AFC Cubo 3-2 Virginia Water FC

Date: Saturday 10th March, 2012

Starting Line-up: Neil Clark,  Bobby Sadler, Jonny Patterson, Hung, Oli Watkins, Goughy, Ben McGeown, Tom Hooper, Chris Gray, Andrew Noble, Jacko

Subs: Daunter, Sabby, Ryan Shedwick

A combination of the rugby club using the pitch to train on and the ever diligent Barn Elms ground staff meant that pitch 7 was in a dire state, making the prospect of a free-flowing game highly unlikely.  Virginia Waters came into this game with a much-changed line-up to that which suffered a heavy defeat in the opening day fixture between these two sides and the improvement was visible from the off.

With the surface already making it difficult to get the ball under control, the energetic pressing of the Waters midfield was doing a great job of forcing Cubo to give possession away cheaply.  Despite their shaky start Cubo found themselves infront after 15 minutes when Jacko was released down the left-hand channel before beating his man and finish across the keeper from the tightest of angles.  1-0 Cubo.

Undeterred by this Waters continued to look dangerous and it was no surprise when they equalised.  A diagonal ball into the box caused confusion in the defence and the ball dropped to the Waters striker who had a simple tap-in.  1-1.  With frustration mounting in the Cubo ranks at some of the wayward passing Waters pressed home their advantage.  A free kick on the right hand touchline was clipped into the six yard box where the onrushing midfielder showed good desire to beat Pogo to the ball (much like Pistol Pete did so often in the 1’s vs 2’s pre-season friendly) and power past Clarkey.  2-1 Virginia Waters.

A disjointed first half display by the Baby Blue Army should really have been punished further when a Cubo corner broke to Waters who found themselves with a 4 on 2 breakaway.  Luckily for Cubo the opportunity was wasted and they came in at half time only a goal down.

The half time break appeared to revitalise Cubo who started the second half with far greater purpose.  Aided by attacking the half of the pitch which hadn’t been rucked to oblivion by egg-chasing chubsters, Cubo looked more assured in possession and scored from virtually their first attack.   Having led the line impressively for the first half Andrew Noble carried the ball into the Waters box, powering past two challenges before slipping the ball to Jacko who just beat the keeper to the punch to toe-poke his finish in at the near post.  2-2.

With the momentum behind them Cubo pressed on for the winner, with Bobby Sadler enjoying some swashbuckling runs into the opposition half from his right wing back position.  The home side were finally rewarded when with 5 minutes to go Chrissy Gray’s overhit free kick caught the Waters keeper off guard, who could only watch as the ball sailed over his head, clipping the bar on its way into the back of the net.  3-2 Cubo.  There was still time for Waters to almost nick a point when a well struck free kick flew just wide of the post but the angriest man in football Neil Clark appeared to have it well covered in the Cubo goal.

A hard earned 3 points for Cubo against a vastly improved Virginia Waters.  The energy of the Waters side made life very difficult for Cubo who had to wait until the playing surface improved in the second half before they were able to exert any kind of sustained pressure.  A fair result on the balance of play and one which keeps Cubo’s hopes of a 3rd place finish alive.

Goals: Jacko (2), Chrissy Gray

Man of the Match: Jacko

Match Report: Benny Mac

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