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.

AFC Battersea 3-1 AFC Cubo 3rd XI

Date: April 6th 2013

Competition: Wimbledon Trophy 3rd Round

Squad: Smith, Reed, Palacio, Fraser, McHale, Vanderlight, Boase, Haddon
(c), Martinus, S. Cain, Tribe

On a bright April afternoon, AFC Cubo 3rd XI took on AFC Battersea at
Raynes Park in the third round of the Wimbledon Trophy. Having not
played a game in the competition, but still being in the third round,
Cubo were taking on a side in the division above and who were rated for
their ability to press and hassle their way into games. Cubo had also
lost Stevie T to the 2s a few hours before kick off so arrived for the
game with eleven men.

Cubo started the game a little nervously as Battersea were able to
string a number of passes together, although lacking any end result. As
the game settled down, Cubo looked solid. The defensive triumvirate of
Smith, Fraser and McHale worked well, ensuring that loose balls were
picked up and cleared away as and when necessary.

The central midfield combination of Andy Martinus and Luke then had time
to get the ball down and knock a few passes around. Andy Tribe moved to
the left wing in a tactical reshape, with James Boase taking a place up
top alongside Stu Cain. Andy M was finding the time to ping-pong the
ball further than a Thai lady of the night, and with just as much
accuracy; causing serious problems for the Battersea full backs.

The tactical switch gave Cubo the ability to cause Battersea real
problems down the wings as the height of Brett and the speed of Tribe
gave the full backs something to worry about. With fifteen minutes
remaining of the first half, Tribe charged down the left wing, cutting
in on the edge of the box to find Stu Cain. His shot hit the danger area
and could only be parried out by the Battersea ‘keeper into the path of
Brett. He took the ball and calmly slotted the ball straight back from
whence it came, into the bottom of the Battersea net. Cubo looked solid
and saw out the remainder of the half, with only a worrying knock to
Andy Martinus to worry about.

Andy’s knock proved serious enough couldn’t continue, so Cubo came out
with 10 men for 45 minutes against the higher division team. Boase
dropped into left wing with Andy T lining up alongside Luke, leaving
Stuey Cain on his own up front.

Despite Cubo’s best efforts to hold on to their lead, the opposition
found an equaliser half way through the second half. A dubious free kick
decision on the left edge of Cubo’s penalty box and a lapse of
concentration led to Battersea’s five-foot-nothing striker slotting the
ball past Smith.

Not long after, the benefit of the additional player meant that
Battersea got a lead after their left winger picked up the ball on the
halfway line and hit the Cubo right. A threading pass across the box
found their rampaging player on the switch, who benefitted from the near
post as he beat Smith with a well placed shot.

Cubo were soon down to nine for a short period after Luke took a rugby
tackle to the face. Coming back on, and with the entire side being
slowly ground down, the Battersea captain found the channel between
Fraser and Reedy and charged into the box with five minutes to go.
Fraser caught the player’s trailing leg near the byeline, and he went
down like a gracious nerd on a bird. A soft penalty to give, but the
referee admitted to Fraser, ‘You’d hit the guy late several times; one
was gonna be a penalty!’ Hard and fast, the Battersea captain gave Smith
no chance as he drilled it down the middle.

A hard fought game, and one where Cubo were certainly not put to shame.

Final Score: AFC Battersea 3 – 1 AFC Cubo 3rd XI

Goal: Vanderlight

Man of the Match: Stuart Fraser

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

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.

Subs:

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!