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Liam Walker wins it for Europa

An early goal by Liam Walker secured Europa a 1-0 win over their rivals Lincoln and sealed his side the Pepe Reyes Memorial Cup for a second consecutive season.

Lincoln with Kike, Lee Casciaro and George Cabrera all injured which left Victor Afonso starting their newly signed striker Idelino Gomes while Chino was given a surprise debut ahead of first choice keeper Lolo Soler.

Europa started life without Tjay De Barr with Dayle Coleing, Ethan Jolley, Jayce Olivero and Captain Liam Walker starting while Rafa Escobar handed debuts to Juampe, Adrian Gallardo, Sergio Sanchez, Marco Rosa and Fernando Velasco.

We only had to wait four minutes for the first goal as Juampe dribbled past Joseph Chipolina and played a low ball towards Liam Walker, whose shot from 25-yards left Chino rooted to the spot, giving the holders Europa a 1-0 lead.

Lincoln came battling back and debutant Blas Alvarez’s deflected shot nearly found its way into the bottom corner but went out for a corner which Dayle Coleing caught superbly. Juampe was having fun on the right hand side, continuously finding himself in a good attacking position but his final ball was swept up by the Lincoln defence.

Anthony Hernandez played a good through ball to Gato whose shot from a tight angle went wide. Shortly after Gato found himself behind Jayce Olivero again and fired a low shot towards goal which Coleing got a strong hand to it to keep it out.

The game evened out and the first half ended with Europa leading 1-0 courtesy of Liam Walker.

The second half got underway with Lincoln on the front-foot and a mix-up at the back nearly led to an equaliser but Gomes was unable to capitalise and Jayce Olivero cleared the danger at the backpost.

Juampe’s continued to be cause the Lincoln defence problems, his pace proved too much for Roy Chipolina and his pass found Adrian Gallardo whose first time shot went just over the crossbar. Europa nearly doubled their lead in the 53rd minute as Velasco’s shot took a deflection off Roy Chipolina and rolled inches wide of the post.

Dayle Coleing was slow to react to Sergio Molina’s shot from range which hit the post, Lincoln appealed to what looked like to be a certain corner but the referee awarded a goal-kick. Around 15 minutes to go and trailing 1-0, Lincoln brought on Jamie Coombes to replace Sergio Molina while Europa swapped out their strikers with Manu Dimas coming on for Adrian Gallardo.

A few minutes later, Ethan Britto replaced Roy Chipolina with Joseph Chipolina receiving the captain’s armband and moving into the centre of defence.

Europa kept their nerve for the remainder of the game and walked away with the first piece of silverware of the season, beating Lincoln 1-0.

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Europa win the Pepe Reyes Cup after penalty victory

Europa claimed the first silverware of the season by beating Lincoln 4-2 on penalties in the Pepe Reyes Cup.

Photo (C) C Correa Photography

With the game ending 1-1 in 90 minutes, after Oli cancelled out Rubo’s header, Europa won on penalties after their former player Sykes Garro, as well as Diego Gamiz, both missed their efforts.

Both teams had players missing from their lineups, most notably Lolo Soler for Lincoln and Kike for Europa, while the new HGP rule saw Tjay De Barr make his Europa debut against his former side, with new signings Dayle Coleing and Aaron Payas unused subs for last season’s Rock Cup winners.

In truth, the game was not the best match that we’ve seen from either team in recent years, with a slow tempo in the August sunshine for most of the game. After last year’s edition of the match needed extra time, both teams will have been grateful of the lack of 30 minutes additional football, ahead of Thursday’s double-header than involves both teams.

Rubo’s looping header beat Jaylan Hankins in the Lincoln goal to give Europa the lead, before the 17-year old keeper made a great double save to keep the score 1-0. It proved to vital as minutes later Oli came in at the far post to equalise, which appeared to set up the second half nicely.

Instead, the relative lack of match fitness seemed to take its toll, and with Europa making no subs from their bench of four, and Lincoln only bringing on their last two subs in the latter stages of the game, the game rather dried out in the second half, leading to the penalty shootout.

After five successful penalties, Garro stepped up and put his effort over Javi Munoz’ bar. Ivan Moya then put his spot-kick away, and the contest was ended as Gamiz smashed the bar from 12 yards, allowing the Europa keeper, and captain, to lift the Pepe Reyes Cup for the first time since 2016.

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Europa win Pepe Reyes Cup – player ratings

We rated Lincoln & Europa’s player as the Greens won 4-2 on penalties to walk away with the first piece of silverware this season. 

Gamiz & Garro both missed their penalties while Jaylan Hankins took the plaudits with a superb display between the sticks. 

The game wasn’t as entertaining as we had liked but here’s what we thought… Continue reading

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Lincoln v Europa – Player Ratings

Lincoln beat Europa 3-1 on penalties to win the Pepe Reyes Cup but how did both sets of players fare this evening? 

Tjay De Barr scored the winning penalty as goalkeeping heroics from Imps keeper Lolo Soler saved three of Europa’s four penalties. 

After the game, we gave our assessment of each player who featured.. Continue reading

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Lincoln v Europa preview

Football is finally back on the Rock with Lincoln Red Imps taking on holders Europa in the traditional “curtain-raiser” which is the Pepe Reyes Cup.

The Imps will be hoping to put last season behind them and win the first piece of silverware and take an added boost over their title rivals Europa. Following Yeray Blasco‘s departure to Olímpic Xàtiva, we expect Anthony Hernandez to start after a good performance in the Europa League and strike up a good midfield partnership with Antonio Calderon & Dieguito.

Despite their best efforts to sign Pibe on a permanent deal from Mons Calpe, which ultimately failed, Imps did manage to bring in Falu Arenda from CD El Palo who has had a good preseason while he fills in for George Cabrera, who is still returning from an injury he picked up last season. 

This is newly appointed Europa manager Jonathan Parrado‘s first competitive game in charge and he’ll be hoping to get onto the right foot as he tries to replicate the success Juanjo Gallardo has last season. Parrado isn’t the only one who will be feeling the pressure on Sunday; new signing Jorge Pina Roldán has been given the task of playing as much of a vital role as Liam Walker did last season, something which won’t be easy.

Walker’s departure also frees up a HGP position on the pitch which will be battled between Sykes Garro and new signings Mikey Yome & Ethan Jolley with George Wink still recovering from a long-term injury. That will also be an interesting battle to see who starts. 


The Pepe Reyes Cup gets underway this Sunday and kicks off at 19:00 with live coverage on our Twitter accounts

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Kike at the double as Europa win Pepe Reyes Cup

A brace from Kike saw Europa FC win 2-0 in the Pepe Reyes Cup and gain early bragging rights over their domestic rivals Lincoln in the 2016/17 season curtain-raiser.

Photo Credit: C Correa Photography

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Walker: “A win is all we have on our minds”

Arguably the most eye-catching signing of the summer was Liam Walker moving from Lincoln to Europa after the successful Champions League campaign where he shone in not only Gibraltar, but also Tallinn and Glasgow.

Continue reading