Hall, Obeng, Purse and Jones were all on target as The Cooks swept away the challenge of The Wrens.
Saturday 8th October 2022
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE SPORTS GROUND DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE CUP – 1ST ROUND
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 4 RAINWORTH MINERS WELFARE (0) 0
Both managers had selection headaches going in to this game for a collection of reasons, with the visitors only having thirteen players available to make the long trip down from Mansfield. For the Cooks, Scott Carlin had Ben Gough and Mitch White away, Regan Saunt injured and Ash Bodycote cup-tied. He has also lost the services of commanding centre-back Brad Marshall and fringe player Louie Martin this week as they have both opted to sign for Spartan South Midlands League Division One strugglers Burton Park Wanderers. Josh Adams wasn’t expected to be able to make kick-off so he dropped to the bench, as did Pharrell Anderson as the gaffer had a look at a front pairing of Jamie Hall and Player-of-the-month for September Jessi Obeng who had been out of the country last weekend. Ciaran Wells stepped up in goal for his first-team debut, whilst Harley Mallard started at the back with Luca Purse and Will Bates. Kodi Briggs played on the left in place of Adams and Josh Jones started in the centre of midfield to complete the changes. Luke McDonald, Alex Parkes and Louie Barrett complete the eleven as they continued from where they left off last week in the centre and on the right respectively. Konnor Dixon appeared for the first time on the bench, alongside Lewis Green and Luke Andrews to make up five with the two already mentioned.
It was a beautiful Sunny day in the village, with just a soft breeze in the air and the Cooks kicked towards the clubhouse end in the first half.
Cogenhoe came out strongly and were looking for the early break that had frustrated them at Easington and got it in the 2nd minute. We had already put plenty of pressure on the Wrens defence before Mallard fed Briggs on the left and although a defender got the initial touch to his cross, Barrett picked up possession and played a great low ball in from the right and Jamie Hall got in front of his marker to fire home from close-range, giving keeper Lewis Scott no chance of keeping it out of his net. The perfect start for the Cooks, but we needed to build on this. Hall got his head to a McDonald free-kick, but it went through to the keeper, then a great first-touch by Briggs was followed by a deft second that took him inside Alex Hardman who, already committed to the tackle, brought him down just outside the box on the left, a few yards in from the goal-line. McDonald’s free-kick was won in the air by a defender and a quick clearance flew towards to Cogenhoe goal with Nathan Benger giving chase, but Barrett played the role of sweeper superbly as he got back to nod the ball into the safety of Wells’ hands.
McDonald played the ball into the feet of Obeng on the edge of the box and he twisted right to lose his man before going past another defender and cutting the ball back to Barrett 15-yards out. He hit it first time with some power, but the ball smacked high up the near post and when it came out to Parkes outside the box, his low shot went a couple of feet the wrong side of the upright. Briggs was tripped again on the left, this time by George Simpson. after Jones had picked him out and this time McDonald’s whipped free-kick was headed wide of the near post by Hall. McDonald won a corner that Briggs sent in, but Scott caught this one at the second attempt. Mallard misplaced a free-kick straight at the feet of Benger just inside the Cogenhoe half and he tried an audacious shot from 50-yards that was well off target. Barrett fired well over from the right side of the Rainworth penalty area after a nice move down the right, then Parkes found Barrett on the right and this time his first-time cross sailed high over everyone’s head and out by the corner flag.
The Wrens were just starting to get a bit of a foot hold in the game after Cogenhoe’s early dominance and Benger hooked over the bar following a corner, but the hosts threatened soon after as Briggs played the ball down the left to Hall who made ground before trying to pick out Obeng in the centre with a low cross, but Luke Thomson was able to cut it out. Briggs fouled Colt Reynolds on the right and Simpson sent in a free-kick that called Wells into action for the first time as he rose to turn the ball behind for a corner with an outstretched arm. Simpson looked for the back-stick with the flag-kick, but it was a little too strong and nobody was able to get near enough to get a touch from either team.
Benger hit a shot from the edge of the box that bounced in front of Wells, but the keeper got his body behind it and held on comfortably, then Jones forced a save out of Scott down the other end with a low shot from just outside the box after a nice lay-off by Obeng. Wells saved from a close-range effort by George Scott after Benger had headed back across the box following a corner, then down the other end a lovely cross from Bates was headed wide by McDonald, but the flag had already been raised as the Cooks skipper had strayed offside. Barrett can consider himself lucky not to have been booked after bringing down Simpson as he chased back after getting caught in possession. then in the final action of the first-half, Scott came out of his box quickly to beat Obeng to a through ball.
A good first-half to watch, but would the Cooks live to regret not taking more than one of their chances so far, especially as Rainworth had begun to get themselves back into the game more as the half wore on.
Half-Time; Cooks 1 Rainworth 0
Cogenhoe started the second half in the same style as they did the first and Hall lifted the ball over the last defender to try and pick out Obeng’s run, but Scott came off his line to claim, but two minutes into the half the Cooks had doubled their lead. Great play on the right from Barrett who went to the line before pulling it back to Jessi Obeng in the centre some 12-yards from goal and he calmly slotted it first time beyond the keeper’s reach to make it 2-0 with his seventh goal of the season.
Another pull-back by Barrett found Obeng on the edge of the area, but he somehow got right under this one and the ball looped high into the air before coming down on the roof of the net. The first change of the game came from the visitors as Curtis Williamson made way for Niall Slack just after the hour. Hall cut inside from the left and let fly from 30-yards, but the result was 5-yards too high, then a great strike from McDonald from a similar distance forced Scott to dive to his left and parry the ball behind for a corner. Briggs swung in an absolute beauty and Hall got right over his header at the back post only to hit the defender on the line smack in the face. However, luck was with the Cooks this time as the ball then cannoned on to Purse at point blank range and flew back into the net. 3-0 on 66 minutes and this was surely now game over for the Wrens.
Substitutions followed the third goal as Obeng made way for Anderson before the restart, then three minutes later Green replaced the injured Barrett and at the same time Thierry Fang came on for Josh Radford at the back for the visitors. We were opened up at the back when a lovely low ball sent Slack clear and he broke into the box before taking it around Wells, but that’s where the composure ended as with an empty net waiting for him to slide the ball into, he tried to hit through the ball and sliced it horribly wide of the near post. Adams replaced Briggs on 71 minutes and Dixon came on to make his debut shortly afterwards with Parkes given a breather. The two latest subs combined with Adams teeing up Dixon for a cross, but his first-touch of the game saw him put a little too much weight on the ball and it sailed beyond all his teammates and out for a goal-kick.
Cooks final change saw McDonald make way for Andrews with fourteen minutes remaining of the game. Anderson slipped a ball through to Hall in the centre and Scott did well to save his shot with his feet and when the ball rebounded back to Anderson, he placed his shot just wide from the edge of the box. Adams pulled the ball back to Hall whose shot was blocked, but I’m pretty sure it had gone over the line and out of play in the move, then a clever back heel from Hall just caught Anderson unawares in the box. Hall got up to flick the ball on for Anderson with his shot going just wide, but on 85 minutes the Cooks finally netted their fourth of the afternoon. Bates did well inside the box on the right and Josh Jones placed a low shot from just inside the area across the reach of Scott and just inside the far post.
Adams played a one-two with Hall to get deep inside the box where his cross looped up off Fang and dropped just beyond the angle of post and bar, then Bates did well down the right, but his shot was relatively easy for Scott to hold on to. Slack had a chance to redeem himself for his earlier miss when he was played into the box on the right, but he pulled this one across Wells and well wide of the far post.
A comfortable win for the Cooks against a Rainworth team from the division below, but our guests put in a spirited performance and I wish them all the best when they host Gedling Miners Welfare on Tuesday night and also for the rest of the season.
With so many changes it could have been a disjointed performance today, but we settled well as everyone made their pitch for a starting place. My man-of-the-match today goes to Jamie Hall, but he was pushed all the way by Louie Barrett who made two and also hit the post himself. No poor performances today and 100% was given across the pitch which is all you can ask for really.
We are quickly back in action on Tuesday night when we host Desborough Town in the quarter-finals of the N.F.A Hillier Senior Cup.
Cooks; 1. Ciaran Wells 2. Will Bates 3. Kodi Briggs (sub 9. Josh Adams 71) 4. Alex Parkes (sub 16. Konnor Dixon 74) 5. Luca Purse 6. Harley Mallard 7. Louie Barrett (sub 15. Lewis Green 69) 8. Luke McDonald © (sub 14. Luke Andrews 76) 12. Jamie Hall 10. Josh Jones 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 17. Pharrell Anderson 66).
Rainworth; 1. Lewis Scott 2. Alex Hardman 3. Josh Radford (sub 12. Thierry Fang 66) 4. Luke Thomson 5. Rowan Kelly 6. George Scott 7. George Simpson 8. Morgan Snow 9. Nathan Benger © 10. Curtis Williamson (sub 14. Niall Slack 63) 11. Colt Reynolds.
Referee; Aaron Lloyd
Assts; Paul Speakman & Ian Brown