Date: Saturday 26th November, 2011
Starting Line-Up: Stevie T, Jack, Darlington, A. Clark, Haddon, Hooper, Burt, Neil, Denno, Moody, O’Hara.
Sub: Pally (injured).
Football is a cruel mistress. After battling to a number of single goal victories at the start of the season, the 2nd XI are now finding life a little tougher. In fairness the side picked itself earlier in the campaign, but of late an injury epidemic has swept aside much of the resources and it’s been incredibly tough to scrape an XI, let alone a settled side.
Union arrived at Barn Elms bottom of the league and with the 2s confident of a victory, despite the reshuffled pack. Sadly for Cubo, Union (with hindsight) were able to field what was their strongest outfit of the season and they swept aside the hosts in convincing fashion.
Cubo could not be faulted for effort or application but, in truth, little went right for the Baby Blues. The deadlock was broken midway through the first half after a hopeful ball down the inside left channel was not dealt with, allowing the attacker to strike the ball across Stevie and into the far corner.
Hooper and Burt were struggling to get going in the centre of the park, and with Gaz and Trev both looking to come to the ball the Union defence were happy to push up the pitch and condense the space. This allowed the Union midfield to compete and use the ball better than their hosts.
The pick of the opposition was the number 7 who was very adept at dropping between the lines to create an extra man in midfield or pull one of the Cubo centre halves out of position. Although this didn’t necessarily contribute to any goals directly, it cause unrest and will be something Cubo need to deal with quickly in the return fixture.
With the home side struggling to both a) pass to a teammate and b) control the ball, clear cut chances were at a premium. However, with a 1 goal deficit things were still delicately poised. Sadly the killer blow game just before half time when Denno was robbed on the half way line and, quick as a flash, the Union player was able to spot the ‘keeper off his line and drill home a magnificent left footed effort from fully 50 yards.
Cubo switched Stevie into an advanced role in the second half with Luke taking the gloves. However despite Trev slotting into midfield and Andy trying to replicate his excellent set pieces from open play in a wide area, Union made it 3 when the striker rode a couple of challenges before side footing into the bottom right corner from just inside the box.
Cubo tried to reduce the arrears with Moody twice going close and Jack’s curler picking out the goalkeeper, but in reality it was one of those days.
Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 0-3 Union FC
Man of the Match: Vote abandoned!
A strong looking squad for Saturday’s London Cup assignment versus AFC Sevenoaks will be hopeful of getting back to winning ways. As the song goes: “Weeeeee are the Cubo….”
Match Report: Hoops