Date: Mon 26th August 2013
Venue: Colliers Wood FC
Starting Line-up: Gaz Stewart, Chris Grayson, Richard Gough (c), Rob Jones, Org-Patt, Mark Bradley, Ben McGeown, Shedders, Jake Flower, Nick Flower, Moisty
Subs: Nick Coates, Dave Wall
Despite far from ideal preparation, which included the gaffer not turning up with the kit until 30 mins before KO and a large portion of the squad suffering from their social exertions the night before, Cubo managed to ensure they did not come away from the weekend’s games empty handed by picking up a point in a 2-2 draw with local rivals Tooting Bec. Indeed, the Baby Blue Army will be disappointed not to have picked up all 3 points from a game that they dominated for long periods.
The first few minutes of the game were characterised by some alcohol induced sloppiness from Cubo with stray passes and a cavalier approach to defending. Tooting really should have scored when a cross into the box caused mass confusion in the Cubo ranks with only a good save by Gaz preventing an opener. The game was then stopped for over five minutes when two Bec players clashed heads having gone up for the same ball and one came off significantly worse. With blood pouring out of his clearly broken hooter there was no way he could continue and the home side were forced into making an unwanted early change. This seemed to wake up the visitors who were soon able to get the ball down and build some decent attacking opportunities. The newly reunited (on the pitch) Flower brothers were both heavily involved and both had chances to break the deadlock. First Jake found space in the box before firing across the keeper, who did well to push it wide of the post, before Nick’s cross/shot flashed across the goal crying out for someone to get on the end of it. With Goughy and Jonesy doing a great job on Bec’s sole striker, the home side were finding it very difficult to get out of their own half. HT 0-0.
The second half continued in much the same fashion and Cubo soon had the goal they deserved. Shedders had been finding pockets of space throughout the first half and on this occasion he picked the ball up on the left touchline with acres around him before driving towards goal. Having beaten one man his pass/bad touch made its way to Jake who slotted past the keeper to make it 1-0. Having seen Shedders impact on the game, the gaffer promptly did the sensible thing and substituted him. With Tooting heads going down Cubo really should have put the game to bed and had the chances to do so. The first fell to Nick Flower who found himself one on one with the keeper but his effort was well saved by the Bec keeper. N.Flower was involved again when he broke into the right hand channel and only had to square the ball to Martin who had the goal at his mercy bu the pass was underhit and Tooting were able to clear.
Tooting were struggling to rouse themselves however they pushed an extra man forward and were rewarded for their positive play shortly afterwards. A Cubo corner was headed clear and made its way to the Bec number 10 who skinned Ben McGeown before squaring to the big Bec striker who made no mistake with his finish. Whilst the goal may have come against the run of play the period it signalled a change in the momentum of the game with Tooting now looking the hungrier of the two sides. With the night before’s exploits catching up with a few players Cubo were looking raged defensively and soon conceded a second as a result. A corner was only partially cleared back to the Bec number 7, who had looked their most dangerous player throughout, and he had an age to pick his cross which was headed in by an unmarked team-mate. A good cross but some appalling defending by Cubo, highlighted by the fact that there were actually three Bec players, all unmarked, queueing up to head the ball in had the first man missed it.
Luckily for Cubo there was still plenty of time on the clock to get back into the game. Dave Wall had looked lively ever since his introduction at half time for the injured Chris Grayson, getting forward to good effect from right back. Having created a couple of half chances with some well-timed bursts forward, it was his switch of the play from right to left which released Coatsy down the left. The tricky winger had been a handful in his time on the pitch and he once again beat his man before pulling the ball back to the penalty spot where Ben McGeown fired home to bring the scores level with less than 5 mins to go.
A pleasing point given the circumstances with ten minutes to go but Cubo should be disappointed that they weren’t able to put the game beyond Tooting when a goal up and on top. Credit to Tooting who came back into the game strongly in the second half and will no doubt be disappointed to concede such a late goal.
Final Score: Tooting Bec 2-2 AFC Cubo
Goals: B. McGeown, J. Flower
Man of the Match: Richard Gough – a captain’s performance from the big centre half, who even managed to avoid picking up his customary booking for dissent.