Date: Saturday 15th October, 2011
Starting Line-Up: Clark, Haddon, A. Clarke, Pally, Utting, Denno, Bradley, Salty, Burt, Brain, Hill
Subs: Hooper and Jim M
It was a case of déjà vu at Barn Elms on Saturday as Cubo faced a Goldfingers team on another balmy summer’s day two weeks after knocking them out of the cup. Cubo have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season and came into this game full of confidence having won their last 3 games 1-0. Having watched Wales lose to the French that morning, Pally turned up sporting his London Welsh top and looking to take out his frustration out on Goldfingers. Given the weather conditions it would be interesting to see how many of the translucent members of the squad would deal with the hot conditions. Utting was seen applying a thick layer of sun cream before the game as the tree in the corner of the pitch would only offer him shade for one half of the game. With all strikers at the club seemingly unavailable it was left to the imposing duo of Seb Brain and Pete Hill to lead the line. Otherwise it was the regular back four in front of Neil ‘clean sheet’ Clark and a midfield of Bradley and Salty in the middle and Denno and Andy Burt offering some quality out wide.
The first half was not a vintage performance from Cubo. The team seemed very lethargic and Goldfingers were first to most balls and looked dangerous on the break. xHowever, Cubo did manage to go ahead through a sloppy defensive effort from the away team. From a Cubo throw on the left Andy Burt managed to slide in on the edge of the area to divert the ball towards goal. Seb and the Goldfingers’ keeper went for it but both managed to miss the ball which ran through to Alan Clarke to another goal to continue his good start to the season.
Despite going ahead Cubo continued to live dangerously by giving the ball away too easily and then allowing Goldfingers too much space on the break. A free kick was given away on the edge of the Cubo area in a threatening position. The dead ball was poorly stuck though straight at keeper Clark. Unfortunately the prospect of getting married next week just before his 39th birthday was playing on his mind and he forgot key coaching point of all goalkeepers of getting your body behind the ball and let it go through his legs. So the team’s record of not conceding a goal since moving to a flat back four back in their opening game of the season had now been ended. The only other thing to note from the first half was the referees increasing habit of offering commentary on the game but not being to receptive to any constructive criticism offered by either team.
The half time whistle was welcomed by Cubo and gave them a chance to regroup and hopefully address their lacklustre first half. The second half started with Cubo in the ascendency and trying to pass the ball around positively. Seb and Pete were causing the Goldfingers back four problems with their pace and the quality of the final ball was the only thing missing. Cubo retook the lead midway through the half. A corner from the right was delivered with pace to the far post from Burt and Denno managed to head the ball into the goal through a melee of defenders and goalkeeper. Cubo had deserved the lead through their positive start to the second half. Goldfingers still looked like a threat and it took a few last ditch interceptions from the Cubo defence to prevent their strikers being clear through on goal.
In the 75th minute the referee blew up for a foul committed by the home team on the edge of the area. Unfortunately the referee was not having his best game and this was a shocking decision as it was clear to everyone except the man in black that a Cubo foot had got to the ball first. The wall lined up and the Goldfingers player managed to hit it over the wall and also over the stranded Clark to get them back level. The crowd were now looking for a reaction from the Cubo players as their winning run was now under threat. Cubo remained positive and looked to release Seb at any opportunity. Hooper had also replaced Pete Hill up top to offer his considerable frame to the frontline. The third and decisive goal came from an unlikely source. Mark Bradley made his first successful pass of the game to release Seb whose pace kept him away from the defenders and he calmly slotted it home to give Cubo another 3 points. The home team managed to hold on with Clark pulling off a great save towards the end. With another win under their belt the team headed off to the Red Lion for a debrief and then onto Chez Saltdog for a few home brews.
Final Score: AFC Cubo 3-2 Goldfingers
Scorers: A. Clarke, Dennison, Brain
Man of the Match: Seb Brain for a coolly taken winner and offering a constant threat in behind the Goldfingers defence.
- Great team spirit to react to conceding the second goal and get the winner
- Scored three goals
- Late fines are building up nicely for the end of season drinking session
- First half performance was very sloppy. We are not good enough just to turn up and collect 3 points.
- Still need to work on our finishing
- Bradders and Luke suffering heatstroke after not applying enough sun cream before the game
Match Report: Rick Utting