Virginia Water FC 4-1 AFC Cubo

Date: Sat 24th August 2013

Starting Line-up: Gaz Stewart, Chris Grayson, Richard Gough, Oli Watkins, James McGeown, Ben McGeown, Jonny Patterson, Nick Coates, Sabby Sabahatin, Nick Flower, Ryan Shedwick

Subs: Hung Nguyen, Ed Jackson

Cubo returned to the scene of the final game of the 2012/13 season which saw them on the wrong end of a bad 4-1 defeat at the hands of a rejuvenated Virginia Water.  If they could claim to have been caught cold last time round they had no such excuses on this occasion as they once again went down to a chastening 4-1 loss.

Waters opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game when the ball was worked wide to their left midfielder who stepped inside Chris Grayson before smashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner.  Despite this setback Cubo soon found themselves back into the game when an innocuous-looking ball forward skidded off the slippery surface and up into the Waters centre half’s right hand.  JPat stepped up and cunningly side-footed his penalty beneath the keeper’s dive, the boy is a magician from 12 yards.  Nick Flower then went close for the away side when he got across his marker at the near post but was unable to keep his header down.  The home side continued to look dangerous going forward and earned a penalty when the ball was flicked up into Oli Watkins’ hand from less than a yard.  Luckily for Cubo Gaz Stewart went the right way and James McGeown was on hand to clear the rebound.  The game looked finely poised but when a long clearance by the Waters defence cleared the Cubo backline it left the Waters striker a clear run on goal and he rounded Gaz before making it 2-1 just before half time.

Cubo started well in the second half without creating any clear cut opportunities before a highly contentious decision allowed Waters to put the game to bed.  A cross into the box was seemingly missed by both Cubo centre halves before falling to the lurking Waters midfielder who cooly slotted the ball past Gaz to make it 3-1.  Unfortunately for Cubo their protests about a push on Goughy fell on deaf ears and they faced a very difficult task to get back into the game against a side particularly adept at counter-attacking football.  With Cubo pushing forward there were always likely to be further chances for the home side and a fourth was added when a superb cross into the box was converted to make it 4-1.  Cubo were fortunate that the scoreline did not deteriorate further when Waters were awarded a second penalty (this time for a clear shirt pull).  Once again Gaz came out on top, this time with a full stretch save down to his left, leaving the Waters penalty taker shaking his head wondering what more he could have done to score.

Final Score: Virginia Water 4 AFC Cubo 1

Goals: Jonny Patterson (Pen)

Man of the Match: Gaz Stewart


AFC Cubo 3-2 Virginia Water FC

Date: Saturday 10th March, 2012

Starting Line-up: Neil Clark,  Bobby Sadler, Jonny Patterson, Hung, Oli Watkins, Goughy, Ben McGeown, Tom Hooper, Chris Gray, Andrew Noble, Jacko

Subs: Daunter, Sabby, Ryan Shedwick

A combination of the rugby club using the pitch to train on and the ever diligent Barn Elms ground staff meant that pitch 7 was in a dire state, making the prospect of a free-flowing game highly unlikely.  Virginia Waters came into this game with a much-changed line-up to that which suffered a heavy defeat in the opening day fixture between these two sides and the improvement was visible from the off.

With the surface already making it difficult to get the ball under control, the energetic pressing of the Waters midfield was doing a great job of forcing Cubo to give possession away cheaply.  Despite their shaky start Cubo found themselves infront after 15 minutes when Jacko was released down the left-hand channel before beating his man and finish across the keeper from the tightest of angles.  1-0 Cubo.

Undeterred by this Waters continued to look dangerous and it was no surprise when they equalised.  A diagonal ball into the box caused confusion in the defence and the ball dropped to the Waters striker who had a simple tap-in.  1-1.  With frustration mounting in the Cubo ranks at some of the wayward passing Waters pressed home their advantage.  A free kick on the right hand touchline was clipped into the six yard box where the onrushing midfielder showed good desire to beat Pogo to the ball (much like Pistol Pete did so often in the 1’s vs 2’s pre-season friendly) and power past Clarkey.  2-1 Virginia Waters.

A disjointed first half display by the Baby Blue Army should really have been punished further when a Cubo corner broke to Waters who found themselves with a 4 on 2 breakaway.  Luckily for Cubo the opportunity was wasted and they came in at half time only a goal down.

The half time break appeared to revitalise Cubo who started the second half with far greater purpose.  Aided by attacking the half of the pitch which hadn’t been rucked to oblivion by egg-chasing chubsters, Cubo looked more assured in possession and scored from virtually their first attack.   Having led the line impressively for the first half Andrew Noble carried the ball into the Waters box, powering past two challenges before slipping the ball to Jacko who just beat the keeper to the punch to toe-poke his finish in at the near post.  2-2.

With the momentum behind them Cubo pressed on for the winner, with Bobby Sadler enjoying some swashbuckling runs into the opposition half from his right wing back position.  The home side were finally rewarded when with 5 minutes to go Chrissy Gray’s overhit free kick caught the Waters keeper off guard, who could only watch as the ball sailed over his head, clipping the bar on its way into the back of the net.  3-2 Cubo.  There was still time for Waters to almost nick a point when a well struck free kick flew just wide of the post but the angriest man in football Neil Clark appeared to have it well covered in the Cubo goal.

A hard earned 3 points for Cubo against a vastly improved Virginia Waters.  The energy of the Waters side made life very difficult for Cubo who had to wait until the playing surface improved in the second half before they were able to exert any kind of sustained pressure.  A fair result on the balance of play and one which keeps Cubo’s hopes of a 3rd place finish alive.

Goals: Jacko (2), Chrissy Gray

Man of the Match: Jacko

Match Report: Benny Mac

Virginia Water FC 1-6 AFC Cubo

Venue: Virginia Water

Date: Saturday 20th August 2011

Starting Line-up: Gareth Stewart; Eddy Jackson, Goughy, Oli Watkins (c); Pogo, Hung, Northy, Ben McG; Chris Gray, Paul Every, Noble

Subs: MTM, Robs Sadler, Mark Sutton

Following last year’s title winning exploits Cubo finally made their bow in the much vaunted Surrey Elite League against Virginia Water.  The step up in that Cubo have made was clear from the set up alone, clubhouse, bar and raised pitch, a big departure from the glamour of Raynes Park.

Despite the absence of skipper Paul Lilwall (who’s knee injury has coincided with renewed speculation about a move to the German leagues) and Billy (still looking for his ‘bottle’ according to incumbent ‘hard man’ Oli Watkins) Cubo were able to name a very settled line-up.  Virginia Water on the other hand were having to deal with numerous changes with 8 new players swelling their ranks.

This lack of familiarity was clear to see from the very first minute when Oli Watkins lofted a ball into the right hand channel, over the head of the dawdling VWFC full back to release Noble whose squared pass was converted by a sliding Chrissy Gray.  1-0 Cubo after only 17 seconds (club record???).  A superb start for the boys in baby blue was followed by quarter of an hour of nip and tuck football, with very little space available to allow either side to build a decent attack.  Despite this Cubo were able to breach the VWFC backline again after just 17 minutes when the VWFC  left back was again found wanting, allowing Every to get in behind and get a shot off which the keeper could only parry to the onrushing Noble who slotted home to make it 2-0.

Cubo added a third shortly afterwards.  Northy winning another header from a goal kick which fell to Noble who ran through on goal and saw his shot pushed away by the keeper into the path of the grateful Paul Every who side-footed past the defender on the line.  3-0 Cubo.  VWFC’s defence were struggling to cope with the mobility of Cubo’s front three whose movement  when Cubo had possession was superb.  Even when VWFC received possession there was no respite as their back four were hounded into either giving the ball away or pumping aimless long balls to the Cubo backline where Watkins and Goughy were completely dominating the VWFC front two.

With the game opening up Cubo continued to cut throughVWFC at will with McGeown and Every both missing great opportunities, the latter following great link up play with Pogo and Noble.  Luckily for Gaffer Ben McG he was able to atone for his earlier miss before the half time whistle when Chris G released Every, again in the right hand channel, whose perfectly weighted cross made it almost impossible for the gaffer to do anything but score.  4-0 Cubo.  Cubo continued to pile on the pressure and added a fifth before half time when a corner from the right hand side made it all the way across to Pogo hanging out on the left wing.  His cross found Noble, lurking on the edge of the six yard box and he made no mistake, half-volleying home into the roof of the net.

Coming out for the second half it appeared Cubo were in no mood to let VWFC off lightly as a sixth goal was added after only a few minutes.  A long throw from Noble out on the left was powerfully headed home by an unmarked Northy to make it 6-0 Cubo.

Despite the half time exhortations to maintain the intensity of the first half, given the scoreline it wasunderstandable that there was a slight drop in the work-rate of the first period.  The introduction of MTM, Sadler and Sutton off the bench went some way to lifting this with MTM going close when his deflected effort threatened to loop over the keeper before he was able to scramble back to make the save.  Sutton, on for the impressive Pogo (whose professionalism extended to walking away from an all day session at the cricket the day before to make sure he was in peak condition for the game…), was making an immediate impact using his pace to great effect.  On more than one occasion he was the victim of rough treatment from VWFC having skinned his opposite number (one effort being reminiscent of Claudia Cannigga against Cameroon in the 1990 World Cup).

With the game opening up Cubo were playing some confident football, shifting the ball round the pitch with ease.  However there was also an element of sloppiness creeping in and VWFC should have had a penalty when Ben McG left a foot dangling which the VWFC winger threw himself over.  Had it not been the enthusiasm with which he threw himself on the deck then the referee would have been left with very little choice but to award the pen, instead he decided, remarkably to play on.

With full time approaching Cubo looked set to greet the 2011/12 with a clean sheet, unfortunately a rare error from Gaz Stewart, having just made a superb finger tip save, gifted VWFC a consolation goal, a looping cross slipping between his grasp and into the net.

Whilst VWFC were a fairly poor outfit this was still a very encouraging start to the season for Cubo.  Last season the backline, rightfully, received many of the plaudits but on Saturday it was the front three’s mobility and work-rate which really caught the eye.  Special mentions also go to Northy who put in another dominate performance in the centre of the park and Jacko whose emergence has gone a long way to compensating for the absence of Cubo’s ‘Fabulous’ skipper.

MOTM: Andrew Noble

Scorers: Gray, Noble (2), Every, B. McGeown, North

Report: Benny Mac