Cubs took to the field against our latest schism, boasting a large squad of 17 despite despite the transfer of 4 of our players to our opponents. Boosted by the returns of Boyle, Mackay and Dunbar, Cubs lined up with Eggo, Sim, Ross, Dunbar, Lawrie, Boyle, Hagger, Swinton, McMillan, Mackay and Jamieson-Caley in a 442 formation after lasts weeks disasterous 343 attempt. Stephen, Mckendrick, Brebner, Baird, Czerny and trialist Cruikshank made a strong bench
Cubs in recent times have not been known for their good starts to matches and this week was no different finding ourselves a goal down after 18minutes with Kev McConville slotting home in the box after Braes had got behind the Cubs defence for the 1st time. Lawrie went off injured before Eggo saved at the feet of Braidwood as we struggled to get into the game. We could have found ourselves going further behind with Callum Ross bucking his own trend, hammering the ball off his own crossbar with a last ditch clearance bouncing clear instead of being a early front runner for Braes goal of the season. Former Cub Ager also whipped in a lovely long range freekick but the tie remained 1-0.
The introduction of Jamie Baird and Paul Stephen coincided with a late rally at the end of the 1st half when Cubs really should have found themselves level after slowly working theirselves into prominance. Boyle and Mackay seemed to edge themselves into the game with the latter going close after spinning his man on the left hand side of the box. Swinton and Stephen began to win the midfield battle with Stephen then 8 years of cider and junk food away from getting to a through ball from Mckendrick in the box with any touch inside leaving Mackay with an open goal to fire the Cubs level. Mackay was put behind the last defender by Stephen but the forward was foiled by the keeper. Baird then beat about three men twice for fun on the left hand side but really should have went down or passed earlier as the chance for a penalty or opportunity was spurned. Free kicks from deep often seemed a good route back into the game at this point but no-one was able to get their head on Dunbar long balls.
Going in one down at half time, Brebner and Felix da Housecat were introduced for Sim and the yellow carded Jamieson-Caley as the Cubs came back out to dominate the second half. Mackay should have equalised early, somehow spooning over from 8 yards out before Stephen missed his weekly chance from the post set piece scramble with the keeper beating away a close range effort. Dunbars headed chance was also missed before Brebner finally snatched the Cubs equaliser. Some good work from Baird on the left ended up with the ball being put through for Brebner, who outfought his marker and went through to slot almost under the Braes goalkeeper.
Some scuffles ensued not long after the Cubs goal with Stephen being in no way responsible for any of this........ Dunbar then saw yellow for a last ditch challenge that had the Cubs hearts in their mouths. The centre half clearly got a touch on the ball but referee Forsyth blew for the foul. In hindsight if the ref saw it as a foul Shav should have walked but he remained on the field as Eggo dealt with the free kick.
Trialist Cruickshank was introduced for the tiring Mackay, with Boyle being moved to his natural forward position as the Cubs really stepped it up looking for a winner. Brebner seemed to link up well with both and it was the through their hard work that Cubs took the leader. Jack seems to always prove a point when started on the bench and he was on hand, in a rumoured offside position to slot the Cubs ahead. I don't believe Jack was offside either ;)
Hagger, McMillan and Jamieson-Caley were all reintroduced late on as tired legs began to appear. Braes went very close to an equaliser from a set piece with Eggo making a great save to deny a rare free chance for our opponents. The fresh legs rallied the Cubs again however with McMillan and Hagger winning the ball deep and finding Cruickshanks wide. The new lad then found who else but Adam Jamieson-Caley who needed no invitation to put a seal on the match late on with his weekly goal.
It ended 3-1 and the Cubs went on to celebrate a more than deserved victory down the pub. Every player deserves more than credit today in a top notch performance. Coming from behind is always lovely and we more than deserved that today after fighting hard for each other. The opposition manager said in his post match comments that the Cubs wanted it more today and he was 100% right.
Man of the match is hard to pick but it goes to Neil Dunbar in my opinion who marshelled the Cubs from the back and was involved regularly from set pieces. Top marks to Jack Brebner as well for 2 well timed goals and a hard shift.
Week off next week. Go get drunk.