Venue: Coulsdon Town
Date: Saturday 27th August 2011
Starting Line-up: Gareth Stewart, Rob Sadler, Mark Sutton, Eddy Jackson, Oli Watkins (c), Hung, Michael North, Ben McGeown, Chris Gray, Andrew Noble, Paul Every
Subs: MTM, Ian Clarke
Following last week’s rout of Virginia Water, Cubo came into this game full of confidence. Despite a couple of absences Cubo were able to name a strong line up with Mark Sutton and Rob Sadler coming into the starting eleven. The pre-game atmosphere was helped by Coulsdon Town kindly blasting out the Best of Magaluf 2002 , TOP TUNES, TOP LADS.
Unfortunately Cubo were unable to take the tempo of the Balearic beats out onto the pitch with them and from the opening exchanges it was Coulsdon who looked the more interested. From the off it was clear that Coulsdon were a well-drilled side with a Bolton-esque gameplan of working off their big man up top in the hope that one of the many willing runners from midfield would get in behind the Cubo backline. This strategy was causing a slow starting Cubo all sorts of problems and it was no surprise when after a series of corners the home side took the lead. An inswinging corner from the left was palmed away by Gaz only to be fired back into the box where the big Coulsdon number 10 directed a finish into the corner. 1-0 Coulsdon. Cubo were looking tentative in the challenge, allowing Coulsdon to dominate the second ball and keep the pressure on the Cubo goal.
A second goal came before half time when some effective blocking prevented Gaz Stewart from claiming a corner in the six yard box and the resultant scramble saw the ball slammed home to make it 2-0 Coulsdon. A combination of aggressive pressing by Coulsdon and the long grass was preventing Cubo from moving the ball with any kind of fluency and attacks from the boys in baby blue were few and far between. The one real chance that Cubo did create came when a cross from the left made its way to Rob Sadler at the back post who saw his effort flash just the wrong side of the post with the keeper beaten.
A lively half time team talk appeared to galvanise Cubo and the first ten minutes of the second half saw a marked improvement in the performance, with a more aggressive pressing game forcing errors from Coulsdon. However the good start was undone when Cubo, not for the first time, failed to clear their lines effectively and Ben McG’s clearance was deflected to the Coulsdon left winger who finished past Gaz to make it 3-0.
Despite the scoreline Cubo continued to put the work in, making Coulsdon work hard for the remaining 20 minutes. With the home side easing off Cubo were able to find a bit more space at the back to carry the ball forward and only a couple of last ditch interventions from the Coulsdon backline prevented MTM a clear run on goal.
The game finished 3-0 to Coulsdon. A disappointing result which was probably as much a result of a slightly sluggish performance from Cubo as it was about the strength of their opponents. Coulsdon implemented an effective gameplan, clearly the side more up for it in the opening 45 minutes they will no doubt be in the shake-up at the end of the season However Cubo should take some comfort from an improved 2ndperiod which they will can feel disappointed not have come away with anything to show for their endeavours.
Man of the Match: Oli Watkins
Report: Benny Mac