AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-1 London Lionhearts

Date: Saturday 12th May, 10.30am KO

Venue: Banstead FC

Starting XI: Neil Clark, Stevie T, Pally, Alan Clarke, Jim McGeown, Salty (C), Trev Moody, Pete Hill, Andy Burt, Steve Keegan, Tim Jones.

Subs: Chris Grayson, JPatt, Matt Turner, Ryan Shedwick, Paul Every.

AFC Cubo took part in the Wimbledon Trophy final on Saturday morning, in a predictably competitive game against London Lionhearts. Player/Manager Mike Thomas, in probably his last match for the Baby Blue Army, was able to name a very strong side as well as a bench consisting of 5 players. With a number of spectators from the club watching, as well as friends and family, there was very much a carnival mood. Such joy was evident as Benny Mac polished off a bottle of water (!), Oli confidently dispatching not one but two (!!) cups of tea, Sadler tucking into a banana (!!!) and Bradders, coach for the day, sporting a rather flashy canvas rucksack.

Cubo started the match very brightly with Player of the Season Alan Clarke winning a couple of early headers and setting the tone for another assured display. On the left hand side Andy Burt was able to showcase his excellent delivery, while PeteHill™, man of the match in the last final Cubo contested, was showing signs he is truly a big game player.

The versatile Stevie T, operating at right back, his 32nd different role of his Cubo career, was showing typical composure and with Salty and Alexandr Trev-Hleb mixing up combinations of blood and thunder effort, sideways passing, and Zoolander 90° turns things looked good.

The first real chance of the match saw unpredictable marksman Steve Keegan just being adjudged offside before controlling and finishing from Burt’s delivery, but in fairness the PROPER linesman did appear to get the decision right. Full of confidence the boy from Boro pulled off a truly remarkable piece of skill a few minutes later, scooping the ball over the head of the Lionhearts left back before clipping a teasing cross to the back stick where Jones was just unable to guide his header on target. Magical stuff leading to #KeeganIsBoxOffice trending in the UK on Twitter within seconds.

Tim Jones was holding the ball up extremely well, drifting into the left channel and offering the likes of Jim an easy ball into feet, and with Cubo able to get men forward it seemed an opening Baby Blue coloured goal was likely. However Lionhearts were able to offer a threat on the counter and would have been disappointed not to work “Cu-bo-2s, Num-ber-1 Cubo2sCubo2s Num-ber-1”, Neil Clark, wastefully missing the target from a brace of presentable opportunities.

Fashion watch – Hoops and Clare Galloway opting for double denim, Clarkey Snr with a strong beard, MTM and Northy wearing some natty chocolate slacks, Ben, Denno and Oli repping strong merch, Sadler looking like an extra from an Ordinary Boys video circa summer 2004, Nobes – hench, Jonesy – frail and John Glenn sporting the forlorn expression of a man who’d drunk too much red wine the previous evening.

Half Time: AFC Cubo 0-0 London Lionhearts

After a tactical switch saw Hill and Burt swap wings for the 2nd half, in an attempt to expose the potential weak link that was the Lions right back, Cubo were delighted to take the lead after 50 minutes. The Lionhearts keeper had not appeared at all comfortable with crosses in the first half, and these Vampire-like tendencies were his undoing as the deadlock was broken. After flapping at a Burt free kick from the right, a brief scramble saw Tim Jones roll the ball into the unguarded net.

Cubo tails were up, but it was Lionhearts that got back into the game and were able to equalise. Clark made a top draw save in a one-on-one situation, and then was again required to get down low to his left as Lionhearts rushed through the heart of the Cubo defences. At the 3rd time of asking Lionhearts #7 was able to spring the offside trap and surge from his central midfield berth. He coolly rounded the fine haired custodian of the Cubo net to tie things up at 1-1.

The first change for Cubo saw Chris Grayson replace Jim at LB, before Paul Every was introduced to take advantage of the increasingly stretched play, replacing the impressive Keegs. With his very first touch the Plymouthian Poacher, a moniker he has unlikely to have ever been referred as nor ever again, forced a fine save from the Lionhearts keeper. This led to another Burt set-piece, and subsequently….this.

Alan Clarke with a typically forceful ‘arrive’ at the back post, a firm downward header and Cubo back on top. 2-1.

Rather than go into their shells, Cubo went hunting for a 3rd that would kill the game off. Every continued to threaten while Burt unleashed an absolute thunderbolt from 25 yards which crashed agonisingly off the underside of the bar and onto, not over, the goal line. Banstead didn’t appear to have goal-line technology, instead opting to restock their burger van, but following a glowing review from MTM concerning the beef, and a trustworthy assistant, this appeared to be the right allocation of funds.

Jonny Patterson’s introduction for Jones saw Ryan and Turns unluckily miss out on some action, but any signs of disappointment were forgotten when Burt swung in a cross from the left which nestled into the top corner. Did he mean it? I would say judge for yourself from the following footage but sadly Northy’s previously exemplary camera work went awry during the build up.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-1 London Lionhearts

A great display by Cubo, which featured big performances across the midfield, excellent contributions from the hard working forwards and a defence that was rarely breached. When it was, Clarky made everything he was required to do look very easy indeed.

The Wimbledon Trophy is a great way to sign off an up and down season, but with some new players bedded in, the 2s will hope to have a eal crack at promotion in 2012/13.

Scorers: Tim Jones, Alan Clarke, Andy Burt.

Man of the Match: Satal Thethy – combined his usual determination and fitness with some deft touches and excelled in the closing stages as the heat took its toll on lesser mortals.

Match Report: Hoops


Lokomotiv Lavender 0-6 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 3rd March

Venue: Wandsworth Common

Starting Line-up: Clarky, Rushall, Keegan, Pally, Jimbo, Denno, Pete Hill, Salt Dog, Trev, Tim Field, MTM.

Subs: S. Taylor, A. Clarke

This week’s fixture came following a welcome week off with many of Cubo’s starting line-up absent snowboarding in the Alps, battling the tests of fatherhood or resting the tired limbs that support our ageing squad.

Wandsworth Common should be like a second home to AFC Cubo having soaked up the blood, sweat and tears that drench the turf during pre-season training. The crisp, sun dappled day saw Cubo starting with a bare 11 in the baby blue and white that we seemed to have been without for an age.

Another varying back 4 was brought in with Ben and Jim at full back and Pally providing the solid experience to support Keegan’s flair (countless Cruyff turns in his own box). Nevertheless the new partnership stayed strong and managed to hold off the newly introduced opposition. The Lokomotiv side seemed to start well with a bit of fight and passion that allowed them to hit the post early on and produce a decent save from the Cubo keeper.

Unlike the 2’s traditional need to go a goal down before realising there is a game on, some exciting attacking football began to appear. Tim and MTM looked familiar from the go. Denno and Pete Hill’s pace and trickery played havoc with the Loko defence. It wasn’t long before the inevitable happened and a deliberately over hit Pete Hill cross landed neatly on the right boot of MTM only to be belted thunderously into the back of the net. More attacking play followed; both full backs edging up the pitch and centremids cropping up with the odd shot or assist. A second for MTM was followed by a deflected goal from Pete Hill after a  perfectly weighted assist from the captain.

Missing his first headed shot from 3 yards out, Tim converted his second effort and Cubo’s forth goal with far more conviction and continued to threaten the Lokomotiv side. Substitutions in the second half saw fresh legs in Alan and Stevie mixing up the Cubo line-up forcing Denno into the centre of midfield. Denno’s deft touches combined with Trev’s strength and tenacity increased the pressure on a now dejected Lokomotiv side. Running on fumes Loko’s lack of positional sense and hence defence in general, made it all too easy for Stevie to slot home two composed finishes. The day would have ended more sweetly if Clarky, now playing up top had managed to finish two easy shots and justify the sight of Pally in a skin tight keepers shirt.

Final Score: Lokomotiv Lavender 0-6 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Cubo were the better side, not ruthless enough but some great attacking football.

Goals: MTM x2, Hill, Field x2, Stevie T

Man of the Match: Strong performances from Denno, Tim and MTM but a closely voted MOTM awarded to Trev “Zoolander” Moody.

Match Report: Salty Sea Dogg

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-3 AFC Battersea

Date: Saturday 18th February, 2012

Starting XI: Clarke, Haddon, Noodles, Alan C, Pally, Denno, Pete Hill, Salty, Trev, Mikey Cain, Stevie T

Subs: Jim McGeown, Chrissy Grayson

After a number of weeks without a game, AFC Cubo soon resorted to previous form with pre-match banter centred on the sleazy nature of the coming evening’s entertainment, this time at Turner’s Valentines Ball. It was clear to all that Pally and Stevie T were regretting being cajoled into the Brighton Half Marathon by Noodles.

When ADHDenno’s attention finally turned towards the game, Cubo started out with a standard 4-4-2 formation with a solid starting lineup. The first twenty minutes were relatively even, with both sides challenging hard and driving forward with some snazzy football.

Despite this, the opening goal was straight from Nigel Winterburn’s highlight reel; Battersea pressing down the left and clipping a ball hopefully towards the box. With the February wind blowing across Barn Elms, the leather drifted towards the back post, sneaking past Clarkey’s receding bonce into the top corner. 0-1 Battersea.

Despite this letdown, Cubo had turned up to play football. Salty pushed a ball just over from 25 yards after some good build-up play down the left between Noodles, Pete and Trev; Alan missed a decent chance from a corner; and Mikey Cain tested the keeper a couple of times, forcing a string of stinging saves for the Battersea keeper.

After around 35 minutes, the good build-up play finally brought about results. A flowing move from Noodles on the left came to Salty who struck a cutting pass to Denno on the right. With all the grace of the Titanic, he dropped his left shoulder (anchor and all), with a conniving dummy that left the ball to come through to Luke. A first time skimming pass across the six yard box left Mikey Cain with the easiest of tap-ins. One all. And ten minutes to the break.

Cubo started out the second half on top, with Chris Grayson replacing Haile Gebrse-Pally. Ten minutes in and lightning struck again, Sicknote Haddon getting yet another war wound, and being replaced by the returning Jim McGeown. Two changes, but Cubo kept pushing. A Pete Hill corner swung in from the right resulted in Alan Clarke out jumping all around him, and powering a header past the flailing Battersea keeper. 2-1 Cubo.

Onwards and upwards, Cubo pushed on despite the lack of football in recent weeks starting to show. Stevie T caught a sight at goal after 70 minutes and clipped a volley over the Battersea defensive line. A resolute Cubo three-one up.

Unfortunately that’s where the similarities to HMS Resolute end, and where Cubo developed an unfortunate likeness to the General Belgrano. In response to going three one down, Battersea stuck a third player up front, sacrificing a defender.

The rewards came about pretty soon as Battersea won number of corners on the bounce. As one came over from the left, a defensive scramble ensued with Salty the last player to get a touch before the ball trickled over the Cubo goal line. Bollocks. 3-2 Cubo.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, another Battersea attack resulted in a corner. Maradona-esque, Chrissy “I play Aussie Rules!” Grayson got awfully confused, punching the ball as it was clipped into the box. Easy decision for the referee as he pointed to the spot, and the Battersea player stroked the ball past Clarkey from 12 yards. Three-all and full time.

Overall, a disappointing result for Cubo given the scoreline after 70 minutes.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-3 AFC Battersea

Scorers: Cain, Clarke, Taylor

Man of the Match: Mikey Cain. A confident start from the Aber grad. One goal and threatening throughout the game.

Match Report: Luke Hadddon

Claremont AFC 1-0 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 14th January 2012

Starting Line-up: Fake Clarky, Luke, Alan, Joe, Noodle, Trev, Salty, Burt (Seb Brain), Pete Hill, Stevie T, Jim Dennison

Sub: Seb Brain

Cubo travelled to the Clapham region of Siberia to honour their away fixture against Claremont in the most inhospitable of conditions. Cubo were seeking to secure a double over their mid-table opponents following a hard fought 1-0 victory at The Theatre of Elms in the second game of the season and simultaneously lift themselves away from the relegation zone and raise spirits before the cup semi-final next week.

The boys in baby blue sought to impose their superiority on the game in the opening stages, but were increasingly frustrated by a lack of fluency in possession, no doubt not helped by a thawing bobbling mud bath of a surface. In spite of this, the away side was increasingly dominant in the first half.

When Cubo were able to get the ball down, some impressive attacking down the left and interplay between Mr T and Jim Dennison up front were causing the Claremont central defenders problems. Half way through the first half, Jim did excellently to wriggle away from his marker to bear down on goal, his shot rolling mere inches past the post.

Minutes later a flick from Stevie sent Jim through again. This time the keeper made an excellent save only to see the rebound fall invitingly to Mr Peter Hill inside the six-yard box. Inexplicably, almost certainly in an attempt to prove his self-styled tag of being ‘great in the air for a small man’, Peter Hill tapped the ball up and headed it towards the net as the Claremont defender swept the ball clear. Whilst replays showed that the ball was clearly over the line, it was unlikely that the referee or the Claremont linesman was going to give it.

Following a half-time break that saw Seb replace the injured Burt, Fake Clarky demonstrate his usual petulance towards the official and a stirring barking of orders from Field-Marshall Salty, Cubo came out seeking the all important goal. However, with Cubo increasingly taking the aerial approach, Claremont centre half and Pascal Cygan lookalike was able to clear convincingly in the air.

Chances were of a premium in the second period with some flowing Claremont football fashioning the best of those that were created, despite excellent performances at the heart of defence from Joe and a less clumsy looking Alan. With only seconds left and the referee opting to play-on with Claremont having been flagged offside, the home side broke through with the striker applying a cool finish to take all three points. In the angry exchanges that ensued, Cubo’s skipper was reprimanded by the referee and a supporter was ejected, in a scene reminiscent of the SPL at any game at any time of the year.

It was a cruel ending to a game that Cubo on balance had not deserved to lose and where both teams had struggled to play their passing games on a difficult pitch. However, Cubo can take a positive performance in many areas into their game next weekend as they seek London Cup glory.

Final Score: Claremont AFC 1-0 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Man of the Match:

Match Report: Real Clarkey

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 3-4 PWCA

Date: Saturday 7th January, 2012

Starting XI: Clark, Denno, Pete Hill, Watkins, Keegan, Antonio, Moody, Salty, Burt, Steve T, MTM

Subs: SMDLF, Seb Brain

Cubo 2s entered 2012 in positive mood and with a fresh striking partnership resembling Demba Ba and Ameobi, there was reason to be so. The 2s have developed somewhat of a maverick status of late, both within the club and the Wimbledon and District Premier League, with inconsistent form interspersed with some gritty performances and an eventful cup run. The arrival of a well organised PWCA  side to Barn Elms would no doubt prove an obstacle in shaking this tag.

Buoyed by the new partnership up front and an attacking formation, Cubo began confidently, moving the ball about well and getting good numbers forward. The pressure eventually told with MTM holding the ball up well, laying off for Moody who cleverly disguised his shot and played it in to the feet of a beefed up Stevie T. Big T made no mistake and duly opened his account for 2012.

Cubo had the better of the first half chances and were marginally winning the battle in midfield, even with a heavily wounded Saltdog being restricted to patrolling the centre circle rather than the box to box style usually associated with the skipper. A second goal was on the cards which may have put the game to bed, but a quick break and a well taken PWCA goal meant that the teams went in to the break all square.

The second half characterised the 2s season. Changes in personnel, notably the loss of Salty through injury and the influential Oli Watkins, and subsequent changes in formation unsettled the side, providing the opposition with opportunities at crucial points in the game.

Cubo took the lead for the second time early in the second half, good build up play resulted in Denno teeing up Terrence for his second. An emotional moment for our talented winger who was returning to the line up after recently becoming a proud father. We salute you. From what should have been a good platform to push on from, a touch of complacency and lapses in concentration across the park allowed PWCA to not only get back in to the game but also take the lead. A disappointing twenty minutes resulted in three goals conceded, PWCA breaking well on a couple of occasions and taking advantage of poor organisation.

Cubo managed to pull one back, MTM turning provider this time which he duly deserved after a ranging bull type performance throughout. Tel was on hand to cap a brilliant debut cooly dispatching a third for a well deserved hat trick. Take a bow, son. The second half also saw the return of Seb ‘how’s your face’ Brain, who looked dangerous immediately, throwing himself in to some daring headers! Unfortunately Cubo’s late surge wasn’t enough, but credit goes to a well organised and resilient PWCA side.

There was time for one more surprise (sort of), when Keegan had his Zizou moment. After producing a luscious, but unnecessary piece of skill, he tangled with the opposition striker, the PWCA CF took this opportunity to make his mark on Keegan’s calf whilst insulting the Boro – a Zidane on Materazzi moment was inevitable. Somehow only the Cubo legend saw red.

Cubo 2s will have mixed emotions about this game, promising passages of play and finally having two out and out strikers will be positives, but lapses in concentration and a lack of grit in the second half will need to be addressed. Ultimately it was a disappointing 4-3 loss and the 2s will need to respond well over the next few weeks to prevent what started as a very promising campaign turning in to a relegation battle.

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

Goals: Stevie T (3)

Man of the Match: Stevie T

Match Report: Trev Moody

AFC Sevenoaks 1-2 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 3rd December, 2011, 1.15pm KO

Starting Line-Up: Sadler; Hooper, Lye, J. McGeown, Rushnall; Moody, Thethy (C), Burt, Hill; Griffith, Taylor.

Subs: Keegan, Palacio.

Back in 1836, Davy Crockett and his small group of heroes fought a battle for 5 days against the relentless onslaught thrown at them by an army 10x the size of his own.  They stood firm and battled hard, but unfortunately after the 5 day skirmish the mêlée was lost, but boy oh boy didn’t they go down with a good fight.  There were many parallels with this diminutive war and the game the 2’s found themselves in against AFC Sevenoaks, barring 2 obvious dissimilarities.

  1. The game was not going to last 5 days
  2. The main protagonist attacking Davy’s men wasn’t wearing a number 23 shirt who couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with an oversized banjo.

*there may be some massive factual inaccuracies in the above, as I know nothing about American military history.

Usually a flank offensive, Gatling gun wielding, Rob Sadler would be rallying the troops down the wings, but due to an injury from a previous battle he bit the bullet a took the number 1 shirt for the first time since impressive debut for our beloved baby blue battalion.  Corporal Hooper stepped in at full back and looked like he had brawled there all year long.

Young sniper Jordan Griffiths stepped up from the cadets to form our strike force with our veteran of many blood baths Stevie T, and didn’t it work well!  Comrade Moody mowed down their vulnerable left back and before you could say “tally ho chaps” Stevie T had fed a pass to Jordan, and kaboom… Cubo go 1-0 in the lead.  This was well deserved and a sucker blow to AFC as they felt they were on top.

“oh my gosh bruv, we were all over em, innit” AFC Sevenoaks Captain and number 99 

The oppo then re-grouped and forged a new offensive known as the school boy attack.  Not as paedophilic as it sounds, but a move which entails a midfielder getting the ball, then everyone else running ahead of him, shouting as loud as they can to get the ball.  This proved very affecting, and mixed with the long range punt from the back (aided by the wind and glaring sunlight) caused private Jez and McGowan many bouncy headaches down their right flank.

Sevenoaks found themselves within shooting range of our goal, and it was in the form of a free kick.  Standing eye to eye with their assailant our mighty wall stood firm, and did just enough to make their rifleman hit a strike against the post.

All of a sudden there was a serious problem, Corporal Hooper found a sneaky marksman in a trench between himself and Sads and then there was a thunderbolt from the blue.  A fierce strike, so sure and blistering that not even a real life superhero could save it – it soared into Rob Sadler’s top right hand side of the goal with true aplomb.

This is how it will stay in the history books, but if truth be told, a winger hit a lame effort mildly towards the goal and somehow it squirmed through our keepers legs.. but let’s not dwell on that.

Pete Hill was doing admiral work down the left wing, and on a number of different occasions caused their defence all manner of problems, and it was his free kick (or corner, I can’t remember—maybe it wasn’t even Pete.. (Hoops: I think it was Andy Burt) but hey ho) that set up a lovely attack with the ball slung over towards Corporal Hooper to side foot back across the 6 yard box to our Anzac battler Griffiths to convert at the back post.

As far as chances go, that was about it for the 2nd Fusiliers of Cubo.  Private Jez had a glorious chance from 40 yards out, but hit fresh air with his shot, Marine-Keegan also came on and struck the post, but really that was it..

Captain Salty and Field Marshal Burt did a sterling job in getting to grips with their midfielders but at times they were outnumbered and then the fight intensified.  I could go into details of every single shot that they missed but it would just take too long.

Not only did their number 23 put the ball over the bar from 2 yards, but he skewed another 2 open goals horribly wide.  He jinked into the box causing our defence many problem, but the only time Rob was brought into action he ended up getting a yellow card.  The ball was outside the box, so he tried to shepherd the ball out, and failed, then he tried to bring it back in the box, and failed, so he fell on the ball outside of the box, gave away a free kick and got a yellow card.  Many people would be upset at Rob, but due to the emotional distress he is going through at the minute (with the tragic loss of his brand new Cubo merch) I’m sure we can forgive him.

Their big number 99 also slammed Rob’s head against the post late on in the game, but he got up and threw himself right back into the battle.  It wasn’t just their number 23 who missed many chances, at least every outfield player on their team seemed to miss an open goal.

When the final whistle blew and the battle was over it was Cubo who progressed into the semi- final of the London Cup.  Where we will don our uniforms, strap on our bayonets and do battle again, for the next step is the final and the opportunity to become true warriors.  Jordan Griffiths picked up the Victorian cross for his offensive efforts, and well deserved it was.  This was our very own battle of the Alamo, but unlike Crockett we won – the sweet smell of victory is in the air, and we like it!

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

Goals: Griffith x2

Man of the Match: Griffith

Match Report: Steve Keegan

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 0-3 Union FC

Date: Saturday 26th November, 2011

Starting Line-Up: Stevie T, Jack, Darlington, A. Clark, Haddon, Hooper, Burt, Neil, Denno, Moody, O’Hara.

Sub: Pally (injured).

Football is a cruel mistress. After battling to a number of single goal victories at the start of the season, the 2nd XI are now finding life a little tougher. In fairness the side picked itself earlier in the campaign, but of late an injury epidemic has swept aside much of the resources and it’s been incredibly tough to scrape an XI, let alone a settled side.

Union arrived at Barn Elms bottom of the league and with the 2s confident of a victory, despite the reshuffled pack. Sadly for Cubo, Union (with hindsight) were able to field what was their strongest outfit of the season and they swept aside the hosts in convincing fashion.

Cubo could not be faulted for effort or application but, in truth, little went right for the Baby Blues. The deadlock was broken midway through the first half after a hopeful ball down the inside left channel was not dealt with, allowing the attacker to strike the ball across Stevie and into the far corner.

Hooper and Burt were struggling to get going in the centre of the park, and with Gaz and Trev both looking to come to the ball the Union defence were happy to push up the pitch and condense the space. This allowed the Union midfield to compete and use the ball better than their hosts.

The pick of the opposition was the number 7 who was very adept at dropping between the lines to create an extra man in midfield or pull one of the Cubo centre halves out of position. Although this didn’t necessarily contribute to any goals directly, it cause unrest and will be something Cubo need to deal with quickly in the return fixture.

With the home side struggling to both a) pass to a teammate and b) control the ball, clear cut chances were at a premium. However, with a 1 goal deficit things were still delicately poised. Sadly the killer blow game just before half time when Denno was robbed on the half way line and, quick as a flash, the Union player was able to spot the ‘keeper off his line and drill home a magnificent left footed effort from fully 50 yards.

Cubo switched Stevie into an advanced role in the second half with Luke taking the gloves. However despite Trev slotting into midfield and Andy trying to replicate his excellent set pieces from open play in a wide area, Union made it 3 when the striker rode a couple of challenges before side footing into the bottom right corner from just inside the box.

Cubo tried to reduce the arrears with Moody twice going close and Jack’s curler picking out the goalkeeper, but in reality it was one of those days.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 0-3 Union FC

Man of the Match: Vote abandoned!

A strong looking squad for Saturday’s London Cup assignment versus AFC Sevenoaks will be hopeful of getting back to winning ways. As the song goes: “Weeeeee are the Cubo….”

Match Report: Hoops

AFC Cubo 2nd XI 0-0 Partizan Wandsworth

Date: Sat 19th November, 12.30pm KO

Starting Line-up: Stevie T, Noodles, Darlington, A. Clark, Rutting, Salty (C), Hoops, Trev, Denno, PeteHill, Keegan.

Sub: Haddon

After assembling for an early 11.30am meet for their league fixture with Partizan Wandsworth, Cubo 2s were in the unusual position of having to wait for the Baby Blue kit to arrive. As it happened, it never materialised, as the players were surprised to learn they were in the changed strip of Crimson shirts, Navy shorts and Crimson socks. Admittedly the colour of the kit could also be described as ‘Red’, but we’ve never settled for ‘Light Blue’ and Lord knows we’re better than just….Red.

A slightly reshuffled team was assembled in the absence of Player Manager Pally (wrist knack) and Goalkeeper Clark (1s), while Bradders’ good form for the First Team also saw him once again missing. Utility Man Hooper and Darlington returned to the squad, while Steve ‘Box Office’ Keegan made his first appearance since becoming a Father earlier in the year.

The home side started the game particularly brightly, snapping into challenges and getting their wide players into the game immediately. In midfield, Moody was the player instructed to break and give support to Keegan who was leading the line on his own. Despite their relative comfort, Cubo weren’t quite able to fashion any real goalscoring opportunities, with the final ball or pass slightly below what was needed to really unsettle the Partizan defence.

At the back, the new partnership of Darlington and Clark looked strong, protecting Stevie T (in a Matt Cardle train drivers hat) with a number of strong aerial and ground challenges. In fairness to the soon-to-be-painter-and-decorator-who-is-currently-masquerading-as-a-pop-singer-even-though-it’s-not-actually-Matt-Cardle-it’s-still-Stevie-in-a-cap-and-a-luminous-yellow-goalkeeper-jersey (with baby blue under armour long sleeve turtle neck, Ugg boots and grey joggers for afters) when he was called upon to make a couple of saves in the first half, often from a long throw threat, he looked very natural between the sticks. In fact the only thing lacking from the midfielder’s goalkeeping performance was the ability to kick the ball – the watching Alanis Morisette, enjoying an Autumnal stroll through Barn Elms, was heard to remark on the irony of the Barnsley Beckham’s aforementioned shortcoming.

With the score at half time locked at 0-0, Cubo remained convinced that if they could remain composed in the final third, and continue to press Wandsworth on the small pitch, they would have enough in their locker to win. A nice piece of play that started from a wonderful piece of control by Keegan, saw Hooper switch the ball to Dennison in the right hand channel, but with a narrow angle to work with his low drive was straight at the keeper. Keegan later went close with a back post header which he couldn’t quite direct on target.

Cubo suddenly were swarming over their vistors like a… swarm of bees, Pete went close with a stinging 25 yard free kick that was pushed around the right-hand post by the keeper, before the best move of the match saw the visiting keeper make an even better save to deny a 20 yarder from Moody. The keeper was male not female, but if he was the latter ‘she’ would have been relieved to keep the ball from hornet. If there was a crowd they would have been buzzing. If this section of puns goes any further it would be disastrous.

Haddon replaced Noodles at Right Back around the hour mark, while Keegan, after putting in a typically gutsy shift, took over from Steve in goal. He was welcomed up front by being smashed in the back by Partizan’s moustached left back – possibly aggrieved at Rebecca Ferguson being denied victory in X-Factor last year.

Despite Cubo coming close to scoring in the second half 0-0 is obviously a dangerous score line and it would be disingenuous to suggest that Partizan did not have their moments to break the deadlock themselves. Keegan was relieved that a header was only slightly to his left, while another effort following a dangerous cross from the left hand side was again handled confidently by the stand-in sticksman.

With the game becoming increasingly stretched Darlington thought he had capped a dominant performance with a looping header from a corner, only to see his effort cleared off the line. With both sides fully committed to securing all 3 points, there was a lot of huffing and puffing, but neither team found that bit of composure or opportunism to snatch a win.

Final Score: AFC Cubo 2nd XI 0-0 Partizan Wandsworth


Man of the Match: Steve Keegan took it for his efforts in leading the line. When he was able to bring the ball down and involve the midfield Cubo looked very good. He also brought out an outrageous trap using his arse. Welcome back mate! Joe was runner up although all of the back line played well with Rick and Clark getting deserved votes.

Match Report: Thom Hoops

AFC Battersea 3-0 AFC Cubo 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 12th November

Starting Line-Up: Clark, Noodles, J. McGeown, A. Clarke, Denno, Salty, Moody, Dan C, Cheggars, Hill.


Pally’s succinct thoughts:

Saturday was a difficult day for the second team against AFC Battersea, a strong team.

On Saturday morning we had 9 players! Last minute phone calls allowed us to put out an 11.

Played pretty well considering!

Dissappointing that Cubo could only get 23 players on a saturday in November!