A solid performance by the Cooks was put to the test late on following Luca Purse’s silly sending off, but the boys in blue dug in to take all three points.
Saturday 18th February 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (2) 2 EYNESBURY ROVERS (0) 1
Scott Carlin made two changes from the team that drew with March last week with Bruce Tsinosis swapping roles with Luca Purse at right-back and Pharrell Anderson stepping up from the bench to take the place of the suspended Bailey Weatherly. Lewis Green and Harry Waple-Moors were added to the bench as the Cooks took on in form Eynesbury at Compton Park on a mild, but gloomy mid-February afternoon.
The first five minutes of the game were very scrappy with neither side settling down, but in the 6th minute the Cooks got their noses in front through Paddy Cichosz’s first goal for the Cooks. The Cooks skipper won the ball ten yards inside the Rovers half where he laid it off to Jamie Hall who played a great return ball to his skipper who ran to the edge of the box before sliding in ahead of Dammy Nickles-Benson to steer the ball past Dylan Martin in the visitor’s goal to open the scoring. It was a very well made and equally well taken goal and very much the boost Cogenhoe needed in a tough looking game.
A decent effort by Victor Osobu saw him curl the ball just wide from 25-yards out, then Anderson sent over a good cross from the right that Martin called for, but Nickles-Benson left his keeper stranded by getting his head to it, but luckily for the centre-back the ball looped up in the air and Michael King reacted quickly and got there before Jessi Obeng and cleared his area. Louie Barrett did well on the right but his low cross was cut out before it reached Hall on the edge of the 6-yard box before a good break from Jonny Hall saw him get deep into the Cogenhoe half before finding Tom Rowley and he dinked the ball across for Osobu who played it back to Hall on the edge of the box and the defender met it first time with a well-struck effort that went just over the bar. Hall got up to win an Ash Bodycote drop-kick and Anderson ran on to it in the right corner where he cut back only to have his legs taken from under him by Owen Dunnett. Kyle Ansell’s free-kick was palmed away by Martin, but Obeng was first to the loose ball, but his pass was just behind Hall on the edge of the box and the chance had gone. A lovely ball in from the right by Cichosz aimed at Hall was cut out in the middle by Dunnett with the ball coming off his boot and spinning just wide of the near post and when Ansell sent the corner kick over, Perry Ronayne met it with a spectacular volley that wasn’t too far over the bar.
A good run and pass by Rowley gave Osobu a great chance inside the box on the right, but his first touch wasn’t the best and Alex Parkes nipped in to come away with the ball and avert the danger. Hall hit a snapshot from just outside the box on the right that smacked the thigh of Dunnett and went behind for a corner with the defender hobbling away reminding me of those dimpled balls we had in primary school and the painfully red thigh you took back into class after break had finished. (Only the older readers will know what I mean). After all that, Ansell’s corner was headed away by Nickles-Benson. Hall then broke down the left before pulling the ball back low across the box, but it went right through the danger-zone untouched by anyone from either team. Hall was in the wars minutes later after going in for a challenge and taking a blow to the ribs for which he needed some attention from Jules Baxter before continuing with the game.
Eynesbury were having a bit more of the attacking play now and two corners came to nothing, whilst Ronayne had to win a vital header and Bodycote had to twice come out of his box to sweep following long balls up toward our goal. Barrett chased down a backpass but Martin got there first and launched the ball down the park. Ben Gough just managed to get some of his head onto the ball and Bodycote came out to the edge of his box to claim the ball in the air with Lawrence Hammond challenging. Barrett played a one-two with Tsinosis down the right, but hit his shot was too close to the keeper, then Rovers went close with a good strike by George Hedley from the edge of the box, but although his effort forced Bodycote into a dive, it curled away from the goal late on. A good break through the centre saw Osobu played clear inside the box. Bodycote came off his line to make it tough for the striker and from where I stood it looked like his shot was goal-bound, but it must have been just wide as the net failed to ripple and ball continued beyond the target for a goal-kick.
Half-time; Cooks 1 Rovers 0
As the players came out for the second half, the light drizzle suddenly became a downpour with a majority of the crowd making haste towards the stand. A good run down the right by Osobu resulted in a corner from which it was Hall’s turn to hold his thigh after blocking a fierce strike from Rowley. Obeng won the ball deep in enemy territory and looked to have set up a shooting chance for Parkes on the edge of the box, but the midfielder played it Barrett inside the area on the right and his cross was cut out for a corner. Ansell delivered it and when Gough and Rovers’ Hall challenged for it in the air, it almost dropped for Cogenhoe’s Hall in the middle, but it wouldn’t come down for him and he eventually bundled over his opponent.
Eynesbury looked like they might be about to level things up after Osobu played Rowley clear in the middle of the box, but Tsinosis came from nowhere with a superb challenge to snuff out the danger. Hall then went close as he ran onto the ball inside the box just to the left and hit a powerful shot that Martin tipped over the bar for a corner, but sadly Parkes couldn’t achieve his ambition in the game and didn’t beat the first man on the near post (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you didn’t read the programme).
The Cooks doubled their lead on 59 minutes as the deadly duo of Anderson and Obeng combined yet again. The former picked up play in the middle of the Rovers half to the left and went on a pacy angled run that saw him end up just beyond the right angle of the box before slipping the ball inside to Obeng who took a touch before firing a shot across and beyond the dive of the keeper before finding the far corner. Great finish by Jessi for his 14th goal of the season. Hall made way for Harry Waple-Moors before Eynesbury got the game back underway.
Lucca Agarte was shown the yellow card after tripping Obeng as the Cooks player looked to be getting away from him, then Rovers gaffer Neil Morris made his first changes as Danny Baulk and Kwando Bugyei-Kyei came on with Ugarte and Nickles-Benson going in the opposite direction. A decent turn and shot on the edge of the box by Osobu was blocked, then Carlin made his second change as Barrett made way for Dalton Leon with 68 minutes played. Obeng looked to have lost the ball on the right, but he showed great determination to keep possession before breaking into the box on the right and picking out Leon on the edge of the box, but the sub tried to sweep the ball home first time and his effort was blocked before it reached the keeper. The changes continued as Eynesbury brought on Michael Baulk for Rowley and then Carlin was forced to take off the injured Ansell and brought on Kodi Briggs in a straight swap. Briggs was already coming on but the injury forced a different player to go off.
Bodycote was forced into a save by Hedley from the left of the box and King’s follow up took a deflection wide for a corner. This was won in the air by a Cooks defender, but it fell to Axel Ampedu and his volley was headed off the line by Gough. With nine minutes to go, Carlin made his last changes with Lewis Green replacing Anderson and Purse coming on for Tsinosis. A free-kick from right in front of the away dug-out was sent high into the Cogenhoe box by King, but Bodycote rose to make a clean catch, then Gough won a dangerous cross into the box with his head and when the ball was returned, Briggs did well to get his head onto it at the expense of a corner. It was an excellent delivery this time from the left and King launched himself at it to bury a header at the near post. A couple of Eynesbury players tried to get the ball out of the net to take it back to the centre-spot, but Purse got involved and threw a hand at the head of Michael Baulk who went to ground and referee Brian O’Sullivan had no option but to show the Cooks sub the red card. A totally needless sending off and with two minutes plus stoppage time, we were left to defend against a team who had just scored with a man less. Biff picked a yellow card for a bit of gamesmanship as he tried to take the sting out of the visitor’s new found impetus. Rovers took a throw from the wrong place, but the ref was happy to carry on as they had gone back towards their own goal and that is when the Cooks gaffer threw another ball onto the pitch. For the last seven minutes of the game including stoppage time, we appeared to be about to press the self-destruct button by constantly giving the ball away, but the lads at the back were huge and protected Bodycote’s goal well and it was a big relief when the referee blew the final whistle.
I feel it was a deserved win for the Cooks against an Eynesbury side who have improved dramatically over the last few weeks and our unbeaten run is stretched to four games. The three points lift us above Easington who lost 0-3 at home to Rugby today, whilst Lutterworth were hammered 8-0 at Wellingborough (Will Bates amongst the scorers), Long Buckby went down 2-1 at Desborough and the only team below us to pick up a point was Rothwell Corinthians who drew 1-1 at home to MK Irish. All-in-all a good day for the Cooks.
It was a dogged performance from the Cooks today with the back four superb meaning a fairly quiet afternoon for Ash Bodycote. Alex Parkes and Paddy Cichosz were strong and creative in midfield, but Paul’s man-of-the-match today goes to Pharrell Anderson whose pace, skill and energy gave the visitor’s defence a very tough afternoon.
Looking at the video of the Rovers goal scored by King, he was wearing no. 5 and not 4. as per teamsheet, therefore mentions for King and Dunnett in the report are probably all the other way around. Good luck to Eynesbury for the rest of the season and thanks for a good game today.
The Reserves are at home on Tuesday night as they seek revenge over a Whitworth side who recently beat them 2-1, but the next action for Biff’s boys comes next weekend when we head to Market Deeping, Linfords Fish n Chip shop, The Square Pub and Deeping Rangers Football Club who stand between us and a place in the KO Cup Final.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Bruce Tsinosis (sub 16. Luca Purse 81) 12. Kyle Ansell (sub 3. Kodi Briggs 76) 4. Alex Parkes 5. Perry Ronayne 6. Ben Gough 7. Louie Barrett (sub 15. Dalton Leon 68) 8. Paddy Cichosz © 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 14. Lewis Green 81) 20. Jamie Hall (sub 10. Harry Waple-Moors 81) 11. Jessi Obeng.
Red Card; Purse (88) Violent conduct.
Eynesbury; 1. Dylan Martin 2. Axel Ampedu 3. Jonny Hall 4. Michael King © 5. Owen Dunnett 6. Dammy Nickles-Benson (sub 12. Kwando Bugyei-Kyei 65) 7. Lucca Ugarte (sub 15. Danny Baulk 65) 8. George Hedley 9. Lawrence Hammond 10. Tom Rowley (sub 14. Michael Baulk 73) 11. Victor Osobu. Sub not used; 16. Jonny Butler.
Yellow card; Ugarte (62) Foul.
Referee; Brian O’Sullivan
Assts; Tony Haynes & Wyndham Trusler.