Lineup: Hutchinson, Golding, de la Haye, Torr, Laing (Coffey), Brooks (Tierney), Connolly, Cross, Tulip (Perkins), Chadwick, Guttridge
Goals: Torr, Chadwick (2), Cross, Perkins
Cubo visited AFC Spelthorne Sports for the opening league game of the Surrey Elite Intermediate League. Following a tight win and a draw against Spelthorne last season, this was always going to be a tough game to start the season.
With a strong squad, Cubo got off to a quick start, putting pressure on the Spelthorne defence through a series of set pieces. Had centre-half Torr been able to finish off a couple of chances from just outside the six-yard box, Cubo could have taken an early lead. Spelthorne started to play themselves into the game, maintaining possession but were unable to threaten the goal due to the disciplined shape held by the Cubo defence.
Given the threat provided by Cubo set pieces earlier in the game, it was no surprise that the opening goal came from a wide free kick won by the marauding Tulip down the left-hand side. Connolly whipped in a dangerous ball towards the back post and this time, although he did his best to miss the target hitting both posts and the crossbar, Torr tapped in from close range.
Now 1 nil up, Cubo could afford to be patient and let Spelthorne come on to them before choosing their time to attack. Space began to open up for the front four, with Cross finding the pockets between the Spelthorne midfield and attack, Guttridge running the channels and the two wingers, Tulip and Chadwick, having joy against their fullbacks. This resulted in two quick goals before half time from Chadwick and Cubo taking a well deserved 3 nil lead into the dressing room.
As expected, after the break Spelthorne began to press and commit more men forward in order to try and get themselves back into the game. Cubo’s midfield duo of Connolly and Brooks screened the back four exceptionally and Spelthorne were limited to one chance in the first 20 minutes of the second half, requiring a great 1-on-1 save from Hutchinson. With the game stretched, the goal of the game came from Cubo…as Cross picked the ball up on the half way line, beat 3 men with a mazy run before facing the keeper up and sending him the wrong way, putting the game to bed at 4 nil.
The last 20 minutes saw Cubo tire, which was to be expected in the first game of the season, and that, in combination with the 4/5 men Spelthorne left up top, saw them concede two late goals. A cameo from substitute Perkins saw Cubo sneak a fifth in between Spelthorne’s consolations and allowed Cubo to finish off as 5-2 winners. This was a great start to our league campaign, with a big double-header bank holiday weekend to come next week. Up the Cubo!
MoM – Matt Cross the main reason being that goal, but was up and down throughout the whole game, providing creativity and discipline as and when the game needed it.
Also big shout out to Barney, for making his Cubo debut and Golding returning to competitive action since his injury nightmare from last season.