Date: Saturday 17th September 2011, 3pm KO
Starting Line-up: Tommy Stewart, Rob Sadler, Jim McGeown, Jacko, Oli Watkins, Hung, Ben McG, Michael North, MTM, Noble, Every
Subs: Chris Gray, Ryan Shedwick
Cubo embarked on their biggest away trip of the season with a casual jaunt down to Hampshire to take on bottom of the table Farnborough North End. A traumatic journey for 5 of the squad through parts of South West London that they’ll never want to see again (East Sheen) meant that they were unable to enjoy the 20mins of poncing round in front of the mirror in the new kit that they had been looking forward to all week. Their day only looked like getting worse when a pre-match downpour soaked all and sundry, ruining the immaculate look they had sported before leaving the dressing room.
Besides the aesthetic damage done by the rain it also contributed to a nervy opening period in the game, with both sets of players slipping round on the newly drenched surface. The ball was proving difficult to control and Cubo were struggling to put together more than a couple of passes before giving it away. Despite this it was clear that there would be plenty of space outwide to be exploited by Sadler and Jim McG, making his first start of the season in the absence of Pogo (sleazing) and Sutton (boozing).
The first goal of the game came from the most unlikely of sources when Hung first won a fine tackle in his own half before advancing up the pitch, playing a one two with Noble and chipping the keeper with the outside of his left boot. An outrageous way to score your first ever goal for the Baby Blue Army, though rumours that he meant to cross the ball refuse to die down.
The goal served to galvanise Cubo who began to move the ball with increasing confidence across their back three allowing Jim and Sadler were able to get forward into the FNE half creating some good crossing opportunities. The second goal followed shortly afterwards when Jim’s through ball sprung the FNE offside trap, releasing Every who saw the ball ricochet into the net following his challenge on the keeper. 2-0 Cubo. The goal appeared to completely dishearten FNE with recriminations flying around their backline, no doubt the product of the tough start to the season that they have had.
Cubo were swarming all over the FNE defence now and only some sloppy play in the final third prevented a third from being added. The best chance of the period fell to Noble when the big FNE centre half was adjudged to have handled in his own area when blocking a shot on goal, giving the man with the self-proclaimed ‘Best Shoulders in Cubo’ a chance to add to this seasons tally from the spot. Whether he was distracted by the referee asking him to replace the ball on the spot, the slight divot in front of the ball or the tightness of the shirt around his tensed (naturally) biceps, something clearly affected him as he slammed the ball against the cross bar and away to safety.
Cubo emerged from half time determined to turn the screw on FNE and made it three nil 5 mins into the second period when a free kick into the box by Jacko was headed into his own net by the FNE defender under pressure from Jim McG.
With the game pretty much safe Chris Gray and Ryan were introduced to the mix and the impact was immediate when Noble drifted into the area and slipped a pass to Chris Gray who drilled a finish under the keeper to make it 4-0 with his first touch of the ball. Cubo were now knocking the ball around with aplomb by this stage and only a questionable linesmans flag prevented Noble from getting on the score-sheet following a sweeping passing move. Noble’s troubles in front of goal continued when the ball was pulled back to him at the near post but he was unable to convert seeing his effort fly high and wide. Tommy Stewart in the Cubo goal had had a very quiet afternoon, only being forced into a save from a back post header which he confidently chested away.
With the clock ticking down Cubo were able to add a fifth when token Northerner Ryan carried the ball into the area, sold his man a dummy, before firing a deflected effort past the stranded FNE keeper. A first goal for the club and a worrying sign of things to come – centre mids who can beat players and score goals is not what this side has been built on.
Final Score: Farnborough North End 0-5 AFC Cubo
Goals: Nguyen, Every, Own Goal, Gray, Shedwick
Man of the Match: Hung – early contender for goal of the season and another impressive display of all action athleticism from the veteran defender.
Match Report: Benny Mac