Spelthorne Sports 0 – AFC Cubo 1

Date: Saturday 30th April 2016

Starting line-up: Gaz Stewart, Joe Coffey, Ryan Frost, Ralph Wensley, Conor Kennedy, Chris Pyke, Elliot Connolly, James Robinson, Oli Perkins (c), Harry Tulip, Tom Simmons

Sub: Ben McGeown

Goal: Elliot Connolly

A season that started way back in the middle of August is finally coming to an end with Cubo playing their final Saturday game of the season away at Spelthorne Sports.

Gaffer Ben McGeown made four changes to his starting line up granting a debut to James Robinson in the centre of the park and starting Conor Kennedy beside Ralph in the centre of the defence. Other changes saw Frosty shift to left-back and resident protein-shake and Tinder enthusiast Simmo return up top.

Playing against the slope it was Cubo who started the brighter of the two sides when only some sharp keeping at his near post by the Spelthorne keeper prevented Tulip’s snapshot from hitting the back of the net.

Cubo then thought they had taken the lead when a Spelthorne clearance struck one of their own players before dropping to Simmo who shanked home. The referee must have been unsighted as he blew up for offside, ably assisted by the home linesman who had raised his flag.

With Cubo still protesting Spelthorne broke down the other end and almost created a goal-scoring chance that really would have rubbed salt in the wound.

The hard pitch was making it difficult for both sides to get the ball down and play, however it was the Cubo midfield who were doing the better job of it when the chance arose. New boy James Robinson was getting forward well from midfield and he saw a dipping, goalbound, volley pushed round the post by the home keeper.

Cubo were finding themselves in good positions but on more than one occasion poor decision making was letting them down, with players taking shots from distance when the pass was the better option.

At the other end Spelthorne were starting to get into the game and with their strikers dropping deep to take the ball in space, they were able to create dangerous overlaps on Cubo’s left hand side where Frosty was putting in am impressive performance at left back.

Despite the increasing time they were enjoying on the ball Spelthorne were unable to trouble Gaz, with their strikers appearing to have left their shooting boots at home for the day as a series of long-range strikes sailed high and wide of the Cubo goal.

The second half saw the wind pick up, which, coupled with the hard pitch, made it difficult to play any football and Cubo in particular were struggling to hold on to the ball. Spelthorne on the other hand were beginning to look more dangerous. With the game opening up it took some superb sweeping from Conor and Ralph to prevent the pacey Spelthorne striker from getting in on goal.

At the other end Cubo continued to make questionable decisions when in good attacking positions and when they did take the lead it was from a man who usually does everything he can not to shoot. A corner from the right was helped on by Simmo to the back post where Elliot connected with a half volley that had too much spice on it for the Spelthorne keeper (particularly after getting a heavy deflection) as it sailed into the roof of the net from 10 yards out.

A relief for Cubo following last week’s fixture at Yateley where they had dominated without taking their chances before losing to a last minute goal. The goal had the effect of exacerbating the niggle that had been present throughout the game (most notably in the first half when the Spelthorne was lucky that the ref didn’t see the punches he threw at Conor off of the ball) and the game degenerated into a stop start affair as the home side’s committed foul after foul. The worst of the bunch was the off-the-ball incident which saw Frosty punched in the face, leaving him with a nasty gash on his eyebrow.

Despite this added aggression the home side had still failed to test Gaz in the Cubo goal, with his overall contribution limited to a couple of crosses collected and goal-kicks. With the final whistle approaching Cubo had chances to add a second, the most notable falling to Simmo when, having done all of the hard work to beat the defender, he rushed his shot, putting it high and wide, when he had plenty of time to compose himself.

With the final whistle going Cubo could celebrate finally breaking the run of bad form which has blighted the end of the season. The Club will also be buoyed by good performances from new boys Conor Kennedy, who was a confident presence at centre half, and James Robinson, who did enough with a hangover to suggest that he has a lot more to offer in the centre of the park.

The Club will be hoping to finish the season with another strong performance as they take on treble-chasing Horsley in the final game of the season – Tuesday night out in Whyteleafe anyone??

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