Plenty to be optimistic about as we get our first glimpse of the new signings.
Monday 28th June 2021
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 v BEDFORD (1) 1
Cooks; Josh Adams.
After what feels like an eternity, we finally saw football return to Compton Park as Spartan South Midlands League club Bedford visited us for the opening pre-season friendly of the season and the start of a new era with Craig Adams at the helm. Thankfully the storms originally predicted by the Met Office had now disappeared off the radar and we were left with a pleasant but overcast evening with the earlier rain having left the pitch with a little bit of zip on the surface.
Adams had a squad of 20 players at his disposal, so it was 45 minutes for all but two of them which is probably ideal for the first action of the season, even more so considering the length of the break this year. Dylan Wilson looks hungry for goals and opened up a few opportunities for the Cooks in the first half with a couple of decent efforts just off target, one via a deflection off a defender. Jack Daldy forced a save with a good effort, then he set up Troy Johnson on the edge of the box and his powerful first time strike was inches over the bar.
Wilson fired wide from a good position after beating his man inside the box before he was just too high with an effort after great work from Johnson. Whilst the Cooks started the brighter of the two, this was a pretty even game and Bedford created some chances of their own and will probably be a little disappointed not to have converted one of them, the best being a header that clattered the bar before Craig Foxall made a good save from the rebound and then the loose ball was pull across the goal and wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat. It was the visitors who struck first though when we were caught napping form a free-kick just outside our box on the left. It was taken quickly and rolled across our box leaving the man at the far post with a simple finish with what proved to be the last touch of the first half.
All change at the break with only keeper Foxall playing the full ninety, while Tom Wakley was the only outfield player not to come off, but he made way for the returning Harry Arundel around the hour mark. Archie Elmore looked lively from the whistle as the Cooks again started the half brightly and they only had to wait six minutes before drawing level with a peach of a finish by Josh Adams. A throw on the right was controlled by our trialist on the night and he sent over a great cross that Wakley challenged for in the air. The ball skimmed off the centre-backs head to find Adams behind him. The youngster’s first touch was superb and it took him past his man before calmly beating the keeper from just outside the 6-yard box. (Visit John Colvin’s U-Tube channel if you missed the goal).
Both sides had spells of the action with the game played at a pace not usually seen in the first friendly of the season. The returning Anton Urso impressed in midfield throughout the half and his best move came after winning the ball deep inside his own half and playing it up to Elmore who held up play nicely before slipping the ball into the path of Urso’s run, but unfortunately his first time shot from the edge of the box was wide of the target.
Bedford had a very good spell towards the end of the game and our defence threw their bodies on the line to protect their goal, while Foxall was solid behind them when called upon, with one very good block as he slid out at the striker’s feet to take the ball cleanly. Referee Joe Woolmer called time on the game with honours even at 1-1, but it’s not results that count so much in these early games.
It was a pretty decent game on reflection with two useful teams going through their first paces of the season and we would like to thank Bedford for taking this game on and wish them all the best for the coming season. Both sides played some good football and kept hold of the ball well whilst Craig Adams will be starting to think about formations, but this was more about getting some match action into those legs as a number of the players begin to get to know each other.
Next up is the first run out for Reserves followed by the first team again as we host Milton Keynes Irish in a double header on Saturday.