Cooks finish strongly, but can’t find a winning goal at Rovers.
Tuesday 30th August 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
EYNESBURY ROVERS (1) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1
Anderson 15 (pen)
Scott Carlin was forced into a number of changes from Saturday as Harley Mallard, Kodi Briggs, Ben Gough, Will Bates and Louie Martin all joined Paddy Cichosz, Mitch White and Josh Adams on the absent list, but we showed the strength we have in depth this season by still fielding five subs. Lewis Green and Josh Jones were handed their full debuts, whilst Louie Barrett and Luke Andrews returned to the starting line-up, with Luca Iaciofano returning to the bench where he was joined by Joe Morris for the first time this season on a pleasant enough night that saw the fleece get its first run out of the season. Luke McDonald took over the captain’s armband in place of Gough, who of course had taken it over from the injured Cichosz. Hopefully it isn’t jinxed!
The game itself was slow to get going with the first shot coming from Eynesbury’s Shane Fox from outside the box that Regan Saunt dealt with comfortably, which was followed by the Cooks first effort at goal when Brad Marshall headed just wide from a McDonald free-kick from the half-way line. Saunt punched away a very dangerous Jack Dickerson corner, but on 15 minutes the game swung in Cogenhoe’s favour when Pharrell Anderson’s pace caused the home side problems and he was hauled down inside the box by Kwandwo Bugyei-Kyei. Just as he had done on Saturday, Anderson picked himself up to take the penalty and he placed his low spot-kick just inside the post. The keeper went the right way, but it was too well hit for him to get to.
Saunt rose well above the crowd to make a safe catch from another decent Dickerson corner just before a good run by Eynesbury debutant Taylor Newman was ended on the edge of the box by McDonald’s tackle. Anderson was upended wide on the left with McDonald sending in what should have been a dangerous free-kick, but we appeared to be looking for a different delivery and nobody really attacked it and Evan Jeckells was able to gather the ball on his line. Alex Parkes, playing in a defensive role tonight, blocked a Fox shot, but we were undone on 30 minutes after Marshall gave away a free kick a few yards outside the box just to the left. Michael Baulk struck it low and hard across the keeper and into the far corner and as Saunt didn’t react, I’m guessing he was behind the wall and hadn’t seen it struck.
Jones struck his shot well from 20-yards only to hit a defender and win a corner, McDonald whipped it in and Luca Purse touched it back to Jones, but his first time shot was blocked. A 35-yarder from McDonald was held comfortably by Jeckells while down the other end Reece King made a strong run to the edge of the box before laying it inside to Fox, but his pass was poor and the Cooks were able to get the ball away safely. Jordan Slama got the better of Parkes and his low cross was cut out by Purse, then Saunt did well to get to a poor backpass first and then had the luck as his clearance hit an Eynesbury player, but didn’t fall to a teammate as the keeper got back into his goal. A brilliant turn from Jessi Obeng saw him get into the Rovers box, but the referee called play back to give the Cooks a free-kick for a foul earlier in the move.
A good move saw Anderson steer the ball in front of Obeng inside the box, but strong and experienced defending by Jamie Judge denied him a chance to get a shot away. Fox’s game came to an early end when injury forced him off and Josh Page entered the game earlier than he had anticipated. A nice first touch by Anderson 20-yards out allowed him to fire in a low shot that Jeckells saved, then a cross from the left caught us out and Slama seemed a little surprised to receive the ball at his feet and he panicked, scuffing his shot across the box and Marshall cleared it up field. Anderson darted into the box and won another corner, McDonald’s delivery was headed downward and on target by Marshall, but Bugyei-Kyei was well positioned to block it on the goal line.
Half-time; Rovers 1 Cooks 1
Anderson tried his luck from outside the box but his shot drifted wide, then Barrett fed Anderson inside the box on the right, but Judge defended it well. The game now drifted somewhat as it went from end-to-end with no real threat from either side before a great run by Barrett saw him get past two defenders, but his low driven shot from just inside the box was too close to the keeper. Obeng slipped a good ball through to Jones inside the box and despite looking offside, the flag stayed down and he played the ball across the box only for it to be cleared at the far post. Jones had a shot blocked after Marshall had headed down a McDonald’s free-kick inside the box and when it was played back into the area, Marshall battled hard for the ball and Jones side-stepped his man before unleashing a powerful shot that flew just wide.
Eynesbury were forced into a second substitution when the injured Lewis Foster couldn’t continue and Caleb Steele took his place a minute beyond the hour. A very ambitious free-kick from Baulk sailed well over the top, but play was quickly back down the other end as Obeng played a ball over the top and although Jeckells came out of his area quickly, he couldn’t get the ball as far up field as he had hoped, but he was fortunate that McDonald couldn’t take advantage and his shot was blocked. Andrews became the first player to see the yellow card after a foul in the centre of the park, although Oliver Potter indicated it was for an accumulation of offences rather than just this one.
Another good run from Barrett saw him exchange passes with Obeng and force a save out of Jeckells, but he was in an offside position on his end of the one-two, then Jones made way for Luca Iaciofano with 66 minutes played. Bugyei-Kyei beat Purse to a loose ball and although he was fouled, he managed to stay on his feet and break quickly and find Baulk in the box and Saunt did well to save his shot from close range. Once the ball eventually went dead Mr Potter called over Purse and brandished the yellow card. Nice work from Iaciofano saw Barrett tee up Andrews whose shot was blocked for a corner. Judge pulled down Anderson as the young Cooks striker got past him and as they fell the big defender landed on top of him. Unfortunately the Cooks player needed treatment and was unable to continue so Callum Farmer came on to make his Cooks debut for the final 15 minutes.
McDonald fired over with a first time shot, then Iaciofano opened up the home defence with a ball to Obeng and he cut inside to lose his man before drilling in a shot that Jeckells parried round the post for a corner. Obeng did well down the right before sending over a cross that Jeckells held, then Newman almost played in Steele, but Saunt was able to get to the throughball first. Barrett went down under the challenge of Buyei-Kyei with the Rovers left-back a little unlucky to be booked. Farmer sent over a dangerous free-kick to the far post that we couldn’t convert, then Obeng sent a low ball in from the right that was cut-out by Judge. A dangerous cross from King was wasted as two Rovers players collided as they jumped for the ball, just before Obeng was taken off to give Ash Masumbuko a run out for the final few minutes.
Iaciofano played a good ball to Masumbuko just inside the box, but Jeckles reacted quickly to come off his line, then Purse steered the ball back to Masumbuko, but his shot lacked power. Solid defending by Marshall denied Rovers a late chance, then Barrett won the ball on the right and played it inside to Iaciofano who back-heeled back into Barrett’s path, but he pulled his shot wide of the near post. We were already deep into stoppage time when Barrett dinked the ball into the box where Iaciofano took a touch before taking a shot that was blocked, whilst a full-bloodied 50/50 in the middle of the park saw McDonald get there first before taking the brunt of Steele’s boot, earning the Eynesbury sub a place in the referee’s notebook. There was a little bit of afters following the challenge and the referee singled out Marshall for a card too. The big Cooks centre half then got his head to a Parkes ball into the box, before getting back down the other end to deny Steele with a very timely challenge.
1-1 is how it ended, not too shabby considering how many players we had missing this evening, but we could well have taken all three points had we been sharper around the box in the final 20 minutes of the game. Paul’s man-of-the-match today goes to Louie Barrett who was a constant threat down the right, but just needs to perfect that final pass. Special mention to Lewis Green also for very solid first team debut.
Next up for the Cooks is a trip to the Butts Park Arena to face Coventry United on their 3G surface this coming Saturday.
Eynesbury; 1. Evan Jeckells 2. Reece King 3. Kwandwo Bugyei-Kyei 4. Jamie Judge 5. Jonny Butler © 6. Jack Dickerson 7. Jordan Slama 8. Taylor Newman 9. Lewis Foster (sub 14. Caleb Steele 61) 10. Shane Fox (sub 17. Josh Page 42). Subs not used; 12. Khari Thompson 15. Archie Palmer 16. Clinton Diselmo.
Yellow cards; Bugyei-Kyei (82) Foul. Steele (90+5) Foul.
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Luca Purse 3. Lewis Green 4. Luke Andrews 5. Brad Marshall 6. Alex Parkes 7. Louie Barrett 8. Luke McDonald © 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 15. Callum Farmer 75) 10. Josh Jones (sub 16. Luca Iaciofano 66) 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 17. Ash Masumbuko 87). Subs not used; 12. Joe Morris 14. Dylan Carlin.
Yellow cards; Andrews (65) Foul. Purse (69) Foul. Marshall (90+5) Retaliation.
Referee; Oliver Potter
Assts; Paul Dobbs & Jack Badcock