AFC Cubo 2 v Chobham Burymead 2

Date: Saturday 19th September 2015

Venue: Barn Elms Sports Centre

Starting line-up: Gaz Stewart, Greg Tett, Ralph Wensley, Alan Clarke, Brad Wilkie, Ben McGeown, Marcus Torr, Elliot Connolly, Martin Ansell, Tom Simmons, Harry Tulip

Subs: Oli Watkins, Luke Arnold

Cubo entertained newly promoted Chobham Burymead at Barn Elms looking to build on their unbeaten September.  Typically there were a few changes from last week’s hard-fought point at Battersea with Marcus Torr and Martin Ansell returning to the side.  With the pitch looking in good nick and the sun shining the stage was set for a good afternoon of football.  Chobham started the brighter of the two with Cubo struggling to get to grips with the shape of the visitors.  Some sloppy defending saw Gaz Stewart forced into action early on, though the keeper showed safe hands to hold onto a well-struck shot from the edge of the box.  Cubo were then presented with a good chance to open the scoring when the Chobham keeper mishit a clearance leaving Ben McG with an open goal, albeit from 30 yards out.  As with last weeks efforts the gaffer was unable to hit the target and should have done better.  The game then saw the first of two real bits of class during the 90.  A diagonal into the box from Marcus was nodded down by Tom Simmons into the path of the onrushing Martin Ansell, who smashed a half volley into the top corner from the edge of the box.  A rocket of a finish to make it 1-0 Cubo.  With the away side slightly stunned from the goal, Cubo began dominating proceedings with Elliot influential in the middle of the park.  The score should have been doubled when another poor clearance dropped to Ben on the edge of the box but he rushed his finish, spanking the ball well wide.

Cubo started the second half with the second moment of quality when Martin broke down the left and pulled the ball back to Elliot just inside the Chobham box and he guided his finish into the far top corner, the ball settling in under the stanchion.  Riding high from the goal, Cubo really should have pushed on but instead they gifted Chobham a route back into the game.  A well struck free kick was parried by Gaz and tucked away by the Chobham striker who had reacted quickest to the second ball.  A real game changer of a goal as you felt that not even Chobham believed they’d be able to get back in the game before that.  From that moment on the game became frenzied as Chobham pushed on and Cubo consistently gave possession away.  Time and again Cubo were guilty of poor challenges, gifting their opponents free kicks in dangerous areas and continually bringing themselves under the cosh.  Even so the equiliser came as a surprise when a deflected shot crept under Gaz’s hands and trickled over the line.  2-2.  With the tide of the game having changed it was now Chobham who looked like they might win it, with Cubo defending increasingly nervously.  The game was completely end to end, with both sides having chances to win it.  First up Gaz had to make a tremendous save as a deflected effort threatened to loop over him but the big man somehow got a hand to it to push it over the bar when it looked goal-bound.  Tom Simmons then had a chance when Harry broke down the left and pulled the ball back but the striker’s effort lacked power.  Simmo got more purchase on his next strike having worked an angle for himself in the box but his effort glanced the wrong side of the post with the keeper left rooted to the spot.  When the ref blew the final whistle both sides appeared disappointed not to have won the points as another goal looked to be on the cards for either side.

A disappointing result for Cubo who really should have put the game to bed at 2-0.  The Cubans will have to be more clinical in future if they are to climb the table.

GOALS: Martin Ansell, Elliot Connolly

MOTM: Elliot Connolly

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