Daldy (2) and Wilson on target in impressive opening day performance.
Tuesday 3rd August 2021
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
DESBOROUGH TOWN (0) 0 COGENHOE UNITED (2) 3
Daldy 28, 49
It has been over eight months since we last played a league game, but after an encouraging pre-season the real stuff was finally here as we kicked off a new era at the Waterworks Field in Desborough. Craig Adams gave Cogenhoe full debuts to Craig Foxall, Lloyd Groves, skipper Jamie Mastropierro and Archie Elmore, whilst Dan Mortimer, Dylan Wilson and Jack Daldy returned for a second spell at the club. There were still a few familiar faces out there for any Cooks fans who don’t go to the friendly games with Jordan Orosz, Jack Riley, Will Bates and Rico Alexander all getting the nod in the starting eleven.
The Cooks were first to show and were rewarded with two corners in the first two minutes. The first saw Alexander get in a shot from the edge of the box that deflected wide for the second. This one was half-cleared but on its return into the box, Alexander knocked it down for Daldy in the centre but unfortunately the ball just wouldn’t fall for him get in a clean shot. A great run down the right by Orosz saw him cut in along the dead-ball line before trying to pull it back for Wilson, but it was cut out before it could reach the striker.
Desborough’s first shot saw Joe Massaro’s effort from well outside the box blocked, but it was back down the other end for the opening goal on 13 minutes. Elmore slipped a great ball through for Dylan Wilson and he never looked anything but cool as he took the ball onto the edge of the box before slotting his shot past Chris Jones and into the bottom corner. Nicely made and superbly taken from the Cooks and the first goal of 2021 had been chalked up.
Massaro took out Bates with a both high and late challenge that left the young Cooks player needing treatment and the Desborough midfield man became the first recipient of Paul McVey’s yellow card. Daldy soon followed the Desborough no. 4 into the referee’s notebook a catching Leo Adams on the ankle after he had cleared the ball, again the correct decision from the referee. On 28 minutes James Daldy got his name into the report, but this time it was for doubling the Cooks lead with another good piece of finishing. Pressure from Wilson on Jones saw the Desborough keeper clear in a hurry and he only found Elmore with Daldy seizing on the loose ball before firing a powerful shot into the back of the net from the edge of the box. Two up away from home with less than a third of the game gone, with both strikers already having notched that oh-so important first goal of the season.
With Cogenhoe holding a comfortable lead, the onus was on Ar Tarn to try and get back into things, but with the immovable object that is Lloyd Groves winning just about everything Desborough pumped up at us and both Alexander and Riley in good form alongside him they were getting little or no change out of us at the back. Mastropierro was breaking up things in midfield to cut out any creativity the home side might have had, while we looked to get forward when we could without taking any unnecessary risks given the lead we had.
HT; AR TARN 0 COOKS 2
No changes for either side at the break as we attacked the water tower end and it took us just four minutes to extend our advantage. Orosz had made a good run down the right before checking back and having his legs taken away from him. Elmore took the free-kick and it perfectly picked out an unmarked Jack Daldy in the centre and his powerful header flew to the left of Jones and high into the net. Poor marking yes, but a great delivery met with an unstoppable header and goal number two for Daldy.
Bates played a ball through for Wilson who outpaced his man, but he opted to shoot early from wide and although he forced a save out of Jones, it was never going to beat him. Daldy had run in for any pieces, but Jones was able to gather the ball safely before he could get a sniff of his hat-trick. Massaro went in for a hard challenge and again took the man and can consider himself lucky to be only on the end of a final warning as McVey chose to keep his cards in his pocket this time. Groves won the free-kick with his head and as it looped towards goal Alexander jumped to try and get a touch past Jones, but as the two came together a free-kick was awarded to the home side adjudging the Cooks big defender to have fouled the keeper.
Ben Fitzjohn saw a decent effort from a free-kick go just wide, although it looked from where we were that Foxall had his post covered anyway, before the first change saw a debut for Tom Wakley as he replaced two goal hero Daldy just before the hour. Iain Blaikie turned nicely and forced Foxall into his first real save at his near post before Tom Mills went for goal (I think) from the right, but it fizzed across the box and went well wide of the far post. Desborough’s first change saw Joseph Buckingham replace Jordan Watt, Foxall took a deep Adams cross comfortably before two more changes saw veteran midfield battler Liam Boath come on for Bernard Nkansah and Kobi Bivens replace Elmore for another Cooks debut.
Mortimer intercepted a clearance on the left and broke into the home half before finding Wakley on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked. Wakley had another first time shot blocked, this time by Boath on the edge of the area after pulling the trigger from 25-yards out before Wilson broke into the box, but he ball wouldn’t come down quick enough for his get in a shot and Aaron Davies pressure was enough to allow the centre-back to touch the ball away from the striker.
Fitzjohn saw his first-time volley from 20-yards sail high and wide before the home side had their best effort of the game as Blaikie struck a shot hard and low forcing Foxall to dive to his left to make a fine save as he turned the ball around his post. Foxall was again called into action as he took a low free-kick and appeared to be caught late by a forward leaving him needing treatment, but he was good to carry on and take the free-kick himself.
A set-piece down the other end saw Bivens deliver a dangerous corner that Groves got the top of his head too and the ball went the wrong side of the far post. Unfortunately on this occasion Wilson had jumped just behind him and would probably have had a clean header had Groves not got there first. Bivens touched the ball into Wilson’s path on the edge of the box and with just Jones to beat, he didn’t get a good connection this time and sent the ball well over the bar. Fitzjohn was replaced by Tom Gudyer as a final throw of the dice for Desborough, but we continued to defend well with Ar Tarn trying to feed on scraps. Foxall slid out to the edge of his area on the right to claim a throughball cleanly. Bates was cautioned with six minutes remaining for a foul on the half-way line for what was a bit of a rash tackle given the situation of the game, whilst a good move down our right by Desborough saw Riley defend the situation well and force Blaikie into a wide position and as a result his shot was dealt with easily. Riley, clearly now enjoying his newly sponsored boots, made a perfectly timed tackle in front of the home dug-out, Adams was off-target with a 30-yard effort for Desborough, whilst the last real action saw Foxall come out to the edge of the area to claim the ball before Buckingham with the Desborough sub then running into the keeper. Pleasantries were shared between the two but in the end it didn’t make any difference to the game as Cogenhoe claimed a very comfortable opening day victory and three points were on the board.
In reality we are still work in progress with so many changes to our personnel, but we are definitely moving in the right direction with a solid team performance across the park. We look solid and creative in midfield, solid at the back with a competent keeper there for us on the odd occasion we are breached, whilst up top we are taking our chances when it matters. You can see the team spirit out there as we work for each other and we are all working hard. Standing on the sidelines that is all you ask. It’s clear we have some real quality out there, backed up by the correct positive attitude all over the park. As most of you will know I pick a man-of-the-match for all the games I attend (which is hopefully all of them) and this is my choice alone. I have a lot to choose from today with Lloyd Groves dominant at the back and threatening from set-pieces, Jamie Mastropierro giving 100% in the centre of the park and looking like a veteran (in his play only I might add) whilst Archie Elmore is heading the table on assists already. Dylan Wilson is so dangerous up front and worked really hard, but today my M.O.M goes to his strike partner Jack Daldy for his two-goal display. Jack missed quite a bit of pre-season due to Covid and isolating and might well have found himself on the bench tonight because of this, but he repaid Craig Adams’ faith in him with a sterling performance.
Desborough; 1. Chris Jones 2. Sekou Kromah (sub Joseph Buckingham 62) 3. Aaron Healey 4. Joe Massaro 5. Aaron Davies © 6. Leo Adams 7. (sub 15. Liam Boath 81) Bernard Knansah 8. Tom Mills 9. Iain Blaiie 10. Brooklyn Biddle 11. Ben Fitzjohn (sub 14. Tom Gudyer 81). Subs not used; 12. Jordan Watt 17. Scott Parker.
Cogenhoe; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Jordan Orosz 3. Dan Mortimer 20. Lloyd Groves 5. Jack Riley 6. Rico Alexander 7. Will Bates 8. Jamie Mastropierro © 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Jack Daldy (sub 14. Tom Wakley 58) 11. Archie Elmore (sub 12 Kobi Bivens 67). Sub not used; 15. Faz Rahman.
Referee; Paul McVey
Assts; Gary Capps & Kieron Hawthorn