Saturday 16th July 2022
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE F.A HILLIER SENIOR CUP-1ST ROUND
COGENHOE UNITED v AFC RUSHDEN & DIAMONDS
Tomorrow afternoon we see our first ‘competitive’ game of the season as we play host to AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the first round of the revamped NFA Senior Cup. This is a new thing from our county FA as the first round would normally be played in the autumn and they have also changed the rules so you can play even if you aren’t signed on with the club, which to me seems very odd. I’m assuming that this is only for the first round so the bigger clubs can use trialists, but it does leave the window open for players playing for two different teams in the competition and without being considered cup-tied.
For our new manager Scott Carlin he gets to pit his wits against the club he left in the summer after many years coaching the first team at Hayden Road (and the Dog & Duck before that). His opposite number Andy Burgess took over at Diamonds in the latter part of last season after Andy Peaks took on the hot-seat at Tamworth, with the Diamonds just missing out of the play-offs in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Midlands.
Pre-season has been tough so far for Burgess with a draw being followed by three defeats in which they have conceded 16 goals. They started with a trip to Kempston Rovers and despite leading 3-0, they were pegged back to 3-3 before the final whistle. A home game against League One MK Dons ended 0-4, a trip to Stamford saw them pull two late goals back to lose 3-5, then on Tuesday night they hosted Loughborough Students at Moulton College and were beaten 4-1.
The Cooks pre-season has been very different with three 2-1 wins and a 3-3 draw keeping us unbeaten so far, but we know you cannot over-read into these pre-season results and they are more about getting used to playing with new team-mates and getting the bodies fit for the real stuff. Our last game was on Tuesday night and we did appear to be heading for our first defeat as a very young Cooks squad were trailing 1-0 at Rushden & Higham United, but Late goals from Cal Farmer (a screamer from 30-yards out) and a header by Will Bates from Farmer’s corner on 85 and 90 minutes respectively gave us the win.
The Reserves are also in action as they play Wootton St George with a 2pm kick-off at Moulton College. Ian Adcock’s men have suffered defeats in both their first two games so far, 1-3 to St Andrews and 1-4 against AFC Oakley, so they will be keen to notch their first win against Northants Combination team Wootton who are the current NFA Lower Junior Cup holders and finished third in Division One last season.