Football - Top of league opens up
After three rounds of the Gibraltar Football League’s Championship division stage Lincoln Red Imps have opened up a three point gap with second placed Europa and a five point gap with Brunos Magpies. All three teams having started this stage of the competition equal on points.
The league now seems to have reached a turning point in which crucial points dropped at this stage could see the battle for the title start opening up.
Following their convincing 5-1 victory against Bruno Magpies in the first round of the Championship stage Lincoln Red Imps have gone on to claim important wins against Lynx (4-1) and then Glacis United, once again by 4-1.
Their narrow Rock Cup victory against Europa, although highlighting the narrow margins that still exist between the two, was a further confidence booster which sees Lincoln Red Imps still in contention for the big two trophies and all the places in European competitions.
Europa for their part although starting the Championship stage of the competition with a 2-1 victory against Lynx, followed by a 4-2 victory against Glacis United dropped crucial points against a St Joseph side which is trying to claw their way back into contention.
The fact that they were knocked out of the Rock Cup competition places added pressure on Steven Cummings side to maintain themselves within the top three, their only available route at the moment into European club competition football.
Bruno Magpies, who have stirred the league title challenge pot this season having come out from the first round equal on points with both Lincoln Red Imps and Europa will be nursing their wounds during the past weeks after being beaten by Lincoln Red Imps and then dropping two crucial points this past weekend against fifth placed Lynx. The 1-1 draw on Sunday will be seen as a blow to their title challenge contention. Especially after having come from a 3-1 victory against St Joseph. The latter who have this season struggled to be contenders for European places.
St Joseph. Nevertheless, have shown some mettle to their game putting behind their woes and recent results and coming away with what will be an important confident boosting victory against Europa.
Looking at facing Lincoln Red Imps next this weekend St Joseph’s will be hoping that their latest victory will encourage the team to come into their next big challenge with all guns blazing.
With Glacis United facing Lynx and Europa facing Bruno Magpies, the weekend looks to bring with it three exciting matches which could see changes in the league table.
Just three points behind St Joseph and still very much within grasping distance of places for European football Lynx will be hoping to secure points against a struggling Glacis United side who have yet to find any points within the Championship stage of the competition.
Glacis would require a miracle to find themselves in contention for European places with just twelve points to their name.
However, the yellows of Albert Parody have continued their push for a top three finish this season although having lost some ground in recent weeks.
Defeat against Europa in their first Championship stage match, followed by a second defeat against Lincoln Red Imps did little to dampen their spirits as they faced what could be their biggest rival for a third place. Lynx securing a point in a first half leveler which they were to hold on to until the end.
The next four rounds of matches will be important for teams to establish their position in the league as clubs prepare for an international break which will see their top players focusing on their next international matches in March. With Gibraltar facing the likes of Netherlands, France, Greece and Republic of Ireland players will also be looking to maintain their form for selection into Riba’s squad.