AFC Cubo 3rd XI 2-1 South East London 2nd XI

Date: Saturday 7th January 2012

Starting Line-up: Bush, Lye, Smith, Ingle, Dallamore, Field, Bennett, Turner, Pickett, Bradley, May

Subs: Laurence, Cucos

After a very continental Christmas break, including Wayne Rooney-styled festive party, Cubo 3s were back at Barnes ready to continue the form they concluded 2011 in.

Playing their penultimate home game of the season (on 7 January!), Cubo took the field, although a front lawn may be more appropriate given its size, against a South East London side sitting just above the relegation zone.

Cubo, in their changed strip of red and navy, lost the toss and were forced to play into a wind so strong that even Turner could record a sub-10 second 100m time if had it at his back.

SEL started strongly using the gale to their advantage. Their long ball tactics and basketball-style full-court press made it difficult for Cubo to get out of their own half for the opening 20 minutes.

It wasn’t long before the territorial pressure told and SEL broke through only to be denied by a superb stop from Bushy in the Cubo goal.

With the wind swirling above and a narrow pitch Cubo struggled to construct their usual passing game and five minutes later the away side broke through again, this time it was SEL’s other front man who was stopped by an outstretched Bushy, not once but twice.

As the half grew longer Cubo began to grow in confidence with Billers’ energy rivaling a Mascherano/springer spaniel lovechild. The striker’s chasing from the front allowed his side’s defence much needed respite.

With player/manager (you can pretty much remove the player part these days) Rob Jones’ half-time team talk fundamentally around the Wizard of Oz hurricane circling over Barn Elms, he was left with little to say as it was reduced to no more than a the force of a disappointed sigh. Fortunately, captain Matt (Tourette’s) Turner rallied the troops with his usual nonsensical, sweary, off-point, Any Given Sunday speech.

With Cubo confident of a positive result at the break they were hit with a surprise strike from SEL. A lack of pressure on the ball on the right hand side led to a hopeful ball being hooked over the top for their burly striker to run on to and lob the on-rushing keeper with aplomb.

Without a thought the home side brushed off this lapse in concentration and began to apply pressure of their own. Turner had a volley blocked from 20 yards out after winding it up from inside his own half.

The resulting corner led to the deserved equalizer. Lucas Pickett swung in a delicious left-footed delivery on to centre-back Mark Dallamore’s head, one of the countless headers he had won throughout the afternoon.

Not settling for a point though, Cubo began to win every tackle all over the pitch. Tim Field was beginning to profit from the space developing on the right hand side and Paul May was proving too much of handful for the opposing centre-backs.

With 15 minutes remaining Pickett received the ball level with the top of the area on the right touchline. A drag-back passed the full-back and a nutmeg through the covering centre-back left him with a only a half chance. The angle was tighter than his mum, but that was all he needed as he let fly and took Cubo to their 5th win in their unbeaten last seven matches.

Final Score: AFC CUbo 3rd XI 2-1 South East London 2nd XI

Goals: Dallamore, Pickett

Man of the Match: Six players received votes this week, but the winner with an assist and the deciding goal – Lucas Pickett.

Match Report: Lee Evans

South East London 2nd XI 3 – 0 Cubo 3rd XI: Centenary Cup Section B Round 1

Date: Saturday 22nd October – 2pm KO

Starting Line-up: Matt Turner (C), Chris Revill (deceased), Mark Dallamore, Nathan Adabadze, James Ingle, Henry Neville, Chris Lendrum, Luke Haddon, Seb Brain, Paul May, Jordan Griffith

Sub: John Glenn

With the club undergoing a goalkeeping crisis of epic proportions, it was left to skipper Turner to place himself between the sticks. On a barren, concrete-hard pitch, a bright start under an adventurous and new-fangled 3-5-2 saw Cubo pen SEL back in their own half, with Paul and Jordan looking especially dangerous playing off the shoulders of the SEL defence. Only some dubious linesman-ship kept the scores level.

However, the main incident in the game came barely 10 minutes in to the first half. Excluding Dallamore, the diminutive back line of Revill and Adabadze naturally struggled under high balls and against the monstrous SEL strike-duo. With one clearance bouncing over Revill, a last-ditch goal saving tackle from the aforementioned ended audibly with a loud snap. Unfortunately it wasn’t a firework let off by some local wildlife; but Chris’ tibula. An anxious 40 minute wait for the ambulance ensued, with full credit awarded to physio-on-the-spot Lenny for keeping Chris from enduring too much discomfort. A team effort was then needed to move Chris to the safety of the bag pile at the side of the pitch. With the half injured Glenn replacing Revill, the remainder of the half was played out in naturally cagey circumstances with neither side really threatening.

When the ambulance finally did arrive, the driver sensibly eschewed parking ANYWHERE ELSE and elected the pitch to settle upon, delaying the game by a further 30 minutes at half time.

With the second half finally underway, Cubo could not seem to build any momentum, and on the hard pitch it was proving difficult to get the ball to Luke and Seb’s feet on the wings. With both midfields bypassed by the aerial battle, a lucky bounce and unlucky deflection against Dallamore ended with the ball ricocheting past the despairing gloves of Turner. As Cubo chased the game, openings, err, opened up and the SEL right winger cut inside and unleashed a fierce drive through the defence, past the unsighted Turner to make it 2-0 to the baddies. Utilising the fact the SEL 1st XI had no fixture, some astute substitutions were made by the SEL coach and the game was put beyond Cubo’s reach with 10 minutes to go by another firm strike from outside the box.

Some positives can be taken however with an excellent debut from Nathan Adebadze and some strong, direct running from second debutant Paul May who looked to dovetail well with Jordan on several occasions. Thanks must also go to the SEL coach, Jose, who lent us some footballs, called the ambulance, provided Chris with company and blankets and general all-round good lad behaviour.

Thanks to Turns for donning the gloves and best wishes and a speedy recovery to Chris.

Man of the Match: TBC

Match Report: John Glenn

South East London 2nd XI 1-2 AFC Cubo 3rd XI

Date: Saturday 24th September, 2pm KO

Starting Line-Up: Dan Storey, Chris Revill, Jimmy Ingle, Greg Tett, Andrew Rosoman, Seb Brain, Andy Burt, Tom Hooper, Henry Neville, Chris Harding (C), Chris Lendrum.

Subs: John Glenn, Jeremy Lye, Pete Hill.

It was a big test for The Baby Blue Army this week following their perfect start to the season, as fans and doubters alike asked the question,  “Yes it’s all good so far, but can they do it on a sunny afternoon in Dulwich?”

This weeks test was posed by a South East London side who caused Cubo some problems last season and despite the overpowering smell of weed emanating from their supporters, they looked up for it again today.

The game started brightly, with both sides looking to attack but struggling to get the ball under control, the bounce of the ball often causing players problems. Despite some controlled touches in Midfield from Hooper and Burt it was South East London who had the first major opportunity of the game. A lofted through ball caused confusion between the new centre back partnership of Tett and Ingle allowing, i’m pretty sure, George Elokobi, to race through on goal. Fortunately his over muscular physique meant that he chipped the ball well over the crossbar from 18 yards – a let off for Cubo.

That scare seemed to re-focus the Cubo boys, and they began to string some lovely moves together. Neville in a new position on the left side was finding space and linking up well with the central midfield pairing of Hooper and Burt. Combined with the liquid movement up front of Harding and Lenny this began to cause SEL a great deal of problems.

SEL were getting sucked across to the left hand side of the pitch to deal with non stop baby blue triangles, which was in turn was creating space for Seb Brain on the right flank who beat his man on numerous occasions and delivered dangerous crosses into the box.

Half chances fell to Lenny and Neville consecutively. Lenny worked the keeper with a left foot strike after finding space on the turn inside the box, and Neville volleyed over from 25 yards after controlling an insufficient SEL clearance.

The inevitable finally happened mid-way through the half when a lofted free kick into the box from Tett was cushioned by Hooper into the path of Harding, the result was a crisply struck left foot volley which gave the keeper no chance. A few more chances came and went, Neville getting his head to a well delivered Brain cross, but diverting it past the far post and whipped in left foot corners from Burt providing SEL with a regular saturday afternoon headache.

The second half saw a switch in formation for SEL as they tried to counteract Cubo’s dominant ball retention by packing the midfield. It seemed to work as George Elokobi was getting more service and certainly keeping Ingle and Tett busy running down the channels, although no clear cut chances were created. Infact Cubo’s back four of Revil, Tett, Ingle, and Rosoman remained solid and dealt with any threat thrown at them, Biscuit in goal was not a busy man.

The game was effectively put to bed when a sweeping ball out of defence from Ingle found the lively Harding on the right flank, he turned inside and in turn chipped a left footed cross through to Andy Burt who came inside the defender with a wonderful first touch and hit a right foot shot, via a “slight” deflection, into the SEL net.

Substitutions were made, Neville, Brain and Rosoman being replaced by Lye, Glenn and Pete Hill and Cubo battled hard to play out the win. SEL never threatened until a seemingly innocuous ball over the top left Ingle with a problem. With George Elokobi baring down on him, and Biscuit in goal not certain whether to stick or twist, Ingle took matters into his own hands, cooly heading the ball into the bottom corner of his own net. A splendid finish.

SEL threw everything at the Cubo goal and could have drawn level moments from the end when, after a goal mouth scramble, the ball spun perfectly into the path of the hilariously named Gay-tan five yards from goal. But with the goal at his mercy he just sort of crumbled to the floor like a new born deer, and Cubo were off the hook.

All in all a well deserved win and some of the best football The Baby Blue army has produced, they go marching on to the top of the table, three wins from three.

The manager of SEL was also kind enough to give his reports on the match:

 

Final Score: South East London 2nd XI 1-2 AFC Cubo 3rd XI

Scorers: Harding, Burt.

Man of the Match: Defensive colossus Greg Tett deservedly takes it for the second match in succession, with Burt and Hooper joint runners-up.

Match Report: Henry Neville