Cubs defensive mistakes gift Toast lead Bursting run from Mejka leads to Jamieson-Caley equaliser Sweeping Cubs move leads to Boyle goal Braidwood won but then missed late Cubs penalty Very organised and committed performance from Cubs results in win over rivals Toast
Cravia Cubs claimed their second victory in the Premiership today with a deserved victory over Côte d’Toast. Player-manager Paul G. Stephen decided to shuffle his pack slightly for this encounter which saw Ross Brownlee slotting into the right back role to make room for Stephen Boyle on the right wing. A change in the centre half pairing resulted in Phil Sim rotated to the bench with Paul G. himself partnering the ever reliable Callum Ross. Harry Eggo and Andrew Lawrie retained their goalkeeper and left back slots respectively while the other change to the recent starting lineups came in the centre of midfield where Daniel Mejka was given an opportunity to make an impact from the start alongside Championship player of the season, Andrew Swinton. Josh Ager continued on the left wing while the experienced dynamic duo of Jack Brebner and C(l)ub captain Adam Jamieson-Caley lined up in attack. As is usually the case in Cubs-Toast encounters, this was a very even affair for the most part with little to separate the two sides. Chances were at a premium (especially in the first half) and the match was largely a midfield battle. Messrs Lawrie and Ager continued their link up play down the Cubs left hand side. Lawrie didn't let the obvious amount of care and attention he puts into his hair go to his head as he won a number of headers throughout the 90 minutes as well as putting in his usual high standard of performance. Whenever Ager found himself in possession it looked like he could cause Toast problems. He practically had the beating of any defender that went near him and was a thorn in their side all afternoon. Brebner was also making life difficult for the Toast centre halves with his constant running down and chasing down of seemingly lost causes to help the cause and put the opposition under pressure at the back. Despite a promising start to this highly anticipated fixture, it was Côte d’Toast who took the lead thanks to some miscommunication in the Cravia Cubs defence that allowed them to break through and open the scoring with an effort that the ever reliable Harry Eggo could do little to keep out. This minor setback didn't phase the current Shield holders too much though as they were playing the better football and knew that if they could just convert their play into opportunites that they could get right back into the game. Soon after Toast took the lead Cubs retaliated with an effort on goal of their own thanks to some very neat combination play down the right hand side from R. Brownlee and Boyle. This lead to the latter having an attempt on goal find the side netting from the corner of the box. Jamieson-Caley was frustrated that the new signing didn't play the ball to him but his frustrations were to disappear soon after. The Cubs equaliser came from Brebner winning the ball at the halfway line and playing it to the returning Daniel Mejka. Both he and Andrew Swinton had done a good job of holding down the midfield up to that point but whenever something resembling an attacking threat comes from the midfield when the two are playing together it's usually Swinton who is supplying it. However, this time it was Mejka's turn and he made the most of it with a bursting run with the ball down the inside left channel and into the box while he left Toast defenders in his rear-view mirror. An attempted cross to the supporting Jamieson-Caley on the holding midfielder's weaker left foot turned into a shot on target that was spilled by Sharief Hosny in the Toast goal and the ball was immediately pounced on by top scorer 'AJC' to bring the Cubs level in one of the Premiership's most meaningful fixtures. Despite Jamieson-Caley being the one to add to his already impressive tally for the club, the Cubs players flatteringly chose to celebrate with and give credit to Mejka as well for his rare venture into an opposition's penalty area. Sadly though, his lung bursting run took it's toll on Mejka who had to depart shortly after the restart with 'illness'. The moral of this being to make sure you eat breakfast before playing in such a high profile enounter. Stephen made a series of substitutions throughout the match in order to keep the team fresh and this was rewarded early in the second half with a second goal to put his side ahead. A crisp move was ended with a wonderful pass from R. Brownlee that cut through the Toast defence to find Boyle who made no mistake with his finish and completed the Cubs derby day comeback. An onslaught on the Cubs defence beared no fruit for Toast as the purple rearguard stood firm. In actual fact, Cubs could have extended their lead late on after substitute Jamie Braidwood won a late penalty for his side. However, the utility man hatched a cunning plan to run down the clock to ensure victory by missing the penalty and Martin Mackay did likewise with his rebound in order to win a tactical corner. Cravia Cubs had completed a fantastic and well deserved comeback in this derby fixture and can now look forward to the rest of their campaign with the knowledge that they can come from behind if necessary in future fixtures. Man of the Match: There were a number of potential contenders for today's award but it has to go to Paul G. Stephen on this occasion as he dealt with absolutely everything at the back today and justified his own selection in the centre of defence superbly.