olhanense – All square in local derby
Louletano entertained SC Olhanense at the Algarve Stadium in an important Campeonato de Portugal Division D game.
Former GD Chaves full-back Filipe Brigues made his debut for the visitors and ex-Arbroath FC (Scotland) keeper Ricky Gomes made his first league start.
Both sides started tentatively and Louletano’s 35-year-old keeper Bruno Lúcio, making his 197th appearance for the Loulé team, was first to be called into action.
The first-half was drawing to a close when the home side were awarded a penalty that Thiago Nonato calmly slotted home. Ten minutes after the break, Olhanense brought on Stevy Okitokandju – returning from injury – and Fábio. This double substitution galvanised the side and, six minutes later, Hassan stroked in the equaliser after good work by Stevy Okitokandju and Fábio. And it was Fábio who gave the visitors a deserved lead seven minutes later.
All looked rosy for Olhanense as the clock ticked down but, in the last minute of normal time, the unmarked Hayner lashed his volley past Gomes to secure a point for Louletano; their 10th draw of the season.
Olhanense remain in sixth place, six points adrift of second place and a play-off place.
On Sunday, Olhanense welcome Amora to the Olhão Municipal Stadium (approximately one kilometre north of the EN125 on the N2-60) – kick-off at 3pm. It is hoped that this will be the last game before Olhanense return to their own home at the José Arcanjo Stadium for the visit of Olímpico do Montijo on February 17.
Extensive renovation work to the pitch and repairs to the stadium structure have taken longer than expected but will be a big improvement for players and fans.
By CHRIS WRIGHT