AFC Cubo 2nds 4-2 Kiwi FC

Date: Saturday 12 December 2015

Venue: Barn Elms

Line-up: Arnold, Jez, Gorlitz, Watkins, Golding, Coffey, Mull, Thethy, Shardlow, Crisp, Pinnington

Subs: Strudwick, Jones

The 2nds ended 2015 on a high (at least on the pitch) with a comfortable victory over perennial rivals Kiwi FC at Fortress Barn Elms.

On a day that had started inauspiciously, with the warm up heartlessly mocked by passing schoolchildren, Cubo showed the kind of form that could realistically translate into a strong promotion push.

Cubo started brightly, with a pressing game that was forcing Kiwi’s midfield and defence into errors. After a vicious effort from Kiwi was pushed away brilliantly by Arnold, Cubo’s endeavour was rewarded. Martin Shardlow’s superb dipping strike from range found the net after good work from Joe Mull. Shardlow’s patented “law of averages” approach to shooting continued throughout the game to varying degrees of success, but his guile and craft behind the striker proved too much for Kiwi at times.

Joe Coffey and Crisp were also providing great balance on either flank, and unsurprisingly it was Coffey that created the second, beating his full back twice with ease before squaring for Pinnington to smash home at the near post.

Pinnington- noticeably less hysterical than in recent weeks- continued to harry and press from the front, ably supported by tireless work from Thethy, Mull and Shardlow.

At the back, Teutonic hardman Gorlitz and Watkins were tighter to their men than Arnold’s goalkeeping jersey, and Golding was providing guile from left back.

Half time came and went with a 2-0 lead and the usual platitudes about keeping it tight and pretending it was 0-0.

With the score cruelly reset, Cubo added another two in quick time. Shardlow won the ball well in midfield before his intended pass to Crisp found Pinnington cantering past the hapless Kiwi defence. He coolly steered it past the keeper from ten yards to give Cubo a disconcertingly large lead.

Incredibly this was increased, as Pinnington burst through the defence and, sensing a scarcely believable hattrick, selfishly struck straight at the goalkeeper. Fortunately Shardlow was in attendance to ram home the bouncing rebound.

4-0 up, Cubo started to defend deep and invite pressure, and this was swiftly punished. A free header from a well worked set piece gave Kiwi hope, before a breakaway effort- not helped by the protestations of half the Cubo side 40 yards away on a throw-in decision- squirmed agonisingly under Arnold.

Credit has to go to Watkins and Gorlitz for steeling their charges under a fairly relentless barrage of pressure that followed. Cubo had chances to extend their lead but, with their eyes on the later prizes in Putney, sportingly preserved the mere two goal lead.

Goals: Pinnington x2, Shardlow  x2

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