Line-up: Gareth Stewart, Rob Sadler, Hung Nguyen, Sam Graves, Ralph Wensley, Chris Pyke, Mark Bradley, Elliot Connolly, Martin Ansell, Harry Tulip, Jonny Patterson
Subs: Rufus Shedwick, Alan Clarke
Cubo met newly promoted AFC Spelthorne Sports on a warm day at Southfields Academy 3G. Spelthorne have just been promoted from the Surrey County Intermediate League (Western), dropping only 9 points on their march to the title with only one defeat to their name. Their confidence was on show from the early stages where they controlled possession well. The visitors central midfield pairing were to the fore in this period, looking after the ball and finding the space to hit dangerous passes in behind the Cubo defence. Young, fit and happy to keep the ball on the deck, Spelthorne were proving to be very different opponents to Battersea the week before. Cubo gradually worked their way into the game, with Bradders and Pykey working hard to shut down the space in the middle of the park. Going forward, Bobby Sads and Moisty were combining well down the right and with Moisty in particular looking dangerous, this looked like the area where Cubo might get some joy. The first goal however came deservedly to the away side. A low cross from the left was gift-wrapped for the Spelthorne front man to tap in from 4 yards out to make it 1-0. The game remained finely poised with Harry Tulip seeing his fierce drive fly just over before Spelthorne almost doubled their lead when their striker sprung the offside trap only to see his attempted lob bounce back off the underside of the bar. The second half saw a change in dynamic as Cubo were the side that started the quicker and soon found themselves level. Moisty was fouled on the edge of the box, before picking himself up and curling the resultant free kick into the top corner. A great finish from Cubo’s best player on the day. The game was opening up with both sides creating chances to win it. The introduction of Rufus and Clarkey from the bench gave Cubo an extra attacking edge and both players were involved late doors. Rufus was getting a lot of joy in behind the full backs, where Sam was picking him out with some raking passes from the back. Match rustiness let him down on a couple of occasions but he was central to two of Cubo’s best chances in the final ten minutes. First he broke down the right before squaring to Clarkey in the box who uncharacteristically blazed over. Rufus’ direct running then took him down the left where he crossed for Moisty who had made a great run across the centre half but could only watch in despair as his effort drifted over the bar off of the outside of his boot. This was to prove the last chance of the game for the home side who may have been wishing for another five minutes to nab the goal they felt was coming their way.
In the end this was a decent point for Cubo against a well drilled and good footballing side. Spelthorne looked after the ball well and were good value for their lead at half time but Cubo showed good determination to fight back into the game and get what they deserved from it.
Goal – Martin Ansell
MOTM – Martin Ansell