Date: Saturday 26th November, 2011
Starting Line-up: Neil Clark, Rob Sadler, Mark Sutton, Oli Watkins, Richard Gough, Hung Nguyen, Michael North, Ben McGeown, Paul Every, Michael Neal, Simon Daunter
Sub: Andrew Noble
Cubo’s tour of the lovely county that is Surrey continued with a trip out to leafy Oxted, where they were looking to extend their winning run to 5 games. With only one change to side that secured a hard-fought victory over Tooting Bec this was the most settled side Cubo have been able to name in many weeks. Despite this, Cubo were sloppy out of the blocks and it was the home side who took the early initiative winning a series of corners which kept Cubo penned in their own box. With the pressure building it was only a matter of time before Cubo paid the price for their slow start. Making a rare return to his own box to defend another Oxted corner, Daunter won a good challenge before his overly ambitious attempt to use his next touch to beat two men led to him hauling down the Oxted man for an obvious penalty. Instead of finding themselves (deservedly) a goal down, Cubo had penalty saving beast Neil Clark to thank for adding another save to his CV, throwing himself to his left and then snaffling the rebound as well.
The penalty was perhaps the shot in the arm that the Baby Blue Army needed as they immediately went up the other end and scored. The ball was sprayed out to Sutton on the left touchline whose cross into the infamous ‘corridor of uncertainty’ made its way all the way to the back post where MTM controlled well before firing past the keeper. 1-0 Cubo. A second was added shortly after when great pressure by Every saw him block the Oxted keepers clearance before squaring to Sutton, steaming in from the left, and he fired an excellent finish in at the near post. 2-0 Cubo.
From being on the ropes for a majority of the half Cubo found themselves two goals to the good and the confidence from this allowed the away side to finally start playing some football. However they couldn’t quite shake the early sloppiness and this was evident when they failed to clear their lines from a long clearance and the Oxted hooked a speculative volley from the edge of the box over the stranded Clarkie to make it 2-1. As with Cubo’s goals Oxted’s came in quick succession. A massive punt from the Oxted keeper sailed to the edge of the Cubo box where the big centre forward flicked a header over Clarkie who again was left stranded on his six yard line. 2-2.
In the space of a couple of minutes Cubo’s two goal cushion had been wiped out though encouragingly they had, in the same period, finally begun to play some football. The backline were moving the ball with increasing confidence, and providing Oxted headaches with their ability to build attacks for Cubo, no more so than when Goughy carried the ball 40 yards before seeing his pot shot fly over the bar. Cubo were rewarded for their efforts just before half time when Every picked the ball up on the edge of the box and fired in low off the post to give Cubo the lead going in at half time. 3-2 Cubo.
Emerging for the second half a goal to the good, knowing they had weathered a tough first 45 minutes clearly gave Cubo confidence as they began to look like the dominant side. A neat move down the right hand side saw MTM slip a pass in behind the Oxted defence and Every was hauled down by the Oxted keeper. Daunter stepped up and slotted away his penalty with trademark confidence. 4-2 Cubo. Oxted came back strongly but Clarkie was rarely forced into action with the big striker shackled well by Goughy. Cubo continued to look dangerous on the break with Sutton nearly adding to his tally if only he’d been able to keep his finish down. The game was finally killed off when Northy’s great strike from outside the box struck the post and fell to the ever predatory MTM who added his second of the day. 5-2 Cubo.
Final Score: Oxted & District 2-5 AFC Cubo
Goals: MTM 2, Sutton, Every, Daunter
Man of the Match: Daunter / Every
Another good win for Cubo which sees them rise to 3rd in the table, albeit having played quite a few more games than some of the sides around them. Strong displays by the front men complimented a defensive shape that is benefitting from consistent selection and the return of some important players all bode well for the season ahead.
Match Report: Benny Mac