England rocked by Gibraltar
Tuesday, 15 November, 2011
Three Lions overturned in Gibraltar.
By Mike Appleby in Gibraltar
Paul Fairclough’s England C team were surprisingly beaten by a very competent Gibraltar side at the Victoria Stadium on Tuesday night, going down 3-1 on a balmy Mediterranean evening.
Fairclough was using the game to run the rule over various players ahead of a very difficult looking International Challenge Trophy qualifying campaign, when they will face Italy, Russia and Belgium during 2012. His 18-man squad contained 11 new caps.
It was the home side that made the early running, with Aaron Payas heading into the arms of Jonathan Hedge when well placed after eight minutes.
Four minutes later, a superb 50 yard pass by Chipol found Cabrera clear on the right but a lack of control allowed the ball to run into the arms of Hedge.
England’s first chance came on 16 minutes when Luton’s John Paul Kissock fired a fierce shot from 25 yards that Perez in the home goal gathered at the second attempt. England were now having more of the play and Adam Boyes should have done better on 18 minutes when he was first to react to a cross from Willmott but he side footed the ball wide from six yards.
The same player almost opened the scoring on 40 minutes when he stuck a foot out at a Danny Rose cross but the ball crashed against the bar and was cleared.
The home side then took a shock lead on 42 minutes as the ever dangerous Casciaro chased a long clearance from an England corner, drew Hedge and fired into the net to the delight of the large and noisy home crowd.
Fairclough made seven changes at half time but before they had the chance to settle they found themselves two down when referee Bacarissa gave the home side a penalty for a rather innocuous handball and Aaron Perez netted from the spot.
England were really struggling now as a rampant home team continued to press forward with Guilling hitting the post on 50 minutes after a good interchange between Cabrera and Perez.
Gibraltar then hit a killer blow when they went 3-0 up on 54 minutes when the unmarked Guilling was allowed to run from the half-way line before shooting past the advancing Preston Edwards.
Thankfully ,the visiting Three Lions managed to pull things together and began to assert themselves on the game without ever really causing the home defence too many problems and they did manage to pull a goal back on 80 minutes when Stalybridge Celtic’s Connor Jennings fired home from close range. The visitors pushed forward for the final ten minutes but again failed to trouble Perez in the home goal.
At the final whistle, you could sense the jubilation in the home camp as the celebrated another notable scalp with this victory following on from a 3-0 victory over the full Faroe Islands side earlier in the year. The hope that this type of result will support their continued quest for FIFA/UEFA recognition.
England: Jonathon Hedge (Tamworth) (Preston Edwards (Ebbsfleet Utd), 46), Shaun Beeley (Fleetwood) (Shane Killock (AFC Telford Utd) 46), Sean Newton (AFC Telford Utd), Jamie Turley (Forest Green), Rory McAuley (Cambridge United) (Adam Watkins (Luton Town), 46), Lindon Meikle (Mansfield Town), Jai Reason (Braintree Town), Danny Rose (Newport County) (Kenny Davis (Braintree Town). 46), Robbie Willmott (Luton Town) (Ashley Chambers (York City), 46), Adam Boyes (Barrow) (Connor Jennings (Stalybridge Celtic) 46), John Paul Kissock (Luton Town) (Michael West (Ebbsfleet United), 46).