Will Bates beauty cancelled out by Charlie Green late on to earn The Doughboys a deserved point as both sides end the game with ten men.
BOXING DAY Monday 26th December 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN (0) 1
With Christmas day survived and possibly a sore head or overfull stomach or two being nursed, football returned to the agenda as Cogenhoe United and Wellingborough Town oiled a few joints as they shook off the rust of going almost a month without a game between them. The Boxing Day fixture brought in Cogenhoe’s biggest crowd of the season to date as 148 spectators who were hoping for a good game in the winter sunshine, although as soon as you moved into the shade, the icy wind bit right into you. Former Cooks manager Jake Stone brought back six ex-Cooks players in his squad as Rico Alexander, Séan McBride, Jack O’Connor, Harry Chipchase, Matt Long and Tom Iaciofano were all included in the Doughboys starting eleven, whilst Kyle Ansell and Louie Barrett also lined up against their former teammates. Ash Bodycote returned in goal, Josh Adams came back on the left, Ben Gough and Harley Mallard came into the back three and Harry Waple-Moors was handed his Cooks debut up front, with Ciaran Wells, Lewis Green (sub), Bruce Tsinosis (suspended), Luca Purse (chest infection) and Alex Parkes all missing from the starting line at GNG three weeks ago. One other former Cooks player on show was Zach Cunningham, although the one-time keeper was running the line today in his new role as a referee.
The midday kick-off and the complete absence of any clouds in the sky meant the sun was going to hinder the keepers as the earth’s orbit took it further behind the car park end, so the Cooks opted to kick that way in the first half meaning Ash Bodycote wouldn’t have to look straight into it as it dropped lower during the second half. Incidentally this may well by Bodycote’s final game in a Cooks shirt as his loan spell was up until the end of this year, but it would be great if this could be further extended. One thing for sure is he won’t be in goal in our next game as we host his parent club. Barrett picked up play just inside the Wellingborough half and made a run through the centre before laying it of to Jessi Obeng. He continued to go forward and went round to the right where Obeng slipped it back to him and Barrett’s cross was headed out by Brett Solkhon, but only as far as Paddy Cichosz just outside the box and the Cooks skipper hit it first time, only for Charlie Green to throw himself in front of the shot to block its path. Gough stretched to cut out and a clear a low Nat Gosnal-Tyler cross from the left, then McBride went close with a decent curling effort from the edge of the box that went just wide. Chipchase dinked what look to be a great ball over the top only to find a teammate had strayed offside, just before Iaciofano sent in a high free-kick from wide on the right that Green rose to meet with his head beyond the back-post, but his effort looped high over the bar.
Wellingborough won a couple of quick corners, the first headed behind by Gough, the second landing on the top of the net with the whistle already gone for an infringement inside the penalty area. The visitors were piling on the pressure now and Gosnal-Tyler will have been disappointed with his low shot from the edge of the area that rolled through to Bodycote, then Cogenhoe threatened from an Ansell free-kick played up into the box, but Chipchase more than made up for his foul as he tracked back to head the ball behind before the in-coming Adams could pounce. Cichosz got to the ensuing corning first, but keeper Dan Farrell held his header easily at bar height just in front of his line. Gough covered well as Green tried to pick out Iaciofano with a long ball, then Bates defended really well at the near post at the expense of a corner and when Iaciofano sent in the flag-kick, Gough headed it away.
Cichosz brought down Dylan Hill wide on the left and Long sent in a dangerous free-kick that Green met with a powerful header at the far post forcing Bodycote to make a great save, which became a double as the keeper dived to parry Gosnal-Tyler’s powerful follow up, with the Wellingborough player then blazing over when the ball came back to him again. The Cooks keeper then miscued a clearance into the wind with the ball coming back at him and Long giving chase, but luck was on our side as the ball bounced up and struck the former Cogenhoe player’s arm and referee James Truman awarded us a free-kick. Gosnal-Tyler sent in a corner that skimmed off the head of Will Bates and found O’Connor at the far post and although he managed to steer the ball on target, it was blocked on the goal-line. Long evaded the offside flag from a flick-on to get goal side of Ansell, but the Cooks defender made it difficult for him and when and he was forced to play the ball across the box, Iaciofano failed to overly trouble Bodycote with his first-time shot.
Cichosz threw his body on the line to block a powerful Solkhon strike following a corner, whilst a strong break down the right from Obeng ended in a Cogenhoe free-kick, but Ansell’s delivery was headed away at the back stick. Pharrell Anderson had his first real chance to open his legs and in doing so he left Alexander trailing in his wake as he broke into the box just to the left, but Farrell came off his line and spread himself and he blocked Anderson’s attempt to poke the ball past him with his leg. Bates got his head to Gough’s throw-in into the box, but couldn’t get any power behind it and following this, Waple-Moors reacted to something I didn’t see with Green and the Cooks debutant picked up the game’s first yellow card. Iaciofano dipped a shoulder and let the ball go over him before turning inside the box, but Mallard read the situation really well and calmly swept things up. The final action of the half saw Bodycote make another fine save to deny Solkhon’s powerful drive from a couple of yards inside the box that had seemed to be destined to hit the top corner of the net.
The Cooks will have been relieved to go into the break with the game still score-less after Wellngborough had dominated much of the play and Ash Bodycote saved his team with three very good saves. Praise also has to go to the defence who worked hard and were happy to put their bodies on the line, with Ben Gough looking back to his best again.
HT Cooks 0 Doughboys 0
I think most people were expecting the second half to continue in a similar vein to the first, but the Cooks shook their high-flying local rivals by taking the lead within a minute of the re-start, Anderson had been seen off the ball by some strong defending by Chipchase, but when the ball was played into the middle, Will Bates hit it perfectly from 25-yards out with the ball hitting the top corner of the net before Farrell was even able to react. Another beauty from Bates and his 7th goal of the season so far, but more importantly he had given us the lead right out of the blue and stunned our visitors. The Cooks, now with a lead to protect, defended bravely with a couple of blocks before Anderson broke down the left and despite slipping, still got the better of Hill before playing it to Bates just outside the box in the centre. The Cooks goal scorer sidestepped a challenge to work his way into the box, but lost his footing and while on the ground he swung his foot round and caught the shinpad of a Wellingborough player, earning him a yellow card.
Barrett had the pace on Alexander down the right but sliced his cross behind the goal, then Waple-Moors held off a challenge from Alexander before swivelling to whip over a cross that was too close to Farrell. Long sent in a cross from the left that wouldn’t drop for McBride to get in a shot and a big clearance from Gough forced Farrell well outside his area to sweep up. The first sub came just after the hour when Stone replaced Chipchase with experienced striker Jake Newman in an attacking move, just before Long turned and shot from 20-yards with the ball sailing high and wide. We thought Wellingborough had levelled the scores when a fantastic cross from the right was turned in from close range at the back post by Newman, but the whistle went immediately as the referee spotted the Doughboy’s sub had used his hand to put the ball into the net and he duly brandished his third yellow card of the afternoon.
Obeng did well down the right as he beat Alexander, but Hill cut out his attempted pull-back, then Scott Carlin made his first change as Waple-Moors made way for Luke Andrews midway through the second half. The game swung in Cogenhoe’s favour on 72 minutes when the vastly experienced Wellingborough Player coach launched a clearly audible and colourful response to a refereeing decision and this time Mr Truman pulled the red card out of his back pocket to leave the Cooks with a man advantage on top of their goal one with 72 minutes played.
Bodycote denied Newman by diving at his feet, but the flag had been put up for offside by the legendary Gary Capps, while Carlin made a couple of quick changes as Lewis Green came on for Adams and shortly afterwards Jamie Hall replaced Obeng, but between those subs Barrett played a one-two with Andrews and whipped in a cross that Alexander stooped to cut out inside the box. Barrett went into the book for a foul on 80 minutes as the Cooks held on to their lead, then Gough did really well to keep up with Gosnal-Tyler and rob the wide-man before he could cause us any problems inside the box. Cogenhoe’s final change of the game saw Kieron Mobbs make his first team debut as he replaced Anderson with 82 minutes on the clock.
Time was ticking away for the Doughboys as Ollie Anderson came on, but there was another swing to come and this one worked in favour of the visitors. I have to admit that from where I stood, I couldn’t see what was happening deep inside the Cooks half on the left as it was behind the dug-outs, but I am told that a Wellingborough player fell on the ball and laid there and Andrews tried to kick the ball from underneath him. Anyway, the result was a free-kick to Wellingborough and a red card for Luke Andrews. The free-kick was played to the far post where Charlie Green headed it home from close-range to level the scores up at 1-1 with 89 minutes played. Bates went for goal from the re-start, but it didn’t trouble Farrell, then Cichosz won a corner off McBride. Ansell swung it in and Farrell touched it across the area where Gough met if on the volley forcing the keeper to block it at his near post. Gough received a blow to the head from the second corner, but after a bit of treatment he was back on his feet and taking one for the team down the other end as he brought down Iaciofano who was about to break clear down the left.
The game ended 1-1 and in truth it really wasn’t a game that will linger long in the memory. Wellingborough probably should have had this one wrapped up in the first half given the amount or pressure they put us under, but the defence and midfield worked their socks off to defend their goal and when they were infiltrated, they found my man-of-the-match Ash Bodycote in top form with three excellent saves. Ben Gough pushed him close with a determined performance too and thoroughly deserves a mention. Hats off to Will Bates for another great goal and a real game changer at the time and if I’m honest, I would have taken a point from this game before we kicked-off. Despite two red cards and five yellows, this was far from a feisty game, just a well-competed for local derby and the point means we are now four points off the bottom with at least one game in hand of the three teams below us as we head into 2023.
Next up is leaders Rugby Town who come here on Bank Holiday Monday January 2nd, with the game kicking off at 1pm.
Cooks; 1. Ady Bodycote 2. Harley Mallard 3. Josh Adams (sub 12. Lewis Green 76) 4. Paddy Cichosz © 5. Kyle Ansell 6. Ben Gough 7. Louie Barrett 8. Harry Waple-Moors (sub 16. Luke Andrews 67) 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 15. Kieron Mobbs 82) 10. Will Bates 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 20. Jamie Hall 77). Sub not used; 14. Joe Malkin.
Red card; Andrews (88) Foul.
Yellow cards; Waple-Moors (43) Violent conduct. Bates (48) Foul. Barrett (80) Foul. Gough (90+5) Foul.
Doughboys; 1. Dan Farrell 2. Charlie Green 3. Rico Alexander 4. Séan McBride 5. Jack O’Connor © 6. Brett Solkhon 7. Dylan Hill (sub 12. Ollie Anderson 86) 8. Harry Chipchase (sub 16. Jake Newman 62) 9. Matt Long 10. Tom Iaciofano 11. Nat Gosnal-Tyler. Subs not used; 14. Vikram Maszumbar 15. Zac Arnold.
Red card; Solkhon (72) Foul and abusive language.
Yellow card; Newman (65) Deliberate hand-ball.
Referee; James Truman
Assts; Gary Capps & Zach Cunningham