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Sam Giddens’ late goal appeared to have earned a point for the Cooks, but a wonder-strike from Liam Thirwell snatched all three for the Wakes three minutes from time.

Tuesday 25th April 2023




Giddens 79


Manning 36

Thirwell 87


Att; 14


The Cooks Reserves played their final home game of the season as they entertained Bourne Town who have to be praised for making the long midweek trip with a full bench of subs. The Cooks included first team skipper Paddy Cichosz in their starting eleven but apart from that it was pretty much as you would have expected from the Cooks.

Bourne started brightly and a break down the left saw Joel Manning roll a dangerous ball across the face of the goal, then a strong run by the same player was ended by a timely challenge from Tom North inside the box. A long throw from Tom Mitchell was the first time the Cooks got the ball into the visitors box, but that was headed away by a defender and then Bourne won three corners in quick succession without really troubling the Cooks defence. The first shot of the game came from Ollie Troth who turned just outside the box but fired a couple of yards wide of the target, then a great ball from Harrison Dee to Wakes leading scorer Leon Kavanagh saw him touch the ball past the out-coming Ciaran Wells just inside the box and he played it inside to Tom Edwards, but Cichosz did really well to get across and cover by blocking his shot.

A nice move from the Cooks ended when Sam Giddens ball to Kieron Mobbs through the middle of the box was a little too firm and Wakes’ keeper Kyle Evans got to it first, but it was straight back down the clubhouse end as a good run from Luke Scampion saw him get into the box and force Wells to make a good save with his foot and when the ball broke to Edwards a few yards outside the box to the left, he hit a first time shot that screamed just wide of the target. Aidan Rundel-Muller judged a cross-field ball over the top well and took it down before lifting it across the box to pick out Giddens, but he didn’t get his balance right and sent his cross straight behind for a goal-kick, but at least the Cooks were getting a better share of the attacking play now. Great play by Mason McIlwraith allowed Giddens to break down the left wing before sending over a great low cross that Rundel-Muller just failed to convert as he came in at the far post.

The deadlock was broken on 36 minutes and it was the Wakes who grasped the inititative. It was a good build up to the goal with Ethan Ellison sending in a dangerous low ball from the right side of the box and although Wells made a good reflex save to deny Kavanagh, the ball fell to Joel Manning who smashed it home from close range. The Cooks had just started to get themselves into the game so this was a bit of a blow, but overall the Wakes had been the more dangerous and it would be difficult to make a case against them deserving to be in front. Determination from Edwards inside the box to the right saw him scoop the ball across Wells and it rolled over the goal-line, but he had just failed to keep the ball in and although Bourne were claiming a goal, a goal-kick was awarded to the Cooks. North played a good ball up to Dan Webb inside the box on the left and he fired an early shot over the angle of post and bar with what proved to be the final chance of the first-half.


Half-time; Cooks 0 Wakes 1


One change for the Cooks at the break as Lee Felgate came on for Mitchell with North being pushed up into midfield. A lovely ball from Liam Thirwell put Kavanagh clear and he coolly slotted home from inside the box, but the flag had been raised for offside, then Wells had to be strong as North diverted a cross into the air and the Cooks keeper took the ball over the head Kavanagh with the Bourne striker coming off worse from the coming together. Andrews had to head out a dangerous cross for a corner, then Wells made a good save to deny Edwards who had fired in a shot from the left of the box that was bound for the far corner.

Edwards was causing a few issues for the Cooks defence and he again tested Wells with a powerful strike just under bar height that the keeper got his hands to and caught at the second attempt. Ellison looked like he should have doubled the Wakes lead when he found himself with the ball at the back post, but he placed his shot straight across the goal and wide. Andrews defended well as English received the ball into his feet on the edge of the box and then down the other end Wakes keeper Evans picked up a through ball just outside his area and their club linesman flagged for a free-kick. (It is fairly unusual for a non-neutral linesman to award something like this against his own team, but the Bourne flagman was extremely fair and spot on with his decisions). The keeper was shown the yellow card by referee Simon Cheney and when North sent the free-kick over to the back stick, Felgate wasn’t too far away from getting his head on to it.

Ian Adcock brought on James Hine for Webb on 71 minutes with the sometimes keeper/centre-back now taking on a role up front for the Cooks. A great cross by Rundel-Muller saw Hine challenge with a defender on the edge of the 6-yard box, but the ball ran the wrong side of the post for a goal-kick before Mitchell returned to the action in place of Mobbs with 14 minute left to play. The Cooks drew level on 79 minutes and it was Sam Giddens netting his 10th goal of the season. Rundel-Muller intercepted a pass ten yards inside the Bourne half and played the ball into the feet of Giddens 30-yards out and he took a touch before hitting a powerful shot that took a slight deflection before bouncing just in front of the keeper and crashing into the back of the net.

Mobbs returned after a refreshing three minute break with McIwraith going off and then Hine made a strong run to take the ball into the box but was disposed before he could forge a shooting chance. Wells came quickly out of his area to sweep after George Warrington had played the ball through looking for Edwards, but Wells could do nothing in the 87th minute as Bourne retook the lead with the ‘goal-of-the-season’. The ball fell to Thirwell a good 35-yards out and the Wakes skipper hit it on the volley and with the keeper off his line, the ball flew over his head and dropped just under the bar to hit the back of the net. Wells made a good save a minute or so after the goal as Bourne looked for a third, while a good move from the Cooks saw Mobbs deliver a great cross from the right that Hine met just beyond the far post, but he could only cushion his header straight into the waiting arms of Evans.

Bourne got there revenge on the two defeats Cooks had inflicted on them earlier in the season and from the reaction of some of their players, especially Troth, you would think they had just sealed the title rather than won a typical end of the season game that left them in 12th spot, two below the Cooks.

The action is far from over for the Cooks and they continue the run-in with a trip to Kempston Rovers on Thursday night.


Cooks; 1. Ciaran Wells 2. Sam Harris 3. Tom Mitchell (sub 12. Lee Felgate ht) 4. Luke Andrews 5. Tom North 6. Mason McIlwraith (sub 7. Mobbs 79) 7. Kieron Mobbs (sub 3. Mitchell 76) 8. Paddy Cichosz 17. Dan Webb (sub 14. James Hine 71) 10. Aidan Rundel-Muller 11. Sam Giddens. Subs not used; 9. Lee Saving 15. Mirzan Noka 16. Ian Adcock.


Wakes; 1. Kyle Evans 2. Ethan Ellison 3. Ollie Troth 4. Harrison Dee 5. Liam Thirwell © 6. Luke Glover 7. Luke Scampion 8. Dan Richards 9. Leon Kavanagh 10. Joel Manning 11. Tom Edwards.  Subs; 12. Jacob Large 14. George Warrington 15. Finley Sewell 16. Dan Ketteringham 17. Ben Romaine.

Yellow card; Evans (67) Handball outside the area.

Referee; Simon Cheney.


Thanks once again to Finbarr Carroll for the photo gallery.

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