Tommy Curry bagged a hat-trick, with Jessi Obeng and Louie Barrett netting twice after Harry Waple-Moors had opened the scoring in the Cooks biggest win of the season so far.
Saturday 4th March 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
LONG BUCKBY (2) 2 COGENHOE UNITED (3) 8
Whiteside 39 (pen)
Curry 19, 45, 60
Obeng 48, 83
Barrett 78, 84
The Cooks travelled to bottom club Long Buckby for what may well be their last visit to Station Road for the foreseeable future, given the double whammy of relegation a very real prospect and the fact they have today tendered their resignation by letter to the league. This will be a real shame if they have to give up their senior status as not too long ago they were one of the leading lights in the UCL and even won the title, the Senior Cup and the Maunsell Cup not too long ago. Money is tight for the club with very little interest from the village and a dwindling amount of people willing to volunteer at the club, along with the loss of any players that impress as they cannot afford to match the wages played by teams around them, including some at a lower level. Unfortunately, this is happening to more and more clubs these days, but we had a job to do and taking the three points was the only thing on our minds once the game kicked-off.
Scott Carlin was able to call on both Josh Adams and Bailey Weatherly who had missed out on the Tuesday night horror show through work commitments, while Harley Mallard came back in for Ben Gough to partner Perry Ronayne in the centre of the defence and Alex Parkes and Tommy Curry were promoted into the starting line from the bench. This would be Curry’s first start for the Cooks as Louie Barrett dropped down the bench where he was joined by Pharrell Anderson, Callum Farmer, Dalton Leon and Kodi Briggs. Ash Bodycote, Bruce Tsinosis and Harry Waple-Moors all started against their previous club, while former Cooks player Manny Gbejuade lined-up for the Bucks. To complete the Cooks team, skipper Paddy Cichosz and Jessi Obeng both kept their usual roles.
Cichosz won the ball in midfield and Weatherly tried to send Waple-Moors through, but there was just a little too much on his pass and it zipped through to keeper John Meadows, then down the village end Tsinosis beat Charlie Whiteside to a cross and Obeng broke away. He held the ball up and Tsinosis came on the overlap and sent over a low cross that was cut out for a corner. Adams’ delivery came off a defender’s head and went across the box, but Weatherly sent it back to pick out Adams just beyond the far post, but he couldn’t strike it cleanly and it went through to Meadows. Weatherly won another corner when his 25-yard shot hit Alex Vineall and went behind, then Tsinosis won another on the opposite side when George Price cut out his cross. Plenty of early corners, but we hadn’t looked particularly dangerous from any of them as yet. Ronayne did well to get a foot in and stop Whiteside just inside the box and when the ball was crossed back in by George Wingrove, Mallard got there first at the expense of a corner to the home side. Cichosz committed a foul just beyond the left corner of the box and Whiteside caught us out a little when he went inside the wall aiming for the near post, but his effort was a couple of feet wide as Bodycote scrambled across. Cichosz almost played a great ball through for Obeng, but Price made a vital interception, but the deadlock was broken on 17 minutes.
Curry had made a good run only for Vineall to cut out his cross, but the Cooks built up again from the half-way line with Tisonisis and Parkes making good passes and Obeng held it up in the box before slipping it to Curry on the left. His shot forced a good save out of Meadows, but Harry Waple-Moors followed up for the centre of the box to place a low shot between the keeper and covering defender for his first Cogenhoe United goal. The next action saw the unfortunate Buckby keeper picking the ball out the net again just ninety-seconds later. A clearance was headed back over the top and Tommy Curry raced on to it and as the keeper came to the edge of the box, he coolly lifted it over his head and into the back of the net.
Weatherly and Adams both sent over decent crosses, then a deep pass from Mallard saw Obeng battle for the ball in the air just inside the box and the Cooks man was first to the loose ball to hit a volley from the right, but Price had recovered and threw himself in the way of the shot. Gbejuade cut in between Tsinosis and Ronayne to get into the box on the left, but he fired his shot well over from a good position, which was similar to Whiteside’s effort from 25-yards a couple of minutes later. Cichosz was caught in possession and Pursey broke down the right before sending over a cross that Tsinosis had to put behind for a corner, which was taken short, but Wingrove blazed high and wide from wide on the left.
A good move involving Obeng, Weatherly and Parkes won the Cooks a corner that Parkes delivered from the left. Curry pounced to hit a good shot that forced a one-handed save from Meadows, but the ball fell to Tsinosis just three yards out at the far post, but he hit his shot into the side-netting. A poor backpass by Josh Thompson saw Curry run in to the box, but Meadows did really well as he raced off his line and dived to block the young Cobbler’s shot with a brave save. Wingrave got the better of Tsinosis and cut into the box, but failed to pick out a teammate with his cut-back, Whiteside dinked it back into the box on the left to find Thompson completely unmarked and he fired in a shot that Weatherly threw himself in front of, but the ball hit his outstretched arm and referee Scott Hanna pointed to the spot. Whiteside stepped up to convert the penalty and all of a sudden the impetus had swung favour of the home side in the way a goal usually does, but we really should have made it three just a couple of minutes previous. Weatherly collected a throw from Adams on the left before turning and hitting a shot from 25-yards out that went wide of the near post, then Buckby captain Dom Bolton slipped a great ball through to Gbejuade, but Bodycote raced out of his box the clear the ball up field. A long throw from Thompson was headed on by Dan Winterbottom only for Bodycote to rise and catch the ball, but we were punished once again on 43 minutes as we again left an opponent totally unmarked inside the left of our box. A long cross-field pass by Wingrove picked out the unmarked Emmanuel Gbejuade and he controlled it well before curling a perfectly placed shot across the keeper and into the far top corner to net against his former team. Two goals in four minutes for the home side and our lead had gone at a time that we should have been controlling the game into the break.
Cichosz played a good ball into the box for Waple-Moors, but Meadows slid out to get the ball first, but we were back in front on 45 minutes as Tommy Curry bagged his second of the game. A great ball from Ronayne sent Obeng into the box on the right and he hit a good shot that forced an excellent one-handed diving save out of Meadows, but Curry showed a great striker’s instinct as he got to the loose ball first, took a touch and fired a shot into the far corner. The final chance of the half came when Parkes robbed Bolton and fed Curry on the left, but his cross was cut out and we went into the break 3-2 to the good.
A very entertaining 45 minutes and we had the lead as well, but we did shoot ourselves in the foot by leaving so much space inside the left of our own penalty area twice and were punished both times, while on the other side of the coin we had looked so much better going forward than we had in the previous 180 minutes of football.
HALF-TIME; BUCKBY 2 COOKS 3
The second half got underway at ten past four with some other games probably ten minutes in by that point, with this likely to be an important 45 minutes for both teams. Weatherly played a free-kick into the box that saw both Waple-Moors and Obeng have shots blocked, then Thompson was shown the yellow card for kicking the ball at Waple-Moors while the Cooks player was laying on the ground after being fouled. After the stoppage, Parkes played the free-kick into the box where the home defence struggled to deal with it and the ball fell to Jessi Obeng who fired the ball home from the centre of the box to put the Cooks two goals ahead for the second time in the game with 48 minutes played. The Buckby players were angry with the referee at this point and that is probably why Pursey brought down Curry and he was rather lucky not to be shown the yellow card and they were even angrier moments later when Whiteside ran on to a flick to get into the box and his shot deflected off Mallard for what should have been a corner, but was given as a goal-kick to the Cooks.
A 25-yard shot, at the second attempt after slicing the first one so badly it came back to him, bounced before flying into the midriff of the keeper, then Obeng ran on to a Mallard clearance and saw his shot take a heavy deflection off a defender. Meadows slid across to hold the ball as he tried to keep it in, but Gary Capps raised his flag to indicate it had already crossed the line, despite not being anywhere near level with play. Waple-Moors had been struggling after being fouled a few minutes earlier and not even Jules could work her magic on him and he was subbed off on 57 minutes with Pharrell Anderson taking his place. Adams tried to whip in a cross that hit both defenders in front of him and went behind the goal, but perhaps to even things up, the referee awarded a goal-kick and I guess we were even now.
Whiteside played a good low ball into the box that fell kindly to Ryan Palmer, but his shot was blocked and when it came to Wingrove, his effort found a similar fate. The Cooks scored their fifth of the game on the hour and it was the Cooks first hat-trick of the season as Tommy Curry rounded off a superb full debut. He brushed past one challenge and held off his pursuer through the centre to race into the box and cut the ball back past the keeper with his left foot. The covering defender did his best to get back and try and keep it out, but there was too much on the shot and Cooks were 5-2 up. Excellent goal from the Cobblers youngster and surely it was game over now.
A spate of subs was to follow with Jaidan Cole replacing Price on 60, Briggs coming on for Adams and Barrett for hat-trick hero Curry on 65, then Callum Dench taking over from the injured Gbejuade on 67 and a double change on 75 as Weatherly and Palmer took a break with Dalton Leon and Jai Newell-Hollelly replacing them respectively. We did have some action during this period with Briggs and Parkes linking up to create a chance for Barrett, but Meadows saved his shot at the near post, then Palmer set up Whiteside outside the box, but his first-time effort was the wrong side of Bodycote’s right-hand post. Anderson was booked on 76 minutes after throwing himself to ground under a challenge from Vineall on the touchline, no arguments from me on this one, but the Cooks sub was in the news for the right reasons on 78 minutes when he made a great run into the box on the right before drawing the keeper and pulling the ball back into the path of Louie Barrett who fired home from just inside the 6-yard box.
More changes before the restart saw Parkes replaced by Farmer and Sam Collins come on in place of Winterbottom for the final twelve minutes of the game. The Cooks went into seventh heaven on 83 minutes when a great through ball from Barrett sent Jessi Obeng clear and he fired his shot past Meadows from the edge of the box on the right to extend the lead, then a minute later it was 8-2 when Louie Barrett picked the ball up in the middle of the Buckby half and weaved his way past several maroon shirts to get inside the box before steering the ball across the keeper and into the net. Obeng attempted a one-two with Barrett that didn’t quite come off, then a good challenge from Cichosz stopped Newell-Hollelly in his tracks before Whiteside battled hard to get into a crossing position before over hitting it badly and finally Whiteside very nearly pulled one back with his 30-yard effort that struck the base of the post.
A great day at the office for the Cooks against the team just three places below us in the table as the players gave Biff the response he required after Tuesday night’s showing. The blip late in the first half was worrying, but the lads more than made up for that with five unanswered goals and some real beauties among them. All 16 players did well today, but my man-of-the-match has to go to hat-trick hero Tommy Curry, the first player to net a treble for the first team in the new era and in his first start too. A tough result for Long Buckby today who came up against a Cogenhoe side desperate to make up for their last couple of performances, but I wish them well for the rest of the season.
As for the Cooks, I would like to say thank you and well done, it is not easy to score eight goals, especially away from home, but you did the club proud today. It will be somewhat tougher on Tuesday night when we entertain a Histon team who won 4-0 at G.N.G today, but let us at least bask in the glory of today’s win over the rest of weekend before we turn our focus to that game.
This win lifts us up to 13th place as we overtake Godmanchester who lost a 2-0 half-time lead to draw 2-2 with Lutterworth today and Eynesbury who have lost their way again lately and went down 3-2 at Bugbrooke. We are also nine points clear of second bottom Rothwell Corinthians who did well today to only lose 1-0 at home to Wellingborough who are gunning for second spot and a place in the play-offs.
One final mention of the gasps from the crowd at the burst of speed down the left flank and across the home penalty area in the 70th minute. Need to sign that tabby cat up I think.
BUCKBY; 1. John Meadows 2. Joe Pursey 3. George Price (sub 14. Jaiden Cole 60) 4. Dom Bolton © 5. Alex Vineall 6. Dan Winterburn (sub 15. Sam Collins 78) 7. Ryan Palmer (sub 12. Jai Newell-Hollelly 75) 8. Jodh Thompson 9. Charlie Whiteside 10. George Wingrove 11. Emmanuel Gbejuade (sub 17. Callum Dench 67). Sub not used; 16. Diesel Binding.
Yellow card; Thompson (47) Unsporting behaviour.
COOKS; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Bruce Tsinosis 3. Josh Adams (sub 17. Kodi Briggs 65) 4. Alex Parkes (sub 14. Callum Farmer 78) 5. Harley Mallard 6. Perry Ronayne 7. Tommy Curry (sub 16. Louie Barrett 65) 8. Paddy Cichosz © 9. Harry Waple-Moors (sub 12. Pharrell Anderson 57) 10. Bailey Weatherly (sub 15. Dalton Leon 75) 11. Jessi Obeng.
Yellow card; Anderson (76) Simulation.
Referee; Scott Hanna
Assts; Gary Capps & Kieron Hawthorn