Saturday 25th November 2023
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED V LEICESTER NIRVANA
KO 3 PM
The Cooks renew acquaintances with our old friends Leicester Nirvana for the first time since for three years after they were switched by the F.A to the then newly formed north half of the UCL Premier Division before finding themselves switched back this summer. They haven’t enjoyed their return so far though as they sit at the bottom of the table six points adrift of nineteenth placed Desborough although they do have two games in hand. The season started really well for them with a point at Easington followed by a 2-1 victory over Rugby Borough under the Hamilton Park lights, but things haven’t gone their way since and this remains their only league win as we head into the last game of November. They have been successful in three cup ties, but they needed penalties in all these so that Rugby win is the only one achieved in the ninety minutes this season. They did suffer a 4-0 defeat last time out as Sherwood Colliery knocked them out of the KO Cup, but recent league form hasn’t seen them particularly struggling as back-to-back 1-0 away defeats followed a 1-1 home draw with Desborough and a very good 3-3 draw with leaders Wellingborough Town, also at Hamilton Park. They have let in five on three occasions, the last one coming at home to fellow strugglers Eynesbury, while other 1-5 reverses came at home to Yaxley four days after a similar defeat in the local derby at Aylestone Park.
While Nirvana’s scheduled game last weekend fell foul to a waterlogged pitch, the Cooks made the short trip to Daventry Town and picked up an excellent point in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Goals from Bailey Weatherly and Luke Bullement had given us a 2-0 half-time lead, but we then found ourselves 3-2 down with less than ten minutes to go when debutant centre-back Brad Ilunga headed home Harley Mallards header across the box to earn a point. One other player who deserves a mention is keeper John Meadows who made a few top-notch saves during the game and played a massive part in us gaining a valuable point on the road.
Just as Cogenhoe have, our guests are much changed from the team that last faced us, but they still have Jordan Nelson on board, a player who has caused us plenty of problems in the past with another familiar face being keeper Jude O’Connor, formally of Rothwell Corinthians. The last time they came here was in September 2020 and the Cooks ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Nat Ansu header on 29 minutes, nipping in front of the keeper to score from a Michael Cirelli corner.
Please note that tomorrow’s game is a 3PM kick-off, but our home games from December to the end of February will all move to 2PM as the club makes the sensible decision to save on the costs of using the floodlights. The away game at Histon next week is also 2pm while our Boxing Day trip to Newport Pagnell has now been confirmed as a 1PM kick-off.