Despite being 2-0 down, the Cooks showed great spirit to come back and beat the league’s in form team at Compton Park.
Wednesday 5th April 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 3 DESBOROUGH TOWN (1) 2
24 hours is certainly a long time when it comes down to the weather as the chilly but dry night watching the Reserves was replaced by mild but miserable drizzly evening as we welcomed in-form Desborough Town to Compton Park, a team that has won their previous five games. The two teams only met 11 days ago in the reverse fixture, but both Scott Carlin and Jim Le Mesurier made changes to their starting line-ups from the game at Waterworks Field. Ben Gough and Perry Ronayne both returned to fill the centre-back positions, Josh Jones was handed a start in midfield and Bailey Weatherly returned from his four game ban. Luca Purse dropped out as he recovers from minor surgery on his toe. Ar Tarn gave starts to Lewis McClean, Kye Little and Finlay Shorrock who had all been on the bench in their 1-0 win over us.
Jones had a shot inside the first minute for the Cooks, but his 25-yarder was off target, then Little had a shot blocked and the ball fell to Courtney Lashley well outside the box and he hit it first time on the volley. The ball seemed to originally flying towards the centre of the goal, but a late swing and dip saw it sail beyond the reach of Ash Bodycote and into the keeper’s top left-hand corner. 1-0 to the visitors with just 5 minutes played. Rico Duggan drilled a free-kick into the box that Bodycote caught comfortably, then Paddy Cichosz played a lovely ball to pick out Jessi Obeng inside the box on the left and he stepped inside to hit a low shot that looked like it was going to squeeze under the body of Adam Honour, but the keeper managed to stop its progress.
A slip by Gough saw Duggan go for goal from 25-yards, but his shot flew over the bar and then former Cooks man Archie Elmore’s shot from the edge of the box took a heavy deflection off a defender to go wide for a corner. Serial hand-baller Blaikie used his mitt again to steer the ball away from Gough, only this time he wasn’t shown the yellow card, Jules was called onto the pitch to treat Bruce Tsinosis after he came off worse following a fifty-fifty challenge, but thankfully he was ok to continue, albeit with a bit of a limp that he soon ran off. A nice exchange of passes just didn’t come off for the visitors inside the Cooks penalty area, then Tsinosis had a rare shot with the ball looping into the air to the left-side of the box where Obeng fired in a shot that Desborough blocked. The Cooks quickly won the ball back and Louis Barrett flew past McClean on the right before sending in a low cross that Honour took well. Alex Parkes won a corner with a curling deep cross, but the Cooks couldn’t make it count and the visitors took their early lead into the break on what had been a pretty dull first-half that had matched the weather tonight.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Ar Tarn 1
It was as you were as the second-half got underway, but the Cooks had come out with renewed energy much as they had done eight days previous in Coventry. Weatherly forced Honour to stretch to his right to save a well-struck shot from just outside the box inside the first few seconds, then Obeng worked hard against two Desborough defender’s inside the box and tried to back-heel the ball past Honour, but the keeper stopped it with his legs and his defence cleared the ball away from the danger area. Obeng nutmegged the first defender to make a run on the left, but strong defending from Ar Tarn skipper Aaron Davies stopped him getting in a cross. Pharrell Anderson sent a curling effort over the top from the right before we saw the first substitutions of the game with Ethan Lack replacing Jones for the Cooks and Duggan coming off for the visitors with Alvin Magagada taking his place.
A clever back-heel from Parkes sent Tsinosis on the overlap and his cross went behind and even though it did appear to have taken a touch off Shorrock, referee Oliver Hollyoak awarded a goal-kick. Desborough doubled their lead very much against the run of play on 58 minutes, but it was a real beauty. Iain Blaikie played a good ball into the box and Magagada steered it home on the volley giving Bodycote no chance of keeping it out of his net. Lovely pass topped off by a great finish. That was on 58 minutes, but 60-seconds later the Cooks had pulled one back with another great goal, this one being a solo effort. Barrett received the ball to his feet on the right and he jinked past a couple of defenders to cut inside before placing a low shot across Honour and into the far corner for his fifth goal of the season to pull the Cooks right back into the game.
Elmore brought down Weatherly 25-yards from goal in a central position and although Gough hit the initial free-kick into the wall, he met the rebound perfectly and sent the ball back with a low first time shot that hit the back of the net before the keeper could even move. Another great finish and it was now 2-2 with 62 minutes gone. Both teams made changes with Luca Miller coming on for Elmore and shortly afterwards the Cooks replaced Weatherly with Jamie Hall. Cogenhoe continued to press now and on 71 minutes they took the lead for the first time in the game, with sub Hall the hero as he turned in the centre of the box and wrong-footed the keeper with his shot that went in off the post. He has missed a few chances lately, so it was really good to see him make this one count as the Cooks came from two down to lead 3-2 in the space of thirteen minutes.
Aiden Bradshaw came on for McClean before the restart, but it was the Cooks who were buzzing now with Obeng feeding Hall inside the box on the right and his shot was blocked by a defender with the frustrated Obeng having got himself into a great position in the centre waiting for a return pass that didn’t come. Tsinosis picked up a yellow card after fouling his man in the centre of the park. Not the worse foul I have seen, but it came on the back of a couple of warnings for previous indiscretions. Biff was taking no chances now so he subbed him off and brought on Dalton Leon before Desborough could take their free-kick. The game had calmed down now after that period of four goals in fourteen minutes, but that suited the Cooks as they had turned the game on its head. Bodycote got down to take a low Blaikie cross from the by-line and late subs saw former Cooks player Adam Randall replaced by another ex-Cook in Will Russell, while Kieron Mobbs was given a run out in place of Anderson. Mobbs sent over a good cross from the right, but Hall was beaten in the air by Davies and the referee soon brought the evening to a close with his final whistle.
The Cooks achieved something that no other club had done since February, defeated Desborough Town. The game will live in the memory mainly for that crazy fifteen minute spell in the second half, but the Cooks showed great character to come back from two goals down against a team who had been flying of late. My man-of-the-match today goes to Louis Barrett, although substitute Ethan Lack really sparked a change for the Cooks in the second-half and deserves a mention.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Alex Parkes 3. Bruce Tsinosis (sub 15 Dalton Leon 75) 4. Josh Jones (sub 12. Ethan Lack 52) 5. Ben Gough 6. Perry Ronayne 7. Louis Barrett 8. Paddy Cichosz © 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 16. Kieron Mobbs 62) 10. Bailey Weatherly (sub 20. Jamie Hall 64) 11. Jessi Obeng.
Yellow card; Tsinosis (74) Foul.
Desborough; 1. Adam Honour 2. Courtney Lashley 3. Lewis McClean (sub 12. Aidan Bradshaw 72) 4. Kye Little (sub 15. Billy Tebbatt 75) 5. Aaron Davies © 6. Liam Honour 7. Archie Elmore (sub 16. Luca Miller 62) 8. Adam Randall 9. Iain Blaikie 10. Finlay Sharrock 11. Rico Duggan (sub 14. Alvin Magagada 52).
Referee; Oliver Hollyoak
Assts; Chris Coles & Gary Halliday.