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Mustapha Yahaya is FG Player of the Week

With the leagues now split, FG Player of the Week makes a return and will replace Team of the Week – Lincoln Red Imps midfielder Mustapha Yahaya wins it this week for his powerhouse performance against rivals and former club Europa.

Mustapha Yahaya – Lincoln Red Imps (1st)

Yahaya put in one of his usual performances which most of us are so accustom to nowadays. The midfield battle between himself and Carrascal was interesting to watch but the Ghanaian made sure Liam Walker would not have enough time on the ball to damage Imps.

Jesse Victory – Lynx (2nd)

One of the best in his position, Jesse has gone from strength to strength and become a vital part of Lynx’s plans. Normally just sitting in front of the defence, Jesse has found himself in a more attacking role this season which he has flourished in. The 24-year old controlled the midfield alongside Bauti, great in possession and scored the winner in Lynx’s win over Lions.

Roy Chipolina – Lincoln Red Imps (3rd)

Age is just a number after another stellar performance. After missing most of Round One through injury, the Gibraltar captain would make his return and has looked a very strong figure in Lincoln’s defence – great news for the National Team also ahead of the internationals.

Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez – St Joseph’s (4th)

Pishu only played 45 minutes, which shows how well he played to make it into the top 4 this week. The 22-year-old replaced Sykes Garro at half time, and with Julio Ribas in the stands, Hernandez looked like a player possessed playing on the wing, putting in a stellar performance and making a late push to return to the national team for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

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Jolley: “We have been the team to beat”

FG caught up with Europa defender Ethan Jolley to get his thoughts on their defeat to Lincoln last week, the title challenge and more.

Jolley reflected on Europa’s 3-0 loss to Lincoln, “I felt the team performed well against Lincoln. We had our own game plan as they have theirs and I thought we had a good game but on the day we were nowhere near our best. We have had much better games where we dominate and finish our chances as we have done previously.

Lincoln move level on points with Europa and currently lead the race with a better H2H over their rivals – we asked Ethan he feels there is more pressure on the team now, “Being in a team that’s fighting for the title year in year out there’s always pressure. I think we have been the team to beat for the past couple of years as being unbeaten and champions from the previous year. I must add its good to have pressure as it keeps us on our toes. The loss last week might help as a wake-up call for us to want it even more.

Europa’s lack of HGP’s was on show for everyone to see in their defeat and one which head coach Rafa Escobar still hasn’t been able to find his strongest team as of yet – we asked if this problem may jeopardise their title challenge, “Having more HGP’s is always good which we might lack in but I don’t necessarily think it could jeopardise the title challenge as I think we have a very good group of HGP players.

We asked Ethan how he feels heading into the international break, “Personally, I feel good going into the International break. Even though there have been some stops due to the Covid, I feel fit and eager to get going with my fellow international teammates.

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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.

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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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Kike brace sends Europa to defeat

Two goals from Kike against his former club saw Lincoln cruise to a 3-0 victory over Europa last night.

Photo (C) Black and Burst

David Polaco returned to the starting lineup for Europa, while Lincoln were unchanged from the victory vs St Joseph’s, but saw Graeme Torrilla and Ethan Britto return to the matchday squad.

Kike gave Europa a warning when he hit the crossbar after a counter attack, but the Lincoln striker went one better moments later. Europa failed to clear their lines, and Kike, who had a successful spell at the club before leaving for Linense, tapped in to give Mick McElwee’s side the lead.

The goal woke up Europa somewhat, who had efforts from Dylan Borge and Alejandro Carrascal, but they needed a great challenge from Ethan Jolley to stop Lee Casciaro going in on goal just before the break. At half time, Europa manager Rafa Escobar made a quadruple substitution, replacing Dylan Borge, Jesus Romero, Jayce Olivero and Blas Alvarez with Mohamed Badr, Christian Lopez, Chico Diaz and Marco Rosa.

Five minutes after the break, Kike had a great chance to double Lincoln’s lead but put his effort wide, while on the hour mark Rosa saw his effort saved by Chino in the Lincoln goal. Then, a few minutes after Liam Walker went close to an equaliser by hitting the woodwork, Lincoln made it two – Fernando Carralero’s ball over the top caught the Europa defence sleeping, and Kike got his second of the evening to wrap up the three points.

There was time for Carlos Martinez to get a third for Lincoln, and Chino saved well from a Walker free kick in injury time, but Lincoln cruised to three points in the table-topping clash. They now sit top courtesy of the head to head record over Europa, who lost for the first time domestically since May 2019, which was also to Lincoln. The result would have also been looked at favourably by St Joseph’s, who are third but only three points off the top now.

Lineups:

Europa: Romero (Jolley, 45); Jolley, Olmo, Alvarez (Rosa, 45), Juampe, Walker, Yome, Olivero (Badr, 45), Carrascal, Borge (Diaz, 45), Polaco

Unused Subs: Ayew, Gallardo, Willy

Lincoln: Chino; Wiseman, Lopes, L. Casciaro (Torrilla, 77), De Barr (Sergeant, 90), R. Chipolina, Toscano, Carralero (Britto, 87), Martinez (Moreno, 87), Yahaya, Kike

Unused Subs: Soler, Coombes, Wall

Yellow Cards: Yome, Olivero, Polaco; De Barr, Kike

Red Cards: None

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Saints storm back to winning ways

St Joseph’s ended a run of two games without a victory in emphatic fashion, running out 4-0 winners over Mons Calpe.

Two straight defeats to Europa and Lincoln saw Saints drop into third and needed a win with the other two facing each other tonight. Lynx’s win over Lions meant Mons Calpe needed to match the result to keep the pressure on 4th place.

Ezequiel Rojas had St Joseph’s ahead after 16 minutes when the defender rose above his marker to head the ball past Fraiz from Nano’s corner. Juanfri nearly doubled his sides lead just seven minutes later but his effort struck the crossbar.

Juanfri did eventually get his goal when Nano’s shot was blocked and the Spanish striker was on hand to tap the ball in from close. The 31-year old got his brace in the 80th minute and Federico Villar added a fourth late on.


Lineups

Mons Calpe – Fraiz; Dos Santos, Rodriguez, El Hmidi, El Andaloussi, Caballero (Bernardes 77), Santos, Ojeda, Ballester, Diaz (Moreno 81), Mallemaci (Musoni 28)

Unused subs: Montano, De Los Santos, Boulaich, Ronco

St Joseph’s – Robba; Chipolina, Rojas, Garro (Pishu 45), Nano, Barnett (Moulds 73), Pecci (Villar 77), Borghi (Carrasco 62), Juanfri, Pons, Juanma

Unused subs: Hernandez, Boro, Cano

Yellow cards: El Hmidi; Chipolina

Red cards: None

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Victory heads Lynx to victory

A first half header from Jesse Victory saw Lynx beat Lions 1-0 in the first match of the Championship Group.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Lions had to replace the suspended Shea Breakspear, which saw Kaylan Rumbo start, while Lynx had Bradley Banda return in goal while Alberto Valdivia started for the side.

From the get go, Lynx had the better chances as they looked to make it back-to-back wins over Lions, although they weren’t helped by Aidan Serra coming off after 16 minutes. His replacement, Michael Ruiz, tested Borja Valades in the Lions net, before some good play and a good cross from left-back Thomas Som met the head of Victory, who headed Lynx into the lead.

Lions had injury issues of their own as Guillermo Jimenez came off for Craig Bossano-Anes, while the half time sub of Abraham Pomares for Kaylan Rumbo was likely tactical. While Jared Buhagiar did have an effort go over for Albert Ferri’s side, it was about as good as it got for them, and just before the end Thomas Hastings saw red as Lynx secured the three points.

Lynx remain in fourth place but have strengthened their hopes of finishing there, while Lions are now seven points off that spot, set to be the final European spot depending on the cup winners, and their hopes of Europe are fading fast.

Lineups:

Lions: Valades; Jimenez (Bossano-Anes, 40), Tovar, Bosio, Rumbo (Pomares, 45), Cintas (Prescott, 53), Peacock, Buhagiar, Verjaque (Mkerreff, 75), Cortes, Hastings

Unused Subs: Victor, Grech

Lynx: Banda; Serra (Ruiz, 16), Som (Hanglin, 83), Power, Caravaca (Gracia, 83). Valdivia (Santos, 59), Espinosa, Valarino, Victory, Morente (Gonzalez, 59), Bauti

Unused Subs: Avellano, Parkinson

Yellow Cards: Bosio, Peacock, Cortes, Hastings, Mkerreff; Gracia

Red Cards: Hastings

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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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FG Team of the Week: Matchday 11

Matchday 11 results

  • Brunos Magpies 4-0 Europa Point (Morgan x3, Rubo)
  • Europa 9-0 College 1975 (Walker x2, Diaz x2, Alvarez, Quillo, Gallardo, Sanchez, Carrascal)
  • Lincoln Red Imps 4-2 St Joseph’s (Lopes, Yahaya, Carralero, Kike; Juanfri x2)
  • Mons Calpe 5-0 Manchester 62 (Diaz x2, Ballester, El Hmidi, El Andaloussi)
  • Lions 0-3 Lynx (Hernandez, Power, Valdivia)

Team

  1. Bradley Avellano (Lynx)
  2. Scott Wiseman (Lincoln)
  3. Julian Valarino (Lynx)
  4. Dan Bent (Magpies)
  5. Fernando Carralero (Lincoln)
  6. Liam Walker (Europa)
  7. David Bauti (Lynx)
  8. Nathan Santos (Mons Calpe)
  9. Jose Diaz Verde (Europa)
  10. Kelvin Morgan (Magpies)
  11. Diego Diaz (Mons Calpe)
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Chino: “We needed those points”

FG caught up with Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin to talk about Lincoln’s win over St Joseph’s, the league split and more.

Imps beat St Joseph’s 4-2 last week to finish the first round of fixtures in second place, Chino reflected on the result – “The team put in a shift and dominated the first half. In the second half, St Joseph’s upped their game and we held them well away from those crazy 5 minutes. Overall a solid performance.

We asked Chino how important the win over Saints was as the league headed into a split, “We needed those points to continue to stay close to Europa and keep the pressure on.

The international break is edging towards us and Gibraltar have a triple header to look forward to. We asked Chino how he is feeling ahead of the internationals, “Personally, I feel great and really looking forward to meeting up with the squad to prepare for these games. It’s what any player dreams of.

Chino told us what he hopes to achieve this season, “Winning the league and cup is what a club like Lincoln strives for and expect. Having said that it’s also my personal objective.