Date: Saturday 3rd October 2015
Venue: Barn Elms
Starting line-up: Gaz Stewart, Brad Wilkie, Ralph Wensley, Greg Tett, Ryan Shedwick, Ben McGeown, Tom Golding, Ian Clarke, Adam Fox, Martin Ansell, Harry Tulip
Subs: Joe Mullagan, Oli Watkins
Cubo secured only their second win of the season with a well-deserved 2-0 victory over fellow South West Londoners NPL. League winners back in 2013/14 NPL have experienced a difficult start to the season and arrived at Barn Elms without many of the players who have been an integral part of their recent success. However as the saying goes, you can only play what’s in front of you and Cubo put in a professional performance to secure three points, with goals coming either side of the half.
Geared-up by the angriest pre-game team-talk the Club has ever heard (primarily consisting of half-formed sentences and swear words) the home side took the lead when a deflected shot from Ian Clarke fell to Ben McGeown and the gaffer had plenty of time to guide his finish beyond the NPL keeper from 10 yards out. Cubo were looking dangerous down both flanks with the frontmen causing NPL all sorts of problems. On three separate occasions Cubo forwards got in behind but were unable to find a team-mate with their crosses. Had they been more clinical in these areas the game could have been put to bed by half time. At the other end NPL’s greatest threat came from their right-back/right-wing combination who were bombing forward with abandon, often over-loading Cubo left-back Brad Wilkie, however Cubo’s resident angry Scouse was doing a good job in keeping them quiet. As it was NPL were limited to the occasional pot-shot from distance and this never looked liked troubling Gaz Stewart in the Cubo goal.
Going into the second half NPL brought an extra man into the centre of the pitch and as a result the game became increasingly scrappy with NPL pressing the ball well and Cubo failing to move the ball well enough to utilise the wide areas. When the home side did switch the ball there were acres to play in particularly down the left hand side where time and again Wilkie was being allowed to carry the ball unchallenged into the NPL half. It was on one of these forays that the full back picked out Ben McGeown in the box with a raking diagonal pass and having got the ball out of his feet with his first touch the gaffer really should have done better with his finish which was pushed round the post. Luckily for him the game was put to bed shortly afterwards when the ball was flipped over the top for Harry Tulip to run on to and the frontman took a lovely touch to take the ball away from his marker before he cooly slotted past the keeper to make it 2-0. With 20 minutes remaining NPL pushed forward, finishing with four men up front for the final ten minutes however one deflected shot aside they failed to exert any real pressure on the Cubo goal. At the other Cubo should have had another goal but an ambitious chip from new boy Ad trickled into the keepers arms as the referee blew the final whistle.
A solid result for Cubo who have had a mixed start to the season but will be hoping that this result, combined with greater squad availability, will mark an improved run of form. NPL look a better side than their league position suggests but they look to be in for a tough time until some of their injured players return to the starting line-up.
Goals – Ben McGeown, Harry Tulip
MOTM – Ryan Shedwick – the ‘Flying Manc’ put in a strong performance at right-back which showed that you don’t have to have the ability to defend to play the position well. Even curtailed his usual moaning at team-mates for their lack of ability until the final ten minutes.