Saints ease past Glacis

A goal from Juanfri after 35 seconds set St Joseph’s on their way to a 5-0 win against Glacis last night.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Glacis, who came in off the back of a 2-0 win in midweek vs Manchester 62, knew the size of the task ahead of them – Saints had beaten the same opposition as Glacis, but in an 11-0 win last weekend. James Castle captained the side with Miguel Londero on the bench, while Saints stuck with a familiar lineup but still had a different look, wearing their new orange away kit which to an unfamiliar eye could have seen them mistaken for Lions.

Saints got off to a lightning start, as with their very first attack, the ball found its way to Juanfri who scored with just 35 seconds on the clock. This suggested a hammering may be on the cards, but Glacis grew into the game after the early setback and made sure Jamie Robba was worked at times.

Saints missed a couple of good chances to score again, and had to wait until the final kick of the half to go 2-0 up. A failed offside trap allowed Boro in one-on-one, and he made no mistake putting the ball past Marcos Zappacosta, despite the keeper getting a hand to it, to make Raul Procopio’s half-time team talk that bit easier.

The second half, although Glacis did not stop fighting, was a more straightforward affair, aided by some top finishes. 10 minutes into the half, Nano curled in a rocket from 25 yards on his right foot to get Saints third, before Boro got his second, and Saints fourth just after the hour mark. With 20 minutes to go, Domingo Ferrer got a goal not too dissimilar to Nano’s – and they should have had six when Boro missed a golden chance to get his hat-trick late on.

The result sees St Joseph’s lead the table on goal difference from Lynx and Europa, while for Glacis, they remain 9th on four points from six games.


Glacis: Zappacosta; Evans, Brinkman (Smith, 45), Kozuh, Witrbeuk (Peacock, 84), Borghi, Kaleba, J. Castle, Gallo (Lamont 82), Pratts (Yeo, 45), K. Castle

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Londero, N. Castle

St Joseph’s: Robba; Garro (Hernandez, 68), Boro, Nano (Loren, 68), Barnett, Pecci (Rojas, 45), Juanfri, Pons, Juanma (Carrasco, 68) , Ferrer, Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Mateo, Casciaro, Villar

Yellow Cards: Kozuh, Pratts, K. Castle; Barnett, Pecci

Red Cards: None


Saints hit eleven past Manchester 62

A clear mismatch occurred at the Victoria Stadium this evening as a hopeless Manchester 62 side were unable to stop St Joseph’s hitting 11 goals past them in an 11-0 win.

On paper, the match looked one-sided, and despite Manchester only starting six locals, less than in other matches, they were incapable of stopping Saints from running riot all match. Despite Robert Montovio having an early chance, Juanfri put Saints ahead after seven minutes. Boro got Saints second, and Juanfri got his second and Saints third before 15 minutes had gone, and within 30 minutes Saints striker Juanfri had got his hat-trick, highlighting the easiness of this game.

There would be a further three goals before the break – Juanma, Juanfri again, and Loren all got on the scoresheet to leave Raul Procopio’s side 7-0 up at the break.

The second half proved to be irrelevant to changing the flow of the game, but Saints got four further goals, courtesy of Nano, Zeki Rojas, Loren’s second and Boro’s second. Charles Sardena was sent off for Manchester 62 but it made no difference to the result.

For Manchester, the chastening defeat should serve as a wake-up call for them if they want to even try and challenge for top six this season – this is the second time in 2020 they have conceded 11 in a game, after an 11-1 loss to Mons Calpe before lockdown. For manager Davie Wilson, he needs to get his team in order and get them to put in a performance worthy of a club who has been a part of local football for over 50 years.


St Joseph’s: Robba; Garro, Boro (c), Nano, Barnett, Pecci (Carrasco 46), Loren, Juanfri (Rojas 46), Pons (Hernandez 64), Juanma (Ferrer 61), Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Mateo, Casciaro, Guirado

Manchester 62: Warwick; P.Sardena, Pereira, Montovio (C.Sardena 58), Mifsud (Mancilla 46), Sanchez (Negrette 46), Edzes, Holland (Ballantine 58), Farmer, Clenahan, Garcia (De Los Santos 58)

Unused Subs: Borge, Chichon

Yellow Cards: Pons; Montovio, Edzes, Holland

Red Cards: C. Sardena


Pons: “We will continue to improve as we get more experience”

FG caught up with Alain Pons to talk about Gibraltar’s historic promotion to League C in the Nations League, St Joseph’s game against Manchester 62 this weekend and more.

Pons reflected on Gibraltar’s draw with Liechtenstein on Tuesday, “I feel that the team went out and executed the managers game plan well. We were solid at the back, caused problems going forward and every player on the pitch gave their all.

The draw against Liechtenstein gave Gibraltar the point they needed to secure promotion to League C in the Nations League – we asked Pons how it felt, “I am extremely proud and honoured to be part of the squad that continues to make history. An incredible achievement after just a few years in UEFA. I am sure that we will continue to improve as we get more experience and more games under our belt.

We asked Pons how preparation has gone for St Joseph’s game with Manchester 62 this weekend, “The team is looking good and everyone seems to be motivated. Due to the international break, we haven’t been all together in a couple of weeks but now the ball is rolling again and all the team is raring to go against Manchester 62 this weekend.

Lastly, Pons gave us an insight into what he hopes to achieve this season – “This season we are hoping to strive to be in contention for the league. I think we demonstrated last year that we can compete with the likes of Europa and Lincoln and this is what we are planning on doing this year. We all have a sense of belief and we are aiming to win the league. One game at the time.


Lions keeper salvages a point

Lions goalkeeper Borja Valades Gonzalez salvaged a point after equalising in the final minute to earn a 1-1 draw against St Joseph’s.

Raul Procopio handed Sykes Garro his first start for St Joseph’s since late February while Lions head coach Albert Ferri opted for a defensive change with Guillermo Jimenez replacing forward Abraham Pomares.

Saints controlled most of the half and were unfortunate not to take the lead mid-way through when they had an effort cleared off the line. A scrappy affair was brought to a halt with the score locked at 0-0.

On the hour mark, St Joseph’s were left furious when they had a penalty appeal turned down. Ten minutes later a mis-hit cross would hit the crossbar, leaving the thought of it just not being Saints’ day.

Lions’ defensive resilience would finally be broken in the 80th minute when second-half substitute Loren fired in at the second attempt. Procopio would make an immediate change with defender Ezequiel Rojas replacing forward Domingo Ferrer Lopez.

Aymen Mouelhi had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 in the 89th minute but his shot from inside the box hit the side-netting. With time running out, a well-worked corner routine saw Lions goalkeeper Borja Valades Gonzalez run into the box unmarked and headed the ball in to make it 1-1.


St Joseph’s – Robba; Garro, Nano, Barnett, Pecci (c), Juanfri, Villar (Loren 59), Pons (Pishu 75), Juanma, Ferrer (Rojas 80), Mouelhi

Unused subs: Mateo, Serra, Carrasco, Robba

Lions – Valades; Jimenez (Pomares 68), Tovar, Bosio, Breakspear, Cintas, Caravaca (c), Buhagiar, Ruiz (Cortes 75), Verjaque (Rumbo 89), Hastings

Unused subs: Victor, Morales, Thorne, Grech

Yellow cards: Barnett, Pons, Ferrer; Jimenez, Tovar, Bosio, Cintas, Caravaca, Hastings

Red cards: None.


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.


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


Boro & Juanfri score in Saints win

Boro and Juanfri both got on the score-sheet in St Joseph’s 3-1 win over Boca this afternoon.

After a nearly fifteen-minute delay which saw a Boca player removed from their team-sheet due to testing complications, the game got underway on a sunny afternoon at the Victoria Stadium.

It took eighteen minutes for St Joseph’s to take the lead, Domingo Ferrer Lopez latched onto a through ball and fired his shot past Jack Atkinson. Saints finished the half strongly with Boro and Juanfri scoring to make it 3-0 to Saints.

Boca was awarded a penalty on the 75th minute which Luke Wall dispatched to make it 3-1. Saints held on for the remaining fifteen minutes and secured themselves the three points on the opening day of the season.


St Joseph’s: J. Robba; Serra, Boro (Juanma, 61), Nano, Hernandez, Pecci, Juanfri (Guirado, 61), Villar, Pons, Ferrer (Loren, 61), Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Mateo, Chipolina, Carrasco, K. Robba

Boca: Atkinson; Gilbert, Perez, Parkinson, Wall, Marquez, Peacock (Ramundo, 65), Santos, Coombes (Clinton, 45), Armstrong, Sammartino

Unused Subs: Proctor, Juel-Saleh, Drudu, Daniele

Yellow Cards: Perez, Peacock

Red Cards: None


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.


Boro goal not enough to save St Joseph’s

Alex Mellemgaard’s penalty just before half-time was enough to secure B36 a 2-1 win over St Joseph’s in the UEFA Europa League preliminary round.

St Joseph’s fast start caught out the visitors as Boro got onto Juanfri’s flick-on and fired a shot which Hentze saved. B36 grew in confidence as the game went on and took the lead through Michał Przybylski in the 28th minute.

Two minutes later and St Joseph’s equalised through captain Boro, the attacker got in behind the B36 defence and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Saints were dealt a blow with two minutes of the first half remaining, B36 won a penalty which Alex Mellemgaard coolly scored to give the visitors a 2-1 lead at half-time.

As the second half went on, the visitors clearly struggled with the heat but Saints couldn’t capitalise – mainly due to the MoTM display by B36 defender Sonni Nattestad. The attacking substitution of Pedro Lorenzo Fernández Muñoz caused the B36 defence problems but Saints were poor in the final third.

St Joseph’s were given two lifelines in the 88th and 90th minute but Pedro and Juanfri’s headers went just wide of the B36 goal. The visitors held on to their 2-1 win to progress into the next round of the UEFA Europa League.


St Joseph’s v B36 Torshavn – Preview

St Joseph’s get their Europa League campaign underway this evening with a home tie against Faroese side B36 Torshavn, at the Victoria Stadium.

Photo © C Correa Photography

Saints, who last year progressed from the Preliminary Round for the first time with a 3-1 aggregate win over FC Prishtina, met B36 at this stage two season ago, drawing both legs 1-1 before losing on penalties. This time out though, with only one leg to play and home advantage, Saints will be looking to once again progress past this stage – the winners of this match would have a home tie vs Estonian side FCI Levadia in the First Qualifying Round.

Saints appear to have kept the main core of their team from last season which saw them in second when the league was terminated, having added some experience from abroad, with the likes of former Cadiz, Oviedo & Panathinaikos player Nano, who can play at left-back or in midfield, and former Gib United midfielder Carlos Carrasco – as well as Gib international defender Erin Barnett, who earlier this week spoke to FG about the game.

Saints will have a disadvantage, in that tonight’s opponents are well into their domestic season, having played 16 games and currently sitting in third position – B36 should suffer no issues with match fitness, whereas Saints haven’t played competitively since a fiery 1-0 Rock Cup win vs Bruno’s Magpies back in March.


St Joseph’s go into this match as slight underdogs, despite the home advantage – they are 15/8 to win in 90 minutes and progress to the First Qualifying Round for the second time in as many seasons – B36 are 6/5 to get through without needing extra time, or even penalties as in 2018. The match could be a cagey affair, especially in the heat that is expected in Gib today, and Under 2.5 goals is a potentially value 6/5 shot.

FG’s Predicted Lineups:

St Joseph’s – Mateo; Serra, Villar, Rojas, Pons; Mouelhi; Nano, Carrasco, Pecci; Boro, Juanfri

B36 – Hentze; Nattestad, Eriksen, Petersen, Mellemgaard; Heinesen, Nielsen, Agnarsson; Samuelsen, Przybylski, Pingel


Barnett: We need to be at our absolute best on the day

Ahead of St Joseph’s Europa League tie with B36 on Thursday, we caught up with new signing Erin Barnett, to talk about his new club, having home advantage this week and more.

Photo © Neil Wilson

Barnett joined St Joseph’s in the summer after a short spell in England with Marine, so how has the 23-year-old found his time at his new side? “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at my new club up to now and have settled in very well. I want to thank all of my new teammates and the staff at St Joseph’s for making me feel welcome from the start.”

The defender has yet to play in European club competitions, but has 19 caps for the national side – can that experience help him should he make his debut on Thursday evening? “That’s right, this will be my first time experiencing club European competition and it is one that I am really looking forward to. Obviously playing for Gibraltar on the international stage is the highest level that one can play in football and therefore, it will serve as valuable experience.

Nevertheless, competing in the Europa League is a different challenge and experience which I will have to be focused and ready for.”

Saints take on B36 for the second time in three seasons, after a penalty loss to their Faroese opponents in 2018, but this time with the one-legged format they have home advantage at the Victoria Stadium – does Barnett feel that will give Saints an advantage? “Clearly playing at home in a one leg match does provide us with a slight advantage. Having said that, we know that we still need to be at our absolute best on the day if we are to take advantage of the draw and progress against a very difficult opponent in B36.”

Finally, with the new season set to start later this autumn, we asked the defender what his aims were for the upcoming 2020/21 season: “As soon as I first spoke with St Joseph’s and began training with the team, it became clear to me that the expectations and objectives of this club are to be the very best.

My hopes for the season are therefore very high, initially they would be to progress in the Europa League, and domestically they would be to go one step further than last year and qualify for the Champions League via winning the league.”