Match Report – 1XI League vs Chessington (08.09.18) – 1-1 Draw

Lineup: Hutchinson, Shedwick (Laing), de la Haye, Torr, Davies, Shaw, Pyke (red card), Peel, Chadwick, Tulip (Perkins), Guttridge

Goals: Tulip

Cubo looked to carry on their excellent start to the season travelling to Kingston University to take on a Chessington team that they were unable to get the better of in 3 attempts last season. Games against this opposition are always tough but exciting, averaging 6 goals a game last year. This game however, although very competitive was much less open and far cagier affair right from the outset.

The Cuban’s defence were well prepared for the onslaught of long balls up to the two big Chessington strikers and coped well during the first half, keeping any Chessington chances to a minimum. As the half progressed, Cubo began dictate the tempo of the game and found success from using the men out wide and regularly switching the play. After getting behind the Chessington back four and creating several half chances, the first goal of the game came from a superb cross field ball from Shedwick, the Cubo right back, to Tulip who made no mistake in lifting the ball over the keeper, giving Cubo a much deserved one goal lead. For the remainder of the first half it felt as if a second goal could come, unfortunately it didn’t but the very organised Cubo side went into the break feeling as if there were the better side.

Unfortunately, the second half didn’t start in the way the first half had finished, with Cubo allowing a long punt down the middle split their defence and the Chessington striker finished very well to level things up. For the next ten minutes Cubo became sloppy but managed to withstand some constant Chessington pressure. Cubo then began to get back to the level they were playing at during the first half, moving higher up the pitch and getting the front four on the ball more and more.

On the hour mark, a second yellow for Pyke coming from a slightly late challenge that he had to make, meant that Cubo had to see out the rest of the game with ten men. As expected, this lifted the heads of the Chessington players and the next 30 minutes became a backs to the wall job for the whole Cubo team, with Peel dropping deeper in the centre of midfield and Chadwick & Tulip becoming more conventional right and left midfielders respectively. The final third of this game showed the change and development of this Cubo side – the character, resilience and togetherness of this team was outstanding. Torr and de la Haye dealt with the aerial threat and the work rate from our midfield and forward players meant that Chessington were limited in the chances they had, even creating several of our own. The last few minutes were nervy, particularly with a disallowed offside Chessington goal, but Cubo held on and came away with a point that in the circumstances felt more like 3.

Here we are sat on 10 points after 5 games, 7 points more than at this stage last season. There is a lot of belief within this squad and we look forward to carrying this momentum into the next set of fixtures.

MoM – Marcus Torr dominating in the air against two strong Chessington strikers.

Match Report – 1XI League vs AFC Spelthorne Sports (18.08.18) – 5-2 Win

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.

Season Review – 2017/18

2017-18 season will live long in the memory for Cubans, as great progress off the field was matched by two memorable cup runs and a trophy on it (see Honours page).

While the 2XI lifting the W&D Centenary Cup is the icing on the cake, the 1XI reaching a Step7 semi-final should also be celebrated. In truth, the 1XI were unlucky not to progress, although the club take great pride in reaching the latter stages of a competition of this quality. 

In league action, it was a mixed season for both sides.

The 1XI started slowly, hampered by GK selection issues. However, the free transfer signing of Jack Hutchinson was an inspired one, who nailed down the number 1 shirt and helped the side to charge their way up the league. 6-2 & 5-0 wins against Battersea and Reigate demonstrated this, and the attacking flair the side contained meant the team closed for Christmas focussing on the upper echelons of the table.

Post-Christmas was always going to be tricky for the 1XI, with only 9 league games left and a cup run to manage, it meant that the side often had bye weeks to contend with. Despite this, the team delivered some good results, scoring a total of 24 goals after Christmas (including back to back drubbings of Merrow and Reigate). However, the team were on the wrong end of a few results and the stop start nature of the run in played a part. A 6th place finish is one the club are very proud of and our highest since the 2011-12 season. What is more pleasing is that this side are capable of more and we look forward to seeing what can be achieved in the coming season.

As for the 2XI, it was another positive transition season, with the side incorporating new players into the squad. The return of some familiar faces also boosted the side, who knew that a competitive season awaited. Some positive results followed, with the team collecting 10 out of the first 15 points available. At Christmas, it was still all to play for despite a few results going against the side. The notable win for the first half of the season was the 4-1 win against Gorillas with a bare 11.

The second half of the league season unfortunately faded away for the side, as despite positive performances in the cup, they were unable to replicate this consistently in the league. With 2 games to go, an outside chance of promotion was still on the cards, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The side can take solace as their promotion challenge lasted longer than Arsenal’s, but like there north London compatriots they will hope next year will deliver more.

Of course, the 2XI won’t be disappointed with the season. Having brushed aside Northern Town and Merton in the early stages, Cubo faced a strong Earlsfield FC in the final of the Centenary B Cup. With the club winning this competition twice before, the pressure was on to maintain our record and bring silverware home following a 6yr gap. They truly delivered, winning on penalties following an entertaining game which saw 3 goals scored in the last 90 seconds of extra time.

 Off the pitch it was another season of good progress. The committee, bolstered by the additions of Marcus Torr and Andrew Findleton, continued to make strides forward. The re-introduction of training was a massive positive and delivered results on the pitch, with this set to continue into the new season. From a finance perspective, the club continued to invest in their Southfields ground, with the purchase of dugouts. This of course wouldn’t have been possible without the input of BDO, to whom we were grateful for continued their sponsorship of the club. This allowed the club to purchase two new kits which will serve our sides for seasons to come. 

Overall, this has been an extremely positive season for the club. We look forward to starting the 2018/19 season in the coming weeks.

Battersea Ironsides 1-1 AFC Cubo

Date: Saturday 12th September 2015

Venue: Battersea Ironsides FC

Starting line-up: Gaz Stewart, Greg Tett, Brad Wilkie, Alan Clarke, Ralph Wensley, Ben McGeown, Chris Pyke, Ian Clarke, Oli Perkins (c), Ryan Shedwick, Harry Tulip

Sub: Oli Watkins

Following last week’s tremendous 3-1 win against title contenders Balham Cubo entered another local derby with some much needed confidence after what has been the Club’s worst ever start to a season.  Patchy availability and an absent manager throughout August have not helped the cause but with wedding season finally out of the way a more positive autumn beckons.  Despite the absence of Elliot Connolly and last week’s hat-trick hero Martin Ansell, Cubo were able to name a strong squad with the gaffer strolling back into the midfield and Gaz Stewart returning in nets.

Playing down the hill in the first half Cubo found themselves pegged in by last year’s runners-up, whose unflinching commitment to getting the ball in the mixer doesn’t get the credit it deserves.  In previous seasons Cubo haven’t dealt with this well but with Gaz Stewart in commanding form, claiming anything that came near his six yard box and the rest of the side showing real sharpness the crowd were treated to the sight of Battersea going short on a throw-in, unbelievable scenes.

As the half wore on Cubo grew into the game and looked dangerous when they were able to move the ball across the pitch.  Brad Wilkie in particular was getting forward well from full back and one burst down the right saw him whip a cross in to the back post that Shedders was just unable to get a foot on.  The full back was involved again shortly afterwards when a corner dropped to him on the penalty spot however with the goal in front of him he was unable to direct his volley on target.  The goal came shortly afterwards when a Oli Perkins corner was nodded back across goal by Shedders and Harry Tulip, making an emotional return to his previous club, had time to control and finish to give Cubo the lead.  Out of respect for his previous employers the Geordie marksman celebrated conservatively, though he was seen discretely kissing the Cubo badge on the way back to the halfway line.

Even with Cubo slightly on top at this stage, Battersea’s ability from set-pieces makes them a very dangerous opposition and it was only through the sharpness of Alan Clarke and Ralph Wensley who were doing a great job mopping up any flick-ons that prevented Gaz Stewart from having to make a save.  Before the half was over there was still time for Brad to do his best Cafu impression, storming down the line and unleashing a rasping half volley that rippled the top of the net, and the returning Ben McG should have done better when a Tulip cross picked him out at the back stick only for the gaffer to shin his attempted shot straight back to the striker on the touchline.

Having played with the slope in the first half Cubo were bound to be up against it in the second half and this proved to be the case.  From the off Battersea were camped in the Cubo half and it was a case of backs to the wall defending for the boys in baby blue.  However with the Cubo backline continuing to excel in dealing with the aerial ball, beyond claiming crosses Gaz was not forced into a save until the 70th minute when the Battersea striker managed to get away from his marker and get a shot off which the big Taff parried round the post.  At the other end there was plenty of space for Cubo to attack but with the exertions of the game catching up with them the quality of pass was not there to release the front men.  Time and again Cubo won the ball back before gifting possession back to the home side in a very frustrating period of the game.

With 15 minutes to go it looked as if the game was going to be put to bed when a long throw into the box was flicked on by Oli Perkins and Harry Tulip reacted first and got boot to ball at full stretch but could only watch as the ball rocketed off the outside of the post.  With the game entering the final ten minutes the referee was increasing being called upon to resolve petty arguments around the pitch and it was rare for the game to flow more than a minute without some sort of foul being awarded.

With the home side chucking men forward the pressure was building but with no clear changes being created it looked like Cubo would be celebrating a repeat of last season’s victory here.  Unfortunately this was not to be, a long ball over the top saw Gaz Stewart’s clearance ricochet off of the Battersea forward who was left with the simple task of tapping the ball home to level things up with six minutes to go.  A gut-wrenching goal to concede for the Cubans, and particularly for the previously flawless Stewart.  The final six minutes were played out without any further incident other than another wild left-footed strike from Ben McG when much better options were available.

Probably a fair result in the end based on the balance of the two halves, though Cubo will feel disappointed that they did not secure the three points having led for so long.  Another positive result though against a side who are always very tough opponents and will no doubt be in the mix as the season progresses.

Goal: Harry Tulip

MOTM: Ralph Wensley

Rufus Shedwick – Debut Album

The highly anticipated new release from AFC Cubo’s Ryan Shedwick, entitled ‘Why Didn’t You Pass It To Me?‘ is going to be available in physical and digital formats from Monday the 23rd of March.

The full tracklisting and album artwork is detailed below:

IMG_0198

1. Send it Shedders

2. Maaaaate

3. Barbaric part 1 (ft. DJ Pyke)

4. He’s Back on the Stag

5. Why Didn’t You Pass It To Me?

6. New Wheels

7. Fred Perry (Outlet Store)

8. Barbaric part 2

9. Proper Rascal Haircut

10. Abysmal

11. NikeTown

AFC Cubo 2-3 Project Clapham

Date: Sat 7th February 2015

Goals: Harry Tulip, Ben McGeown

Cubo once again found themselves on the wrong end of a tight game in a local derby against newly promoted Project Clapham.  With pitch conditions making it difficult to play much football it was the away side who started the brighter keeping the home side pegged back in their own half.

The first chance fell to Clapham when a long ball saw the left winger through on goal, however a superb last ditch tackle by J-Pat prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity.  Cubo grew into the game with Chris Pyke finding himself in some good shooting positions only to see the ball end up in the same patch of woodland behind the goal both times.

Cubo’s best chance of the half fell to Harry who was released by a long pass into the left hand channel. The Alan Pardew loving Geordie accelerated away from the full back into the area but the angle was tight and the keeper was able to party his effort to safety.

Clapham a biggest threat was coming from their set-piece, which were being delivered with quality on every occasion. Cubo had received a couple of warnings before a contested free kick was whipped into the box and headed home from six yards out giving Brad in goal no chance.

The home side struck back in the second half when an Ian Clarke corner was nodded in from two yards out by Harry Tulip.  The Cubans would have backed themselves from this position having started the better of the two sides but they were soon behind again when another contentious decision by the ref saw Clapham awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Brad could once again only watch as the ball was curled into the top corner to make it 2-1.

The score was extended when Pogo was adjudged to have handled a cross that he had little chance of moving out of the way of and the Clapham skipper tucked it away with aplomb.  A real sucker punch for the Cubans.

A late goal by Ben McG following excellent work down the left by Harry Tulip made the last few minutes interesting but Pykey was unable to keep his late header beneath the bar.
A tight game that could have gone either way. Cubo will rue the dropped points but it was Clapham who scored at the decisive points in the game to reverse the scoreline from the first fixture between these two sides this season.

Yateley 1 AFC Cubo 4

Starting line-up: G. Stewart, N. Flower, S. Graves, O. Watkins, R. Wensley, E. Connolly, I. Clarke, J. Patterson, M. Ansell, O. Perkins, H. Tulip Subs: A. Clarke, B. McGeown

Goals: O. Perkins (2), N. Flower, M. Ansell

Another strong first half performance saw Cubo secure all three points against struggling Yateley United on Saturday. Four changes to last weeks side saw Sam Graves, Clarkey and Nick Flower return to the starting line-up, with Alan coming in on the bench.
Weather conditions on the day were pretty horrendous with the rain pissing down and a strong wind that Cubo were playing into in the first half. The strength of the wind meant that the away side found it difficult to get out of their half as goal kicks and clearances were holding up in the air and Yateley benefitted from this, keeping Cubo in their own half. Yateley may have started the game at the bottom of the table but of the eight games they have lost six have been by a single goal and they have run all of the top sides close. They certainly didn’t start like a side at the bottom, working the ball well down the flanks and forcing a couple of early corners. However these were dealt with well by Cubo who enjoyed a height advantage across most of the side. Following a scrappy start the away side began to settle into the game and found themselves ahead when the ball was worked to Harry out on the left who beat his man before delivering a cross that Yateley failed to deal with and Nick Flower was on hand to make it 1-0. The lead was doubled with the very next attack as a superb reverse pass from Jonny Patterson again found Harry out on the left. Yet again the Geordie’s quick feet saw him beat his man before his cross found an unmarked Oli Perkins for a simple tap in. Cubo were now in full control of the game and looking dangerous whenever they went forward, particularly down the right where Ralph was getting into som dangerous crossing positions. Unfortunately for both sides the referee made the decision to send off the Yateley centre half for a reckless challenge in the middle of the park. The kind of decision you see in the Prem regularly but rarely dealt with so severely at this level. This inevitably had an pact on the game with the home side dropping off allowing Cubo plenty of time on the ball at the back where Oli and Sam were able to knock the ball around without much pressure on them. Cubo extended their lead early in the second half when Oli Perkins followed up a rebound to grab his second of the game and fifth of the season. The game then saw it’s second red card when Gaz Stewart pulled down the Yateley striker who was clean through on goal….an unavoidable decision for the ref to make and a bizarre decision by the Cubo stopper given that even at 3-1 the game was pretty much in the bag. The volatile Welshman has been in great form this season and his absence through suspension will be a big blow to the Cubans. Rumours circulating on the Cubo supporter’s online forum that he had deliberately sought a suspension to accommodate another spa weekend away with his missus have been quashed by the player…..A quick reshuffle saw Ben McGeown take Gaz’s place inbetween the sticks sporting a pair of Gabor Kiraly endorsed trackie bottoms. The lack of warm-up clearly had an effect as the usually dependable keeper was caught in no-mans land whilst half-committing to a long ball over the top, indecision which the Yateley striker exploited with a well-taken lob. Cubo had further chances to extend their lead with the Yateley keeper saving well when Martin had been played through on goal and Harry going close but there were to be no more goals.

A good win for Cubo against a Yateley side who will feel hard done by the first half sending off which effectively ended the game as a contest. Despite this the away side were well worth the win whlist it was eleven on eleven with some strong performances from Ralph, Elliot and Harry. With a majority of the league taking part in the Cup the win lifts Cubo to third in the league ahead of some tricky fixtures ahead, including the Club’s bogey team Virginia Water.

Bookham FC 3-1 AFC Cubo

Date: Saturday 21st September 2013

Starting Line-up: Bradders, Sadler, Gough (c), Grayson, Jackson, McGeown, I. Clarke, Shedwick, Ansell, Coates, J. Flower

Subs: Golding, Utting, Sabby

Cubo were left empty handed following their poorest performance of the season in a game in which they struggled to impress at either end of the pitch. Having dominated the early stages of the game with good possession football, Cubo were wasteful in front of goal and were duly punished when a defensive error allowed Bookham to slip in and put the hosts in front.

Cubo struggled to respond to the shock of going behind and had their deputising keeper to thank for keeping the deficit down to one as he produced an incredible double save following more sloppy play. The boys in baby blue were still creating chances but continued to be wasteful in front of goal and it was left to Rob Sadler, careering forward from full back, to level the scores with a calmly taken finish following a beautifully weighted through ball from McGeown.

This was the point at which Cubo should have pushed on and turned their superiority into goals, but more sloppy play led to them conceding just before half time as they went in 2-1 down.

The second half continued much as the first had, with Cubo working themselves into good positions without producing the final ball. They were again punished with ten minutes to go as a long free-kick found its way into the back of the net. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the visitors who were targeting three points from the game but deservedly left with nothing. Cubo’s players will know that they must sharpen up their performances in future weeks if they are to start moving up the league.

Final Score: Bookham FC 3-1 AFC Cubo

Goal: Sadler

Assist: B. McGeown

Man of the Match: Martin Ansell

AFC Cubo 1-1 Yateley United

Date: Saturday 14th of September 2013

Cubo were again left with a feeling of two points lost after conceding a late equaliser for the second week in succession. Against last season’s champions, the Baby Blue Army produced a lacklustre first half performance during which they relinquished possession far too easily and invited pressure from their opponents.

Cubo struggled to gel at all on the ball in a first half in which they failed to create any meaningful chances and which saw Yateley dominate for large periods. On more than one occasion Cubo were thankful to the big noisy Welshman in goal for some excellent saves, most notably a stunning one-handed effort down to his right when unsighted from a close-range header. Although wasteful in possession, Cubo were defensively solid and matched their opponents physically and Yateley were lucky to end the half with 11 men after their central midfielder escaped with only a booking following a ‘series of indiscretions’.

Cubo were much-improved in the second half and deservedly took the lead when Clarke turned on a long throw inside the box and the ball ran to the ‘fitter’ Flower who produced a superb snap finish into the top left corner. After the goal Cubo were able to retain possession much better and seemed to settle into their football, moving the ball around the defence and midfield with added sharpness.

An excellent defensive display, spearheaded by the outstanding man of the match and soon-to-be engaged Oli Watkins stepping in for the absent skipper, looked to have earned Cubo a well-deserved victory until their curse of conceding late struck again. It appeared to be a foul on Stewart when he was challenged for a loose ball, but the referee allowed play to continue and the subsequent shot found its way via a Grayson boot into the Cubo net.

It was a devastating blow for Cubo who had looked on course for three points. Again, concerns will be raised about the inability to keep the ball and to convert possession into chances. However, they will be buoyed by an excellent defensive display and a more positive second half performance.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 1-1 Yateley United

Man of the Match: Oli Watkins

AFC Cubo 2-2 Abbey Rangers

Starting XI: Biscuit Tett, Rob Sadler, Rich Gough (c), Joey D, Joke Pat, Ian Clarke, Mark Bradley, Rufus Shedwick, Nick Coates, Martin Ansell, Terry Spokes.

Subs: Alan Clarke, Paul Every

Cubo were within whisker of pulling off an unlikely three points in their first home game of the season against a much-improved Abbey Rangers side. There were only seconds left when a ball pumped forward from Abbey found its way through to the striker to push the ball beyond a helpless Biscuit to deprive the boys in baby blue of what would have been an impressive if not undeserved victory.

For large parts Cubo were second best in this game against an Abbey side that knocked the ball around better and seemed to get to grips more quickly with the overgrown surface. Cubo had taken the lead against the run of play after ten minutes when J Pat coolly converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Joey D in the box. Unable to withstand the continuing onslaught from Abbey, the scores were level when some sloppy defending allowed the Abbey winger to run unopposed onto a through ball and slot the ball easily into the net.

Perhaps thankful that they were still in the game at half time, Cubo improved significantly in the second half although they remain concerned by their inability to keep the ball under pressure. Cubo were rewarded for their improved perfomance on the hour when the energetic Alan Clarke released the excellent Coates to cross for another star performer, Ansell, who had seemed to have held onto the ball for too long before calmly finishing in the corner of the net for a superb first goal for the club.

Cubo did well to maintain the pace and were denied what looked like a certain penalty for a foul in the box on Ian Clarke. The job looked to have been completed with some resolute defending from the excellent Joey D and an outstanding performance from Captain Richard Gough, capably aided by great goalkeeping by the deputising Biscuit. However, the last kick of the game dealt Cubo a cruel blow and left them with a feeling of two points lost rather than one gained.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2-2 Abbey Rangers

Man of the Match: