Venue: Barn Elms
Starting Line-up: Luke Arnold, Tom Golding, Chris Bentley (Jez Lye), Oli Watkins, Frederik Gorlitz, Henry Neville (Richard Crisp), Satal Thethy (Jacko), Joe Mull, Martin Shardlow, Tom Simmons, Andrew Pinnington
Subs: Jez Lye, Richard Crisp, Jacko
Cubo were looking to give the visitors a fright this Halloween at a sunny Barn Elms. There was certainly cause for optimism as the BBA had a strong looking outfit, looking to get an unprecedented third win on the bounce. Arnie between the sticks, with Golding, Bentley, Fred & player-chairman Watkins protecting him. Shards & Henners provided the width, Joe Mull & Salty in the middle, with trequartista Simmo supporting lone front man Pinnington.
The game started with a flurry of activity with neither team really monopolising the ball. One of the features of this league appear to be the sheer number of throw ins and this game was no different. From the right, the left, offensive, defensive, you name it, this game had that type of throw. An awful lot of the game was played through the middle, a bobbly area of the pitch, which probably contributed to both teams surrendering possession. However, whenever the ball was played out wide, the Cubes looked particularly dangerous, with Golding, Shards and Henners whipping in pacy crosses with a little too much on it the attacks to get any kind of contact on.
However, with the game 20 minutes old, a relatively inconspicuous looking central set piece bobbled its way to the SEL captain. In all fairness, he managed to turn smartly and drove his shot off the inside of the opposite post. Arnie had no chance and the boys in baby blue were a goal down.
The boys from Barnes are made from sterner stuff though this season and low and behold they were back in it 10 minutes later. From a Golding throw in, Pinners hooked it on with his bonce to a gleeful Henners to swivel and drill a shot (possibly) between the Keepers legs.
After the goal, Cubes found another gear. A few of the oppo could do nothing else to stop the newly revitalised home team and picked up a few cynical bookings for their troubles. That only postponed the inevitable and a few minutes after the first, Golding drilled a cross-shot into Pinnington lurking on the edge of the box. Quicker than you could say ‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang’, the man himself took it onto his left foot and precisely knocked in across the flailing arm of the away keeper into the net.
Half time came. The lads knew that SEL were going to come back at them as they had players who had showed potential quality during the first half and so they would have to continue to battle, as they have done all season.
The second half was a midfield battle with very few chances for either team. Arnie made a few blinding saves, most notably a sensational hold from a cross hammered in from the SEL wide man. Jez and Crispy were introduced into the fray, with both doing their upmost to lift the Cubes over the finish line in the lead.
The referee wanted to make sure both teams would remember him for several reasons, with the main talking point of the second half coming 20 minutes from time. A bouncing ball was vitally and expertly spooned away by Crispy for a corner. But wait, what’s this? Dismay! The burly man in black pointed to the spot and gave the SEL front man a chance from 12 yards, which he snaffled up to make it 2-2.
Both sides continued to search for a way to graft out a result but neither could find the winning touch. A late Pinners injury overshadowed a game (kind of) played in a gentlemanly manner, though Cubo continued to rally with a man down.
The Cubes defence were unerring, as was their Number 1 Arnie in goal, who had little to no chance with the goals conceded. Midfield never stopped running and made a number of tackles to possibly win that particular battle on the day. Although they didn’t spoil the home support with chances, there was reason to be positive following a decent draw.
An unbeaten October will look good on Arnie’s CV as he continues to cut his teeth in the managerial game.
Goals: Henry Neville, Andrew Pinnington
MotM: Joeberto Carlos