Line-up: Hutchinson, Seymour (Coffey), Laing, Torr, de la Haye, Shaw (Brooks), Cooper, Cross, Chadwick, Peel (Tierney), Guttridge
Cubo’s penultimate game of 2018/19 and their final home game of the season saw them welcome Staines Lammas to the Aspire Cage. Staines in their current form and previous name of Laleham have never been beaten by the Cubans, a stat the home team needed to correct if they wanted to have any chance of still winning the league as only 2 wins out of 2 could keep that alive.
Managers Torr & Tulip were able to name a very strong team with Cooper retaining his place at centre mid and Harry Peel moving to the left wing to cover for the missing Oli Perkins. Pre-match chat and commitment in the warm up was superb with the home side clearly motivated to get the job done.
The early play was all Cubo with Chadwick and Peel seeing plenty of the ball out wide and finding space for a number of chances. A Peel corner was header wide by Captain de la Haye, whilst Guttridge and Chadwick had some sights at the keeper but to no avail. Down the other end, Staines’ prolific forward Adams had one snapshot volley which stung the hands of Hutchinson in goal but other than that it was a comfortable opening. Cubo took things up a notch after 25 minutes with a typically marauding run down the right hand side from Chadwick seeing him pull the ball back across goal for the onrushing Matt Cross, who without breaking stride slotted home left footed for 1-0. Not long after, Cross fed Guttridge who turned in the box and slotted home into the bottom right of the goal to make it 2-0 and creep closer to Adams in the goalscoring charts – a strong season for the wannabe Texan. Another Cross run saw him round the keeper and slip Guttridge in again, but good defensive cover kept him out.
Despite being guilty of trying to force the final pass too often, Cubo were able to retain the ball with regularity, driven by Cooper and Shaw’s diligence in disrupting any Staines attacks. The 3rdgoal came about in such fashion with Cubo quickly resetting following a Shaw turnover, the midfielder won the ball and drove forward towards the edge of the box and with options either side of him, he surprised all by instead placing a lovely little slotted finish through the defenders legs, rooting the keeper to the spot and grabbing a deserved goal. Half time 3-0, and Cubo knew they had another gear or two but also knew Staines would be dangerous if they scored first.
The second half carried on in much the same way with Cubo going through a 10 minute spell of peppering the goal, Cross hitting the post and others hitting side netting or blazing over. The game also started to spice up with Cross and his opposing midfielder exchange verbals, with the latter being substituted through good management as his head started to turn. Cubo finally found the elusive 4thgoal after 65 mins, the ball finding its way to Peel in the box, who dropped the shoulder on two defenders sending them heading towards Wimbledon, whilst he set himself and drilled home left footed. A raft of substitutions saw Tierney Brooks and Coffey enter to shore up the formation. Brooks then played a key role in the 5thgoal, chipping in a delightful free kick into the path of the man who had won the free kick, Chadwick, who controlled and fired home to get the goal his performance had deserved.
The game wasn’t done there as the dangerous Adams controlled and blasted home a superb volley from 20 yards out over Hutchinson’s head to make it 5-1 and ruin the clean sheet. But Cubo salvaged a potentially essential goal difference when Chadwick cut in from the left wing past a couple of Staines players to slot home and close the game out at 6-1.
An excellent performance and one that embodied what has been a very consistent season from every player who has put on the baby blue shirt. The defence have only conceded 13 goals since their first clean sheet in early November. The forward line are all in double figures ably supported by a midfield that has dominated opposition and the club is in rude health. Regardless of events in the coming weeks, it has been a fantastic season.
MoM: A dead heat between the dangerous Chadwick who left his full backs in agony, and the dominant Cross who was at the core of all Cubo’s attacking mindset. Unfortunately, Cross was there in person so he downed the Guinness