Skip to main content

Thursday 13th January 2022





Connor 13, 36

Lack 29

Abimbola 31, 53


Att; 95


The Cooks U18s hosted local EFL side Northampton Town on a chilly night in the village with the pitch still showing the effects of last Thursday’s game that had been played on a very wet pitch. The Cobblers had the first attack, but Liam Isaac wasn’t too far away from getting a touch onto Shad Reza’s free kick played in from the left touchline, but the ball continued untouched and through to keeper Callum Cook. Ben Westwood made the first save when he got his fingertips to Ethan Lack’s shot from just outside the box just before Miguel Ngwa almost played Jack Connor clear, but put a little too much onto the through ball. Both teams were trying to play decent football, but the bumpy pitch was making that difficult at times as the players got used to the run of the ball during the early stages.

Matt Fletcher made a strong run into the box as he cut in from the left, but sheer numbers and a lack of support made this a tough ask and the ball eventually got away from him and ran through to the keeper. Luca Iaciofano tried a shot on the turn from the left corner of the box, but he got under it too much and it sailed over the top, then a nice move from the Cobblers opened the scoring down the village end with 13 minutes played. The ball was played out right to Ethan Lack and he sent a low ball across the box where Connor nipped in to tuck the ball away from close range.

The Cobblers were playing some quick passing and making the Cooks youngsters work all over the pitch and buoyed by the goal they started to dominate proceedings. Westwood dived to his left to touch a low Connor shot wide of the far post for a corner and then Courtney Lashley drove his shot wide from 25-yards out. Westwood was certainly the busiest of the two keepers and he had to rush out of his area to stop one attack down the right before taking a cross in the centre from Brad Smith-Howes moments later. Some nice build-up play from the Cobblers ended with Lashley again going for goal from outside the box, but this time his effort was well off the mark as it flew high and wide. The impressive Cobblers skipper Peter Abimbola played a great ball through to Lack inside the box and despite appearing to steady himself well, he screwed his shot wide of the target with just the keeper to beat.

Manny Asante won the ball the ball inside the Cobblers half and Iaciofano played it wide left to Reza who returned it to Iaciofano who was now just outside the box, but his shot struck the leg of a defender which took the pace of the ball and it went through to Callum Cook. The game was to move further out of Cogenhoe’s reach as two goals in three minutes either side of the half-hour mark put the Cobblers into a three-goal lead as they turned the screw. On 29 minutes a strong run from Lack saw him break into the box before swivelling and steering his shot into the bottom left-hand corner of Westwood’s goal, then two minutes later a quick break saw Abimbola make space to the left of the box before hitting a low drive that went in off the base of the far post for a very well taken goal.

A decent cross from Smith-Howes was blocked in the centre and Ngwa pounced on the rebound only for his shot to go out for a corner off a defender’s legs. With 36 minutes gone any realistic hope for the Cooks all but vanished as the Cobblers added a fourth when Ngwa whipped the ball in from the right and Connor calmly met it on the volley at the far post from close range to give Westwood no chance at all. The first change of the game came on 38 minutes when Liam Isaac was replaced by Kieran Ashman on the right for the Cooks. Connor headed wide from Lashley’s cross then the same Cobblers player was denied his hat-trick by Westwood who saved his shot with his legs after the striker had been played clear through inside the box. The ball broke nicely for Ngwa inside the box on the left, but he pulled his shot the wrong side of the near post and the Cobblers headed into the break four goals to the good.


Half-time; Cooks 0 Cobblers 4


The Cobblers changed their keeper at the break as they continued a Bugbrooke St Michaels theme with Badgers U18s keeper Tom Ladyman replacing Callum Cook, who had himself played a couple of first team games at the Sett this season to cover a suspension. The Cobblers started where they had left off before the break and James McGrath made a couple of good tackles around the box as he took the ball off Ngwa and then Connor in dangerous positions, but the lead became five with 53 minutes gone. A short corner from Smith-Howes caught us out and Ngwa chipped the ball into the box where it came to Abimbola ten yards out and he switched feet before planting his shot firmly into the back of the Cooks net.

A plethora of changes followed over the next ten minutes and the game lost its way for a while as the new players settled into the game. The Cooks brought on Nzube Nwosu, Archie Shaw for the injured McGrath, Elijah Noel and finally debutant Henry McDonald during this period, whilst the visitors gave Jacob Scott, Tommy Curry, Rico Duggan and Rueben Wyatt a run out on the night as they took advantage of the competitions five subs rule.

Shaw defended well to stop Connor, whilst down the other end Ashman battled hard to give Iaciofano a sight of goal, but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide. Reece Irwin got his head to a corner but it fell nicely for Westwood, then we saw the games only yellow card on 75 minutes after Shaw brought down Duggan on the run. A lovely cross from Smith-Howes was headed wide by Curry before Isaac returned to the action in place of Fletcher with eleven minutes remaining. Westwood got down to save a shot at his near post before Nwosu did really well inside the box to take the ball off Connor as the striker tried to turn. A great cross from Smith-Howes was header over by Irwin and then Westwood had to react quickly to come off his line and beat Connor to a ball played over the top. A very good cross from Duggan saw two of their other subs combine as Scott played the ball back across the box to Curry, but the ensuing shot was wide of the target, then a lovely ball in from Smith-Howes saw Curry nip in at the near post, but he clipped the ball over the bar from close range. Nwosu defended well again inside the box as Connor tried to turn him and the final chance of the game saw Duggan cut inside and hit a powerful strike that Noel chested away.

I think this was probably the result we expected against a full-time professional team, but it will have been a good experience for the lads who have done exceptionally well to reach the semi-final of this competition.

There have been some fixture changes and we now go to Corby Town on Monday 24th January, so the next game for the Cooks will be a home league game against Kempston Rovers on Thursday 20th. Thanks to the 95 people who came out to watch these young lads on a freezing cold January night and I hope you enjoyed the game.



1 – Ben Westwood

2 – Ollie Sljivic

3 – Caleb Jones

4 – Aiden Hawes

5 – Nat Allam ©

6 – James McGrath

7 – Matt Fletcher

8 – Manny Asante

9 – Shad Reza

10 – Luca Iaciofano

11 – Liam Isaac


12 – Elijah Noel *(62-3)

14 – Archie Shaw *(58-6)

15 – Kieran Ashman *(38-11)

16 – Nzube Nwosu *(54-4)

17 – Henry McDonald *(67-9)



22 – Callum Cook

2 – Brad Smith-Howes

3 – Courtney Lashley

4 – Dylan Hill

5 – Reece Irwin

6 – David Sarpong

7 – Miguel Ngwa

8 – Peter Abimbola ©

9 – Jack Connor

10 – Ethan Lack

11 – Kenny Ndefo


14 – Tommy Curry *(60-16)

15 – James Scott *(55-6)

17 – Rueben Wyatt *(63-7)

18 – Rico Duggan *(63-7)

30 – Tom Ladyman (GK) *(ht-1)


Referee; Aaron Lloyd

Assts; Andrew Johnson & Daniel Bain



*No photos tonight due to historic issues with Northampton Town Football Club.

Leave a Reply