Date: Saturday 18th February, 2012
Starting XI: Clarke, Haddon, Noodles, Alan C, Pally, Denno, Pete Hill, Salty, Trev, Mikey Cain, Stevie T
Subs: Jim McGeown, Chrissy Grayson
After a number of weeks without a game, AFC Cubo soon resorted to previous form with pre-match banter centred on the sleazy nature of the coming evening’s entertainment, this time at Turner’s Valentines Ball. It was clear to all that Pally and Stevie T were regretting being cajoled into the Brighton Half Marathon by Noodles.
When ADHDenno’s attention finally turned towards the game, Cubo started out with a standard 4-4-2 formation with a solid starting lineup. The first twenty minutes were relatively even, with both sides challenging hard and driving forward with some snazzy football.
Despite this, the opening goal was straight from Nigel Winterburn’s highlight reel; Battersea pressing down the left and clipping a ball hopefully towards the box. With the February wind blowing across Barn Elms, the leather drifted towards the back post, sneaking past Clarkey’s receding bonce into the top corner. 0-1 Battersea.
Despite this letdown, Cubo had turned up to play football. Salty pushed a ball just over from 25 yards after some good build-up play down the left between Noodles, Pete and Trev; Alan missed a decent chance from a corner; and Mikey Cain tested the keeper a couple of times, forcing a string of stinging saves for the Battersea keeper.
After around 35 minutes, the good build-up play finally brought about results. A flowing move from Noodles on the left came to Salty who struck a cutting pass to Denno on the right. With all the grace of the Titanic, he dropped his left shoulder (anchor and all), with a conniving dummy that left the ball to come through to Luke. A first time skimming pass across the six yard box left Mikey Cain with the easiest of tap-ins. One all. And ten minutes to the break.
Cubo started out the second half on top, with Chris Grayson replacing Haile Gebrse-Pally. Ten minutes in and lightning struck again, Sicknote Haddon getting yet another war wound, and being replaced by the returning Jim McGeown. Two changes, but Cubo kept pushing. A Pete Hill corner swung in from the right resulted in Alan Clarke out jumping all around him, and powering a header past the flailing Battersea keeper. 2-1 Cubo.
Onwards and upwards, Cubo pushed on despite the lack of football in recent weeks starting to show. Stevie T caught a sight at goal after 70 minutes and clipped a volley over the Battersea defensive line. A resolute Cubo three-one up.
Unfortunately that’s where the similarities to HMS Resolute end, and where Cubo developed an unfortunate likeness to the General Belgrano. In response to going three one down, Battersea stuck a third player up front, sacrificing a defender.
The rewards came about pretty soon as Battersea won number of corners on the bounce. As one came over from the left, a defensive scramble ensued with Salty the last player to get a touch before the ball trickled over the Cubo goal line. Bollocks. 3-2 Cubo.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, another Battersea attack resulted in a corner. Maradona-esque, Chrissy “I play Aussie Rules!” Grayson got awfully confused, punching the ball as it was clipped into the box. Easy decision for the referee as he pointed to the spot, and the Battersea player stroked the ball past Clarkey from 12 yards. Three-all and full time.
Overall, a disappointing result for Cubo given the scoreline after 70 minutes.
Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-3 AFC Battersea
Scorers: Cain, Clarke, Taylor
Man of the Match: Mikey Cain. A confident start from the Aber grad. One goal and threatening throughout the game.
Match Report: Luke Hadddon