Defiant Cooks hold off Coventry challenge to make three wins out of five.
Saturday 3rd September 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COVENTRY UNITED (0) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (1) 2
Scott Carlin was able to welcome back Ben Gough, Will Bates and Mitch White to his starting eleven, whilst Kodi Briggs had to settle for a place on the bench as Lewis Green kept the number three shirt after a solid debut at Eynesbury in midweek. However, he was without Luke McDonald (away), Pharrell Anderson (recovering from the rib injury he picked up on Tuesday night), Paddy Cichosz (hip), Luca Purse (shin splints) and the poorly Josh Adams.
Right from the first whistle, the Red & Greens were attacking us in numbers with the lively Joseph Agunbiade causing us problems at the back and it took a combination of Brad Marshall and Gough to keep him out inside the first thirty seconds of the game. Riley Davoile sent over a dangerous corner that Adam Miles met with a glancing header, but Green was positioned on the far post and he cleared the ball away. Gough played a ball up towards Jessi Obeng, but he couldn’t get any change out of Archie Crowther and when the ball was played up field Regan Saunt had to come out of his area to head the ball away.
Parkes, in a central midfield role today, played the ball right to Josh Jones who sent over a decent cross, but Mitch Mollinson headed the ball back to Kris Roscoe who caught the ball over his head. Marshall denied Agunbiade after he had played a one-two with David Gbehe and it was the big Cooks centre-back who was the saviour again moments later when he got his foot to the ball as Kyle Carey tried a shot from a dangerous position. Nice football from Coventry saw Asad Ssemgowere feed Agunbiade and he pulled it back to Gbehe, but Marshall managed to block his shot and Bates swept up the loose ball. Agunbiade dd well to get inside the box, but he couldn’t get away from Parkes, but it was the Cooks who were celebrating on 15 minutes, the exact same time they had taken the lead at Eynesbury on Tuesday night.
Mitch White had been fouled wide on the right and with McDonald missing, Bates took over the free-kick duties with a good cross that Ben Gough met with a looping header that went over the keeper’s head before dropping under the bar for his first goal in Cogenhoe colours. Those who remember Paul Winston couldn’t argue with the fact that this was very much against the run of play! Coventry skipper Davoile had a shot blocked as his side tried to get straight back into the game, then Crowther played the ball over the top to Carey, but his first touch wasn’t as good as he would have liked forcing him wide, but he still managed to get in a cross that Marshall sliced over his own bar. Davoile’s corner wasn’t cleared properly and the ball fell for Carey who struck it first time and it flew just over the bar. Obeng turned sweetly and found Jones who laid it to his right for Barrett, but his shot from an angle went straight across the 6-yard box and out of play beyond the far post.
Agunbiade played in a low ball from the right that Jared Bradshaw touched to his left to create some space before shooting, but his effort was blocked and the rebound took it safely into the arms of Saunt. Davoile, key to many of the home team’s moves, stayed down after a challenge with Barrett and needed lengthy treatment, but thankfully he was able to continue and it wasn’t anything too serious. Ssemgowere played a ball over the top and for the second time in the game Saunt had to race out of his area to head the ball away. This time he only found a Coventry player, so he came out even further to win the second ball as well. Ssemgowere pulled a shot wide of the far post from just inside the box on the right, then Gbehe battled well inside the box, but fired his shot wide of the near post.
A lovely move from the home side saw Mollinson find Agunbiade on the right and he played it inside to Gbehe and in all honesty he should have done better as he hammered the ball wide from 15-yards out. Agunbiade was in the thick of it again as he made a great run into the box before seeing his shot blocked by Parkes, then the Cooks broke quickly and Obeng was brought down just outside the box by Ssemgowere who became the first player to be shown the yellow card by Gary Lord. Green picked out Barrett with a good pass, but the wide-man’s shot was straight at Roscoe. Carey volleyed wide from a couple of yards outside the box following a Davoile corner from the left, then great play by Obeng wide on the right saw him turn his man to cut inside the box, but his low ball was just behind Luke Andrews coming in at the far post. Agunbiade used Ssemgowere on the overlap but Gough cut out his attempt to cross and although Agunbiade was first to the loose ball, Saunt got down at the near post to save his shot from a tight angle. A deep Davoile free-kick from the right was headed over at the back stick by Gbehe and we had survived the first-half to hold a narrow lead into the break. Some excellent work at the back from Marshall, Gough and Bates, with Saunt in the right place when they were stretched.
Half-time; Coventry Utd 0 Cooks 1
A nice move through the centre saw Davoile find Gbehe on the edge of the box and he really middled his shot but it flew just over the top, then down the other end Green’s ball forward was misjudged on the bounce by Obeng and Roscoe was able to take the ball as it arrived in the box. A first time shot by Carey from outside the area was held at the second attempt by Saunt, then Gough played the ball to Jones on the left side, but he could only steer the ball wide of the post as the keeper came towards him. White made good ground through the middle before hitting a powerful shot from 25-yards that Roscoe held above his head. Coventry went close when Gbehe shaped nicely in the box to get into a shooting position and Saunt had to dive to his left to get his fingers to the ball and touch it wide. Obeng was beaten to a through ball by Roscoe inside the box just before Jarrad Clamp played the ball up to Gbehe and Bradshaw flicked it goalward, but Saunt came off his line to block his ensuing shot as he hit it.
Parkes and White combined to create a chance for Obeng just inside the box and although he struck it well, Roscoe dived to his right to push the ball round the post. Briggs replaced Green, who again had done well in only his second game for the first team, with just over an hour played, but it was Coventry who pressed again as Carey broke down the right wing before sending in a low cross that Bates did well to get to ahead of Gbehe in the centre of the box. Both side’s made changes as Luca Iaciofano replaced Jones, while Coventry brought on Jake Williams in place of Bradshaw with 65 minutes gone.
White required treatment from Juliette Baxter after being fouled just outside the box, but Briggs’ free-kick hit the wall, then a good effort from 25-yards out by Clamp forced Saunt to make another fine save as he got down and touched the ball round the post. Saunt was again in the action as he saved a 20-yard volley from Williams that was heading just inside his left-hand post, then Gough was booked for a foul on Gbehe just outside the box, with Carey’s free-kick not too far the wrong side of the post. Carlin brought on Louie Martin for Andrews with 72 minutes played and three minutes later the Cooks broke away and added a crucial second goal. A great ball from White allowed Iaciofano to get into the box and despite being challenged, his determination meant he kept possession before squaring to Jessi Obeng 12-yards out and the striker picked his spot with a cool first-time finish that gave Roscoe no chance of keeping it out. 2-0 to the Cooks with 15 minutes to go.
Marshall did well to ensure Davoile couldn’t get to Crowther’s pass, then Mollinson fired wide from 25-yards. A fourth change for the Cooks on 82 minutes saw Harley Mallard return to the action in place of Parkes who had received treatment after taking a knock a few minutes earlier. Barrett held up play inside the box before playing it to Iaciofano whose snapshot forced a good save out of the keeper, then Bates ‘took one for the team’ after tripping Clamp after the left back had sped by him on the flank. Bates yellow card coming on 86 minutes and two minutes later Davoile joined him after catching White a little late. Late changes saw Jack Boden come on for Agunbiade on 88 and Ash Masumbuko replace Obeng moments later. A dangerous cross from Boden was headed behind by Marshall with six minutes stoppage time played (there had been plenty of this to add, so it wasn’t a surprise) and Williams rose to meet Davoile’s corner with the perfect header that gave Saunt no chance at all. The nerves were jangling a little in the small area of the stand where the Cooks faithful sat, but seconds after the restart, referee Lord blew the final whistle and the Cooks had their second league win of the season. There was a bit of an altercation at the final whistle with one of the Coventry management team not at all happy, but it had been a good game between two decent sides that had been well refereed by Gary Lord.
It is now five unbeaten with three of them ending in victories for this very young Cogenhoe team and today they had to defend really well against a very good attacking Coventry United team. Joseph Agunbiade and David Gbehe were a constant threat to us, but Marshall, Gough and Bates were all superb for as at the back, with Saunt also making three very good saves in the second half. I’m sure Coventry will feel they should have got something out of this game with the chances they had, but we take real pride in the fact that we took ours when it counted and our boys can enjoy their Saturday night. We have moved up to 8th in the table, although we now have a break from league action as we host Division One club Rainworth Miners Welfare next Saturday in the League Cup.
A good team effort again today with a number of names in the hat for man-of-the-match, but my nod goes to Brad Marshall who constantly thwarted the home forwards, especially in those early stages where they could well have wrapped this game up if we had let them.
Coventry Utd; 1. Kris Roscoe 2. Asad Ssemgowere 3. Jarrad Clamp 4. Mitch Mollinson 5. Adam Miles 6. Archie Crowther 7. Joseph Agunbiade (sub 12. Jack Boden 65) 8. Riley Davoile © 9. David Gbehe 10. Kyle Carey 11. Jared Bradshaw (sub 15, Jake Williams 88). Subs not used; 14. Kienan Palmer 16. Sean Wills 17. Brandon Coleman.
Yellow cards; Ssemgowere (47) Foul. 8. Davoile (88) Foul.
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Will Bates 3. Lewis Green (sub 14. Kodi Briggs 61) 4. Luke Andrews (sub 16. Louie Martin 72) 5. Brad Marshall 6. Ben Gough © 7. Louie Barrett 8. Alex Parkes (sub 12. Harley Mallard 82) 9. Josh Jones (sub 15. Luca Iaciofano 65) 10. Mitch White 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 17. Ash Masumbuko 89).
Yellow cards; Gough (71) Foul. Bates (86) Foul.
Referee; Gary Lord
Assts; Jim Noyce & Dan Hollins