AFC Cubo 2019/20 – Training & Friendly Dates

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Our pre-season starts July 11th at Archbishops Park. Sessions will be fitness & conditioning based, gradually increasing to football-based as the month progresses. We also have a number of friendlies in the diary as well as a mixed 1’s and 2s club day on 10th August which usually involves several beers too.

We are always on the lookout for good lads and good players, and with both clubs winning their respective leagues last season, competition for places will be intense and very welcome with a long tough season ahead.

AFC Cubo are a club run by their actively-playing members. We all pitch in, and last season showed that we’re all good at football too – so come along and try it for yourself.

AFC Cubo – Surrey Elite League CHAMPIONS 2018/19

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What a season! What a club! AFC Cubo are the champions of Surrey and South West London’s step 7 football league.

An unbelievable season in which the early weekend momentum simply carried on, with just a couple of bumps and scrapes along the way. Here’s what happened:

Pre-season and August

The club gathered at Archbishops Park for pre-season training in good spirits, welcoming some new faces including Matt Cross & Barney Tierney, and Mitch Seymour who we snared back from Battersea. They played part in some of the early friendlies against Spartans and the 1’s v 2’s annual game (comfortably won by the 2’s). With the team feeling fresh, confidence was high heading to Spelthorne for game no.1 with a strong team including Tom Golding who had impressed in pre-season and stepped in to left back. A dominant performance saw us run out 5-2 winners, with new signing Matt Cross catching the eye as well as the general team fitness. Fast forward to bank holiday weekend, which is usually the death knell for the season, and it felt that way in the 2nd half against Battersea, who took advantage of an off-colour albeit weaker squad to win 4-1 with some late goals. But Cubo responded in one of the defining games of the season, heading to unknown quantity Farleigh Rovers on bank holiday Monday, with a small squad, and a couple of lads late-arriving due to travel mix ups. A tense, tight game saw victory sealed with a superb Jordan Guttridge strike into the top corner, giving Cubo 6 from 9 and a solid platform to build the season on.

September

A promising season become more of a reality, with 10 points from 12 in a productive start to Autumn. A depleted side comfortably overcame Ripley with a brilliant 2nd half goal from Harry Peel on a hot afternoon, before travelling to bogey team Chessington KC, where an early Tulip goal was cancelled out by perennial nemesis Sterne – Cubo playing the game for 60 mins with 10 men and almost nicking it late on. Another defining game followed, with early season pace-setters Westside arriving at the Aspire only to be met with an on-fire Oli Perkins, who destroyed the team almost single-handedly with his best ever performance in a baby blue shirt, as Cubo ran out 2-1 winners and edged to the top of the table. The month was rounded off by a solid team performance, coming from behind to defeat Horsley 5-2, the game seeing Elliot Connolly score his final goal for the club.

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October

In contrast to the previous month, October was much more on the ‘erratic’ side, beginning with a poor 1st half performance in the pouring rain at Spartans, that saw us go 3-0 down and just generally not play our best stuff. Despite this, a late flurry of attacking following the intro of Peel & Tulip saw us get the game back to 3-2 and nearly go on to draw or even win it – but this was very much a wake up call that we couldn’t afford to switch off. This was followed by a trip away to Staines and again, one of those weekends where the squad was depleted, but the character showed, with Jack Hutchinson’s infamous ‘IF YOU AREN’T AFRAID TO SMASH A C*NT‘ speech at half time inspiring Rob Davies to pop up with a vital header at the end to grab a point. October 20th saw the club head back to Chessington again in the league cup, this time to try and gain revenge for the semi-final defeat the year before. It wasn’t to be however, with Henry Chadwick’s early goal cancelled out by a dubious penalty and a long range pile driver. The game also saw the beginning of Rob Davies’ up & down season with referees, as he was sent off for hand balling on the line. 2-1 defeat and Cubo were out of the cup again. The final game of the month however was another key one, as a scintillating first half performance against Holloway started to lay the foundations for the rest of the season in how the team would set up, in a game dominated by the Peel assist / Torr heading combination that saw Cubo’s answer to Harry Maguire grab the winner at the end and reinvigorate a season that was in danger of faltering.

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November

Cubo carried on the good form, heading to NPL and putting in a disciplined performance that saw Tulip grab a brace, Hutchinson stand-in Touaita save a penalty and the Cubo defence keep their first clean sheet of the season for a 3-0 win. The game was also notable for seeing Guttridge get a goal that had evaded him for some time – more on the importance in a bit. The following week we welcomed Worcester Park to Southfields, as well as a monsoon that threatened to defeat the all-weather pitch of the Aspire, leaving huge puddles on one side. An edgy game in the difficult conditions threatened to leave Cubo frustrated after a rare Hutchinson error, until a late pitch-long sprint from Cross and subsequent brace from Tulip brought a 3-1 win and a great result. The following week couldn’t be a bigger contrast – the Cubans ran out thirteen-nil winners against West End Village, with Tulip even finding time to miss a penalty. Guttridge, who had struggled to find the goals his performances deserved up to then, bagged 4 goals, Cross and Peel bagged hat tricks and Perkins and Chadwick grabbed some too. A record performance and in all honesty, it could have been more. Three wins out of three did not become four out of four however, as an off-colour Cubo salvaged a 1-1 draw the following week against a good Merrow side, with secret weapon Torr popping up with crucial points yet again in the late stages.

December

A tricky month saw only 2 games played but both against rival title challengers. The first saw Chessington play at the cage, with an incident-packed game seeing a very strange refereeing performance contribute to a stop-start game, despite both teams being very similarly set up with attacking formations. Rob Davies was sent off again, though this time the red was questionable following tough foul. KC’s no.9 Stern scored the crucial winner after earlier being lucky to avoid his marching orders. This game also saw previous Player of the Year and Captain Elliot Connolly play his final game, jetting off to New Zealand to start a new life with the mrs. A week later Cubo travelled to South Croydon to face Westside in another game that was ruined by torrential weather, with the pitch effectively a slippery bog which meant 0-0 was the only outcome. The game was notable for one thing though, and that was a 10/10 performance from keeper Hutchinson who had started to notch a steady amount of clean sheets. End of 2018, and the Baby Blue Army had work to do to keep pace with the leaders.

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January

We kicked off 2019 with another very tough game at home to Merrow, the side who arguably deserved to win he return fixture in Guildford. But a superb, measured performance from the team saw 3 goals scored without reply, one of which was a brilliant team effort to win the ball back and counter attack following a half time plan. The game felt like a turning point in how we could contain teams at home and dominate in attack, and was also one of T Shaw’s best games of the season which always results in a win. The big game followed, going up against Battersea Ironsides in the local Earlsfield derby – 2-0 down but well in the game, Cubo got it back to 2-1 via Tulip (who played around 60 mins after a tough hit on the leg) and then had a glorious chance to level it up via Chadwick, only for a long free kick to break Cubo hearts that missed every player and trickled into the net. A 3-1 win for the home side and it felt like the momentum had been taken away. The following week we went to Worcester Park, and another professional performance saw us leave with he points, but the game was notable for ending Tulip’s season, with a horror tackle hitting him in the same place as the bad one the week before, breaking his leg and spraining his ankle, just as Jordan Guttridge had started to pull away in the goalscoring charts. Another professional dispatching of NPL the week after kept our hopes alive with Cross, Perkins and Guttridge adding to their goal tallies in a great performance, introducing #FindyBall

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February

After a week off, a dodgy but prolific performance against Spelthorne Sports saw all of the front 3 bag goals as well as Tierney who was showing a knack for getting on the scoresheet. The game was another example of us not being at our best but being strong enough in front of goal that we could get away with it. The following week though, as we went up against title rivals Spartans Youth, a dominant performance was the polar opposite, as every man on the pitch did their jobs (including T Shaw whose car was being broken into at the same time) and the frontline again bagged their goals, with Guttridge starting to become a major player in the league top scorer race. Spartans had no answer and revenge was served for the defeat in Brentford, the defence and Hutchinson racking up another clean sheet for their 6th in 12 games, a massive turnaround and testament to the strength in depth and performances of the defensive unit as a whole led by captain de la Haye. The title race was back in our hands, but the following week it all unravelled again, as conditions and nerves got the better of us in the worst performance of the season down at bogey pitch Ripley, where Torr was finally sent off for his shit chat and Rob Davies fell foul of the referee again – a 5 game ban effectively ending what had been a topsy-turvy season. 2-0 Ripley and just a very unusual game that didn’t suit the team, but credit the opposing side who were rejuvenated.

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March/April

In response to having the wind knocked out of their sails, the baby blue army had an incredibly tricky tie to follow it up away at Royal Holloway – big contenders last season and always a tricky tie. A resilient performance with crucial goals from Tom Shaw, Oli Perkins and Own Goal saw us win 3-2 and if anything, kept the entire season alive. That shift in mindset was massive, as we then went on an unreal run, scoring 20, conceding 2 and steamrollering towards the title. An 8-0 demolition of Farleigh Rovers saw a number of players grab braces including Peel, Cubo’s playmaker who had started to grab the run-in by the balls, the 8-0 was a total contrast to the 2-1 earlier in the season, showing how much one team had progressed and the other regressed as the months had gone on. A tricky tie away to bottom side West End Village the following week was set up for disaster in gale force winds that ruined the game (and the dugouts), and after easing to a 13-0 win in November, this time Cubo maintained the recurring professionalism to win 2-0 and avoid a few scares, racking up another clean sheet for the resolute back line and keeper. A superb 6-1 win at the fortress Aspire against Staines Lammas, with all players again putting the shift in and Chadwick and Cross turning in MoM performances, this was all without getting out of 3rd gear. Goal of the game? T Shaw with a 20 yard nutmeg slotted finish.

And finally, the last game of the season saw us go to Horsley, survive a dodgy penalty decision and put in another superb shift, this time in 5th gear constantly throughout the game and Peel fittingly closing off his productive season-climax in style by putting in one of the performances of the season, and Matt Laing, who is now basically Cafu, putting in another brilliant shift at RB. Every man on the pitch epitomised the effort throughout the season, and there was shared acknowledgement from the opposition that they’d faced a good side. Post-match celebrations were muted with Battersea coming from behind to win, but the following week, we were present to watch Staines Lammas do us a huge favour by thrashing the Ironsides and handing Cubo the title. WHAT A BLOODY SEASON!!!!!! GET IN!

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Special thanks to Tony Perkins & BDO for sponsoring the team, enabling us to train and use Southfields, without you it wouldn’t have happened. And thanks to the man who turned the admin around – #FindyBall forever.

Managers Picks – Key Games

Tulip

Farleigh away – Monday morning on August bank holiday is never good for availability, but such is the strength in depth we were able to get a team out with a sub – even though Farleigh had about 25 players. Two players going the wrong way wasn’t ideal at the start either! But we found ourselves 1-0 up through Tulip and then 1-1 undeservedly for much of the game as we could have been 5-0 up and everyone was pretty leggy, but we ground it out and Jordan scored a great winner. It was a GREAT feeling coming away from deep Croydon with the win, and results like that matter so much when you end up winning the league. Thanks to the chairman for stepping in in goal and making a great save

Merrow home – really tricky tie against a team who nearly beat us a few weeks before. We had to start the year well, and to score 3 goals whilst working as a collective to cut out Merrow’s playing from the back worked wonders. The goal where we pressed as a team, T Shaw nicked the ball, Peel backheeled it into Jordan who slotted home was quality. Then to keep a clean sheet, including an unreal Hutchinson save from a free kick, was just great. This wasn’t a result from previous season’s where we just happened to win 3-0, it was a dominant team performance following a heavy Christmas.

Favourite GoalsJord Merrow as above. Crossy 1st game of the season where about 10 players bounced off him, and slabhead Torr’s winner against Holloway

Torr:

Holloway Home – off the back of two disappointing away results, a loss to Spartans and a draw to Staines Lammas, we needed to bounce back to keep in touch with the leaders. We were rampant in the first half, playing our best football of the season so far with Cross and Peel finding space and regularly driving forward – 2-0 up at half time with both managers scoring. The second half started similarly but then Holloway scored 2 screamers against the run of play – in previous seasons we’d have let our heads drop and roll over but we responded immediately through Perkins. 5 minutes later we conceded a rare goal from a corner, 3-3 and a score line that didn’t justify the performance. With the clock ticking down, Peel had an unreal free kick tipped over and it didn’t look like it was our day. But then he whipped in the resulting corner straight onto Torr’s head which powered past the keeper to win us the game. This game showed the quality of this team (particularly in the first half) and the character & never give up attitude that has developed this year. It set up a run of 13 points from 15 before we got to the Christmas schedule – quality.

Holloway away – Yet again we faced Holloway after a disappointing result, this time a loss against strugglers Ripley, and one which felt at the time as if we’d blown any chances of winning the league. We now knew that only 5 wins in the 5 remaining games would give us a chance come the end of the season. Suspended manager Torr took on sole managerial duties and told the team to forget about the previous weeks performance and play with some freedom. Again it was topsy turvy, we dominated the first 30 and went 1-0 up, minutes later Holloway levelled up and shortly after made it 2-1. The team came off at half time angry and frustrated at letting them back in and go ahead undeservedly. The second half was a nervy affair but we made it all square through a rare goal from Shaw (let’s ignore the keepers mistake). We knew we had to push for the 3 points but it didn’t look as if the goal would come, especially after Peel hit the post. But we didn’t stop and after great work from the ever tireless Chadwick down the right, the ball fell to Guttridge who unselfishly squared it to Perkins who tapped into an empty net with 5 left. Cue Fergie & kid style celebrations on the sideline between Torr and Shaw! The game wasn’t over yet though, with a long ball and set piece onslaught from Holloway bringing the best out of Hutchinson who made some unbelievable saves to ensure we got the three points. The team spirit was clear to see and the buzz in the changing room afterwards was a polar opposite to the week before. Results that weekend went our way and the title race was well and truly back on, and more importantly the belief we could do it was back.

Favourite Goals – Oli’s penalty in last 5 minutes vs Westside which topped off his performance and a huge 3 points. Peel‘s goal vs Horsley in last game for the importance of the goal and the quality of it in such a big game

Season stats – appearances, goals and clean sheets.

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1XI League vs Horsley (06.04.19) – 3-1 Win

Line-up: Hutchinson, Seymour (Frost), Laing, Torr, de la Haye, Shaw (Brooks), Peel, Cross (Cooper), Chadwick, Perkins (Brooks), Guttridge

Goals: Peel, Guttridge, Chadwick

Cubo rounded off their most successful ever season in the Surrey Elite League with a trip to Tom’s field, the home of Horsley FC, for a very tricky tie against the previous double treble winners. The Cubans travelled out to Surrey knowing that a win, coupled with dropped points for Battersea, would clinch their maiden title at the highest level of amateur football.

Managers Torr & Tulip were able to name a strong squad of 16 (albeit containing 2 elder statesmen in Wensley and Tulip who weren’t actually fit) and set about motivating the team for the big game ahead by reminding them that this wasn’t a cup final, it was just another game in which we needed to be professional, as we had been all season, especially since the turn of the year. Even a comfortable win could mean no title, and the lads were all in agreement – which meant no nerves, no panic and 16 players who knew what they needed to do.

The game kicked off with both teams finding pockets of space, Horsley in midfield and Cubo down the flanks. Horsley’s biggest danger in the early stages was the goal-scoring midfielder Henzi, who showed a couple of clever turns and passes but was unable to find a way past the resolute defence who were looking for yet another clean sheet. For Cubo’s attack, all joy was being had down the left side as Peel and Perkins looked to exploit the Horsley RB’s lack of pace on the turn. Peel in particular seemed to have the bit between his teeth, driving the team forward and putting a few early shots at the keeper or wide. Both sides were having some difficulty through the middle of defence, with countless through-balls to Guttridge/Chadwick being snuffed out by the impressive Horsley centre half.

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After 25 mins Cubo found the opening goal, with a long throw being head back across goal by Guttridge into the path of Peel, who smashed an unstoppable half volley from 18 yards past the keeper and into the top corner, channelling his inner 2012 Papiss Cissee. A brilliant goal to give Cubo the edge in what was turning into a tight game. A few chances for Cubo followed with Chadwick in particular starting to find some joy against the LB but finding the keeper tricky to beat. Horsley were beginning to switch all attention to right winger Thorne, who was finding space on the right wing to collect but was then running into the immovable force of Seymour, who frustrated the winger all half in signs of what was to come. Half time, 1-0 and professionalism was the key word as the away side looked to make no mistakes and get the job done 2ndhalf.

The 2ndhalf carried on much the same way with all of Cubo’s players playing their part in winning their individual battles. Horsley’s tricky centre forward partnership were finding their efforts blocked by Torr & de la Haye, with Laing alongside playing some lovely through balls forward to begin the attacks. Shaw was having another typical game disrupting Horsley attacks and Cross was key in turning defence into attack. Goal number 2 followed after 10 minutes when Peel, having his game of the season, stole the ball off the Horsley midfielder, drove forward with 2 players in pursuit and was then scythed down from behind to give Cubo a clear penalty and a yellow card for the defender. Guttridge stepped up and dispatched the pen to give Cubo what felt like an unassailable lead in the game, the celebrations amongst the team making it feel like this couldbe the buffer that was needed.

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The game, & referee, had other ideas though, as a penalty was given to Horsley for a seemingly innocuous hold in the box from Seymour. None of the home team appealed, hence the mass confusion on the pitch. Henzi stepped up, scored the pen, but due to encroachment it was ordered to be retaken, which he duly did once more. 2-1 and Cubo were now in a position of uncertainty despite being resolute all game.

That was quickly put to bed though, after a foul on Chadwick gave Cubo a free kick in a favourable area. Peel stepped up, whipped a ferocious whipped ball into the box which was headed back across goal by Guttridge and headed into the net by the onrushing Chadwick. A flurry of substitutions saw Cooper, Brooks and Frost enter the pitch and shore up the formation, which closed out the game nicely for the Cubans – Brooks in particular showing some nice touches and skills to see the game out.

Full time and a fantastic win for the away side against a side who will probably be up there challenging next season. Professionalism was the word of the day and this is a side who have scored the most, conceded the 2ndfewest and turned their home pitch into a fortress, adding strength in depth to every position. Results elsewhere meant the league was not won on this occasion, but with 3 games for Battersea left to play, the hope is still there.

MoM: A landslide week, as Harry Peel dominated the game in every aspect. 1 goal scored, 1 assist and a big hand in the other. Horsley couldn’t live with the playmaker all game, as many teams can’t when he’s on his game. But a shoutout to the whole team for the performance.

1XI League vs Staines Lammas (30.03.19) – 6-1 Win

Line-up: Hutchinson, Seymour (Coffey), Laing, Torr, de la Haye, Shaw (Brooks), Cooper, Cross, Chadwick, Peel (Tierney), Guttridge

Cubo’s penultimate game of 2018/19 and their final home game of the season saw them welcome Staines Lammas to the Aspire Cage. Staines in their current form and previous name of Laleham have never been beaten by the Cubans, a stat the home team needed to correct if they wanted to have any chance of still winning the league as only 2 wins out of 2 could keep that alive.

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Managers Torr & Tulip were able to name a very strong team with Cooper retaining his place at centre mid and Harry Peel moving to the left wing to cover for the missing Oli Perkins. Pre-match chat and commitment in the warm up was superb with the home side clearly motivated to get the job done.

 

The early play was all Cubo with Chadwick and Peel seeing plenty of the ball out wide and finding space for a number of chances. A Peel corner was header wide by Captain de la Haye, whilst Guttridge and Chadwick had some sights at the keeper but to no avail. Down the other end, Staines’ prolific forward Adams had one snapshot volley which stung the hands of Hutchinson in goal but other than that it was a comfortable opening. Cubo took things up a notch after 25 minutes with a typically marauding run down the right hand side from Chadwick seeing him pull the ball back across goal for the onrushing Matt Cross, who without breaking stride slotted home left footed for 1-0. Not long after, Cross fed Guttridge who turned in the box and slotted home into the bottom right of the goal to make it 2-0 and creep closer to Adams in the goalscoring charts – a strong season for the wannabe Texan. Another Cross run saw him round the keeper and slip Guttridge in again, but good defensive cover kept him out.

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Despite being guilty of trying to force the final pass too often, Cubo were able to retain the ball with regularity, driven by Cooper and Shaw’s diligence in disrupting any Staines attacks. The 3rdgoal came about in such fashion with Cubo quickly resetting following a Shaw turnover, the midfielder won the ball and drove forward towards the edge of the box and with options either side of him, he surprised all by instead placing a lovely little slotted finish through the defenders legs, rooting the keeper to the spot and grabbing a deserved goal. Half time 3-0, and Cubo knew they had another gear or two but also knew Staines would be dangerous if they scored first.

The second half carried on in much the same way with Cubo going through a 10 minute spell of peppering the goal, Cross hitting the post and others hitting side netting or blazing over.  The game also started to spice up with Cross and his opposing midfielder exchange verbals, with the latter being substituted through good management as his head started to turn. Cubo finally found the elusive 4thgoal after 65 mins, the ball finding its way to Peel in the box, who dropped the shoulder on two defenders sending them heading towards Wimbledon, whilst he set himself and drilled home left footed. A raft of substitutions saw Tierney Brooks and Coffey enter to shore up the formation. Brooks then played a key role in the 5thgoal, chipping in a delightful free kick into the path of the man who had won the free kick, Chadwick, who controlled and fired home to get the goal his performance had deserved.

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The game wasn’t done there as the dangerous Adams controlled and blasted home a superb volley from 20 yards out over Hutchinson’s head to make it 5-1 and ruin the clean sheet. But Cubo salvaged a potentially essential goal difference when Chadwick cut in from the left wing past a couple of Staines players to slot home and close the game out at 6-1.

An excellent performance and one that embodied what has been a very consistent season from every player who has put on the baby blue shirt. The defence have only conceded 13 goals since their first clean sheet in early November. The forward line are all in double figures ably supported by a midfield that has dominated opposition and the club is in rude health. Regardless of events in the coming weeks, it has been a fantastic season.

MoM: A dead heat between the dangerous Chadwick who left his full backs in agony, and the dominant Cross who was at the core of all Cubo’s attacking mindset. Unfortunately, Cross was there in person so he downed the Guinness

1XI League vs West End Village (18.03.19) – 2-0 Win

Line-up: Hutchinson, Tierney, Laing (Golding), Torr, Wensley, Brooks (Frost), Cooper, Cross (de la Haye), Chadwick, Perkins, Guttridge

Goals: Guttridge, Chadwick

With 55mph winds behind us, the Cubo team travelled across Surrey to West End Village. Unfortunately their usual convoy of cars was broken up after Cooper had to pull up on the hard shoulder, confused and worried about a French warning signal on his dashboard, which after taking a long look under the bonnet he realised it was trying to tell him that he had been driving with the handbrake on for the last 10 minutes. Back on the road, they arrived to meet the rest of the team, who had already inspected the ‘bobbly’ pitch and discovered that the wind was blowing directly along the length of the pitch, from one goal to the other.

Nevertheless, the warm up led by Tierney was intense and of high quality and the chat before the game revolved around starting well and keeping the ball on the deck. Wensley won the toss, and under the instructions of Hutchinson, decided to play with the wind in the first half. The game got off to decent start, with Cubo dominating possession and camping themselves in the West End half, although it was proving difficult to put together several short, sharp passes on the unmanicured pitch. Cubo’s threat looked to be coming from the wide areas, where a mixture of Guttridge, Chadwick, Perkins and Cross began playing in triangles around the West End back four and found themselves in space down the channels on a few occasions.

The first goal came from just this kind of situation after about 10 minutes, with Cross and Chadwick playing the ball between themselves before Chadwick fired the ball across the six yard back for Guttridge to slide the ball through the keepers legs and into the back of the net, 1 nil Cubo. The intention following the early goal was to keep piling on the pressure and to go on the hunt for a second, however, the game started to become a little scrappy, with Cubo finding it harder to keep hold of the ball – having said this, West End rarely threatened the Cubo back four, which was being marshalled well by captain Wensley. As the first half went on, Tierney and Laing started meandering up the wings and several chances fell to the likes of Guttridge, Torr and Perkins – all of which were either well saved by the West End keeper or somehow missed the target. The half drew to a close at 1-0, a lead Cubo were happy with but would have lied to extend before playing against the wind in the second half.

The second half kicked off, with Cubo being reminded at half time to stay calm, keep trying to play football and be confident that the second goal would come. Brooks and Cooper started to control the centre of the park and Tierney linked up particularly well with Chadwick down the right, and it was Chadwick who provided Guttridge with a chance to double his tally had he not lifted the ball over the bar in a similar manner to his ‘lookalike’ Owen Farrell. It was clear to see that West End pinned their hopes on getting back into the game from trying to win set pieces and using the swirling winds to try and cause chaos amongst the Cubo defence and it was from a couple of dead balls where they came closest to equalising – one being cleared by Torr on the edge of the six yard box and one corner directly striking the top of the bar.

As the game approached the final quarter, Golding came on to replace Laing and Frost replaced Brooks – spaces began to open up and, on several occasions, it was either a poor final ball or an outstretched West End leg that prevented a Cubo strike on goal. Cubo knew that although feeling like they were in full control of the game, all it would take was one wind assisted set piece or long strike to even it up, therefore, when Frost whipped in a wicked corner with 10 minutes remaining, you could see the relief on the Cubo player’s faces when Chadwick flicked it on in front of the keeper and saw the ball nestle in the bottom corner to double the lead. Torr quickly tried to reinforce the defence and make a back 5 for the final few minutes, replacing Cross with de la Haye, who immediately won several aerial challenges and shored things up.

The referee brought things to an end, with a Cubo clean sheet in tact and another 3 points to put on the board. Taking into account the pitch and the conditions, this was a very professional performance and sets us up very well going into the final two games of the season sat top of the league.

MoM – Charlie Cooper. Covered every blade of grass on the pitch, won every tackle and was very assured each time he got on the ball. It’s just a shame he still hasn’t learnt not to hit a first time shot from outside the box.

1XI League vs Farleigh Rovers (11.03.19) – 8-0 Win

Line-up: Hutchinson, Tierney, Laing, Seymour, Frost, Cooper, Cross, Peel (Brooks), Chadwick, Perkins (Golding), Guttridge

Goals: Guttridge x 2, Peel x 2, Tierney x 2, Chadwick, Cross

On a blustery day in South West London, AFC Cubo faced a buoyant Farleigh side who had come into some excellent form. A narrow win for the Cubans in the fixture earlier in the year meant the boys in baby blue had to be at their very best to keep their title hopes alive.

Cubo started brightly, pressing the shaky looking Farleigh defence into some early errors. Perkins had already breezed past their ageing full back a couple of times and Guttridge was looking dangerous. However it was Chadwick who set the hosts on their merry way with thumping header from a sumptuous Peel delivery.

Cubo continued to play aggressive, attacking football and Barney Tierney’s endless energetic bursts from right back were finally rewarded. Perkins skipped past labouring full back and pulled the ball back to Tierney with plenty of pace. Tierney controlled the ball effortlessly into the corner to put Cubo 2 up.

With 30 minutes gone in the second half it was 3. Peel picked the ball up well inside his own half and drove at the back 4. Leaving 2 defenders for dead including the infamous full back he bared down on goal. With a deft flick of his right foot he lifted the ball over the on rushing keeper with an audacious arrogance and wheeled away in celebration.

A thumping finish from Guttridge made it 4 just before the half and Cubo went in at the break, cheerful, yet determined to continue the visitors punishment.

More of the same in the 2nd half as a ricochet fell to Peel just inside the box who proceeded to slam home Cubo’s 5th. Cross then latched onto the Perkins through ball and rounded the keeper to make it 6 and Guttridge grabbed his 2nd to keep in the hunt for the leagues Golden boot award.

The 8th and final goal came courtesy of an inviting Ryan Frost delivery with Tierney at the back post to round off a wonderful performance at the Aspire.

With Cubo’s title hopes still very much alive, this result added to the momentum generated from the previous weeks last gasp win at Hollaway. All to play for going into the final 3 games.

MoM – Harry Peel. Two great goals, he first in particular, and an assist means that not only does he edge closer to winning the bet with Torr but he also takes home the man of the match award.