Written by Dylan Chavesse (Reigate College)
Venue: Reigate Priory Cricket Club
Date: 27th January 2018
On a freezing afternoon at Reigate Priory Cricket Club, Priory were comprehensively beaten by an AFC Cubo side who stayed in second place as a result of the win. Although Priory had many players returning from injury, and were able to field a strong starting XI as a result, they just couldn’t match the quality that Cubo had on display.
With priory wearing bright pink, rather than the traditional blue and brown halves, the first ten minutes were a scrappy and tight encounter, played out mostly in the middle of the park- and neither team saw any proper chances go their way. That all changed though in the 13th minute, when the ball was crossed in from the left-hand side of the Priory box by AFC Cubo’s number 4 Tom Shaw, and his cross was met by the head of unmarked forward XXXXXX, who simply had to head the ball into the bottom-right corner, making it 0-1 to AFC Cubo.
Luke Reid then took a free-kick for Priory, but the resulting header- from David McLoughlin- fell wide of the mark. 6 minutes later though, a goal not out of place on Match of the Day graced the hallowed turf of the Cricket Club. A cross from the half-way line by Ryan Frost sailed through the air, and was met with the sweetest of flying volleys by Charlie Cooper, who arrowed the ball into the bottom left corner. With all due respect to the Priory keeper, it was a simply unstoppable finish, which he couldn’t have done anything about. This meant the score was 0-2 to AFC Cubo after just 20 minutes.
The next period of play was again very scrappy, and challenges were flying in everywhere, from both teams, and it stayed like this for a good 10 minutes. Kyle Jordan was the man of the moment as he cleared a shot from Henry Chadwick of AFC Cubo off the line. However, it quickly got worse for Jordan. In the 35th minute Elliott Connolly whipped in a short free-kick, which was flicked on by Chadwick, and unfortunately the ball cannoned off Jordan and into his own net. 0-3 Cubo with 35′ on the clock.
Oli Perkins played well all day, and in the spell leading up to half time, he made some good, penetrating runs, aiming to unsettle Priory’s backline. However, they stood firm, and the teams headed off the pitch at half time, with Cubo winning 3-0, and deservedly too.
Reigate Priory began the second half with a change, Scott Johnson making way for Danny Roberts, who had dropped to the bench following the 2-2 draw with Godalming and Farncombe two weeks previously. The half got off to an expectedly scrappy start, and in the 47th minute, Henry Chadwick rounded the Priory keeper, but somehow only found the side netting. Unlucky stuff, but even he knows that should have been 3-0.
In the 52nd minute, there was a rare moment of Priory promise, Danny Roberts shooting, but only finding the side netting. Not a goal, but signs that Priory were looking to claw their way back into the game. Just prior to the hour mark, AFC Cubo decided it was time to make a change of their own, bringing on Rob Davies for defender Ryan Frost. Priory were still showing signs of improvement from the drab first half showing, Cecil Thomas dribbling across the pitch, and sending a shot curling just wide. Cubo made another change, withdrawing Elliott Conolly from the fray, and sending on Sam Brooks in his place.
Oli Perkins then missed a glaring opportunity to score for AFC Cubo. Unmarked at a corner, the powerful forward had loads of time to score, but could only steer his header just wide of the post. However, soon after Cubo had a penalty, after David McLoughlin was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. The penalty was taken by Perkins for Cubo, but he was denied by a tremendous flying save from Halsey in the Priory goal.
Two minutes later though, Cubo were rewarded with a goal they probably deserved, and in some style too. Roberts gave away a free kick just left of the centre of the box, and the ball was sent curling into the top corner by Alex Hannaway. A simply magnificient effort, and 4-0 after 70 minutes. It was now that Wyatt and Smythe decided they had seen enough, and brought on Arnold Saurombe and Paul Coomber to replace Jordan and Murphy, in a hope they may be able to rescue a consolation, and prevent further damage.
The final 15 minutes filtered out much the same as the rest of the 90 had, with Cubo dominating, and being first to almost every ball. In the 78th minute, Matt Carter and Luke Reid were shown yellow cards following a petty scrap involving Cubo players aswell. And so the game finished, 4-0 to Cubo, who were deserving winners, and they left Priory still searching for a first win since September the 9th.
Reigate Priory FC AFC Cubo
1 Mark Halsey 1 Jack Hutchinson
2 Matt Carter 2 Marcus Torr
3 Scott Johnson 3 Ryan Frost
4 Luke Reid 4 Tom Shaw
5 David Mclaughlin 5 Ralph Wensley
6 Kyle Jordan 6 Matt Laing
8 Michael Walker 7 Elliot Connolly
9 Shane O’Keeffe 8 Charlie Cooper ( c )
10 Anton Murphy 9 Oli Perkins
11 Michael Winnister ( c ) 10 Henry Chadwick
14 Cecil Thomas 11 Alex Hannaway
13 Danny Roberts 12 Rob Davies
15 Arnold Saurombe 14 Sam Brooks
16 Paul Coomber
17 Ben Smythe
18 Dale Wyatt