O.Ns boost their hopes of staying up as three second half goals sink the Cooks.
Wednesday 20th April 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 O.N CHENECKS (0) 3
There were two changes to the starting line up as Dan Mortimer and Jessi Obeng stepped up from the bench to replace Jack Riley and the unavailable Josh Adams as we entertained bottom of the table O.N Chenecks who needed to get something from this game to avoid relegation. The visitors included three former Cooks players in their team in penalty-saving king Bradley Lashley, left-back turned midfielder Ross Garlick and forward player Gohkan Ulker.
Tom Wakley and Luca Iaciofano combined to win an early corner for the Cooks that Chenecks skipper Jonny Muddiman headed away, but only as far as Will Bates a few yards outside the box and his first time shot flew well over the bar. Elmore did well down the right and sent across a dangerous low ball, but it was the visitors who so nearly took the lead when Ulker got the better of Alexander inside the box before steering the ball past Craig Foxall at the near post, only to see his effort hit the base of the post and come back into play.
Wakley had the Cooks first shot on target from the centre of the box when he stung the hands of Lashley, just before Obeng whipped in a good cross that was just ahead of Wakley on the edge of the 6-yard box. Lewis Irwin found himself clear through inside the box with only the keeper to beat, but he seemed to hesitate as Foxall narrowed the angle and the striker rolled his shot straight at the Cooks number one. Ryan Archer played the ball up to Iaciofano on the edge of the box and he got a touch in front of his marker to create some space before steering the ball on the volley to Lashley’s left, but the keeper dived across to get a hand to the ball. Wakley was first on to the rebound but could only fire his shot over the bar from the centre of the box.
Dan Mortimer added to his yellow card tally for a foul on 37 minutes, then Bates had a shot blocked by Mitch Sharpe on the edge of the box after Iaciofano had touched on Obeng’s ball in from the right. Ulker was a few feet too high with a direct free-kick just to the left of centre some 25-yards from goal, whilst back down the clubhouse end a quick break saw Wakley’s shot blocked with Iaciofano first to the loose ball to hit it first time, forcing Lashley to stretch up and touch his shot over the bar with his fingertips. The last chance of the half, well half-chance in reality, fell to Ryan Archer when he tried to steer Archie Culley’s corner at goal, but it came to him at an awkward height meaning he couldn’t get his foot over the ball enough and it went over the top.
It had been a pretty close first half with not too much between the two sides. Iaciofano had forced a couple of very good saves out of Lashley, whilst Chenecks had hit the post down the other end and wasted a great chance in a one-on-one situation.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Chenecks 0
Culley swept a nice ball out to Mortimer on the left and he made ground before finding the feet of Elmore on the edge of the box. He was closed down very quickly so gave it to Archer who placed his shot just inside the far post, but Lashley got down and across to push the ball around the post. Alexander threw himself across to block Garlick’s shot after Paddy Cichosz had miss-kicked on the edge of the box as Chenecks visibly upped their game. Archer hit a speculative volley from well outside the box over the top, but the game was about to swing in favour of the league strugglers with two goals inside 60 seconds.
Emmanuel Annan found space inside the penalty area on the right and cut across before picking out Lewis Irwin’s run and the unmarked striker swept the ball home to give Chenecks the lead on 55 minutes. A minute later Irwin turned supplier as he played the ball in low from the left and Gohkan Ulker was unchallenged as he turned the ball in from close range. A disastrous spell for the Cooks, but you have to say that Chenecks deserved their lead as they battled to keep hold of their step five status.
A good Culley corner saw Lashley lose the ball in the air as he jumped with a teammate and although Iaciofano got there first, he couldn’t keep his hooked shot below bar height. Alexander played a long ball up to Wakley but he couldn’t get the ball under on the edge of the box. Iaciofano sent in a great first time cross from the right that picked out Wakley and he met it with a good downward header that Lashley managed to save. I can’t help but think this would have gone in a few weeks ago, but we remained two goals behind.
On 70 minutes Chenecks made the game safe as we conceded three in the second half for the second game running. Ulker sent in a great free-kick from wide on the right and Muddiman ran in completely unchallenged to bury his header past Foxall (I am not certain Muddiman was the scorer as he very quickly mobbed). Sure it was a good set-piece, but he shouldn’t have been that free in our penalty area. The next ten minutes were very scrappy with subs and yellow cards at the forefront. Both Ross Falconer and Ash Ogden were cautioned for the visitors for fouls, then Wakley joined them in the referee’s notebook. Jack Riley came on for the unlucky Iaciofano in a re-shuffle, whilst Chenecks replaced Luke Davis with Ben Jackson in a straight swap.
Irwin saw a decent effort go just over the bar before Alexander was shown the yellow card for tripping Ulker after the Chenecks man had gone by him. Wakley did really well as he was forced to track back deep into his own half to dispossess Ulker as he broke through, with this being the former Cooks man’s last action as he was replaced by Sam Rowley with five minutes left to play.
Cooks very nearly pulled one back through a superb Culley free-kick from around 30-yards out that beat Lashley only to smack the crossbar, whilst Riley became the fourth Cooks player to pick up a yellow card for a very poor challenge five minutes from time. Wakley and Lashley clashed in the air as they both tried to get to a Cichosz free-kick first, but thankfully they both got back to their feet and were able to carry on untreated. The Cooks finally got themselves a goal three minutes into stoppage time when Will Bates tucked a shot home for the edge of the box with a neat finish, but it was a case of too little too late as Chenecks had already wrapped this one up some time ago.
Well done to Chenecks who thoroughly deserved their win tonight and good luck to them at Desborough on Saturday. They never looked like a bottom of the table team and were hungrier, quicker and generally outfought us on the park. It is difficult when you have nothing to play for against a team fighting for their lives, but we were once again very disappointing in the second half and failed to compete for much of it. Tom Wakley and Luca Iaciofano gave their all upfront and on another day they might have both found themselves on the scoresheet, whilst Ryan Archer earns the man-of-the-match for his efforts in the centre of the park. At times we appeared to be going through the motions just waiting for the end of the season to come and if we take this lethargy in to the final game at Lutterworth on Saturday, we could end up on the wrong end of a hammering.
Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Jessi Obeng (sub 14. Luke Andrews 76) 3. Will Bates 4. Dan Mortimer 5. Paddy Cichosz 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Archie Culley 8. Ryan Archer 9. Tom Wakley 10. Archie Elmore 11. Luca Iaciofano (sub 12. Jack Riley 74). Subs not used; 15. Nzube Nwosu 16. James McGrath.
Chenecks; 1. Bradley Lashley 2. Jonny Muddiman ©3. Luke Davis (sub 14. Ben Jackson 77) 4. Ash Ogden 5. Mitch Sharpe 6. Ross Falconer 7. Emmanuel Annan 8. Mike Smith 9. Gohkan Ulker (sub 17. Sam Rowley 85) 10. Lewis Irwin 11. Ross Garlick. Subs not used; 12. Tom Smith 15. Stan Channell 16. Jas Rait.
Referee; Thomas Burt
Assts; Tom Roberts & Gary Halliday