Date: Saturday 14th January 2012
Starting Line-up: Fake Clarky, Luke, Alan, Joe, Noodle, Trev, Salty, Burt (Seb Brain), Pete Hill, Stevie T, Jim Dennison
Sub: Seb Brain
Cubo travelled to the Clapham region of Siberia to honour their away fixture against Claremont in the most inhospitable of conditions. Cubo were seeking to secure a double over their mid-table opponents following a hard fought 1-0 victory at The Theatre of Elms in the second game of the season and simultaneously lift themselves away from the relegation zone and raise spirits before the cup semi-final next week.
The boys in baby blue sought to impose their superiority on the game in the opening stages, but were increasingly frustrated by a lack of fluency in possession, no doubt not helped by a thawing bobbling mud bath of a surface. In spite of this, the away side was increasingly dominant in the first half.
When Cubo were able to get the ball down, some impressive attacking down the left and interplay between Mr T and Jim Dennison up front were causing the Claremont central defenders problems. Half way through the first half, Jim did excellently to wriggle away from his marker to bear down on goal, his shot rolling mere inches past the post.
Minutes later a flick from Stevie sent Jim through again. This time the keeper made an excellent save only to see the rebound fall invitingly to Mr Peter Hill inside the six-yard box. Inexplicably, almost certainly in an attempt to prove his self-styled tag of being ‘great in the air for a small man’, Peter Hill tapped the ball up and headed it towards the net as the Claremont defender swept the ball clear. Whilst replays showed that the ball was clearly over the line, it was unlikely that the referee or the Claremont linesman was going to give it.
Following a half-time break that saw Seb replace the injured Burt, Fake Clarky demonstrate his usual petulance towards the official and a stirring barking of orders from Field-Marshall Salty, Cubo came out seeking the all important goal. However, with Cubo increasingly taking the aerial approach, Claremont centre half and Pascal Cygan lookalike was able to clear convincingly in the air.
Chances were of a premium in the second period with some flowing Claremont football fashioning the best of those that were created, despite excellent performances at the heart of defence from Joe and a less clumsy looking Alan. With only seconds left and the referee opting to play-on with Claremont having been flagged offside, the home side broke through with the striker applying a cool finish to take all three points. In the angry exchanges that ensued, Cubo’s skipper was reprimanded by the referee and a supporter was ejected, in a scene reminiscent of the SPL at any game at any time of the year.
It was a cruel ending to a game that Cubo on balance had not deserved to lose and where both teams had struggled to play their passing games on a difficult pitch. However, Cubo can take a positive performance in many areas into their game next weekend as they seek London Cup glory.
Final Score: Claremont AFC 1-0 AFC Cubo 2nd XI
Man of the Match:
Match Report: Real Clarkey