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Improved Cooks secure a point at home to Desborough as Wilson bags his 15th goal of the season after Riley had seen red.

Saturday 4th December 2021





Wilson 46 (pen)

Ar Tarn;

Gladman 44


Att; 38


Darren Long made a number of changes to his line up after a disappointing display against Potton last time out with the one of them enforced as Paddy Cichosz sits out two matches through suspension. Recalled were Archie Culley and Josh Adams, whilst Archie Elmore was handed his first start since returning to the club from Daventry Town. The wind had returned to the hill that Compton Park sits upon, with it ‘helping’ the team attacking the village end, but going almost from corner flag to corner flag as opposed to straight down the pitch. Desborough won the toss and chose to try and use it to their advantage in the first half, with the added bonus that Craig Foxall would be looking into the dropping sun too.

The game got off to a very scrappy start with very little worth a mention in the opening seven minutes as both sides acclimatised to the windy conditions. Dylan Wilson did well on the left wing and Ryan Archer saw a ball into the box cut-out as the Cooks tried to get themselves into the Desborough box. One of the visitor’s staff was shown a yellow card for comments he had made to young referee Edgar Brown, whilst Tom Wakley took a knock to the head, but declined treatment and was able to carry on.

Football-wise, Will Bates played the ball down the right for Elmore who delivered a cross that Aaron Davies headed out, then a lovely ball from Culley sent Adams through on the left, but an offside flag called him back. Sometimes officials get decisions wrong, that’s all I’m saying. Adams played in a free-kick from the right that saw Wilson leap and get a flick header onto, but it was blocked by Joel Konteh in the middle. Liam Boath, the smallest man on the pitch by quite a way, won a header in the middle that Foxall saved, but the flag was up for offside anyway, then good link-up play between Konteh and Tom Gudyer caused us some problems, but the final ball was not as good as the build-up play was.

A great move from the Cooks saw Adams find Dan Mortimer on the overlap and played a good low ball into the middle that was cut out by a defender. Adams crossed it back in and Wakley won his header, but he couldn’t get enough behind it with two red shirts on him and it went safely through to Chris Jones in the Desborough goal. Konteh lifted a good ball over the Cooks defence for Jake Bettles to run on to, but he fired it first time well over the top from what was a very good position in the centre. Wilson won a corner from a good pass from Bates, but the delivery was poor and allowed Desborough to break quickly and Jack Riley brought down his man. It looked a yellow card from where I stood as we had cover behind him, but the referee didn’t agree with me and dug the red card out of his back pocket, leaving us to play for 51 minutes with ten men. Konteh went for goal from the free-kick, even though it must have 45-yards from goal and his effort sailed well over the head of Foxall and then the crossbar, but thankfully not the fence.

A ball lifted into the box held up a little on the wind and Bettles hooked it at goal from the left side of the box on the volley, but he didn’t middle it and it dropped into the waiting hands of Foxall. With just a minute to go until the break the visitors won a corner on the right that we failed to deal with and Barnes Gladman was able to twist and steer the ball across the keeper and past Bates on the goal-line before nestling in the far corner. Less than 30 seconds later the half-time whistle blew and we were just a breath away for going into half-time level and the chance to reshape and re-group whist playing with a man short.


Half-time; Cooks 0 Desborough 1


Elmore was the unfortunate forward player to give way as we adapted to playing with ten men as Ivandro Monteiro took his place at half-time. The Cooks started the second half on the front foot and a great twisting run by Bates saw him get into the box before being tripped, leaving the referee with little option but to award a penalty. Dylan Wilson was as cool as ever as he stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way with his low spot-kick to level things up on 46 minutes. A great run down the right by Wakley saw him cut in and get inside the box and place a well struck shot to Jones’ left, but the keeper did really well to get a touch to it and divert wide of the post for a corner. Adams delivery was met by a defender, but the attempted clearance held up badly in the wind and Wakley met it with a very good first-time effort that flew just the wrong side of the post with the keeper rooted to the middle of his goal.

Culley was caught in possession and owes his skipper Rico Alexander one as he covered and won the ball back with a great piece of defending, then a great run through the centre by Wilson saw him get just inside the box, but Davies just managed to take the ball away from the striker before he could shoot. Jack Norman replaced Culley on 66 minutes just before Desborough went close when Konteh drilled the ball across the face of the goal, but Foxall did really well just inside his 6-yard box as Gladman looked to pounce.

An Adams free-kick from the right after Boath had fouled Wakley drifted straight into the waiting arms of Jones, then Bates blocked an attempted clearance and laid it back to Norman on the edge of the box, but he took a little too long and his shot was closed down. Gladman saw a shot deflect into the air where a Desborough player headed it at goal, but Alexander was on the line to head it away. A Desborough corner was cleared and great control by Bates saw him break clear on the right, but he flashed his shot wide from the corner of the box when I feel a low ball into Wilson would have been the more dangerous option. Veteran midfielder Boath made was for the younger legs of Brooklyn Biddle with 74 minutes played and Desborough had the next effort on target when Foxall held on to a shot fired in from the right side of the box by Bettles.

Wakley did well to win the ball in the middle of the park and he slid it through to Wilson who ran into the box before shooting, but Leo Adams through himself across to block the effort with his leg. The Cooks version of Adams worked the left but couldn’t get the ball over so Mortimer slipped it through for Wakley, but Jones was quickly off his line to claim the ball. Norman won the ball and found Wakley whose first-time shot was saved, then a lovely move from Desborough ended when Tom Gudyer fired wide from the edge of the box. Wakley made a good run that Shaun Archer ended on the edge of the box when he took the ball off his toes, then Wakley robbed Leo Adams just outside the box, but the Desborough defender recovered really well to win the ball back.

Konteh’s shot deflected straight at Foxall, then over-playing at the back saw Ar Tran steal the ball back in a very dangerous position, but Konteh fired over from a great position. Bates won the ball and allowed Adams to whip in a ball that was cut out, but Bates had been caught a minute or so earlier and was subbed off limping, with Chief Boateng taking his place with three minutes remaining. The sub was quickly in the action as he sent over a decent cross from the right that saw Alexander beaten in the air and a great tackle by Monteiro stopped Desborough in their tracks as they broke quickly. My last note was Desborough replacing Gudyer with Joe Buckingham a minute from the end and to be honest I’m not sure he even touched the ball as the ref brought proceedings to an end on 91 minutes.


Before the game we said that this was a game we needed to win and the draw means we have now gone eight games without one, but having played just over 50 minutes with a player less, perhaps we need to bite our lips and look on this as a point gained. The performance was much better than last time out against Potton and the work-rate across the park couldn’t be faulted and perhaps on another day we might have won it with our second half performance, but it’s a point added to our tally and we now prepare for the trip to Eynesbury next weekend and another chance to complete our first league double of the season. My man-of-the-match goes to Will Bates today, whilst I felt Archie Culley was more like the player we know after a little dip in recent games. Tom Wakley also shone even though his significant effort today didn’t quite produce, whilst Craig Foxall and his defence weren’t overly troubled by the Desborough attack. Not a classic by any means, but a decent effort from both teams on a difficult day for playing football. At least the predicted rain held off.


Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Will Bates (sub 12. Chief Boateng 87) 3. Josh Adams 4. Dan Mortimer 5. Jack Riley 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Archie Culley (sub 15. Jack Norman 66) 8. Ryan Archer 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Archie Elmore (sub 16. Ivandro Monteiro HT) 11. Tom Wakley. Sub not used 14. Alex Vaughan.

Red Card; Riley (39)

Desborough; 1. Chris Jones 17. Jack Empson 3. Iain Blaikie 4. Liam Boath (sub 14. Brooklyn Biddle 74) 5. Aaron Davies © 6. Leo Adams 7. Jake Bettles 8. Shaun Archer 9. Barnes Gladman 10. Joel Konteh 11. Tom Gudyer (sub 15. Joe Buckingham 89). Sub not used; 12. Tom Mills.


Referee; Edgar Brown

Assts; Robert Porter & Kevan Atkins.




WHITWORTH Reserves (0) 3 COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (1) 2

W. Russell 18

Reza 89


The Cooks mini-winning streak came to an end in a close 3-2 reverse at local rivals Whitworth. Will Russell had put us ahead on 18 minutes, but the Flourmen hit back strongly after the break before Shad Reza reduced the arrears right a minute from time, but we couldn’t find an equaliser in Wellngborough. It was again a very young Cooks second string with eight of them coming from our U18s squad.



1 –  Ben Smith

2 – Emmanuel Owusu

3 – Ben Short

4 – Aiden Hawes

5 – Nat Allam

6 – Sam Russell ©

7 – Luca Iaciofano

8 – Nick Fleming

9 – Kelvin Gyamfi

10 – Shad Reza

11 – Will Russell

Subs all used;

12 – Andis Vigants

14 – Freddie Shaw

15 – Matt Fletcher


Yellow card; Short.


The next action for any of our teams now is next Saturday as the scheduled Under 18s game against Bedford Town was called off by the visitors earlier today.

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