Scott Carlin picked up his first three points in the Cogenhoe hotseat with a deserved win in Rothwell.
Saturday 20th August 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
ROTHWELL CORINTHIANS (0) 0 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 2
Scott Carlin was forced into a couple of changes to his starting line-up with Josh Adams unavailable and Mitch White suspended, so he brought in Luke Andrews and Brad Marshall, with Harley Mallard moving across to right-back. Luca Iaciofano joined the squad for the first time this season after returning from holiday and took Archie Elmore’s place on the bench with the scorer of our first goal of the season’s whereabouts unknown.
A brief shower just before kick-off had zero effect on the hard surface and only took the edge off a humid afternoon for a few minutes as the game got underway in hot sunshine. With the Cooks kicking away from the clubhouse in the first half, a very early free-kick taken from in front of the Cooks dug-out by Luke McDonald saw Marshall jump highest and send a looping header just over the top. Pharrell Anderson was fouled 25-yards out and McDonald played the free-kick to the left of the wall, but he put just a little too much on his pass for Alex Parkes to get too. Parkes found Kodi Briggs on the left and he clipped the ball across to find McDonald on the edge of the box and he hit it first time on the volley with the ball going just over the bar, then Anderson brought down Gough’s long ball with a superb touch, but then fluffed his lines inside the box as he miscued his shot wide.
The Cooks continued to control the game and Anderson’s pace won a corner on the left that McDonald swung in, with Jordan Henson getting his head to it first at the expense of another corner on the opposite side. Briggs took this one and although it was cleared, Will Bates was first to the ball only to be taken out by Rowell skipper Connor Bird who was shown the yellow card by referee Andrew Cuthbert. Corinthians started to get themselves back into the game a little, but found both Gough and Mallard unpassable when they got deeper into the Cooks half. Bates was clipped from behind by Owen Wells on the right and Andrews got up to meet McDonald’s free-kick with his head only to see it go over via the top of the crossbar.
Marshall headed away a decent Brandon Beardmore cross before Bird played a good ball to send Jurelle Phillip running at goal, but very good defending by Mallard meant he wasn’t able to take advantage. Brandon Beardmore made a good driving run into the Cooks box on the left before crossing and Gough had to stretch to cut it out with the ball looping over his own bar and when the corner came in it was Gough on the spot to head it away. Marshall robbed Phillip on the edge of the box and although Jude Radwell slipped the ball through for Zac Allen, Regan Saunt was off his line and dived on the ball. B. Beardmore hit a decent low strike that Marshall got his foot to, but thankfully it went wide of the post with Saunt now wrong-footed. The ensuing corner was half cleared to Phillip just outside the box, but he sliced his first time shot well wide of the mark.
A lovely move from the Cooks involving Parkes, Briggs and Parkes again saw Obeng given a shooting chance on the edge of the box, but he snatched at it a little and sliced his effort wide. Obeng made a run into the box on the right and sent a low ball across that Bird cut out with Bates first to the loose ball with a powerful first time shot that stung the hands of Jude O’Connor at his near post. Briggs sent in a dangerous corner that Andrews met with an excellent downward header that was blocked on the line by a defender. The ball came back out to Briggs, but this time his looping cross was a little deep and although Marshall got his head to the ball, he couldn’t get round it enough to steer it on target.
A good run and cross on the left by B. Beardmore wasn’t attacked by any of his teammates as they were slow to support, then down the other end again as Anderson was played through to go one-on-one with the keeper, but O’Connor came off his line to narrow his angle and was able to save the shot with his legs as Anderson tried to slip it past him. Anderson and Obeng battled hard inside the box to keep the ball and when it did break for the former, it was well defended by Wells. Obeng was then played through with only the keeper to beat and as he tried to round him, O’Connor caught the Cooks young striker. He stayed on his feet and even though he was off balance, managed to pull the ball back to McDonald who hit it low first time, but O’Connor made a great one-handed save to keep his side level. A real talking point here though as it raised the question ‘had Jessi gone down, surely it would have been a penalty’. McDonald took the corner and Gough met it with a great downward header, but again O’Connor saved his side with a goal-line stop. The final chance of the half came when Briggs sent in a good corner that Marshall headed over from the edge of the 6-yard box.
We went into the break with the game goalless and was in the back of everyone’s minds that we might regret not taking at least a couple of the great chances we had created in the first forty-five minutes.
Half-time; Corinthians 0 Cooks 0
The second half started with Rothwell getting on top an they went close with a far post header that went over the bar, then Mallard was shown the yellow card for a late one just inside his own half on the right. Saunt then kept us level with a good save from Liam Merrick’s low shot deep inside the box on the right before Bird was off target with a header from a set-piece. With Rowell starting the second half so strongly, it must be said it was against the run of play when Cogenhoe broke away and took the lead on 55 minutes. Bates delivered an excellent driven cross and Obeng jumped between the two defenders to glance a header beyond O’Connor and in to the back of the net (although there is a possibility that it came off the defender, but I’m giving Jessi the benefit of the doubt on this one). Although as I said ‘against the run play’ as far as the first ten minutes of the second half had gone, you couldn’t deny the Cooks deserved to have taken the lead over the whole game so far.
One-time Cogenhoe target Zak Allen was shown the yellow card after 58 minutes, then a McDonald free-kick from wide on the left was headed wide by Marshall. Briggs saw a free-kick palmed away by O’Connor before Rowell replaced Brandon Beardmore with Panashe Madamba four minutes beyond the hour. Anderson won a corner off of Merrick and McDonald’s delivery was punched away by the keeper, but only as far as Bates some 25-yards out and he hot a fizzing shot that clipped the top of the bar. Carlin’s first change saw Owen Brookes replace Andrews who had put in a good performance in the midfield in place of White today.
The Cooks doubled their lead on 68 minutes when Obeng battled hard to try and get into a shooting position in the middle of the box, but finding himself crowded out he laid the ball to his left for his strike-partner Anderson to fire home his first goal for the Cooks from 9-yards out. Very much deserved goal for the youngster, if not just today, then for his performances and lack of luck in recent games. Corinthians brought on Ben Eldred for Henson shortly after the goal.
Obeng played a good one-two with Parkes but unfortunately he overran it a little as he got into the box allowing O’Connor to come out and block his shot as he tried to nick it past the keeper. Louis Martin came on for McDonald on 73 minutes and was quickly involved as he got the better of Merrick down the left to send over a dangerous cross that O’Connor took well. Two more changes followed as Iaciofano and Masumbuko came on in place of the two goalscorers Anderson and Obeng with 16 minutes remaining.
Allen sliced well wide for Corinthians, whilst Brookes run and cross had to be put behind by Bird with Iaciofano just behind him. Phillip sent over a good cross from the left that gave Carlton Beardmore a free header, but he placed it straight at Saunt. Masumbuko was played clear through by Gough and with just the keeper to beat, he tried to take an extra touch and this gave O’Connor that split-second he needed to come out and dive on the ball. The game’s final changes came on 83 minutes when Louis Barrett replaced Mallard and Rothwell stalwart Dom Page came on for the home team.
Iaciofano shot early from the just outside the right corner of the box and his low strike forced O’Connor to dive to his right to make a one-handed save, then Bates’ driving run was ended illegally by Merrick who became the latest recipient of the yellow card. Martin sent over a free-kick that Iaciofano headed just wide from 15-yards, before Martin turned nicely before trying to play in Brookes, but his pass was too hard for his fellow sub. Briggs played Masumbuko clear through, but he couldn’t beat O’Connor with his shot. Barrett got onto the loose ball and cut in from the right before trying to beat the keeper at the near post from a tight angle, probably not realising that a simple ball across the box would have given Iaciofano a tap in at the far post. Rothwell’s Phillip became the fourth Corinthians player to pick up a yellow card deep into stoppage time, not sure what this one was for though, but his side were already beaten as time ran out.
So, the Cooks finally have their first win of the season and a very deserved one it was too, but had we shown a more clinical edge inside our opponent’s box, we could have had five or six today. Jude O’Connor made a few excellent saves too, although we also missed a few one-on-ones where we really should have done better. Great to see Pharrell Anderson break his duck for the Cooks and also for his strike partner Jessi Obeng to add to his tally, whilst Luca Iaciofano showed the pair they need to keep this up to keep their place with his hungry sub appearance today.
Paul’s man-of-the-match today goes to Pharrell Anderson, a player I feel will get better and better as the season progresses and will be relieved to have got his first goal for the club today.
Rowell; 1. Jude O’Connor 2. Liam Merrick 3. Owen Wells (sub 14. Dom Page 84) 4. Marcel Rzeszutek 5. Connor Bird © 6. Jordan Henson (sub. 16. Ben Eldred 70) 7. Zak Allen 8. Jude Rodwell 9. Carlton Beardmore 10. Jurelle Phillip 11. Brandon Beardmore (sub 16. Panashe Madamba 64). Sun not used; 12. Owen Jaques.
Yellow cards; Bird (12), Allen (58), Merrick (90+1), Phillip (90+6)
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Harley Mallard (sub. 14. Louis Barrett 83) 3. Kodi Briggs 4. Luke Andrews (sub 15. Owen Brooks 67) 5. Brad Marshall 6. Ben Gough © 7. Will Bates 8. Luke McDonald (sub 12. Louis Martin 73) 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 16. Luca Iaciofano 76) 10. Jessi Obeng (sub 17. Ashraf Masumbuko 76) 11. Alex Parkes.
Yellow card; Mallard (49).
Referee; Andrew Cuthbert
Assts; Martin Weedon & David Froom.
The two clubs will meet again next Saturday, this time at Compton Park, as we kick off our F.A Vase campaign.