AFC Cubo 2nd XI 1-2 AFC Battersea

Date: Saturday 14th September, 2013

Venue: Barn Elms Sports Centre

Starting XI: Van der Light, R. Jones, Wensley, Nguyen, J. McGeown, Wall, Hooper, Thethy (C), Crisp, Durrant, Spokes.

Subs: Fraser, Neville, Taylor.

Cubo 2s took on experienced campaigners AFC Battersea on Saturday, hoping to register their first points of the season, at the second time of asking, following last week’s strange defeat to new boys Brentside.

A strong 14 was available, and that was in the absence of the likes of Jez, Utting, Jacko, Perkins, Keegs and Jingle-all-the-way.

Cubo started brightly although the two Battersea central midfielders form one of the better partnerships in the league and a need to get tight to numbers 14 and 10 was paramount.

Battersea enjoyed the better of the attempts on goal in the first 45, although in truth they were very much long range efforts that were straight down the throat of the retuning keeper Brett VdL.

Cubo were having some joy down their left with Jim and Henry D linking up very well, although the lack of quality when it came to the final ball was the only blot to their first half copybook.

Before the game the gaffer talked about the fact the game would be very tight, and scoring the first goal, it was felt, would be absolutely crucial. As it happened, Cubo broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when Neville, on for his namesake Durrant down the left flank, scored with his very first touch to convert Crisp’s inviting low cross from the right wing.

Cubo were now buoyant and skipper Salty was denied in a 1-on-1 by a fine stop from the Leeds United shirt wearing keeper. However despite looking to protect what they had with Stevie T replacing the first team covering Wall, and Frase slotting in at full back for Jones, the baby blue red army were struggling to keep possession and subsequently the visitors, cruelly sporting a brand new strip that looked extremely familiar to followers of this website, poured forward.

The equaliser came when a promising Cubo break was snuffed out and with men out of position a cross from the right found its way to the back post where Hung was just unable to keep a powerful shot from creeping over line.

Despite the need for calm heads, the home side were still struggling to replicate their incisive first-week football on a regular basis. With 5 minutes to go Battersea slung a diagonal ball into the Cubo box and a brave header just beat the onrushing keeper, kissed the inside of the post, and agonisingly rolled over the line.

A tough defeat for the second consecutive weak for the 2s. A bit more savvy game management to see out matches like this will be crucial in a very competitive league where all the sides will feel they have a legitimate chance of victory each week. Sporting Duet, an easy on the eye side who enjoyed a good season in 2012/13, are next up on the 21st.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 1-2 AFC Battersea

Goal: Neville

Assist: Crisp

Man of the Match: Ralph – an imposing performance from the returning centre half, who formed a very solid partnership with Hung.

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