Starting line-up: G. Stewart, N. Flower, S. Graves, O. Watkins, R. Wensley, E. Connolly, I. Clarke, J. Patterson, M. Ansell, O. Perkins, H. Tulip Subs: A. Clarke, B. McGeown
Goals: O. Perkins (2), N. Flower, M. Ansell
Another strong first half performance saw Cubo secure all three points against struggling Yateley United on Saturday. Four changes to last weeks side saw Sam Graves, Clarkey and Nick Flower return to the starting line-up, with Alan coming in on the bench.
Weather conditions on the day were pretty horrendous with the rain pissing down and a strong wind that Cubo were playing into in the first half. The strength of the wind meant that the away side found it difficult to get out of their half as goal kicks and clearances were holding up in the air and Yateley benefitted from this, keeping Cubo in their own half. Yateley may have started the game at the bottom of the table but of the eight games they have lost six have been by a single goal and they have run all of the top sides close. They certainly didn’t start like a side at the bottom, working the ball well down the flanks and forcing a couple of early corners. However these were dealt with well by Cubo who enjoyed a height advantage across most of the side. Following a scrappy start the away side began to settle into the game and found themselves ahead when the ball was worked to Harry out on the left who beat his man before delivering a cross that Yateley failed to deal with and Nick Flower was on hand to make it 1-0. The lead was doubled with the very next attack as a superb reverse pass from Jonny Patterson again found Harry out on the left. Yet again the Geordie’s quick feet saw him beat his man before his cross found an unmarked Oli Perkins for a simple tap in. Cubo were now in full control of the game and looking dangerous whenever they went forward, particularly down the right where Ralph was getting into som dangerous crossing positions. Unfortunately for both sides the referee made the decision to send off the Yateley centre half for a reckless challenge in the middle of the park. The kind of decision you see in the Prem regularly but rarely dealt with so severely at this level. This inevitably had an pact on the game with the home side dropping off allowing Cubo plenty of time on the ball at the back where Oli and Sam were able to knock the ball around without much pressure on them. Cubo extended their lead early in the second half when Oli Perkins followed up a rebound to grab his second of the game and fifth of the season. The game then saw it’s second red card when Gaz Stewart pulled down the Yateley striker who was clean through on goal….an unavoidable decision for the ref to make and a bizarre decision by the Cubo stopper given that even at 3-1 the game was pretty much in the bag. The volatile Welshman has been in great form this season and his absence through suspension will be a big blow to the Cubans. Rumours circulating on the Cubo supporter’s online forum that he had deliberately sought a suspension to accommodate another spa weekend away with his missus have been quashed by the player…..A quick reshuffle saw Ben McGeown take Gaz’s place inbetween the sticks sporting a pair of Gabor Kiraly endorsed trackie bottoms. The lack of warm-up clearly had an effect as the usually dependable keeper was caught in no-mans land whilst half-committing to a long ball over the top, indecision which the Yateley striker exploited with a well-taken lob. Cubo had further chances to extend their lead with the Yateley keeper saving well when Martin had been played through on goal and Harry going close but there were to be no more goals.
A good win for Cubo against a Yateley side who will feel hard done by the first half sending off which effectively ended the game as a contest. Despite this the away side were well worth the win whlist it was eleven on eleven with some strong performances from Ralph, Elliot and Harry. With a majority of the league taking part in the Cup the win lifts Cubo to third in the league ahead of some tricky fixtures ahead, including the Club’s bogey team Virginia Water.