Ethan Lack cancels out Jack Bowen’s opener as the points are shared in Wellingborough.
Easter Monday 10th April 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN (0) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1
The Cooks made the short trip to Wellingborough for their Bank Holiday football with plenty of familiar names in and around the Doughboys team as we caught up with some old faces. Always nice to chat to former Cogenhoe and current Wellingborough manager Jake Stone who included no fewer than eight former Cooks players in his 16-man squad. Starting were Will Bates, Rico Alexander, Jack O’Connor, Carter Price, Séan McBride and Jack Bowen, while Jack Norman and Harry Chipchase were on the subs bench. Biff included former Doughboy Louie Barrett in his team, but made a few changes from Saturday’s win at Bugbrooke. Ben Gough had played valiantly through the pain barrier in that game so he was missing, as was the unavailable Bailey Weatherly, so in came Dalton Leon and Jamie Hall to his starting eleven. Kieron Mobbs and Dylan Carlin came in to the squad on the bench.
The players had done their warm-ups in pouring rain, but the clouds had moved away by kick-off time and the game got underway in warm sunshine, but a very blustery wind was going to make it tough for the players today. Well done to the groundsmen too who had arrived at the ground in the morning to find standing water on the pitch, but there was no evidence of that by the time we arrived. Wellingborough had the first couple of minutes on the attack, but Cogenhoe broke with Ethan Lack picking out Pharrell Anderson on the right and he fed Hall on the edge of the box who turned to hit a low shot that Dan Farrell saved comfortably. Bleu McNeil’s flat long throws were very difficult to defend against and when one of these took a flick at the near post it fell towards Alexander, but he appeared to be falling backward as he took a swing at the ball and sliced the ball away from the target. Leon went for goal from fully 30-yards without meeting it cleanly and the ball bobbled wide, then O’Connor dinked a lovely ball over the top to send Neo Richard-Noel through on the right and he sent a dangerous ball across the box but failed to find a teammate. Another long throw from McNeil just wouldn’t come down for Bowen inside the box, but it found its way to Charlie Green who hooked it on target, but Bodycote dived to his left to make a good save.
Price fired over from a free-kick on the left after Barrett had fouled Vikram Mazumbar, then strong running from Richard-Noel saw him set up Price deep inside the box, but Paddy Cichosz made a great challenge to stop him from getting in his shot. Down the other end Anderson broke into the box on the right, but a covering defender blocked his shot for a corner that Lack swung over, only for Dan Farrell to make a clean catch. A Bates corner was headed clear and Barrett used his pace to quickly reach the half-way line before finding Hall who played the ball perfectly into the run of Jessi Obeng, but Mazumbar made a great tackle to rob the Cooks man before he could reach the box. A lovely move involving Anderson and Lack saw the latter play a neat one-two with Hall before hitting a cross-shot that Farrell had to push away from his goal and wide of the far post. Lack took the corner and dropped it into the 6-yard box, but we couldn’t take advantage of what was a superb delivery.
Richard-Noel turned sweetly and hit a powerful shot that Bodycote saved above his head, then Anderson did really well inside the box on the right, but his pull-back was cut out by McNeil. Bates caught Luca Purse late just inside the Cooks half leaving both players requiring treatment and it may well be the fact that he hurt himself just as much that saved him from a yellow card in this instance, thankfully both were able to continue after a couple of minutes. The Cooks wasted a great chance to take the lead when they caught the Wellingborough defence napping as Hall broke through with the ball with Lack backing him up on the inside. Hall took the ball into the box and just needed to roll it across and in to the feet of the unmarked Lack, but instead he checked back tried to shoot, giving the defender time to get back and block his effort. Referee Mark Simmons soon blew his half-time whistle and the Cooks went into the break wondering what might have been from their two-on-one situation at the end of the half.
Half-time; Doughboys 0 Cooks 0
The second half got underway with a very dark cloud, matching Wellingborough’s new black and grey kit, looming ominously over the Dog & Duck pub with the threat of a downpour very real, but thankfully it seemed to just miss up as we only felt a few raindrops, but it also brought the wind up and for a while the Cooks had it at their backs. The wind actually helped Wellingborough first though as McBride lofted the ball high into the air and across the box from the right and as the wind held it up dramatically, Jack Bowen nipped in to beat Bodycote to it in the air and head the ball home from close range. Soft goal to concede from a Cooks point of view, but fair play to the former Cooks striker who never took his eye off the ball in very tricky conditions.
The lead didn’t last too long as Cogenhoe were level five minutes later. Lack broke through onside and ran into the box where he skipped past Price who brought him down. Price was shown the yellow card before Lack took the penalty himself, it wasn’t the best we have seen this season and Farrell saved it, but Lack showed the foresight to follow it up and netted the rebound from close range. With the wind still behind us, Obeng stepped inside and hit a decent curling effort that wasn’t too far wide of the far post, then we had one of those comedy moments that amused everyone accept jack O’Connor. Barrett played the ball to Anderson on the left and he whipped in a low cross that the Doughboy’s defender stooped right down to take on his chest off the bounce, but there was no bounce as the ball shot through off the wet surface and took him clean in his gentlemen’s department. We had a short break whilst he counted the crown jewels and assumedly they were all there, if rather sore, and play continued.
Barrett played a lovely ball to Anderson on the right and he returned it with an even better pass that saw the right-back fire in a low cross that Farrell parried at his near post and it came out to Leon on the edge of the box, where he hit a good volley that flew a couple of feet over the bar with the wind behind it. The storm cloud had by now passed over and the wind went back to being annoyingly blustery for the players. Obeng played the ball up to Hall on the edge of the box and he returned it into Obeng’s run, but a great challenge by Alexander robbed him of a shooting chance, then Cichosz burst into the box down the right, but couldn’t pull the ball back and find a teammate. Anderson’s pace outstripped Mazumbar and he brought down the Cooks wide-man to earn himself a yellow card with 63 minutes played. A couple of minutes later we saw the first change of the game as Stone brought on Cobblers youngster Kenny Ndefo in place of Price. Bates forced a good save out of Bodycote with a shot from the edge of the box and despite the fact that Bowen followed up to put the loose ball into the net from a tight angle, the flag was up for offside against him from the original shot.
A great move, probably the best of the game so far, saw Obeng find and Anderson who laid it off to Lack who picked out Obeng inside the box to the left and he placed his shot past the keeper, only for former Cooks skipper Alexander to have read the danger and got back to head the ball off the line with a great piece of defending. There was a moment of worry for the Cooks as Bruce Tsinosis went up for a ball and went over the top of his marker and landed heavily on his back. He stayed down and as he was off the pitch, Wellingborough were allowed to take the throw in, but once the ball went dead again play was stopped and thankfully Bruce was able to get back to his feet and continue with the game. We felt it from the other side of the ground though. A double change for Stone saw Bates and Green come off with Nat Gosnal-Tyler and Chipchase coming into the fray. Obeng was fouled on the right by Ndefo and Lack tried to float the free-kick into the box, but it caught the wind and drifted on the training pitch. Purse did well at the back to get in front of Bowen to head away a McBride cross that had held up in the wind, then Wellingborough could easily have taken the lead when Ndefo found himself clear inside the box, but Bodycote did well to save his shot with his leg. Good save by the Cooks keeper, but he probably shouldn’t have been given that opportunity from that position by the striker.
Carlin made a double swap on 85 minutes as Josh Jones and Alex Parkes came on for Hall and Cichosz respectively for the final few minutes of the game. Bowen headed over at the near post from a right wing cross, then Barrett defended well after Bodycote had been forced wide and Ndefo had knocked the ball past him. In the build up to that chance, Purse had been left on the half-way line holding his face and it soon became clear that he wouldn’t be able to continue with the diagnosis a suspected broken nose. His dad will be proud of the new centre-backs look as I’m sure he took more than a few knocks in his distinguished career. Tsinosis took over Purse’s role with sub Callum Farmer coming on with 89 minutes already played. McNeil went for an overhead kick that landed on the roof of the net, while Farmer picked up his first yellow card in senior football for fouling Chipchase on the touch-line. Farmer delivered a dangerous looking cross from the left that Alexander headed out and it finished all-square at the Dog & Duck.
The point wasn’t enough to keep the Doughboy’s fading hopes of making it to the play-off place and that will now go to Sphinx or Rugby, probably the latter in truth, so Jake Stone will be turning his thoughts to next season and a real push for the title. The Cooks could well have won this game and they more than matched their third placed opponents on the day, but I think I would have been happy with a point before the game got underway. My man-of-the-match today goes to Bruce Tsinosis who gave his all for the cause on the pitch (whilst also managing NOT to pick up a yellow card). Ash made a couple of good saves while Ethan Lack went close with another performance that oozed class at times. Best wishes to Luca and sincerely hope his injury won’t keep him out of the cup final, but strapping and a couple of black eyes really is a good look for a centre-half!
Next up for the Cooks is a home game on Saturday against MK Irish, who won 3-0 at Vase finalists Newport Pagnell today, whilst the Reserves are in action tomorrow when they make the short trip to O.N Chenecks.
Photos today are mainly from Finbarr Carroll, with about 20 of mine in there too. Thanks again to Fin for the support he gives to the club.
Doughboys; 1. Dan Farrell 2. Will Bates (Sub 16. Nat Gosnal-Tyler 72) 3. Rico Alexander 4. Bleu McNeil 5. Jack O’Connor © 6. Charlie Green (sub 15. Harry Chipchase 75) 7. Carter Price (sub 17. Kenny Ndefo 65) 8. Séan McBride 9. Jack Bowen 10. Neo Richard-Noel 11. Vikram Mazumbar. Subs not used; 12. Brett Solkhon 14. Jack Norman.
Yellow cards; Price (52) Foul. Mazumbar (63) Foul.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Dalton Leon 3. Bruce Tsinosis 5. Luca Purse (sub 12. Callum Farmer 85) 6. Perry Ronayne 7. Louie Barrett 8. Paddy Cichosz © (sub 4. Alex Parkes 85) 9. Pharrell Anderson 20. Jamie Hall (sub 15. Josh Jones 85) 11. Jessi Obeng. Subs not used; 16. Kieron Mobbs 17. Dylan Carlin.
Yellow cards; Farmer (90+2) Foul.
Referee; Mark Simmons
Assts; George Sewell & Robert Cameron