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Saturday 21st August 2021




Dereham scorers;

Bammant 36

Logan 86.


The road to Wembley continued as we returned to Compton Park for a very tough looking tie against Isthmian League club Dereham Town. The visitors brought along a number supporters with them on their coach and we got our first glimpse of a big, physical and professional looking Magpies squad as they took a look at excellent looking Compton Park pitch for the first time. The Cooks teamsheet revealed Jack Riley was added to the absence list along with the self-isolating Lloyd Groves and Kobi Bivens who has suffered a broken wrist in the week. The returning Archie Culley took a place on the bench alongside Tom Wakley, who made way for Archie Elmore, plus Faz Rahman. Harry Darnell started in his preferred midfield role, whist Paddy Cichosz came into the defence and Dan Mortimer played in central defensive role allowing Josh Adams to play at left back on his return. Keeper Craig Foxall, Rico Alexander, skipper Jamie Mastrpierro, Jordan Orosz and Dylan Wilson all kept the roles they played in the previous game to complete our line-up.

As 3 o’clock approached the forecast rain arrived at Compton Park and with the temperature in the low twenties it made for a horrible afternoon weather-wise and added a real zip to the green playing surface. Cichosz was heavily involved in the Cooks first attack as they kicked towards the village as he beat Robbie Linford on the right and sent a low cross skidding towards the near post and the incoming Elmore, but the keeper dived to get his body behind the ball just before the Cooks striker could get there. Cichosz won the ball back and sent in another low ball towards two blue shirts in the middle, but this time it was successfully cut out by a Magpies defender.

Rhys Logan hit a good free-kick from around 25-yards out but to the left of the area and Foxall had to watch it all the way before turning it over the bar for a corner. Orosz intercepted play just inside his own half and made a strong run down the right flank before playing it low across the box to find Adams in a good position, but he couldn’t keep his shot below bar height. Mastropierro played the ball to Wilson on the right side of the box and his well-struck drive hit a defender and went behind for a corner. Elmore sent it over and it came off the top of a defender’s head in the direction of Alexander just inside the 6-yard box at the far post with what was almost a free-header, but he put it too close to Elliot Pride in the visitor’s goal and the keeper stopped his effort on the line.

A corner down the other end was only half-cleared and Dion Friary pounced on the edge of the box but his low first-time effort was taken safely by Foxall, then a nice move involving Mastropierro and Cichosz saw Orosz burst past his man and cut inside the box before firing in a cross that hit the leg of Robbie Linford and flew into the side netting. Mortimer sent over a great corner that Cichosz almost got to as he jumped in the middle of the box.

Dereham had been playing with ten men for a few minutes as striker Shaun Bammant had to be patched up on the side lines with what I assume was a cut on the side of his head. He returned in the number 16 shirt with a bandage over his ear so seems most likely to have been a blood injury. It didn’t affect him too much by the look of it though as he fired his side into the lead shortly after returning to the pitch on 36 minutes. It was good move from the visitors that saw Logan go past his man inside the Cooks box and send a low ball across the area where Bammant arrived level with the far post to fire a first time shot high into the net from  a few yards out, giving Foxall no chance at all. This was the first goal from normal play we have conceded this season which was a superb feat considering this was our fifth game of the season.

We gave the ball away on the half-way line with a careless pass and Dereham broke through with the odds two-on-one in their favour, but as Adam Hipperson tried to play the ball into an unmarked Bammant in the centre of the box, Alexander slid in and got one of those long legs to the ball to cut out the danger. A vital piece of defending as it stopped what appeared to be a certain second goal for the Magpies just minutes after they had taken the lead. Andrew Fiske became the first person to be shown the yellow card by David Jarrett after his assistant called him over to point out he had been sworn at over a throw-in decision, then Dereham wanted an off-side against Wilson (it was off-side) but no flag went up and Pride came out of his area to head the ball under pressure from Wilson, with the ball dropping to Bates 30-yards out, but he his attempt to lift the ball back over everyone and into an empty net didn’t come off as it lacked both height and accuracy and went harmlessly wide of the goal.

A great challenge by Orosz stopped Bammant taking advantage of a great ball from Luke Johnson and as we broke it was Orosz causing problems at the other end with a good run. His low ball in was cut out and now Dereham had a break on so Mastropierro took one for the team by fouling his man before he could get into our half. Second yellow card of the season for our skipper with two minutes to go to half-time. The Cooks had another chance to get on the scoresheet before the break with Orosz again involved. The wing-back received a good pass from Elmore and went past Linford before checking back and laying it across to Elmore who was now inside the box, but he went to hit it first time and I think it probably bobbled as he completely mishit his shot and the ball spun away from goal.


Half-time; Cooks 0 Magpies 1


The Cooks started the second half on the attack and although a defender won a header from an Orosz cross, it fell to Adams on the edge of the box and his shot was blocked. Orosz found himself making a strong run down the left and he got himself into space to cross, but unfortunately he slipped at the vital time and he scooped his delivery over everyone’s heads.

Bammant did well to work a shooting opportunity for himself on the edge of the box and Foxall got down to make a comfortable save, then a great touch from Friary got him into a great position, but again Foxall was there to save his effort with his good positional play. A dangerous throw from Mortimer caused some issues for the Magpies, but we didn’t seem to want to attack it and it was eventually claimed above his head by Pride.

Two Dereham players got in each other’s way in a good position on the edge of the Cooks box which allowed us to clear, then Mortimer dinked a great ball into the box for Bates, but the experience of Friary saw him block the young Cooks player allowing his keeper to come out and claim the ball. Darnell had been down in the centre for a while before the keeper rolled the ball out of play to allow Ian Blair onto the field to treat him, but not even ‘Lionel’s magic touch could help this time and we saw the first sub of the game with Faz Rahman taking his place in the centre of midfield.

Logan did well as he beat his man and saw his shot deflected wide as the steady rain was officially upgraded to ‘pouring’. Dereham made their first changes with the wounded Bammant and Hipperson making way for Toby Hilliard and Joe Rider with 23 minutes remaining. Hilliard was certainly keen to get noticed as he chopped down Orosz before he had even got near enough to touch the ball and was booked within seconds of entering the pitch.

Wilson made a good run through on the right, but when he looked up he hadn’t really got the support he needed in the centre. As a result he went a little further that he would have liked and when he tried to pick out Bates run into the middle, the keeper was able to close him down and block his cross. It was at this point that the rain reached ‘torrential’ as I battled to keep my notebook and camera dry underneath my brolly.

Elmore found himself in a great position on the right as he went one-on-one with the keeper, but he shot early as Pride came out towards him and his low effort was saved as we spurned a decent chance to level things up. Rossi Jarvis was shown the yellow card for a foul from behind on Elmore and that was the last action for the Cooks striker as he made way for Wakley with 15 minutes left. Another sub followed a couple of minutes later as Culley made a very welcome return to the club as he replaced the hard-working Bates in midfield.

Mortimer made a vital interception as Dereham broke into our box on the right, then Johnson worked the edge of the box before spinning to hit a powerful low strike that once again Foxall took safely. A long ball by Mortimer looking for Wakley was steered back to his keeper by Matt Castellan with a cushioned header but it was back down the other end for Dereham’s second goal of the afternoon with 86 minutes on the clock. Logan took a pass into his feet, made a great turn and fired an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net from what looked to be just inside the box. Great finishing from the Magpies number seven.

The final change followed as Ashton Fox replaced the cautioned Fiske. Mortimer was in the right place at the right time after Foxall had come out to the edge of his box to his left and Logan had played the ball into the box and with the game already into stoppage time, Hilliard burst clear before Cichosz slid in and took his legs away. The Cooks player was shown the red card for a last man foul, although after discussions with the Cooks players, referee Jarrett went over to discuss matters with his senior assistant before eventually coming back across and showing Cichosz the red card again. Orosz picked himself up a booking for dissent at the decision. Hilliard hit the free-kick straight at the wall and the last few minutes of stoppage time were pretty uneventful and the ref blew his final whistle allowing the sodden players and supporters to finally get dry again.

Congratulations to Dereham and I wish them all the best in the next round and for their Isthmian League campaign. Finishing really was the difference today and we gave our all in a game that could have seen the higher-grade visitors win comfortably on paper. The Magpies had a very strong team out there so we can hold our heads high and move on to Tuesday night and a league game against Potton United here at Compton Park. (There will be no replays affecting this game as Potton were big 5-1 winners over Walsham-le-Willows in their cup tie today).

My Cooks man of the match today goes to Jordan Orosz for his efforts at both ends of the pitch. He created some good chances today that had we taken them things could have been very different. Craig Foxall deserves a mention too. It was the busiest he has been so far and had no chance with either of the goals, but his safe hands and solid positional play where at the forefront of his performance today.


Cooks; 1 Craig Foxall 2. Jordan Orosz 3. Josh Adams 4. Dan Mortimer 5. Paddy Cichosz 6. Rico Alexander 7. Will Bates (sub 15. Archie Culley 78) 8. Jamie Mastropierro © 9. Dylan Wilson 10 Archie Elmore (sub 12. Tom Wakley 75) 11. Harry Darnell (sub 14. Faris Rahman 63). Sub not used; 13. Kai Hanley (gk).

Red Card; Cichosz (90+1) Last man foul.

Yellow cards; Mastropierro (43) Foul. Orosz (90+1) Dissent.

Dereham; 1. Elliott Pride 2. Dion Friary 3. Robbie Linford 4. Andrew Fiske (sub 17. Ashton Fox 87) 5. Matthew Castellan 6. Rossi Jarvis 7. Rhys Logan 8. David Hinton © 9. Shaun Bammant (sub 12. Toby Hilliard 67) 10. Luke Johnson 11. Adam Hipperson (sub 14. Joe Rider 67). Subs not used; 15. Sam Mulready 16. Jeremiah Dasaolu.

Yellow cards; Fiske (39) Dissent. Hilliard (68) Foul. Jarvis (75) Foul.

Referee; David Jarrett

Experience Isthmian League side Dereham Town run out 2-0 winners at Compton Park.

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