Gibraltar welcomed their second opponents in 6 days as they played hosts tonight to Wingate and Finchley, who are newly promoted to the Isthmian League Premier.
On a considerably cooler evening than last Sunday against Rochdale, the game, attended by a couple of hundred people (despite it being free of charge) were treated to an enjoyable game, which saw 5 goals in it.
The first of these came in the 12th minute, as Gibraltar were awarded a penalty after The Blues keeper hacked down an advancing Lee Casciaro. Such a tackle would likely have seen red in a competitive fixture; thankfully the ref, who had a mixed game both ways, used common sense and showed no cards. Aaron Payas calmly scored the penalty, and Gib were 1-0 up after 12 minutes.
Gibraltar had the chance to make it 2-0, as the ball came to the normally reliable Lee Casciaro in front of a near open goal. Lee, however, fluffed his lines and missed, to the bemusement of all concerned. Soon after this was the ‘drinks break’, as seen in the Rochdale game, to help the players fight dehydration in the heat.
Wingate soon punished this, and gained an equaliser. A shot was deflected into the box, and The Blues number 9 beat Jordan Perez to the ball to head into an empty net. Soon after, Perez was forced to come off injured, seemingly a thigh issue.
However, just 3 minutes later, the lead was resumed, and in sone style. The ball was floated to the edge of the box, and it was finished expertly with a ‘side foot volley’. Another 3 minutes later, Aaron Payas grabbed his second, and Gib went in at half time 3-1 up. The score was a bit flattering, as Wingate and Finchley showed good play, and they were the better team come the second half.
At half time, The Blyes bought on a stocky (to say the least) defender on, and his intimidating presence did help shore up Wingate’s defence, allowing The Blues to show some more of their more attacking play.
However, it took them 20 minutes to get a goal back, and it was through an own goal. A decent break forward saw a difficult low cross put in, and under pressure, the defender put it past Gib’s sub keeper, to give Wingate a chance at getting a result from this game.
As the game wore on, Gib slowly got back into it, and should’ve made it 4-2. Lee Casciaro put the ball in for Paul Podesta, but Podesta missed an arguably easier chance than that of Lee’s earlier on. Luckily for Bula’s men, these wasted opportunities were not punished, and the game drew out to a close, ending at 3-2 to the hosts, in another decent game.
Gib are supposed to play Wealdstone in Spain soon, although no date or location has been announced yet by either side. It could be another case like the Cardiff game, which was called off for unknown and unannounced reasons. Not certain that this match will go ahead
Edit* As you can see in the comments box, proposed friendlies were against Leatherhead (not Wealdstone as first thought) and Los Barrios. Sensibly cancelled due to injury issues.