Date: Saturday 21st November 2015
Venue: Fortress Barn Elms Sports Centre
Starting line-up: Gaz Stewart, Ryan Shedwick, Ralph Wensley, Greg Tett, Pete Woodhead, Chris Pyke, Elliot Connolly, Ben McGeown, Martin Ansell, Tom Simmons, Oli Perkins
Sub: Ryan Carolan
Following the hard fought victory over Tooting Bec, Cubo found themselves in another derby fixture against local rivals Battersea Ironsides as they looked to extend their six game unbeaten run.
With Harry Tulip once again missing the fixture against his old side (3 games missed out of 4) Tom Simmons stepped up from the 2’s and coupled with Moisty returning from injury the home side were still able to name a frontline brimming with attacking threat.
Last minute withdrawals had put resources in the Club at a stretch and gaffer Ben McG was only able to name one sub, Ryan Carolan making his first appearance since picking up a hamstring injury against Balham.
Cubo made the brighter start, appearing to be a step ahead of their opponents who were fielding some unfamiliar faces and appeared to be lacking energy all over the pitch. The Cubans got the goal their start merited when Tom Simmons fired a low cross across the box which made its way to Oli Perkins at the back post and he ‘laid it off’ to an unmarked Ben McGeown who had the simple task of side-footing home from six yards out.
Cubo then suffered a blow when Moisty suffered a recurrence of his muscular injury and had to be removed with Ryan Carolan coming on for the elusive Ansell. Whilst offering a slightly different threat to Moisty Ryan C showed an ability to carry the ball that immediately caused Battersea problems and the sub should perhaps have done better having worked some good shooting positions for himself within five minutes of entering the fray.
Cubo were in the ascendency and should have extended their lead when a long throw from Simmo caught the Battersea defence unawares leaving Tett with a free header at the back stick which he really should have buried but the left back mistimed his jump and spooned his header over.
Despite Battersea having an off day they continued to offer the threat that has worked so well for them over the years with the smaller dimensions of Barn Elms suiting their long-throw strategy to a tee. However with Gaz Stewart in commanding form, coming off of his line to claim a number of the aerial bombs that came his way, the away side were looking devoid of ideas as to how to break down the Cubo defence.
The set-piece appeared to be the only way they would get back into the game and it was via a free kick that they thought they levelled the scores. A low shot was heading wide before being deflected into the net by their number ten but the linesmans flag was up and the goal was disallowed.
Entering the second half despite Cubo enjoying the better of things you felt a second goal was needed to put the spirited Ironsiders to be bed and it duly arrived ten minutes into the half. Tom Simmons was once again involved, down the left hand side this time, and his cross made its way to Ryan Carolan at the back post who displayed excellent shin tekkers to acrobatically volley the ball into the corner of the net. 2-0 Cubo.
Whilst Battersea continued to push forward the Cubo backline were looking strong with Ralph once again putting in a dominant performance at the heart of the defence and Rufus showing that he’s been wasted higher up the pitch all of these years. The game was finally put to bed when a long kick from Gaz skipped over the Battersea backline leaving Oli Perkins a clear run on goal and the skipper took time to settle himself before firing past the keeper.
The end of the game was marred by an ugly tackle that resulted in the Battersea number ten being dismissed and Tett receiving a yellow for his part in the fracas that followed, an unfortunate way to finish what had largely been a good-natured contest.
A great win for the Cubo against a side who have had the better of these fixtures in recent years and takes them level on points with their opponents. Cubo will be hoping that the pitches hold up over the coming weeks as they look to continue their climb up the table.
GOALS: Ben McGeown (again….), Ryan Carolan, Oli Perkins
MOTM: DJ Pyke – the technical pant enthusiast once again showed why he is missed when not available, adding the steel that saw Cubo dominate the centre of the park. (This was a better end to his day – his School getting turned over by the mighty Alleyn’s in the morning)