Rico Duggan’s late goal send the Cooks home with nothing to show for their efforts at in-form Desborough Town.
Saturday 25th March 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
DESBOROUGH TOWN (0) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 0
With Perry Ronayne suffering from concussion and Kyle Ansell having opted to drop down a division to play for Rugby Borough, Scott Carlin was forced into shuffling his pack with Bruce Tsinosis moving across to centre-back with Alex Parkes taking over the right back berth. He was able to call on skipper Cichosz into his usual central midfield spot. Jim Le Masurier included two former Cooks players in his starting line-up in the shape of Archie Elmore and former skipper Adam Randall.
Having driven through a couple of showers on-route from Milton Keynes and as the threatening black cloud that had hovered ominously over the water tower moved away, the game got under away in bright sunshine, although a gusting blustery cross-wind took the edge of me referring to this as almost early summer weather. The early exchanges were fairly cagy from both teams with a couple of Cogenhoe attacks breaking down before they reached the box, while Ar Tarn had the first shot of the game as Rico Duggan played the ball wide to Elmore whose cross was chased down by Iain Blaikie who set up a chance for Duggan just inside the box, but he pulled his effort the wrong side of the near post. The Cooks were down to ten men temporarily as Jules treated Tsinosis for a blood injury and during that time Liam Boath found himself space for a shot from the edge of the box, but his effort was well off target.
Ethan Lack won a corner down the left that Desborough cleared, then Dalton Leon almost got his head to a deep Luca Purse free-kick delivered from just inside the Cogenhoe half. Nice work by Alvin Magagada down the right saw him find Duggan on the edge of the box where Cichosz tripped him and in doing so created a good chance for the home side, but Duggan could only hit the wall with his free-kick. A good ball from Randall gave Magagada a chance to cut inside from the right to get past Kodi Briggs and pull a low ball back into the path of Luca Miller in the centre of the box, but luckily for the Cooks he got his first time shot totally wrong and skied the ball several yards over the bar. Briggs picked out Jessi Obeng’s run down the right and he breezed past Adam Honour before sending the ball across the box, but the ball looped up into the air off a defender’s foot and veteran midfielder Boath was able to clear the ball away from the danger area.
Desborough’s leading scorer Iain Blaikie had a chance from the left side of the box, but placed his shot wide of the far post with Ash Bodycote having it covered, then Parkes drilled a low free-kick into the box and Leon flicked it goalward, but the long grass slowed it down and Adam Honour had no trouble in picking it up. Lack did well to bring down the ball as it bobbled badly, but his 25-yard shot was too close to Honour to trouble him just before what looked like being a good cross-field pass from Obeng drifted on the wind and into the keeper as Barrett ran on to it. Magagada sent over a free-kick from wide on the right that found Blaikie inside the box on the left and he hit a powerful low drive that would have found the far corner had Bodycote not dived to make a very good save. Good play involving Barrett and Lack saw Tommy Curry get the ball inside the box and he held off three defenders before laying it back to Leon just outside the area, but his first-time shot didn’t have the power behind it he was looking for and it was easily blocked.
Lack played Barrett down the right flank only for Liam Honour to nick the ball off him, then the Cooks had a great chance to take the lead when Lack played the ball into the feet of Curry deep inside the box on the right and he turned quickly to send over a great cross, but Obeng put his free-header wide of the target. We could have made up for that miss minutes later when Obeng’s pace saw him get away from Aaron Davies and Magagada through the centre and with Honour coming off his line, he tried to steer the ball into the path of Curry, but the ball held up in the grass giving the keeper time to dive on the ball. Two great chances for the Cooks in very quick succession, but the game remained goalless. A clearance from Purse was picked up by Curry who got into the box, but found himself up against a wall of blue and he was unable to find the space to turn and get in a shot. Boath, who I’m sure is old enough to be the father of a majority of the Cogenhoe team, picked up a yellow card for tripping Cichosz from behind after the Cooks skipper had gone past him. Briggs looked like he had found Curry’s feet inside the box, but Liam Honour came across with a great interception, then Barrett went by Courtney Lashley before seeing his shot looped across the box off a defender and Obeng went for the spectacular with an overhead kick, but his effort ended further away from its intended target than it started as he only managed to send it back in the direction it had arrived from.
Curry, holding his thigh, was forced to limp off the field five minutes before the break with Pharrell Anderson taking his place up front. Initially it looks a bad one for the Cobblers loanee and he must be a major doubt for the trip to Coventry Sphinx on Tuesday night. Parkes drilled a 25-yard free-kick straight at the keeper, then Cichosz was taken out in the middle of the park by a very late challenge from the already cautioned Boath. Now I am not one of those people who like to see opponents sent-off, but compared to some of the red cards we have received this season, this was definitely a second yellow, but referee Callum Timperley opted to let him off with a warning. Obeng made himself space for a shot on the edge of the box and forced Honour into a save with his well-struck effort, then Anderson’s pace saw him leave Lashley in his wake before placing a low shot across Honour that went wide of the far post with the last chance of the half.
Goalless at the break with Cogenhoe improving as the half went on, but we failed to really question Adam Honour, whilst Ash Bodycote had kept us level with one very good save.
Half-time; Ar Tarn 0 Cooks 0
Elmore sent over a cross that went beyond his teammates, then a good break down the right saw Barrett win a corner and Parkes swung it in, but Honour caught it unchallenged a foot off his goal-line. Great determination from Parkes saw him win back the ball and find Obeng in the centre and he in turn set up Barrett to his right, but he fired his shot over the top from a good position. A strong tackle from Cichosz allowed Parkes to feed Lack, but a couple of awful bobbles saw his attempt to shoot from 25-yards out come off his shin pad and go wide of the mark. Miller sent a free-kick into the box that Davies got his head to under pressure of Purse’s challenge and he could only send the ball wide of the near post, then Anderson turned as he took a throw in from Briggs on the edge of the box, but the grass got the better of him and his shot was straight at Honour. Duggan picked out Elmore inside the box on the right and he hit his shot on the turn straight at Bodycote, but the former Cooks striker almost broke the deadlock after his sublime turn on the edge of the box gave him space for a shot and he hit it sweetly, but he couldn’t beat Bodycote who threw himself to his right to turn the ball wide with both his hands.
Lack’s first time pass created a chance for Anderson, but Honour caught his shot cleanly, then good defending from Tsinosis saw him snuff out a Desborough attack and send Obeng running for goal, but he was brought down just inside the home team’s half. Magagada didn’t seem to enthralled by the decision though and chose to kick the ball away and become the second home player to be shown the yellow card on the hour. Tsinosis sent in the free-kick and Purse got up to flick it on with his head, but none of his teammates could take advantage of it and Honour simply waited for it to arrive at him in his 6-yard box. Both teams were showing promise going forward, but the final pass was missing and this was summed up when Barrett made a good run through the centre, but put must too much weight on his pass. Obeng did really well to keep it in, but he failed to find a teammate and the chance had gone begging once again.
Barrett lost his footing in the long grass, but recovered well to send the ball across the box for Anderson, but Liam Honour got a vital foot to the cross and when it fell to Cichosz 25-yards out, he hit it first time and sent his nicely-hit shot wide of the target. Barrett forced a mistake from Lashley to win a corner on the right that Parkes sent over and Purse directed it on target, but unfortunately it was too close to the keeper once again. The changes started with Le Masurier bringing on Finlay Sharrock for Elmore on 72 minutes and Lewis McClean for Lashley two minutes later. Purse did well to get his head to a long ball with Blaikie looming and Tsinosis got the ball away, then Leon won the ball allowing Obeng to dink it over the top looking for Lack’s run, but it was a little too strong and ran through to Honour. Leon swung a pass out right to Anderson and he found Lack inside the box and he hit his shot well, but Honour caught it cleanly at head height. A strong run from Blaikie was matched all the way by Purse at the expense of a corner before Carlin made his first unforced change as Josh Jones replaced Lack with eight minutes left to play.
Parkes played a good ball up to Anderson, but Honour defended the situation well, then Obeng played a perfect pass to Barrett on the right and he took on and beat McClean before playing it low to the near post where Jones steered it on goal, but Honour got down well to save his effort. Blaikie played the ball to Randall on the left and he sent over a great cross that picked out Blaikie’s run at the back post, but the striker put the ball in with both his hands just above his head and Gary Capps immediately raised his flag. Blaikie was booked for his deliberate hand-ball but I couldn’t help thinking that if he had really gone for it, he could have put it in with his head. Randall came off for Kye Little before play got underway again, but on 87 minutes Desborough finally broke the deadlock, although they did have luck on their side with the goal. The ball bobbled up and appeared to hit Rico Duggan on the arm, but he was allowed to go on and hit a powerful low strike form the edge of the box that Bodycote dived to get a touch to with his outstretched arm, but he was helpless to stop it hitting the back of the net. Tsinosis blotted his otherwise exemplary copybook today with a yellow card for bringing down Sharrock 25-yards from goal to the right and Duggan hit a great free-kick that rattled the bar and went over for a goal-kick. The last incident of note saw Billy Tebbatt given a late, late cameo in place of Miller, but he didn’t have time to make any sort of impact on the game as Timperley blew the final whistle.
A fairly close game with a couple of talking points. The Liam Boath lecture in the first half that could have easily led to a red card and the hint of handball on the Desborough goal. But in truth we didn’t take advantage of a couple of great chances we had and so often our final ball just wasn’t there. It was a close game and I can’t begrudge Desborough the three points, but I felt we should have got something out of this game over the ninety minutes. Bruce Tsinosis put in a good performance today and Purse, Briggs and Parkes all backed him up with solid showings at the back, but my man-of-the-match today goes to Dalton Leon who put in his best performance so far since joining from Bugbrooke, with Paddy Cichosz and Ethan Lack also putting in a good show in the midfield. Mustn’t forget Ash Bodycote who made a couple of fine saves too, but we really need to start putting the ball in the net in games like this and that is the only thing that really let us down this afternoon in truth.
Next up is a trip to Coventry Sphinx on Tuesday night, with our hosts knowing that a victory will lift the to the top of the table and leave the title in their own hands after Rugby’s home defeat today.
Desborough Town; 1. Adam Honour 2. Alvin Magagada 3. Bradley Lashley (sub 14. Lewis McClean 74) 4. Liam Boath 5. Aaron Davies © 6. Liam Honour 7. Archie Elmore (sub 15. Finlay Shorrock 72) 8. Adam Randall (sub 17. Kye Little 85) 9. Iain Blaikie 10. Luca Miller (sub 12. Billy Tebbatt 89) 11. Rico Duggan. Sub not used; 16. Aiden Bradshaw.
Yellow cards; Boath (35) Foul. Magagada (60) Kicking the ball away. Blaikie (85) Deliberate handball.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Alex Parkes 3. Kodi Briggs (sub 15. Harry Waple-Moors 88) 4. Dalton Leon 5. Luca Purse 6. Bruce Tsinosis 7. Louie Barrett 8. Paddy Cichosz © (sub 20. Jamie Hall 88) 9. Tommy Curry (sub 16. Pharrell Anderson 40) 10. Ethan Lack (sub 14. Josh Jones 82) 11. Jessi Obeng. Sub not used; 12. Josh Adams.
Yellow card; Tsinosis (88) Foul.
Referee; Callum Timperley
Assts; Gary Capps & Gary Halliday