Date: Saturday 2nd Feb 2013
Starting XI: Bushy, Cucos, Ingle, Reed, Palacios, Vanderlight, Edwards, Haddon, Nixon, Neville, Griffiths
On a glorious February afternoon, Cubo thirds took on the mid-table Northern Town with Cubo looking to pick up all important points to support their drive to First Division safety. This would be the last home game for Cubo this season, and although having missed the last three weeks due to bad weather, the squad could only be described as rag-tag due to absences across the whole club. With two goalkeepers in the squad, Brett started on the right wing, providing physicality and a strong jump in both boxes. Cubo also appreciated the return of Pistol Pete Edwards, on a short break from his capitalist undertakings in China. Dave Nixon brought new options down bathe left wing, especially at a time when Henners’ knee limited his mobility.
After a difficult first five minutes filled with intense Northern Town attacking, the game settled into a proper rhythm. Cubo had the wind in the first half and broke the deadlock after a half hour as Jordan provided some support on the half way line before returning the ball to Bushy to clear upfield. Northern Town had a high line and their gobby centre half found himself caught out by the wind, with Henners chasing on to the loose ball and sweeping it in to the net after sending the keeper the wrong way. Haddon and Tongzhi Edwards gave solid support to the wings and the defence as Cubo went in at half time one goal to the good.
Cubo started the second half with ten players as Jordan dashed back to the changing room for a quick Jason Puncheon. Despite playing into the wind (no pun intended) in the second half, Cubo looked strong and continued to press. While the wind carried the ball quickly in the first half, the second half gave Cubo the opportunities to put the ball into the strikers’ feet as it held in the wind. Jordan went close on a number of occasions as he was able to find the space between the Town midfield and defence, and quick darts from Antonio down the left flank gave the opposition a number of problems.
Town were able to force a number of corner kicks from Cubo as their wingers got more of the ball, assisted by the breeze. After seventy minutes, a corner from their right was headed goalwards by the centre half. Ed Smith (who had replaced Dave Nixon on the left wing five minutes before) cleared it off the line, but was only able to nod it downwards. As it bounced back up and held in the wind, Ed was no match for their seven foot nine inch centre midfielder who nodded it in to the net past the stranded Bushy.
The game looked settled for the next fifteen minutes and both sides offered chances to go ahead. A lovely lofted ball from Luke into the space between their right back and centre half gave Jordan the chance to put the game beyond Town, but strong defensive work from their covering defence and keeper meant Griffith couldn’t connect properly and the ball limped wide.
Town grabbed the winner after consecutive corners at the Cubo end on the eighty-five minute mark. An inswinging corner caught Chris Reed unawares, striking him high on the arm. A harsh one to give, the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the spot. The Northern Town captain dispatched it past Bushy, inside his left post.
Cubo tried to threaten in the last five minutes, but couldn’t find the net.
Final Score: AFC Cubo 1 – 2 Northern Town FC