Lincoln Red Imps marched into the final of the Gibtelecom Rock Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win over St Josephs. Lincoln started the match very strongly and St Joseph’s found themselves pinned back in their own half for the first 15 minutes. Lincoln were able to control the tempo of the match at this stage and created several situations in and around the penalty area. Defensively strong and with Diego finding pockets of space behind the St Josephs midfield, Lincoln looked the more likely team to score. Just after 15 minutes the match was halted as George Cabrera suffered a serious shoulder injury which first of all required lengthy treatment on the pitch before he was led away and taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Lee Casciaro replaced him as Lincoln’s lone striker. St Joseph’s gradually worked their way back into the match in the next 15 minutes, but Lincoln reasserted themselves and finished the half very strongly with Jean Carlos Garcia especially finding space and time to make several dangerous crosses from the right side. It was from one of these that Lee Casciaro was able to receive with his back to goal, turn and create enough space for a shot. Whilst in the act of shooting he was clobbered from behind and the referee had no option but to point to the penalty spot. Joseph Chipolina stepped up and dispatched the spot kick confidently sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. The half ended with Lincoln in the ascendency and in full control of the match.
The second half was a different story with St Joseph’s now chasing the game and taking over territorial control of the match. Lincoln found themselves playing on the counter attack. It remained a game with few chances and in truth Raul Navas had only to deal with a series of long crosses into his box. Roy Chipolina and Bernard Lopes won almost every aerial challenge and St Josephs, whilst dominating possession, failed to seriously threaten the Lincoln defence. Lincoln’s counter attacking play led to several situations where they could have extended the lead but Kyle Casciaro and Anthony Bardon were unable to take advantage.
As the minutes ticked away the game became more tense and tempers were raised as St Joseph’s became more and more desperate to equalise and take the game into extra time.
But in the end Lincoln were able to hold out and take their place in the showpiece final which will close the GFA season at the end of May where they will hope to retain the trophy they have won for the last 3 years.
“Imps ready for the final battle”
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