Date: Saturday 22nd September
Venue: Wandsworth Common, KO 2pm
Starting line up: Richard Bush, Nick Tubb, Antonio Valencia, Ralph Wensley, James Ingle, Henry Neville, Timmy Field, John Watson, Conor O’Callaghan, Ben Young, Paul May
Subs: Satal Thethy, Tim Jones, John Glenn
Scorers: May, Young 2
After a difficult Thursday juggling players between teams due to a sudden holiday and injury crisis across the club, some good news on Saturday morning saw Conor bring old friend John Watson into play, and Bushy return earlier than expected from holiday. A very strong line up resulted as Cubo 3rds took to the field against Brentside, unbeaten and yet to concede, scoring 8 in their previous 2 games.
Playing uphill on an unforgiving, hard pitch; under a hot sun, Cubo struggled in the first 15 minutes, Brentside twice going close with long balls through to their wide men. However, as the half wore on, Cubo began to look more threatening, especially on the counter. Watson and Big Paul combined well to release May into the box, Paul shot narrowly wide, Ben blazing 85 yards over the bar when it seemed easier to score, from pretty much directly under the cross bar. With the defence marshalled well by Ralph, Jimbo stepping authoritatively forward to intercept play, and Nick and Tonio easily covering the Brentside wingers, Cubo took control. Like lads. A long clearance from Bushy saw Paul released down the right hand side. Gassing their 6 foot 10 centre back, not for the first time, he slotted the ball across the goal into the bottom left corner. Half time 1-0 The Cubo.
Half time felt strange without the usual display of imaginative profanity from Turner. It was actually positive. It seemed to work, as Cubo started the second half as they finished the first, in control. A rare break from Brentside saw a cross from the right wing canon off the head of their striker onto the cross bar, but apart from that, the blues remained on top. Conor especially stood out with intelligent movement and strong running. A pass from Antonio down the left wing again released Big Paul, who steam rollered over a couple of challenges, and unbelievably, and to the incredulity of everyone watching, actually passed the ball, cutting it back to Ben who slotted home from the penalty spot. Ben said it was a mis-hit shot from Paul.
With 15 minutes to go, and with Brentside having used their 3 subs, Bushy claimed a ball under pressure from their striker. A collision resulted in the Brentside striker having to come off, leaving the home side with 10 men for the remainder. With Paul now having completely subdued the entirety of their back 3, yet another marauding run saw him AGAIN cut the ball back for the waiting Ben to socre his second, and final goal of the match.
Final Score: Brentside 0-3 AFC Cubo 3rd XI
Scorers: May, B. Young (2)
Massive thanks to Salty and Jonesy who a) navigated horrendous traffic to get to the game to act as subs (as without them we only really had 11) and b) played superbly when they came on, adding bite and tenacity to an already well-oiled midfield.
Man of the Match: Impossible to split Jimbo and Ralph – absolutely bloody brilliant the pair of them. So good, they were better than Paul with a goal and two assists, and Ben with two goals.