The Cooks picked up their second home league win of the season with a 4-1 beating of fifth place Coventry United.
Saturday 4th February 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (3) 4 COVENTRY UNITED (1) 1
Obeng 1, 60
Scott Carlin made just one change to the starting line-up that were so cruelly beaten by Rugby Town in midweek as regular keeper Ash Bodycote was available to take back the number one shirt. There was also one change on the bench as Callum Farmer took the place of Josh Going, while Coventry United gave starts to Joseph Agunbiade, Ruari O’Boyle and Mason Platts who had all been used subs in their previous game at home to Wellingborough Town. Mitch Mollison, Renato Prifti and Sam Rodber the trio all having to make do with a place on the bench this afternoon.
Having been frustrated by not taking our chances on Tuesday night, we really needed an early booster today and we got just that after a mere 30 seconds. Louie Barrett broke into the box and cut inside from the right and made the correct decision to play the ball low across the keeper for Jessi Obeng to net at the far post from no more than a foot out. Great team goal and what a start for Biff’s boys. The Cooks continued to press and had a slice of the luck that has been noticeable only by its absence for most of this season. Bailey Weatherly had no real hope of getting to a through ball, but he kept going to make sure the keeper had to play the ball first time as it came off a defender last and he turned in the air as striker’s usually do and took Declyn Duggan’s attempted clearance on his back with the ball looping back into the empty net. 2-0 to the Cooks after just 6 minutes.
Jamie Hall made a good run into the box but was robbed of the ball before he could shoot, then Kyle Ansell had a cross headed out, but the Cooks kept up the pressure and worked it back into the area, but both Obeng and Alex Parkes were not able to create the space needed to pull the trigger. Obeng did well down the left before cutting back onto his right foot and sending over a cross that Weatherly won in the air, but could only direct his header into the waiting gloves of Duggan, then Ansell sent in a free-kick from wide on the left that Luca Purse headed on target, but it was a routine save for the keeper this time.
The Red & Greens (this time playing in all red) started to dig themselves back into the game and pulled one back on 29 minutes. They won a free-kick 25-yards out just to the left of centre and Kyle Carey hit an absolute beauty that flew past the desperate hands of Bodycote to find the roof of the net. The Cooks now needed to show their mettle and keep their heads and they did just that. Hall had a shot blocked inside the box, while Bodycote made a good save down the village end after Platts nipped in to get a touch at the near post from a ball played in for the right by Davoile, but the Cooks keeper was equal to it, then a lovely move saw the Cooks spurn an opportunity to extend their lead. Hall won the ball just inside his own half and played it into the run of Obeng whose pace saw him get away from his marker and reach the box. With his path blocked off by two defenders inside the box to the right, he laid the ball inside to Hall, but his first-time shot was saved by the outstretched leg of Duggan, but in truth it should really have been another goal for the Cooks.
Obeng and Hall did well for the Cooks with the latter finding Barrett inside the box and his shot was parried away by Duggan, but the flag had been raised for offside against the Cooks wide-man. Hall was back in his own area heading away a Carey free-kick, then Carey did well to set up Jarad Bradshaw inside the box, but his shooting chance was negated by a great challenge from Luca Purse. Ansell played a cross-field pass to Hall and his touch was spot-on as he found the run of Barrett, but he wasn’t able to get past the first man, then Obeng did well with the ball and won a corner on the left-hand side. Parkes curled in hard towards the near post where Bruce Tsinosis stooped to try and get a flick on the ball with head with Bradshaw boot just behind him. The combination of these two, plus Hall just behind them, obstructed the view of Duggan and the ball appeared to go straight into the net untouched by all of them. 45 minutes on the clock and the Cooks had their two-goal advantage back. Coventry weren’t happy when Davoile was penalised in front of the dug outs for his challenge on Obeng. I think he took the ball first and then the player in fairness. Ansell played the free-kick up to the left corner of the box where Obeng held it up with two defenders on his back and when he turned inside, Bradshaw brought him down. Ansell again took the ensuing free-kick and picked out Purse in the centre, but he could only hook his volley over the top and we went into the break in the lead, the first time we had done so since the Coventry Sphinx game many weeks ago. Must be something about that city.
Half-time; Cooks 3 Coventry Utd 1
Unsurprisingly Biff was happy with affairs and kept the same eleven after the break, but for a first for me, Coventry boss Carl Nolan made four changes before we could restart. On came Rodber, Prifti, Jake Williams and Sami Mufazzar, with O’Boyle, Platts, Carey and Bradshaw apparently carrying the can for the first half display.
A great ball from Obeng looked to have set up a chance for Weatherly just inside the box, but he laid it to his right for Barrett whose shot was saved by Duggan’s legs, then Bodycote made a one handed save from a well-hit shot from the left side of the Cooks penalty area. Williams was shown the yellow card for a foul on Ansell, perhaps a little bit of retribution after being caught by the Cooks defender a few minutes prior then Carlin made his first change of the day as Hall made way for Harry Waple-Moors with 57 minutes played. The Cooks defence stood their ground well inside their own box and denied three Coventry players a chance to make space for a shot and when the visitors finally did manage to go for goal, Bodycote wasn’t overly troubled by the effort.
On the hour mark the Cooks bagged their fourth goal of the afternoon and it was a beauty too. Weatherly sent an inch perfect ball through to Obeng who timed his run well to get goal-side of the defence and he raced into the box before placing his shot across Duggan and into the far bottom corner. Thirteenth of the season for leading scorer Obeng and surely the end of Coventry United’s hopes this afternoon.
Ansell went into Tom Taylor’s notebook for a foul on 62 minutes, probably because he had been warned about his behaviour just before rather than solely for this indiscretion, then Cogenhoe were a little lucky not to be punished after a rare piece of poor defending on the edge of the box came to nothing after a Mufazzar had strayed offside. Pharrell Anderson came on for Barrett after 64 minutes and then Cov made their final change as Joe Blowers was replaced by Mitch Mollison a couple of minutes later. Anderson was shown the yellow card for catching Prifti a little late on the right flank and by this point the visitors were having more of the play, but the Cooks were comfortably seeing the game out with Bodycote not really being called upon. Purse needed a bit of treatment from Jules Baxter after a strong challenge in the box, but he was ok to carry on and then Jamie Snapes replaced Weatherly for the final fifteen minutes of the game.
The visitors went close from a dangerous corner that saw Bodycote boxed in by three red shirts, but when Dawid Peplinksi did manage to get a header on target, the Cooks keeper had freed himself of his shackles to catch the ball cleanly. Kodi Briggs came on for two-goal hero Obeng late on, Coventry skipper Davoile was shown the yellow card for appearing to kick out at Waple-Moors and then Ansell sent in a dangerous free-kick from just in front of the dug-outs that was just ahead on Paddy Cichosz’s run in the centre. The final note was Callum Farmer coming on for Ansell with ninety- minutes on the clock and soon after the referee blew his final whistle.
For me this was the Cooks best performance to date this season and a very important three points with our first league win for two months, although we haven’t played too many games in that timeframe due to the inclement weather. My man-of-the-match goes to Jessi Obeng, but the team as whole were excellent today. The defence looks so much solider than it has at times this season and the much needed injection of experience has begun to shine through on the pitch. Perry Ronayne is settling in well and reads the game, whilst doing the simple things effectively which has been a steadying influence for us at the back which has been an important factor for me.
The three points doesn’t lift us up from 16th spot, but crucially we now have a seven-point gap between us and second from bottom Rothwell Corinthians who were beaten at home by fellow strugglers Lutterworth Town today. Long Buckby lost 2-1 at MK Irish, with Eynesbury and Desborough both losing to the same score at GNG and Wellingborough respectively, so all-in-all this was a very pleasing day for the Cooks. Quick mention to the Coventry United supporters who clapped their team off at the end even though they must have been disappointed with their heroes this afternoon.
Next up is the oft-postponed N.F.A Cup semi-final at home to Kettering Town on Tuesday night with the usual 7-45 pm kick-off time with Peterborough Sports already awaiting the winners at Sixfields later in the season.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Bruce Tsinosis 12. Kyle Ansell (sub 15. Callum Farmer 90) 4. Alex Parkes 5. Luca Purse 6. Perry Ronayne 7. Louie Barrett (sub 9. Pharrell Anderson 64) 8. Paddy Cichosz 10. Bailey Weatherly (sub 14. Jamie Snapes 75) 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 3. Kodi Briggs 84) 20. Jamie Hall (sub Harry Waple-Moors 57).
Yellow cards; Ansell (62) Foul. Anderson (69) Foul.
Coventry Utd; 1. Declyn Duggan 2. Dawid Peplinski 3. Harry Chesterton 4. Riley Davoile © 5. Adam Miles 6. Ruari O’Boyle (sub 13. Renato Prifti HT) 7. Mason Platts (sub 17. Sami Mufazzar HT) 8. Joe Blowers (sub 15. Mitch Mollison 67) 9. Josepth Agunbiade 10. Kyle Carey (sub 12. Sam Rodber HT) 11. Jarad Bradshaw (sub 16. Jake Williams HT).
Yellow cards; Williams (57) Foul. Davoile (87) Foul.
Referee; Tom Taylor
Assts; Martin Weedon & Kenny Wells