Date: 5th October, 2013
Venue: King George’s Fields
Starting Line-up: Arnie, Haddon, Jingle, J. McG, Utting, Hooper, Taylor, Thethy (C), Crisp, Smith, MTM.
Subs: Lye, Neville, Keegan.
Cubo 2s finally got off the mark at the 5th time of asking on Saturday, and in process temporarily becalmed the furious demonstrations of disgruntled supporters who marched in protest at Hooper’s reign.
With the availability of the club finally in excess of 30, players were unfortunately left out of the 2 match day squads and this point was made in the pre-match discussion.
After Ralph withdrew injured, Jim McGeown slotted in alongside his namesake Ingle, and the Golden Boy came into midfield. In attack Hennerz was extremely unlucky to drop to the bench.
With an energetic midfield trio, Cubo were hopeful of putting Barn Elms on the back foot and in the early stages they largely did this. Oli had some dangerous raids down the left wing, and MTM looked a threat despite some robust challenges from the all-action Elms defenders who definitely had a tendency to go to ground.
Barnes, who impressed in the double-header against Cubo last season, took the lead mid-way through the 1st half when Cubo failed to properly clear and a pass released the United attacker in the inside right channel to slot across Arnold.
Cubo did not allow their heads to drop though and with Crisp continuing his excellent form, there was always a threat being offered every time the Baby Blues were able to link more than 3 passes.
The message at half time was simple, keep playing, our fitness will tell and take our chances when we get them. This was proved correct 10 minutes into the second half when a lethal counter attack from a Barn Elms corner saw Taylor start and finish a 5 pass move to sweep home from close range.
1 goal quickly became 2, when Jingle, who enjoyed a really imposing game at Centre Half, met a long ball and volleyed in behind the Elms back line to release Crisp. The wiry pace-merchant made no mistake with a shot that befitted his surname, drilling in at the keeper’s near post to notch his first of the campaign.
After replacing the entire front 3 with Lye, Keegs and Hennerz, the latter made a mockery of his role as a sub, with an outstanding half an hour cameo. First he almost created a goal with a dangerous cross from the right which resulted in a corner. This set-piece was delivered with real pace onto BFF and pre-game pooing partner Jingle, who thumped a header into the top right corner.
As is Cubo’s style this season, they then conceded immediately as the Elms centre half used all of his height to flick on a free kick with a back header that Arnie was unlucky not to claw out from under his crossbar.
Undeterred by this minor setback, Cubo then scored again in what was an increasingly pulsating half of football. That man Neville was once again the source with a superb chip from the corner of the box that nestled into the opposite corner. 4-2 Cubo and the game surely put to rest…. JOKES.
4-2 was 4-3 when another set-piece saw a very deep and understandably nervous Cubo backline allowing a deft flicked finish from close range to reduce the arrears.
Barn Elms tails were now up, and after the tireless Salty connected with fresh air from 6 yards from another wicked Neville delivery, another corner was won by the hosts deep in injury time. Elms were possibly unlucky not be awarded an equaliser following a desperate goalmouth scramble but with the referee and linesman unsighted, a goal was not awarded and Cubo escaped with a fortuitous, but on the basis of play, thoroughly deserved 3 points.
Final Score: Barn Elms Utd 3-4 AFC Cubo
Goals: Taylor, Crisp, Ingle, Neville.
Assists: Crisp, Ingle, Neville, ?.
Man of the Match: Jimmy Ingle with a welcome return to top form after a difficult outing in the previous week.