Histon came on top in the first of the four day double-header.
Tuesday 7th March 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 0 HISTON (2) 3
Scott Carlin made one change to his starting line-up from the team that won 8-2 at Long Buckby on Saturday as the fit again Ben Gough came in at centre-back in place of Harley Mallard as they played host to a very much in form Histon who were looking to make it six wins on the spin. One other major change saw Finbarr Carroll take over the lens duties as I forgot to put my camera in the car before I set off to work in the morning, so a big thank you is earned to Fin for answering my late phone call and coming to the rescue. There was another familiar face at Compton Park in former Cooks keeper Tomasz Sawicki who is probably the tallest assistant referee I have ever seen.
Tommy Curry broke down the left in the opening seconds with Sam Collison blocking his cross from the by-line, then we saw out first glimpse of Max York’s long throw, but the flick on in the box took the ball over the bar. Much to the frustration of Fin, the opening ten minutes seemed to be played on the stand side of the pitch with the players appearing camera shy tonight. A quick break down the left by Histon saw Dan Brown send over a cross that Connor Barnes met with a looping header that landed on the roof of the net, then a nice ball from Gough gave Harry Waple-Moors a chance to break into the box, but York defended the situation well and put the ball out for a corner that Alex Parkes swung in, but Sam Roach punched it away in his 6-yard box.
Gough launched a throw into the box that Histon skipper Oliver Brookes headed away totally unchallenged, then Paddy Cichosz won the ball in the middle of the Histon half, only to put too much on his pass to Curry on the left, but the Cobblers youngster just managed to keep it in and whip over a cross from the by-line, but he had no chance of picking out a man in the middle and the ball was cleared. The visitors opened the scoring on 18 minutes with an excellent finish by Max York. A second successive corner saw Towner get his head to the ball and it fell to York beyond the far post and he reached out to hit it on the volley giving Ash Bodycote little chance of keeping it out of his net.
A great touch by Curry saw Waple-Moors sweep the ball to the right to Bailey Weatherly who cut past one man and skipped by another before hitting a shot that Roach got down well to save. The Cooks were turning up the pressure and Curry sent over a cross from the left that Waple-Moors was going for when he appeared to be pushed by Brookes and referee Jamie Stevenson pointed to the spot. Waple-Moors claimed the ball and fired the penalty kick to the keeper’s right, but Roach guessed correctly and got his hand to the ball for a very good save to keep his team’s lead intact with 23 minutes played. (This was the Histon keeper’s fourth successive penalty save which is a very impressive record at any level). A hand-ball on the edge of the box saw Jessi Obeng hit a low shot straight at the wall, then down the other, Brown was falling back when he hit a shot from inside the box and Bodycote saved his effort comfortably. Babacar Camara robbed Parkes just inside the Cooks half and Brown fed Barnes who looked to be getting into a great position when Perry Ronayne came across to cover and put the ball out for a throw. York launched it into the box and Brown hit it on the turn forcing Bodycote to get down well and make a fine save, then a cross by Harry Meats fell nicely for Barnes in the middle of the box, but he put his shot straight at Bodycote who caught it comfortably at head height. An up and under from York bounced on the edge of the box and Bodycote had to come off his line to catch the ball above the head of Ryan Towner just before Jessi Obeng made a run down the right before whipping in a cross that Roach got his hands to just under bar height at his near post with Curry pouncing on the loose ball, but putting his shot just wide of the far post. Despite looking like they could equalise at any moment, it was the Stutes who extended their lead on 45 minutes, although we played a big part in our own downfall. Parkes tried to steer the ball wide to Bruce Tsinosis, but instead he found the feet of Barnes who drove forward before slipping the ball to Dexter Todd who, completely unmarked, placed his shot past Bodycote from the edge of the box.
There is never a good time to concede a goal, but right on half-time after playing well was going to be a tough one to talk about at the break.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Stutes 2
The second half finally got underway at 8-55, with some of the games I had been following on Twitter already ten minutes into their respective second halves. Histon started out on the front foot without creating anything clear-cut, but the game took a turn on 53 minutes. Weatherly went into a contested 50/50 with Charlie Tunnell in front of the dug-outs and the Stutes player came off worse with referee Jamie Stevenson immediately reaching into his back pocket for his red card. As I say it looked like a 50/50 from where I stood on the opposite side with players in between the incident and myself, but the ref was much closer and viewed it to be reckless. 0-2 down and now with a man short, this was going to be a big ask against one the better teams in the league. Before play restarted the referee called for the ball and Andy Batty kicked it to him. The referee, decided that this was a case of intentionally kicking it at him and produced his red card again.
Barnes was booked for kicking the ball away after being flagged offside, it must have been a very tight call though. Cichosz went for goal from a 25-yards from a direct free-kick, but it lacked the power needed to trouble Roach and then we saw the first changes as Carlin brought on Louie Barrett and Pharrell Anderson for Waple-Moors and Obeng with just over half-an-hour left to play. Brookes dinked a ball into the box that Barnes controlled beautifully on his chest before hooking his volley wide, then a great interchange between Barnes and Towner inside the box saw the former fire a shot into the side-netting with a corner being awarded.
The game went beyond Cogenhoe’s reach on 65 minutes when Camara was left in way too much space 20-yards from goal and he fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner to make it three-nil to the visitors. Anderson was causing problems with his pace down the left and timing his run to perfection, he burst clear and reached the box, but his pull-back looking for Curry was put behind its intended target and a great chance had gone begging for the Cooks. Biff made another change as Parkes made way for Dalton Leon on 70 minutes and Lance Key made a double change at the same time with Marcus Cole and Ryan Henry coming on to the pitch.
A poor backward pass by Cichosz put Towner through on goal, but Tsinosis came across to challenge on the edge of the box. From where I stood it looked like a foul, but he had taken the ball before the man and the referee awarded a corner to the visitors and he was definitely closer than me. Bodycote caught the corner-kick comfortably inside his 6-yard box. Biff replaced Curry with Luca Purse who returned from suspension on 75 minutes, assumedly steadying the ship as the eleven men pushed for a fourth. York played a good ball in from the right that Henry flicked at goal, but Josh Adams did well to block his effort behind for a corner. Histon brought on Scott Finley and Ben Hurrion in quick succession just before a good chance fell to Barnes inside the box, but he failed to get a connection. The last subs came on 83 minutes with Cichosz getting a rest as Callum Farmer was given a run out and Luke Lindsay came on for the Stutes. Bodycote had a routine save from Barnes’ 25-yard effort, then after the advantage had been played, Lindsey blazed over the top. A great counter attack from the Cooks saw Barrett send Anderson into the box, but an unfortunate double-touch saw the ball roll away from him and through to the keeper. A great free-kick drilled in from the right by Adams saw Purse go for a header at the far post, but he just failed to get a touch and that was that on a frustrating night for the Cooks.
A very entertaining first-half, but once the Cooks had been reduced to ten men, it was always going to be Histon’s night. Three major turning points in the game, the penalty miss, the mistake for the second goal right on half-time and the red card for Bailey Weatherly. We did make a few too many mistakes tonight in all honesty, but it certainly wasn’t the worst performance I have seen from the Cooks, so it’s a case of brushing ourselves down and concentrating on making sure The Stutes don’t make it seven on the spin at Bridge Road on Saturday afternoon in the reverse fixture.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Bruce Tsinosis 3. Josh Adams 4. Alex Parkes (sub 15. Dalton Leon 70) 5. Perry Ronayne 6. Ben Gough 7. Tommy Curry (sub 20. Luca Purse 75) 8. Paddy Cichosz © (sub 14. Callum Farmer 83) 9. Harry Waple-Moors (sub 12. Pharrell Anderson 61) 10. Bailey Weatherly 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 16. Louie Barrett 61).
Red card; Weatherly 53 (foul)
Histon; 1. Sam Roach 2. Sam Collison (sub 17. Scott Finley 79) 3. Charlie Tunnell 4. Ryan Towner 5. Max York 6. Oliver Brookes © 7. Dan Brown (sub 14. Marcus Cole 70) 8. Harry Meats (sub16. Ben Hurrion 80) 9. Connor Barnes 10. Babacar Camara (sub 12. Luke Lindsey 83) 11. Dexter Todd (sub 15. Ryan Henry 70).
Yellow card; Barnes (57) Kick the ball away.
Referee; Jamie Stevenson
Assts; Tom Brentnall & Tomasz Sawicki
Photos supplied by Finbarr Carroll.