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.

Durban United 2-3 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 26th October, 2013

Venue: Dundonald Rec, Wimbledon

Starting Line-up: Arnold, Lye, J. McGeown, Utting, Fraser, Hooper, Golding, Salty (C), Crisp, MTM, Keegan.

Subs: Spokes, Cooper

In the week that Fergie’s memoir was released, AFC Cubo wrote a crucial chapter in their bid to avoid relegation this season and in the absence of Henry Neville, there was no hairdryer treatment in the changing rooms either. Three points was no more than the boys in baby blue deserved, but it was achieved in a typically torturous fashion against the premier league’s bottom side, Durban United.

In front of a partisan crowd, Cubo started tentatively, a result of having gone behind first in all but one of their previous games this season. Unfortunately it was a trend that would continue as an errant banana skin made life difficult for in-form Rick Utting. Durban’s winger’s harrying bore fruit and he nicked the ball before delivering a peach of a cross that was buried in the bottom corner past a helpless Arnie.

As has happened often this season though, going behind was the catalyst for an improved Cubo performance and slowly the midfield triumvirate of Hooper, Thethy and Golding imposed themselves on the game. Strong work by the latter two afforded Hooper time and space in the final third and he unpicked the lock that was Durban’s defence beautifully finding Keegs to slot home.

Back on level terms, Cubo continued to push forward. Eloquent wordsmith Crisp flashed a cross along the six yard box, which Keegs and MTM somehow contrived to put closer to the corner flag as an open net gaped. Further chances came and went as Utting swung a superb corner onto an unmarked MTM ‘s head, but he couldn’t work the keeper, and marauding right back Jez found substitute Tel Spokes in space only for the striker to poke wide.

The deadlock was broken early in the second half as Jim McGeown, enjoying a solid game at left back, produced an inch perfect slide rule pass that found the centre-forward in acres of space. Unfortunately, it was a Durban centre-forward and he raced through before gleefully scuffing home.

It was a huge ask for Cubo as they had to find the reserves to drive them on after going behind again, but a challenge that they were up to helped by an injection of enthusiasm from super-sub Milan Cooper.

Cubo’s attitude was rewarded and the equalising goal came from the unlikeliest of sources. Good work down the left from Keegs meant the ball found its way to Hooper who, ever reluctant to shoot, preferred to hurl himself to the ground (Editor: Stonewall penno) in search of a penalty. Fortunately, skipper Salty was in more decisive mood and he was on hand to lash the ball into the corner. Historians say that the last time Salty scored, Facebook did not exist, women could not vote and dinosaurs roamed the continent of Pangea.

The sands of time slowly ebbed away and with them, Cubo’s hopes of victory it seemed. The team pressed but the pitch that more resembled Stephen Hendry’s face and not the green baize on which he made his name made it difficult to create chances. It could not have been more appropriate then that the winning goal was an ugly one. Excellent determination by Milan down the left presented an opportunity to Tel and he headed home with near enough the last action of the game to snatch the win and leave the South Africans distraught.

Final Score: Durban Utd 2-3 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Goals: Keegan, Thethy. Spokes.

Assists: Hooper (x2), Cooper

Man of the Match: Hooper/Salty tied.

Match Report: Rich Crisp

Barn Elms Utd 3-4 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: 5th October, 2013

Venue: King George’s Fields

Starting Line-up: Arnie, Haddon, Jingle, J. McG, Utting, Hooper, Taylor, Thethy (C), Crisp, Smith, MTM.

Subs: Lye, Neville, Keegan.

Cubo 2s finally got off the mark at the 5th time of asking on Saturday, and in process temporarily becalmed the furious demonstrations of disgruntled supporters who marched in protest at Hooper’s reign.

With the availability of the club finally in excess of 30, players were unfortunately left out of the 2 match day squads and this point was made in the pre-match discussion.

After Ralph withdrew injured, Jim McGeown slotted in alongside his namesake Ingle, and the Golden Boy came into midfield. In attack Hennerz was extremely unlucky to drop to the bench.

With an energetic midfield trio, Cubo were hopeful of putting Barn Elms on the back foot and in the early stages they largely did this. Oli had some dangerous raids down the left wing, and MTM looked a threat despite some robust challenges from the all-action Elms defenders who definitely had a tendency to go to ground.

Barnes, who impressed in the double-header against Cubo last season, took the lead mid-way through the 1st half when Cubo failed to properly clear and a pass released the United attacker in the inside right channel to slot across Arnold.

Cubo did not allow their heads to drop though and with Crisp continuing his excellent form, there was always a threat being offered every time the Baby Blues were able to link more than 3 passes.

The message at half time was simple, keep playing, our fitness will tell and take our chances when we get them. This was proved correct 10 minutes into the second half when a lethal counter attack from a Barn Elms corner saw Taylor start and finish a 5 pass move to sweep home from close range.

1 goal quickly became 2, when Jingle, who enjoyed a really imposing game at Centre Half, met a long ball and volleyed in behind the Elms back line to release Crisp. The wiry pace-merchant made no mistake with a shot that befitted his surname, drilling in at the keeper’s near post to notch his first of the campaign.

After replacing the entire front 3 with Lye, Keegs and Hennerz, the latter made a mockery of his role as a sub, with an outstanding half an hour cameo. First he almost created a goal with a dangerous cross from the right which resulted in a corner. This set-piece was delivered with real pace onto BFF and pre-game pooing partner Jingle, who thumped a header into the top right corner.

As is Cubo’s style this season, they then conceded immediately as the Elms centre half used all of his height to flick on a free kick with a back header that Arnie was unlucky not to claw out from under his crossbar.

Undeterred by this minor setback, Cubo then scored again in what was an increasingly pulsating half of football. That man Neville was once again the source with a superb chip from the corner of the box that nestled into the opposite corner. 4-2 Cubo and the game surely put to rest…. JOKES.

4-2 was 4-3 when another set-piece saw a very deep and understandably nervous Cubo backline allowing a deft flicked finish from close range to reduce the arrears.

Barn Elms tails were now up, and after the tireless Salty connected with fresh air from 6 yards from another wicked Neville delivery, another corner was won by the hosts deep in injury time. Elms were possibly unlucky not be awarded an equaliser following a desperate goalmouth scramble but with the referee and linesman unsighted, a goal was not awarded and Cubo escaped with a fortuitous, but on the basis of play, thoroughly deserved  3 points.

Final Score: Barn Elms Utd 3-4 AFC Cubo

Goals: Taylor, Crisp, Ingle, Neville.

Assists: Crisp, Ingle, Neville, ?.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Ingle with a welcome return to top form after a difficult outing in the previous week.

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-4 Brentnal

Date: Saturday 28th September, 2013

Starting XI: Arnie, Frase, Wensley, Jingle, J. McG, Taylor, Hooper, Salty (C), Crisp, Neville, MTM.

Subs: Haddon, Milan, Jez.

Cubo sadly fell to their fourth consecutive league defeat against last year’s runners-up Brentnal, and in familiar fashion it was a game they might have got something from on another day.

With MTM out of retirement and leading the line as if he’d never been away, Cubo started the game brightly. However Brentnal are always a well organised side who look like they’ve played together years, and that’s mainly because they have. They took the lead after Cubo failed to react to a short corner and the ball was driven in low at Arnie’s near post from just inside the box.

A one goal lead became two mid-way through the first half when a very swift succession of one-touch passes saw the hosts horribly opened up and Bentnal’s supposedly deepest sitting midfielder ran untracked to finish.

Cubo were stunned, but had fashioned chances of their own with MTM firing across the box where Crispy couldn’t control a sharp volley and both wide men getting into dangerous positions.

After half time Cubo were back in the game in fortuitous circumstances. A hopeful ball from the left channel appeared to be rolling to the keeper, but Captain Salty burst from midfield and managed to toe-end the ball before being clumsily upended by the keeper. MTM kept his never to side foot the ball firmly past the keeper to reduce the deficit to one.

Almost immediately Cubo were level in unlikely fashion. A neat move from the left saw Hennerz pick up the ball between the lines, and he rolled the ball into MTM, 25 yards out. Hooper called for the ball to be moved on one more and Neal dummied the pass allowing Hoops to shoot (!), first-time, unerringly into the top right corner to make it 2-2.

Cubo were bouncing and as well as half the 1s squad they were being cheered on by a random convoy of burly eggchasers who were offering vociferous support.

Sadly the optimism didn’t last long as after losing possession in their own half, Brentnal released their striker in the inside right channel and he made no mistake with a clinical strike across Arnold and into the bottom left corner.

Three became four when another excellent long range strike crashed into the roof of the net before Milan scored on debut, pouncing to head home after Jez’s wonderful curling shot had bounced off the upright.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-4 Brentnal

Goals: Neal (Pen), Hooper, Cooper

Assist: Thethy, Neville

Man of the Match: Hoops

Sporting Duet 4-2 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 21st September, 2013

Venue: King’s House Sports Ground, Chiswick

Starting XI: Bush, Fraser, J. McGeown, Wensley, Ingle, Wall, Hooper. Thethy (C), Neville, Taylor, Keeegan.

Subs: Haddon, Glenn.

Cubo Reserves ventured North (!) of the river this week to the excellent facilities of the King’s House Sports Ground. In opposition were Sporting Duet, last season’s league top scorers and a side that did the double over Cubo in 2012/13.

Cubo started the game brightly, and the gameplan of working the Duet defence hard to stop them monopolising possession was working well, forcing Sporting to go uncharacteristically long from the back.

Although Cubo were very hesitant to go long themselves against a side featuring about 10 six foot plussers, they ironically took the lead when Bushy’s long kick forward was allowed to bounce by a hesitant Duet defence. In the ensuing confusion, Stevie T latched on to the bouncing ball and used the outside of his brand new Adidas Copa Mundial (Mikey Cain take note) right boot to lift a composed finish into the top corner.

Unfortunately this bright start was cancelled out immediately, when a corner from the left wing found the head of Duet’s biggest player inside the 6 yard box. He made no mistake with his downward header and parity was restored.

Despite a couple of uncomfortable moments resulting from long balls in the channel between right back and centre half, Cubo were more than matching their opponents. After Bushy produced a couple of good saves to keep the scores level, Hennerz made it two goals in two with a quite brilliant finish. After some incisive passes saw the Baby Blues find Keegan just inside the home side’s half, he boy from Boro cleverly delayed his pass before rolling in Neville down the left side in behind the high line of Duet. Moving with considerable grace, befitting his All Saints Autumn/Winter 2013 styling, Henry cut into the box before lofting a wonderful dinked finish over the onrushing keeper. A superb goal which allowed Cubo to get some half time drinks on board holding a 2-1 lead.

After squandering a lead in their previous outing, Cubo were well aware of making a solid start to the second half and the energy of Salty combined with Wall and Hooper making a number of challenges in midfield saw Cubo holding a good footing. Haddon replaced the tiring Keegan and moved to the right side, with Taylor now operating in a central position.

Unfortunately, as has been the case too often this season, Cubo fell behind after an individual error. Ralph, man of the match last week, was caught out by a hopeful ball forward and as the ball squirmed past him, the Sporting striker rushed in on goal and made no mistake.

Cubo again responded well and were within inches of being clean through, only to see the final throughball or squared pass just being underhit. Cubo were made to pay when an excellent last ditch block from Fraser was ‘cleared’ woefully by Hooper and the Duet right back, up on the counter, converted from 10 yards.

As Cubo became more stretched in search of a deserved equaliser, chances were appearing at both ends. Henry beat two men but his curled finish from an angle was far to close to the keeper, while a Wall drive from 20 yards was helped over the bar.

At the other end Bush produced an excellent save to claw a cleanly hit half-volley from the edge of the box out of his top right hand corner.

With minutes left Duet scored their 4th when a thrown in from the left wing saw an untracked runner waltz through a crooked Cubo back line, and convert.

Final Score: Sporting Duet 4-2 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Goals: Taylor, Neville

Assists: Bush, Keegan

Man of the Match: Salty, just pipped Dave by one vote, after putting in a hugely effective shift as the link between the front 3 and the midfield.

Another really tough loss to accept for the 2s, but as in the previous weeks we are genuinely playing some good stuff with lots of width in our play, and a real attempt to pass through the team. Despite the lack of points there are many causes for optimism, especially as Duet will be right up there at the end of the season. Cutting out individual errors at the back, and showing a bit more care in the final third will see us get what we deserve.

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 1-2 AFC Battersea

Date: Saturday 14th September, 2013

Venue: Barn Elms Sports Centre

Starting XI: Van der Light, R. Jones, Wensley, Nguyen, J. McGeown, Wall, Hooper, Thethy (C), Crisp, Durrant, Spokes.

Subs: Fraser, Neville, Taylor.

Cubo 2s took on experienced campaigners AFC Battersea on Saturday, hoping to register their first points of the season, at the second time of asking, following last week’s strange defeat to new boys Brentside.

A strong 14 was available, and that was in the absence of the likes of Jez, Utting, Jacko, Perkins, Keegs and Jingle-all-the-way.

Cubo started brightly although the two Battersea central midfielders form one of the better partnerships in the league and a need to get tight to numbers 14 and 10 was paramount.

Battersea enjoyed the better of the attempts on goal in the first 45, although in truth they were very much long range efforts that were straight down the throat of the retuning keeper Brett VdL.

Cubo were having some joy down their left with Jim and Henry D linking up very well, although the lack of quality when it came to the final ball was the only blot to their first half copybook.

Before the game the gaffer talked about the fact the game would be very tight, and scoring the first goal, it was felt, would be absolutely crucial. As it happened, Cubo broke the deadlock on 65 minutes when Neville, on for his namesake Durrant down the left flank, scored with his very first touch to convert Crisp’s inviting low cross from the right wing.

Cubo were now buoyant and skipper Salty was denied in a 1-on-1 by a fine stop from the Leeds United shirt wearing keeper. However despite looking to protect what they had with Stevie T replacing the first team covering Wall, and Frase slotting in at full back for Jones, the baby blue red army were struggling to keep possession and subsequently the visitors, cruelly sporting a brand new strip that looked extremely familiar to followers of this website, poured forward.

The equaliser came when a promising Cubo break was snuffed out and with men out of position a cross from the right found its way to the back post where Hung was just unable to keep a powerful shot from creeping over line.

Despite the need for calm heads, the home side were still struggling to replicate their incisive first-week football on a regular basis. With 5 minutes to go Battersea slung a diagonal ball into the Cubo box and a brave header just beat the onrushing keeper, kissed the inside of the post, and agonisingly rolled over the line.

A tough defeat for the second consecutive weak for the 2s. A bit more savvy game management to see out matches like this will be crucial in a very competitive league where all the sides will feel they have a legitimate chance of victory each week. Sporting Duet, an easy on the eye side who enjoyed a good season in 2012/13, are next up on the 21st.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 1-2 AFC Battersea

Goal: Neville

Assist: Crisp

Man of the Match: Ralph – an imposing performance from the returning centre half, who formed a very solid partnership with Hung.

Brentside 4-1 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 7th September 2013

Venue: Wandsworth Common

Starting XI: Arnie, R. Jones, Nguyen, Fraser, J. McGeown, Wall, Hooper, Salty (C), Utting, Crisp, Oli.

Sub: Jez.

The 2s got their Wimbledon District League, Premier Division, campaign underway with the short trip (for some of us anyway) to Wandsworth Common to face newly promoted Division 1 champions Brentside, who looked a physically big and experienced side.

Despite 2 late drop outs on the eve and morning of the fixture, new manager Hoops took a good squad and was optimistic of a strong result to kick off the season.

Looking to get in behind a particularly big backline, Cubo could have taken the lead inside 120 seconds when a ball across the face of goal from the effervescent Crisp was turned onto the post from just a couple of yards out from Skipper Salt Dogg.

Cubo were playing at a good tempo, working the ball wide effectively, with front man Oli Perkins drifting into the left wing channel and consistently rolling his marker and leaving him for dead.

Despite an imposing start, the Baby Blues went behind midway through the first half. Brentside won the ball in midfield and worked the ball to the right wing, where a good across was nodded in from point blank range at the back post.

The setback didn’t derail Cubo’s good play though, and Perkins saw his volley crash against the crossbar, and another good snapshot on the turn pushed away by the home keeper. Crisp also had a good chance when put in via a diagonal ball, but in trying to lift the ball over the advancing keeper he just overcooked it.

On the stroke of half time an incredible piece of bad fortune saw Crisp’s squared ball across the face of goal clipped over the crossbar from fully one year out by Perkins, who was wondering what he’d have to do to open his account.

Despite the frustrations at the 1-0 deficit, Cubo regrouped at half time and equalised almost immediately in the second half. Hooper, making some amends for losing the ball for Brentside’s opener, won the ball in midfield, and after Rick Utting was freed down the left hand side his measured early ball was deservedly converted at the second attempt by the relieved Oli P.

Cubo were now pulsing with belief and with Crisp surging past his opponent at will, and the Cubo midfield trio largely dictating things, it seemed a matter of time before they were to take the lead.

A hammer blow of a second goal followed when a needlessly given away throw-in was nodded in by Brentside’s powerful skipper. Arnie attempted to come for the ball, but met a crowd and the resulting header found it’s way into the vacated net.

Cubo looked, once again, for an equaliser that was the least they deserved but despite a Thethy shot just arcing the wrong side of the right post, and 2 or 3 occasions where a lack of ruthlessness saw excellent opportunities in the Brentside box spurned, the home team scored a third scrappy goal from a long free kick into the box.

The most galling thing about the 3rd goal was the Cuban backline was defending well, and the hosts did not look remotely threatening from open play. Hung was marshalling well and De La Frase was getting tight to the talented striker of Brentside and keeping him relatively quiet.

Jones and substitute Jez continued to get forward well from full back, and despite more good opportunities a very stretched Cubo conceded a fourth late on.

A truly bizarre game, where on chances alone, Cubo should have won comfortably. Going forward we need to be more streetwise and ruthless in attack, but despite the scoreline the positives vastly outnumbered the negative issues. The formation worked, we looked the fitter and more mobile team, but we will need to quickly learn how to deal with teams at the more direct end of the spectrum.

Final Score: Brentside 4-1 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Goal: Perkins

Assist: Utting

Man of the Match: Rich Crisp was the overwhelming vote, enjoying comfortably his best performance in a Cubo shirt. He consistently beat his man, and was able to create a number of excellent chances for his colleagues.

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 2-1 Claremont AFC

Date: Saturday 10th November 2012, 2pm KO

Venue: Wimbledon Common Extensions

Starting XI: Gaz Stewart, Dave Wall, Ralph Wensley, Alan Clarke, Jim McGeown, Tom Hooper, Salty, Conor Callaghan, Pete Hill, Stevie T, Pete Smith.

Subs: Matty Kilner, Ben Rushall, Rich Crisp.

The Cubo 2s have had a difficult start to the season and went into this November fixture with Claremont still seeking their first win of the season, despite a very encouraging preseason. Pete was able to name arguably his strongest 14 of the season with Gaz Stewart back from his studies and back in nets, while a spine of Alan &Ralph, Salty & Conor and Stevie and Pete Smith up top looked very good on paper.

Dave Wall was asked to play at right back where his composure and desire to get on the ball gave the team a good platform to play out of defence, especially given the fact that the opposition only had 10 men for the duration of the match.

Cubo were able to move the ball comfortably, using the extra man intelligently although the boys in Baby Blue were still guilty of trying to force the killer ball a little bit early. Pete Smith was buzzing around into the channels and with Stevie T dropping in between the lines to pick up the ball and link play, there were plenty of options for Cubo’s ball players – particularly Conor who was showin for the ball at every opportunity.

The deadlock was broken midway through the first half when a fine ball from Ralph down the inside right channel found both Hooper and Smith in behind the Claremont backline. The latter, despite carrying the burden of a prematch Nando’s, was able to get their first and although his first time effort was well saved, he calmly rolled the rebound in from a tight angle. 1-0 Cubo.

The lead was soon doubled when another move down the right saw Hooper again evade his marker. He squared the ball to Smith who forced another good save from the keeper. Stevie T was able to pounce on the rebound and find the onrushing Wensley who had Rolls-Royced up the pitch from centre half to crash the ball into the roof of the net with his supposedly weaker left foot.

Claremont forced a good save with his foot by Stewart after the ball was given away, but the keeper was left with little chance just before half time. The typically busy Thethy had a moment to forget when a blind pass from midfield went straight to Claremont’s lone striker who duly advanced on the Cubo goal before slipping the ball to his left where the arriving player converted to reduce the arrears.

Cubo had been pouring forward and might have put the game out of sight but instead they found themselves with a solitary goal advantage at the break.

Understandably nerves set in a little bit in the second half with Cubo playing a bit more directly in an attempt to ride out the win. Matty Kilner and Rich Crisp were introduced and freshened the side up, with attempts from both men scrambled clear by the visitors. Pete continued to threaten and second half substitute Ben Rushall and Jim were offered space to move into from full back.

Despite failing to score again Cubo were relieved to ride out the majority of the second period without incident and confirm a much needed and deserved three points.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 2-1 Claremont

Scorers: Pete Smith, Ralph Wensley

Man of the Match: Ralph – a goal and an assist from centre half and an assured display alongside Alan at the heart of the defence.

Manager’s Thoughts: “Pleased to finally get a deserved win under our belt. We showed character to ride a nervy final 10 minutes. Great performances through out and looking forward to building on it next week.”

Match Report: Thom Hoops

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 1-2 Union FC

Date: Saturday 8th September 2012

Starting XI: Brett Vanderlight, Rick Utting, Pete Hill, Alan Clarke, Luke Haddon, Dave Wall (60 mins Rob McGarr), Satal Thethy, Tim Jones, Rich Crisp (55mins Stevie T), Ryan Shedwick, Terry Spokes

Subs: Rob McGarr, Stevie T

Cubo 2s hoping to build upon a couple of strong friendly perfomances made a solid start to the game retaining a lot of possesion with out being able to cut out any clear cut chances. After solid work from the midfield dynamos of Salty and Dave Wall taking the game by the scruff of the neck a couple of chances at the back post went agonsingly wide. Rick and Crispy were starting to terrorise the left flank when against the run of play it was in fact Cubo who were lucky to stay level with new international signing in the sticks (and contestor for best name in Cubo) Brett Vanderlight coming close to bringing down the nimble Union striker.

In the heat both teams started to struggle and Union came out to start the second half stronger. However it was Cubo who broke the dead lock with a cross come shot from Luke Haddon who floated the ball in side the far post with the aid of the deftest of touches from Tim Jones. The goal seem to rejuvenate Cubo who then looked to push home their advantage, starting to dominate possession again. Unfortunately disorganisation at the back left Union striker with a little too much space on a counter attack and he cooly finished over the keeper. Cubo then pushed again looking for the winner with Ryan Shedwick (recently revived from his death bed) starting to cause mischief down the right flank. Cubo came close twice, with Ryan first smashing the ball against the underside of the bar after a dazzling run and then Tel who worked tirelessly all game having  a goal disallowed after the ball was adjudged to gone out of play earlier in the build up. With minutes to spare Union again caught Cubo on the break and after shrugging the lone defender aside managed to slip the ball past the approaching keeper.

A hard fought start to the season for Cubo which deserved a point. Despite a number of new faces the teams showed promising signs and there are high hopes for the season. Club chef Salty rose above a number of strong contenders to take the Man of the Match award  putting in a tireless performance despite the heat whilst showing outstanding composure in possession.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 1-2 Union FC

Goal: Tim Jones (assist Luke Haddon)

Man of the Match: Salty

Match Report: Pete Hill