal El Andaloussi’s cross, before notching a fourth on the hour mark.

Three minutes later, Mark Ballester made it 5-0 with a shot into the top corner, and with 15 minutes left, College’s night got worse as Shaun Gonzalez was sent off, leaving 10-man College unable to stop Lee Muscat adding a sixth and final goal on the 82nd minute.

For Mons, they move up to 6th after the win, while College remain bottom, behind Europa Point on goal difference as the only two teams yet to take a point from the opening three fixtures.

Lineups:

College 1975: Migge; Sanchez (Ruiz, 45), Hughes, Matto, Callejon (Victor, 60), Pacheco (Ruh Dos Santos, 45), Franco, Parragues, Nito, Gonzalez, Gallardo (Da Costa, 80)

Unused Subs: Warwick, Field, Urenda

Mons Calpe: Fraiz (Perez, 62), Rodriguez, Bernardes, El Hmidi (Thorne, 83), N. El Andaloussi (Muscat, 77), Caballero, Ojeda, Ballester, Diaz, Sendin (M. El Andaloussi, 83), Ronco (Dos Santos, 63)

Unused Subs: Boulaich, Mallemaci

Yellow Cards: Franco, Parragues, Gonzalez, Gallardo, Ruiz; El Hmidi, Sendin, Ronco

Red Cards: Gonzalez

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Juanfri double in emphatic rout

Juanfri scored a double as St Joseph’s scored five goals in the first thirty minutes to beat Mons Calpe in a dominant win.

Saints head coach Raul Procopio handed a debut to Gibraltar international Erin Barnett to replace Jamie Serra and Pedro Lorenzo ‘Loren’ Fernandez Munoz was the other change from the side which beat Boca last week.

Juanfri, Loren and Cristian Pecci saw St Joseph’s race to a 3-0 lead in the opening ten minutes. Juanfri got his second in the 25th minute, heading in from Nano’s cross and captain Boro made it 5-0 on the 30th minute.

Mons Calpe were reduced to 10 men in the 24th minute after referee Jason Barcelo sent off Ethan Santos for denying Saints a clear goalscoring opportunity. Ayoub El Hmidi would replace Nahuel Sendin to keep Mons in line with the 5 HGP rule.

There would be no further goals in the second half with Saints walking away with all three points and keeping their 100% start to the season intact.


Lineups:

Mons Calpe: Fraiz (c); Dos Santos, Santos, Rodriguez, Bernardes, El Andaloussi (Thorne 75), Caballero, Muscat (Ballester 45), Diaz (Ojeda 34), Sendin (El Hmidi 23), Ronco

Unused Subs: Perez, Pinero, Mallemaci

St Joseph’s: Robba; Boro (c), Nano (Carrasco 45), Pishu (Robba 45), Barnett, Pecci (Serra 64), Loren, Juanfri, Villar (Juanma), Pons, Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Mateo, Rojas, Ferrer

Yellow Cards: Caballero, Sendin, Ronco; Villar

Red Cards: Santos

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El Andaloussi strike enough to beat Glacis

A first half goal from Naoufal El Andaloussi was enough for Mons Calpe to secure a 1-0 win vs Glacis United on the opening night of the season.

In what was the first game for either side since February, both sides had a different look to how they lined up before the termination of the league last season. The new HGP ruling ensured that a minimum of 10 Gibraltarians were also on the pitch at all times, meaning there were starts for the likes of Sam Yeo, Hatim Smith and Ashley Rodriguez across both teams.

The match almost started off with a flyer – Glacis missed a great chance through Joshua Kozuh after 20 seconds, as his header went wide of the Mons goal. That early scare settled Mons somewhat, who grew back into the goal and kept Glacis new keeper Ruben Fluxa Cano relatively busy.

It would be Mons who would score after 20 minutes, which proved to be the winner, with Gibraltar futsal international Naoufal El Andaloussi scoring from inside the box, leaving Fluxa unable to stop his effort.

From there, Mons became the team in more control of the game, and they could have made it two had someone been on the end of Ayoub El Hmidi’s flashed effort across the goal line.

The second half was somewhat less eventful – understandably given match fitness for both sides – with the best chance being a clever backheel from Diego Diaz, which Fluxa saved. Otherwise, the game kind of petered out to a finish, despite Glacis attempts to freshen things up by utilising the increased substitutions role, using five in the 90 minutes.

For Mons, it is a good start to the season, while for Glacis, they won’t be overly down-heartened by their performance from a young team – they will have an idea of where they need to improve though.

Summary:

Glacis – Fluxa; Londero (C), Derkson (Di Piedi, 89), Evans (Byrne, 89), Brinkman, Borghi, Witbreuk, Castle (Poggio, 89), Smith, Yeo (Flores, 71), Kozuh (Gallo, 46)

Unused Subs: Moreno, Picardo Peralta

Mons Calpe – Fraiz; Dos Santos, Santos, Rodriguez, Bernardes, El Hmidi, N. El Andaloussi (Ballester, 85), Caballero, Diaz, Sendin (Ojeda, 79), Ronco

Unused Subs: McCarthy, Pinero, M. El Andaloussi, Thorne, Mallemaci

Goals – N. El Andaloussi (Min. 20)

Yellow Cards – Evans, Castle, Smith; Fraiz, El Hmidi, Caballero

Red Cards – None

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Santos: “The preparation at the club has been good for pre-season”

Ahead of Mons Calpe’s match with Glacis tonight, we caught up with defender Ethan Santos to talk about the match, his recent games with the Gibraltar U21s and more.

Photo (C) Black & Burst

Santos played in the game vs Portugal U21s earlier this week, so how did he feel the game went? “Overall I think I can say it’s been a good two weeks of international football from our U21 lads. Based on the game on Tuesday a 3-0 defeat was hard to take considering that we were at home, but as David Ochello says the result was never a matter for us.

Our game plan was for all the players to go into the game relaxed and confident to have time on the ball and to start plays, build up from the back work out ways out to enjoy the game more and it’s what we did we came out to the war, fighting with everything we had to give we left nothing behind on that pitch.”

Pre-season has been unique for all clubs – how has it gone for Mons? “The preparation at the club has been good for pre-season – we had a minor set back with our manager during the time of Covid, but that is not a problem anymore.

I think the team have worked hard and long enough during the period we have had and we are all hungry to get back out onto the pitch again and see what we’ve all been working hard together to achieve.”

Tonight Mons get the season underway against Glacis – how does the defender feel his team is going into the game? “First game of the season I would like to hope that all our team, if focused and concerned, that we stay positive on the match. The first 3 points we can pick up from a game which if controlled the way we want should be coming home with us.”

Finally, what does the 21-year-old hope to achieve this season? “My main achievement this season is to be in Julio’s starting eleven for the senior squad. There’s a lot of sacrifices I have to make as a team player and I know a lot of hard work and dedication is needed, but if the work is put in and shown I’m sure doors this season will eventually start to open for me.”

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GNL 2020/21 Preview: Part Three


Part Three of our Gibraltar National League preview sees us take a look at Lynx, Manchester 62, Mons Calpe and St Joseph’s.


  • Name: Lynx FC
  • Next game: Europa Point (17/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 4th

Given the budget they have compared to the likes of Magpies and those above them, Lynx definitely punched above their weight last season, and finished in a deserved 4th place.

The challenge this season will be to build upon last year’s efforts, and ensure that they weren’t a one-off. As always, Albert Parody has reinforced his side with new signings, but it will be some of the longer term players who could carry them back to another top 6 finish.

Bradley Banda will hope to play as well for Lynx as he did for the Gib U21s the other day, while up front Alberto Valdivia could prove crucial in tight games.


  • Name: Manchester 62
  • Next game: Lions Gibraltar (17/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 9th

Last season didn’t end how Manchester would have liked it, with an 11-1 defeat to Mons, but they will be looking for more stability in the managerial department this season, and David Wilson should be able to ensure that.

A top 6 finish admittedly seems unlikely, but unlike most teams in the league, they will have no problem fulfilling their HGP requirements – the clubs focus on developing young, local talent, even if it is at the expense of results sometimes, has to be applauded.

Michael Negrette has returned from a short spell at Lincoln and adds a bit extra to the team, while this could also be a big season for Scott Ballantine, who showed his versatility after returning to the club last season.


  • Name: Mons Calpe
  • Next game: Glacis United (16/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 7th

Very much the underachievers last year before Christmas, Mons will hope to build on a good 2020 in the league and cup, to try and push for a top 6 finish this time out.

HGP’s have always been an issue for Mons, but this summer they have seemingly kept the core of their locals, while also adding experience in the shape of former Gibraltar keeper Jordan Perez.

The main issue for Mons Calpe will be ensuring off-pitch issues are kept to an absolute minimum, and the ones that are currently there need sorting as soon as possible – if they don’t, they will not finish in the top 6 this time out.


  • Name: St Joseph’s
  • Next game: FC Boca (18/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 2nd

Saints had a great season last time out, pushing Europa all the way while also keeping Lincoln an arms length away. They were unlucky not to get a result in Europe vs B36, but the signs showed another good season awaits.

Saints squad stability has been a key factor in their success, and again this season they have only added a small handful of players, including Gib international Erin Barnett and former Gib United midfielder Carlos Carrasco.

The only real challenge for Saints and Raul Procopio will be adapting his side to the new HGP rules – he will have to be sensible around rotating when needed as a couple of local injuries could hurt them.

Up front though, the pairing of Juanfri and Boro remains, and should be as potent as ever in winning games for the side, while new signing Pedro Fernandez looked promising in his cameo in the Europa League – that front three could prove difficult for even Europa and Lincoln to handle at times.

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FG Awards 20: Challenge Group Player and Young Player of the Season

The second part of the FG Awards for the 2019/20 season sees Mons Calpe duo Andre Dos Santos and Ayoub El Hmidi win Challenge Group Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season respectively.


Player of the Season – Andre Dos Santos (Mons Calpe SC)

C Correa Photography

Dos Santos rejoined Mons in the summer, and in truth, the 28-year-old Brazilian defender looks most at home there, where he again showed the talents that have seen him sought after in local football circles over the last few years – this season Dos Santos also showed his versatility for Mons.

Playing as a striker for large parts of the Challenge Group, Dos Santos scored six goals in seven games, including a hat-trick in Mons last game of the season, and his experience and talent helped lead a Mons team who have had their ups and down to being not only the ‘best of the rest’ in the Challenge Group but also a place in the Gibtelecom Cup semi-finals. We imagine the 28-year-old will stay at Mons next season and could be a key part as his side attempts to make it into the Championship Group.


Young Player of the Season – Ayoub El Hmidi (Mons Calpe SC)

Neil Wilson (Black and Burst Photography)

Ayoub and Andre have been Mons Calpe’s best players in the Challenge Group, combining multiple times to rack up six wins from seven games and scoring four goals. His performances at times have looked lacklustre, his penalty miss against Europa Point sums it up quite well.

One thing is for certain, Ayoub needs to be playing in the Championship Group next season. At 19 years of age, and involved in the Gibraltar U21 setup, we’re sure teams will be eyeing him up as the HGP ruling looks to move to five.

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Gibraltar National League Challenge Group review

With the Gibraltar National League halted due to COVID with the Gibraltar FA’s decision to null and void the league after a 2-month suspension – here is our early review of the Challenge Group.


Mons Calpe – 1st

In truth, Mons would have found themselves very disappointed to end up in the Challenge Group in the first place – they must have fancied themselves to finish above Lions and enter the Championship Group.

However, a much-changed and improved Mons had a good 2020, which culminated in reaching the semi-finals of the Gibtelecom Cup and all but securing the top spot in the Challenge Group before the season terminated. The challenge for Mons is to try and settle some of their off-field issues and try to build on their progress in 2020.


Europa Point – 2nd

Compared to their 2016-17 season in the top flight, Europa Point can find plenty of positives especially from January onwards. Ian Hendon and his team hard work reaped its rewards but a 5-5 draw against College 1975 before the suspension, would have left a sour taste in their mouths.

Europa Point will be keeping hold of Hendon and his players but most importantly, finding a good nucleus of HGP’s, the lack of which let them down for most of the season.


Manchester 62 – 3rd

Things were always going to be hard for Manchester, but third in the Challenge Group perhaps reflects where they were in terms of strength in the league. They would have perhaps hoped for Jeff Wood to last longer in the job but struck well in getting David Wilson, another former national manager, as his replacement.

Their commitment to local talent showed in the HGP tally, and Kian Ronan especially impressed, even as a makeshift striker – however Manchester will hope an 11-1 loss to Mons Calpe in their final game was not a sign of things to come next season, and was merely a one-off.


FC Boca Juniors – 4th

An underachieving team, if you look at their squad in the summer. Their lack of funds was their main downfall with most of their players leaving as a result. Boca announced Juan Carlos Camacho as their new head coach in November which lasted until January and following him out the door was their technical team.

Credit to them, the changes made in January were swift and were a competitive side for their level. Europa’s loanees Daniel Tudela and Elias Juel-Saleh were ones which impressed us over a short period of time.


Glacis United – 5th

Glacis suffered from a very stunted start to the season, where they had issues getting players registered in time for the opening games – meaning their Intermediate squad had to fill a lot of the gaps especially against Magpies and Lincoln. This gave them no chance of finishing in the top six, but in the Challenge Group they at least showed they were on the level of the teams around them.

One of Gibraltar’s more well-known teams, Glacis will hope they can get off to a better start next season – as second-bottom of the league will no doubt disappoint them massively.


College 1975 – 6th

After 18 games, College managed to pick up one point in a 5-5 draw against Europa Point – a game which they led 4-0 at one point. 17 straight defeats came previously, a tough lesson learned.

A worrying stat would be finishing bottom and having the least amount of minutes given to HGP’s outside of the top three.

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-final review

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-finals brought no surprises as Mons Calpe, St Joseph’s, Europa and Lincoln Red Imps progress into the next round.


Mons Calpe 3-1 Europa Point

Mons rushed into an early two-goal lead against Europa Point, with Diego Diaz and Andre Dos Santos scoring in the first ten minutes before things settled down a bit more.

Europa Point was out of the traps early in the second half and got a goal back thanks to Diego Vera’s header, but their chances of a comeback were ended after Samuel Vermeeren’s own goal, and captain Antony Moulds late red card.

Mons is the only Challenge Group team left in the cup, and while they are now rank outsiders, they will look to make the cup final for the second time in three years.


St Joseph’s 1-0 Brunos Magpies

If last weekend’s encounter was anything to go by, we expected a fiery contest and certainly got it. With the level of football being played below par, both teams didn’t hide away from any strong challenges.

Juanfri scored from the penalty spot to send 10-man Saints, who had Angel Guirado sent off, into the semi-final since 2017 but it was the altercation after the final whistle which was the main focal point.

An altercation between Kelvin Morgan and Juanma Gonzalez spurred on a brawl between both teams which took quite some time to calm down – a situation which you’d believe the Gibraltar FA will investigate further.


Europa 2-0 Lions

The Rock Cup holders went safely through to the semi-finals thanks to goals from Fernando Velasco and Manuel Dimas. The Green found it tough to break the well-organised Lions defence, an improvement from their 7-0 defeat last weekend.

Europa will need to be much better for Saturday when they come up against St Joseph’s – a doubt for that match could be Olmo who came off early with a suspected groin injury.


Lincoln 6-0 Boca

As expected, Lincoln beat Boca, by a score of 6-0 on Sunday afternoon. Boca made them work for it, but Pibe’s brace and Jamie Coombes first-half goal meant at the break the game was all but done.

Boca gave Lincoln a slight scare in winning a penalty, but they missed from 12 yards, and that led to Lincoln making sure there was to be no hint of a comeback – Oli, Gato, and Blas Alvarez all scored in the second half to put an end to a spirited Boca side, who before the game may have been fearing a bigger scoreline.