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After the excitement of Tuesday night, the Cooks were way off their best as Yaxley deservedly took all three points.

Saturday 9th March 2023





Gomes 46

Muzychuk 62


Att; 49


With 27k running already under my belt this week, I unilaterally decided a bit of a lie-in had been earned and with Jan (wife) not well and staying in bed and Meg (cat) snuggled up next to me, I missed the sunniest part of the day by falling back to sleep. Breakfast became a sleepy brunch and I set off for the game in good time. However, the next clue to how my day was going to go was when I came across a road closure near Gayhurst that sent me back towards Newport Pagnell and finally into the queue to get through Olney. Trying to take the shortcut past the Green Cemetery to Yardley Hastings, I discovered that was closed too, but I eventually arrived at Compton Park ready for duty on what was now a cloudy afternoon with the wind whipping down from the hills and into the faces of the hardy souls sat in the stand. (Nice to see you back at the club Maurice, hope you didn’t get too cold in there).

Scott Carlin made two changes to his starting line-up from Tuesday night with the available again Dom Wysocki and Tejan Thomas starting, meaning Sonny Knights and Jamari Hart dropped down to the bench replacing the Cobblers teenage pair of Josh Rayfield and Matty Ireland. Congratulations to Matty on passing his driving test in the week, but commiserations on missing the Cobblers 0-3 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers today after taking an elbow to the face in training this week. Hope you are back fit and playing again soon. The only other change for the Cooks saw Dalton Leon make a welcome return after missing the last few weeks through injury and he took the place of Takula Chijota on the bench.

Yaxley manager Simon Roberts (nice to meet you today) made one change from the side that flattened Desborough 4-0 last time out with Harvey Henderson joining his twin brother Finlay in the defence with assistant-manager Wilkins Makate resuming his pitchside duties. There were a couple of changes to his subs too with veteran Mark Baines and Sam Adams coming in for new-signing Connor Pilbeam and Sam Buckland.

As stated before, the wind was blowing across the pitch with just the slightest of advantages going to the team kicking towards the car park end, and that fell to Yaxley for the first-half. Both sides were taking time to adjust to the conditions as the game got off to a slow start, but the visitors had the first effort at goal when Aleksandr Muzychuk lifted a decent effort over the head of John Meadows with the ball landing on the top of the net from just outside the box. Jack Connor went for goal from 25-yards out after making good ground through the centre, but his shot was well over the top of Quincy Shorunmu’s crossbar, then Brad Ilunga lifted the ball over the top for Paddy Cichosz to chase inside the Yaxley penalty area, but he was pulled up for a foul on Finlay Henderson as he made his challenge. Muzychuk, who had scored in the first game, was looking dangerous and he reacted to a long ball on the edge of the box with a powerful volley that forced a decent save from Meadows who got back to his feet quickly to collect the loose ball. Nice play from Matty Harris-Hercules set up a run for Muzychuk inside the box on the right and he sent in a dangerous low ball that Ilunga cut out at the expense of a corner. Harley Mallard headed this one clear and also did well to get his head to another decent cross into the danger area moments later, while two defenders combined for the Cuckoos with Robertson playing a lovely ball into the box that Finlay Henderson stretched to get his foot too just outside the 6-yard box, but the ball went just over the bar.

Harris-Hercules (who incidentally has a new single out this week as Hercules) got himself clear of his marker inside the box, but Meadows was quickly off his line to narrow the angle and saved his initial shot, while recovering quickly to frustrate his again from the rebound, with Ilunga blocking the third effort on the line allowing Keiron Mobbs to finally get the ball away to safety. Callum Farmer saw his free-kick headed out, but it fell to Bailey Weatherly a few yards outside the box, but his touch wasn’t quite what he had hoped for and he snapped at his shot endangering the passing helicopter more than it did Shorunmu’s goal. Weatherly was sent to the sinbin on 36 minutes after disputing a free-kick decision leaving us to see the half out a man short and as a result the Cooks boys did their best to consume as much time as possible in the latter stages of the half. Wysocki battled for the ball on the left and Thomas took it on before sending in a low cross that the Cuckoos defence got away, then the final shot of the half came down the other end where Kellan Hickinson’s effort from the edge of the box was dealt with comfortably by the safe hands of Meadows.

So, we headed into the break with the scores level at 0-0 with Meadows far the busier of the two keepers, but it wasn’t a memorable half with the wind playing a big part so far.




Thomas had been struggling for the last few minutes of the first-half and it was no surprise when he didn’t return for the second, so Knights came back into the team hoping to carry on from where he left off against Aylestone Park on Tuesday night. Yaxley had been guilty of playing the ball in the air a little too much in the first-half, but there was none of that when Harvey Henderson played a great low ball through the Cooks defence to send Julinho Gomes racing clear and when Meadows came out of his area to attempt to sweep, the Yaxley man took the ball around him and rolled it into the empty net within a minute of the restart.

Hickinson made a good run on the left before finding Muzychuk inside the box and when the striker was closed down, he played it back to Hickinson who saw his close-range shot blocked by Mallard. Connor played in a low ball from the right that Shorunmu got to before it could reach Wysocki, then Fayed Rahman made a run before playing the ball into the feet of Lil Francisco inside the box who in turn played clever ball across the area only for Earl Atat to clear the danger. Connor, who had been warned for leaving his foot in a minute previous, picked up a yellow card for a foul 55 minutes and he was joined in the book by his gaffer seven minutes later as the game went through an even scrappier period.  The game came back to life in the move following Biff’s yellow card when the ball was played into the box and after a slice, was allowed to bounce giving Muzychuk time to hook the ball home and double the visitor’s lead.

Knights was shown the yellow card after committing a foul just outside the box, but Meadows saved the ensuing Hickinson free-kick without breaking into a sweat. Four subs in one followed on 66 minutes with two-apiece for Biff and Robbo. Wysocki and Farmer coming off for the Cooks as Hart and Dex Nkrumah entered the fray, while veteran Baines (must be old enough to be the father of all the Cooks players, although it must be said that none of them look like him, so no paternity tests are required) and Jezz Goldson-Williams came on for Rahman and Ashton Haslam. (Another footnote, this is Fayed Rahman and he is the elder brother of Faris who played for the Cooks and I got this wrong in my report on the game at Leading Drove. My excuse is they are both known as ‘Faz’ by their teammates).

Harvey Henderson picked up a yellow card after 71 minutes for a foul wide on the Cooks right, while Weatherly was fouled a few inches outside the box wide on the left and he tried to curl the free-kick into the far top corner, but couldn’t bring his effort down quick enough and it went a foot over the bar. Efraim Romanos was booked by referee Darren Lander on 75 minutes for a foul which was a little harsh in my view as it had appeared to be 50/50 in the challenge. Originally I thought it was going to be a sinbin for his dissent, but by the fact he stayed on the field it must have been for the ‘foul’. More subs followed as Cichosz made way for the returning Leon on 78 minutes and less than sixty seconds later Yaxley swapped goalscorer Muzychuk and Harris-Hercules for Ashton Haslam and number 27 Sam Adams. Not sure if they are squad numbers as he did wear this shirt in the first game, but I noticed that Gomes had gone from number twenty to the more sober number seven shirt this time.

Changes done, Hart played the ball into the feet of Connor on the edge of the box and he turned to hit a shot that was blocked as it left his boot, while down the other end Goldson-Williams met Haslam’s cross beautifully on the volley, but his effort was ruled out by the assistant referee’s offside flag. Cogenhoe’s final change saw Sharma Bako replace Weatherly for the final seven minutes of normal time, but the Cooks were already looking like a beaten side, although they were about to have their best moment of the game. A great touch from Nkrumah to Hart on the right saw him deliver a pinpoint cross that Connor met with a great header that had goal written all over it, but the legend that is Quincy Shorunmu had different ideas as he got his now not so slender frame across to make a fabulous one-handed save. Almost 1-2, but seconds later we were staring down the barrel of going three behind after Knights forgot the golden rule of standing up in the penalty area as he brought down his man to concede a penalty. Hickinson had decided he was going to take it and pretended not to hear the shouts from his management team that it should be given to Haslam and I doubt they were overjoyed when Hickinson hit it low to Meadows right only for the Cooks keeper to get his hand to it and turn it on to the post and back across goal to safety. Robertson was booked for a foul as the clock reached 90 minutes and although Nkrumah’s free-kick was headed behind for a corner, time had run out on what is arguably the Cooks worst performance for many months. Emotions were high as the players came off the pitch with a couple of them angered by something Biff had said, but thankfully nothing violent as the officials watched on wondering what this was all about.


It would appear that my lethargic morning had passed on to the Cooks players today in a well-below par performance that may persuade Biff to make a few changes for the March Town game this midweek. Yaxley, not at their best themselves today, were worthy winners and move above Newport Pagnell into sixth spot and ironically, we could do them a favour on Wednesday as March are the team between them and the play-offs as they look to catch up the seven points in the run-in. Good luck to the Simon Roberts and his team for the rest of the season.

Cooks man-of-the-match today goes to keeper John Meadows who without we could have been looking at a much higher margin of defeat today and lets hope we can put this ‘bad day at the office’ behind us on Wednesday night.


Next up as previously mentioned is a rare Wednesday night game here at Compton Park when fifth placed March Town United come to Compton Park, kick-off 7-45 pm.


Cooks; 1. John Meadows 2. Earl Atat 3. Keiron Mobbs 4. Callum Farmer (sub 14. Dex Nkrumah 66) 5. Brad Ilunga 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Dom Wysocki (sub 16. Jamari Hart 66) 8. Paddy Cichosz (sub 17. Dalton Leon 78) 9. Jack Connor 10. Bailey Weatherly (sub 16. Sharma Bako 83) 11. Tejan Thomas (sub 12. Sonny Knights ht),

Yaxley; 30. Quincy Shorumnu 2. Harvey Robertson 3. Lil Francisco 5. Finlay Henderson © 6. Harvey Henderson 7. Julinho Gomes (sub 17. Ashton Haslam 79) 9. Aleksandr Muzychuk (sub 14. Jazz Goldson-Williams 65) 10. Matt Harris-Hercules (sub 27. Sam Adams 79) 11. Kellan Hickinson 12. Fayed Rahman (sub 8. Mark Baines 66) 19. Efraim Romanos. Sub not used; 16. Loui Catt.

Referee; Darren Lander Assts; Kevan Atkins & Ian Brown.




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