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Saints on top at Christmas

St Joseph’s will go into the Christmas break sitting top of the table after beating Bruno Magpies 3-0 last night.

Johnny welcomed back Francisco Zuniga after his injury and Shay Jones was handed his first start for Magpies while Procopio made two changes with John Paul Hernandez making his debut and Federico Villar walked straight into the heart of the Saints defence.

Magpies got off to a quick start and looked the better team for most of the first half but were unable to test John Paul Hernandez, who was making his Saints debut.

Domingo Ferrer Lopez, Erin Barnett and Boro all picked up yellow cards in the first half to give you the feeling that the game will be a fiery contest. Saints took the lead just before half-time through a stunning free-kick by Mariano ‘Nano’ Gonzalez Maroto.

An unfortunate own goal by Zuniga would give Saints a 2-0 lead before Juanfri would put the game to bed just a minute later when Nano dispossessed Ruben Diaz and squared the ball for the Spaniard to score his 13th goal this season.

It would take 65 minutes for Magpies to have their first real chance of the game when Rubo’s header was straight at Hernandez, apart from that, it was a poor half for Magpies in general.

Saints would hold on to the lead and walk away with the three points needed to sit top of the table, albeit on goal difference while Magpies sit eighth.


Lineups

Magpies – Martin; Garcia, Diaz, Zuniga, Cataruozzolo (Fernandez 37), Jones, Vinet (Morgan 64), Lopez, Bent (Assumpcao 68), Parker, Rubo

Unused subs: Zamora, Catania, Consigliero, Soussi

St Joseph’s – Hernandez; Garro (Hernandez 68), Boro (Loren 64), Nano, Barnett (Serra 68), Pecci (Guirado 78), Juanfri, Villar, Pons, Ferrer (Juanma 46), Mouelhi

Unused subs: Chipolina, Carrasco

Yellow cards: Lopez, Bent, Morgan; Boro, Barnett, Pecci, Ferrer

Red cards: None

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Mons and Lions battle to stalemate

Mons Calpe and Lions were unable to get the crucial goal as both teams battled to a 0-0 draw this afternoon.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Lions replaced the suspended Alberto Caravaca with Abraham Pomares, while for Mons, Mark Ballester replaced Ashley Rodriguez in the first eleven.

Both teams had early chances in the game, with German Cortes cross almost setting up Pomares, while at the other end Borja Valades saved well from Andre Dos Santos and Ayoub El Hmidi respectively.

23 minutes in, and Lions suffered a blow with Jamie Bosio having to come off for Ethan Dobinson, and the rest of the half followed a balanced flow with both sides having chances to go ahead, but the game was goalless at the break.

Both sides made a change at the break – Dobinson came off for Kaylan Rumbo, while Rodriguez replaced Ballester. 10 minutes into the half, Lions had a lobbed effort go in the back of the net, but the offside flag denied them the opener. Both Valades and Mons keeper Christian Fraiz were kept busy at times, and in the final minute, Valades had to make a great save at his near post to ensure the game ended goalless in an even affair.

The point sees Mons move onto 10 points, and Lions onto 9, with both sides having 3 matches left in the battle for the top six spots – they would have been buoyed slightly with Magpies later loss to St Joseph’s, but both will perhaps rue not winning and taking a big step towards the top six.

Lineups:

Mons Calpe: Fraiz; Dos Santos (Bernardes, 89), Santos, El Hmidi, N. El Andaloussi, Caballero, Ojeda, Ballester (Rodriguez, 45), Diaz, Sendin (Mallemaci, 73), Ronco

Unused Subs: McCarthy, Pinero, Holgado, Thorne

Lions: Valades; Tovar, Bosio (Dobinson, 23 – Rumbo, 45), Breakspear, Cintas, Pomares (Morales, 69), Buhagiar, Ruiz (Sanchez, 90), Verjaque, Cortes, Hastings

Unused Subs: Victor, Thorne, Grech

Yellow Cards: Caballero; Tovar, Breakspear, Cintas, Ruiz

Red Cards: None

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Scott Wiseman and Mustapha Yahaya seal Imps win

Second-half goals from Scott Wiseman and Mustapha Yahaya earned Lincoln Red Imps a 2-0 win against a well-disciplined Manchester 62 last night.

McElwee made two changes from the side which lost to Lynx with Kian Ronan and Mustapha Yahaya replacing Alex Moreno and Jamie Coombes while David Wilson called up 16-year old duo Jyron Zammit and Sachin Gupta to his matchday squad.

The Imps opened the scoring in the 60th minute when Scott Wiseman headed the ball in from Diego Gamiz’s cross – the Gibraltar international’s first goal of the season.

Yahaya then made it 2-0 in the 93rd minute when his shot from outside the box took a deflection and rolled into the bottom corner with the last kick of the game.

David Wilson can be proud of the way his team played, showed great discipline to frustrate Lincoln for large parts of the game and the inclusion of both 16 years olds Jyron Zammit and Sachin Gupta shows the future is bright for the club.

It’s back to winning ways for Lincoln with Glacis and St Joseph’s left to play while Manchester 62 sit 9th.


Lineups

Lincoln – Goldwin; Ronan, Wiseman, Lopes, Torrilla, K.Casciaro (Valarino 82), De Barr (Clinton 60), Toscano, Gamiz, Yahaya, Kike

Unused subs: Soler, R.Chipolina, Ramos, McGrail, Laguea

Manchester 62 – El Abd; Sardena, Pereira (Pizarro 66), Negrette, Ballantine (Gupta 82), Sanchez, Thomas, D.De Los Santos (Zammit 82), Edzes, Farmer (Montovio 68), Garcia

Unused subs: Borge, Clenahan

Yellow cards: Thomas, Garcia

Red cards: None

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Serralvo brace helps Europa Point beat College 1975

Two goals from Alejandro Serralvo Gomez helped Europa Point beat 9-man College 1975 3-1 this afternoon.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Both teams went into today’s game with zero points on the board, and the game promised to be a tense affair. However, College 1975 took the lead after just five minutes, when Luis Manuel Gallardo Monje opened the scoring for his side.

Europa Point bounced back though, and they equalised after 28 minutes. John Stewart crossed in a chance for Serralvo Gomez, who managed to equalise for his side. Europa Point had two further chances to go ahead but the scores were level at the break.

The second half was unsurprisingly a tough affair, but College took things too far and earned themselves two red cards to Antonio Sanchez and Javier Cervino, which made their battle for points ultimately too hard – Europa Point manager Steve Cummings also saw red with the officials very busy in this basement match.

Europa Point would go on to secure all three points though – Dayan Torrilla would put his side away on a counter after 71 minutes, and eight minutes from time, Serralvo wrapped up all three points with a free kick. Europa Point stay 10th, and College remain on the bottom with zero points.

Lineups:

College 1975: Migge; Hughes, Matto, Pacheco, Ruh Dos Santos, Franco, Parragues, Urenda (Cervino, 24), Gallardo, Ruiz (Sanchez, 10), Gingell (Marrache, 60)

Unused Subs: Warwick, Jeffries

Europa Point: Tudela; Josef Webber (Jacob Webber, 62), Pomares (Martinez, 71), Serralvo, Bado, Torrilla, El Yettefti, Arjona, Stewart (Adams, 83), McCarthy, Chiles-Cowell

Unused Subs: Avellano, Brennan, Chrayeh

Yellow Cards: Hughes, Pacheco, Gallardo; Josef Webber, Bado, Stewart, McCarthy

Red Cards: Sanchez, Cervino

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Borge the super-sub in Europa victory

A clever finish from substitute Dylan Borge in the second-half was enough for Europa to take all 3 points in a 1-0 win vs a hard-working, determined Glacis side.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Europa were boosted by the return to the match-day squad of centre-back pairing Olmo and Sergio Sanchez – Rafa Escobar’s team have been using the makeshift pairing of full-back Ethan Jolley and midfielder David Polaco in recent weeks at the back. Meanwhile, for Glacis, James Castle returned to the starting lineup, while Salvatore Gallo dropped to the bench.

The first half was a noticeably quiet affair, with Glacis ensuring Europa could not muster up too many strong efforts on goal in the opening 45. Goalkeeper Marcos Zappacosta was the busier of the two keepers, but aside from a very good point-blank save on the 19th minute, his action was rather routine. Glacis did defend more than Europa, but were looking to catch them on the counter – one such example of this just before the break saw them force a corner off a poor back pass/clearance, but they failed to make anything of it.

The second half followed a similar pattern, until Europa made a double change, taking off Blas Alvarez and Mikey Yome for Alex Quillo and Dylan Borge. However, it was Glacis who almost took the lead, with Christian Lopez in the Europa goal having to make a smart stop to deny Wessel Witbreuk.

That save would prove to be vital, as a minute later, Europa went ahead. After an initial shot was saved by Zappacosta, the ball was put back into the six-yard box, where Borge cleverly backheeled the ball into the bottom corner – the 17-year-old now has eight goals this season in the league – only three players in the league have scored more this season (Juanfri, Kike and Boro), and the teenager has three more goals than the next highest Gibraltarian goalscorer – his team-mate and Europa captain Liam Walker.

Glacis responded by bringing on veteran striker Michele Di Piedi, formerly of Sheffield United, and the 39-year-old made a combative start, getting booked after less than a minute of coming on. The Italian added a bit more bite to the Glacis attack now, who were chasing back to try and claw a point or more from the game, but, apart from one chance where Lopez had to become a sweeper-keeper to snuff out a potential attack, Europa showed very good game-management to slow the game down and nullify the threat from Glacis until the final whistle.

Europa stay on top for the time being, at least until St Joseph’s game vs Magpies on Sunday, while for Glacis, while they remain sixth, they only have one game remaining, vs Lincoln, so they realistically need to beat Mick McElwee’s side to have any hope of keeping that top six spot come the split.

Lineups:

Europa: Lopez; Jolley, Alvarez (Quillo, 57), Juampe, Gallardo (Ayew, 80), Walker, Yome (Borge, 57), Olivero, Carrascal, Polaco, Willy (Sanchez, 67)

Unused Subs: Romero, Olmo, Bautista

Glacis: Zappacosta; Yeo, N. Castle, Derksen, Brinkman (McGowan, 88), Smith, Witbreuk (Di Piedi, 80), Borghi (Gallo, 88), Kaleba, J. Castle, Londero

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Muir, Omari, K. Castle

Yellow Cards: Gallardo; Smith, Londero, Omari, Di Piedi

Red Cards: None

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FG Team of the Week: Matchday 8

Matchday 8 results

  • Europa Point 2-4 Mons Calpe (Moulds, Stewart, Dos Santos x3, N.El Andaloussi)
  • Lynx 2-0 Lincoln Red Imps (Ruesca, A.Hernandez)
  • Manchester 62 0-9 Europa (Gallardo x4, Borge, Juanlu x2, Quillo, Juampe)
  • Glacis United 0-1 Brunos Magpies (Lopez)
  • St Joseph’s 13-1 College 1975 (Guirado x4, Boro x3, Juanfri x2, Garro x2, Carrasco, Chipolina; Pacheco)

Team

  1. Alan Martin (Magpies)
  2. Mario Ruesca Torres (Lynx)
  3. Miguel Londero (Glacis)
  4. Diego Caballero (Mons Calpe)
  5. Juan Luis ‘Willy’ Becerra Gallego (Europa)
  6. Jesse Victory (Lynx)
  7. David ‘Bauti’ Bautista (Lynx)
  8. Sykes Garro (St Joseph’s)
  9. Andre Dos Santos (Mons Calpe)
  10. Angel Guirado (St Joseph’s)
  11. Adrian Gallardo (Europa)
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Saints on top after a comfortable victory

St Joseph’s moved to the top of the table after a comfortable 4-1 victory over Lynx last night.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Francisco Mateo went in goal for Saints, while Jamie Serra was also handed a start at right-back; meanwhile Lynx were missing Dylan Hernandez and Chuky from their starting eleven.

The opening stages of the match were very hard-fought, as typified by Aymen Mouelhi’s booking for a foul after 20 seconds of the game. Both teams battled hard until Saints got the breakthrough – Nano entered the box and unleashed a bullet of a finish which, despite Bradley Banda getting a hand to it, went in off the woodwork to give Saints the lead.

From there, Saints looked the better team, and despite picking up a couple more bookings, seemed more in control than their opponents – and despite Juanfri wasting a good one-on-one, the striker would get his goal before half-time, after Nano squared it across the box for him to tap in.

From that point, Lynx, who would have been confident pre-match after their 2-0 win vs Lincoln last weekend, looked beaten, and they went 3-0 down after 65 minutes when Boro scored from the spot to extend his sides lead.

The game then started to slowly drift to a conclusion, before Saints got a fourth. Erin Barnett’s long ball from defence evaded the Lynx defenders and set up Loren to go in one-on-one and finish past Banda. The only sour note to Saints night was a lack of clean sheet, as Aritz Hernandez bundled an effort into the net in injury time, to at least give Lynx something from a game that they had been beaten thoroughly in.

Saints go top of the table, ahead of Europa on goal difference, while Lynx stay fourth but should be assured of a top six finish come the split.

Lineups:

Lynx: Banda; Serra (Ruiz, 45), Damia (Morente, 56), Power, Konare (Javan Parody, 72), Hernandez, Jaydan Parody (Huart, 80), Gonzalez, Ruesca, Victory, Bauti

Unused Subs: Plantone, Espinosa, Hanglin

St Joseph’s: Mateo; Serra, Garro, Boro, Nano, Barnett, Pecci (Rojas, 80) Juanfri (Guirado, 72), Pons, Ferrer (Loren, 61), Mouelhi (Pishu, 72)

Unused Subs: Hernandez, Chipolina, Villar

Yellow Cards: Jaydan Parody, Torres; Juanfri, Ferrer, Mouelhi

Red Cards: None

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Lions Women get off to perfect start

Lions Women have got their league campaign off to the perfect start by winning their first two games against Europa and Lynx.

Women’s football was finally given the green light to begin their season after Covid restrictions. The big talking point was reigning champions Lincoln Red Imps pulling out the league and being replaced by Lynx.

Lions beat Europa 2-0 in the season opener with Kayleigh Ferro and 15-year old Mollie Karp getting the goals. It is refreshing to see so many young girls playing, 14-year old Sarah Popham being the youngest in the Europa team.

Managed by Janssen Olivero and Adrian Parral, Lions secured their second straight win yesterday with a 3-0 win over new side Lynx. A brace from Joelle Gilbert and one by Mollie Karp made sure their 100% record stayed intact.

The next women’s game is on Tuesday 22nd December between Lynx & Europa at 18:15.

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Prize sharing now on hold

The GFLA have tonight issued a press release following the originally agreed prize-sharing agreement which has now been put on hold by Europa FC “refusing” to sign the agreement.

The press release is as follows: “Since Gibraltar’s admission into UEFA in May 2013, there have been repeated calls from past and current local stakeholders of the game, for the concept of prize sharing to be discussed and agreed between all local domestic football clubs. These calls come from those, the majority of whom, have been in Gibraltar’s local football scene long before finances were brought into the game.

Over the course of the year the Gibraltar Football League Association ‘GFLA’ have held weekly meetings in respect of all areas concerning domestic football. A united front from all involved is essential for the league to not only grow but more importantly, to ensure the sustainability of clubs for many years to come. By unanimously agreeing to a model which allows for a fair distribution of prize monies, it would assist clubs who do not have the significant financial backing to sustain themselves for much longer and in turn, seek to ensure long-term participation of member clubs in UEFA competitions.

Those who are well acquainted with Gibraltar football will recognise and know, how detrimental the influx of money into the game has been, which has seen many clubs disappear and has left the Gibraltar National League with only eleven clubs.

There have been many positives over the past year, however, the issue of prize sharing as it stands is holding the future of the domestic league on a knives edge and very much in the balance.

On the 9th of June, for the first time in our history, an agreement was reached by the then twelve members clubs (including FC Boca Juniors) to be able to enter into negotiations of prize sharing.

It was acknowledged and agreed by all member clubs that the prize monies distributed by UEFA to the league champions could be equally distributed amongst the clubs not participating in European competitions for the season 2020/21, subject to negotiations with the Gibraltar Football Association.

Put into context, the payments by UEFA apply a league winners prize to all league winning clubs if they are knocked out before reaching the group stages. The removal of this prize is justified because of the benefits attained by reaching the group stages. Therefore, this would mean that the league winners would still be held to pay into the fund, but will in any case not be out of pocket as they would only be required to pay the equivalent of the league winner’s prize. The significance of this is highlighted by the fact that the bottom-placed team would receive a share which ensures their long term sustainability.

Negotiations as such with the GFA have been successful and a Fund Sharing Agreement has been drafted. However, in order for the agreement to be finalised, a unanimous agreement is again required by all clubs. The FSA would, as stated previously, allow the monies to be distributed amongst the clubs, the exact values of which would be dependent on the UEFA monies allocated and which can vary.

Importantly, the great effort from clubs in producing various formulas to find workable and fair solutions for all clubs must be noted. A final one has been drafted, but unfortunately, is being blocked by one club refusing to sign the agreement.

If this club (Europa FC) maintains its stance it would not be an exaggeration to say that in a not too distant, we shall see more clubs disappear and with them our National League.”

“The club has already made their position clear last week” – Europa’s comment to FG refers back to an interview posted by the Gibraltar Chronicle with Peter Cabezutto, president of Europa FC.

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Dos Santos hat-trick secures Mons victory

A first-half hat-trick from Andre Dos Santos helped Mons Calpe beat Europa Point 4-2 last night.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Omar El Yettefti and James Chiles-Cowell both started for Europa Point, replacing Dayan Torrilla and Tarik Chrayeh, while Naoufal El Andaloussi was a starter for Mons, and Ethan Santos returned from an injury suffered against Lincoln.

Mons got off to a very good start, as after two minutes, Dos Santos headed in a cross from Diego Caballero, and five minutes later, El Andaloussi would double Mons lead from a rebound, after Europa Point keeper Daniel Tudela had saved his initial effort on goal.

Mons were clearly having the better of the first half, and after a good save from Tudela and an effort from Dos Santos go wide, the Brazilian would get his second, and Mons third just shy of the half hour mark, after being set up by Ayoub El Hmidi. When El Hmidi’s effort, which was cleared off the line, was bundled over by Dos Santos for his hat-trick to make it 4-0, things didn’t look good for Europa Point, but they managed to make the scoreline more respectable in the second half.

On the hour mark, Antony Moulds pulled back a goal for Europa Point, and 15 minutes later, John Stewart’s deflected effort made it 4-2. Their attempt at a miraculous comeback fizzled out though, and the game would finish at that scoreline.

Europa Point are 11th still, and realistically have no chance at a top six finish, while Mons find themselves fifth, well in the mix for a spot in the Championship Group come the split.

Lineups:

Europa Point: Tudela; Josef Webber, Pomares (Serralvo, 84), Bado, Martinez (Arjona, 65), Moulds, El Yettefti, Stewart, Jacob Webber (Dixon, 55), McCarthy, Chiles-Cowell

Unused Subs: Mustafa, Adams, Torrilla, Hockin

Mons Calpe: Fraiz; Dos Santos, Santos, Rodriguez, El Hmidi (Ballester, 75), N. El Andaloussi, Caballero (Pinero, 60), Ojeda, Diaz (Mallemaci, 60), Sendin, Ronco

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

Yellow Cards: Josef Webber, Pomares, Bado, El Yettefti, Stewart; Diaz, Pinero, Ballester

Red Cards: None