Cogenhoe end their nine-match winless streak in a sweet day for the Archies and the Reserves end their year with a superb win in Oadby.
Saturday 18th December 2021
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 2 EASINGTON SPORTS (1) 1
The Cooks returned to Compton Park looking to get themselves going again after last week’s no-show performance as they entertained Banbury based club Easington Sports. It was a dull yet relatively mild winter afternoon, but the Billing Mist was hovering in the background and with the day unusually windless, it was likely to reach the ground before the end of the game. Darren Long was again on his own as assistant Steve Ganley isn’t well at all at the moment (not-Covid related) so I would like to wish him well and hope to see him back in the dugout soon. Paddy Cichosz and Jack Riley were available again after suspension with the latter having to make do with a place on the bench today, whilst Chief Boateng was given the nod to partner Dylan Wilson up top meaning Tom Wakley could drop a little deeper into the role I feel he is at his best. Ryan Archer was able to move back to his usual midfield role alongside Archie Culley which was another positive as we had missed his mettle in the centre of the park at Eynesbury last weekend.
Cogenhoe wasted no time in going for the jugular with Wilson seeing his shot on the turn from the left corner of the penalty area blocked with the ball rolling out to Will Bates just outside the box and he struck it superbly, but although it flew past the keeper, it hit the top of the bar and out for a goal-kick, with all this happening in the opening sixty-seconds. Archie worked himself into the box before playing it wide to Josh Adams, but his cross went straight behind, then Bates pulled one back to Wilson just inside the box on the right and his well-struck first-time shot was held over his head by Joe White in the visitor’s goal. Easington’s first shot came via Piers Walton with Cichosz blocking, but on 12 minutes we got our noses in front. Archie Culley picked up play in the middle and despite being 25-yards out, he hit a sweet strike that flew over the keeper’s outstretched arms and dipped before crashing into the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar. Definitely a candidate for goal-of-the-season from the 18-year-old midfielder.
Easington pushed forward in response and Alfie Dunn forced a good save out of Craig Foxall at the near post with a smart shot on the turn, but they drew level with 15 minutes on the clock. A very harsh hand-ball in my view just a few yards outside the box handed Sports a view of the goal and a superbly struck free-kick from Alex Stott curled into Foxall’s top right-hand corner giving the keeper no chance of keeping it out. Stott was soon in the thick of it again as Rico Alexander had to block his shot, then Foxall was unsighted on a shot that came through the crowded box, but did well to take the ball safely.
Wilson whipped in a cross from the left that took a deflection off of the leg of Elliot Barton and White took it safely over his head with Boateng looming in the centre of the box. The game was pretty even and going from end-to-end with Alexander ending a promising run by the dangerous Stott, then good play from Adams on the left saw him beat two defenders before slipping the ball through to Wilson in space inside the box, but he tried to shoot early and fired it well wide of the near post. Dan Mortimer looked for Wakley’s run with a cross that White held on to well just before a superb throughball from Culley saw Wilson race into the area, but even though his shot was blocked, the flag had been raised for offside. Foxall was forced into another good near post save from Stott, then Wilson used his pace down the right but unfortunately slipped as he cut inside. He managed to regain his balance and keep the ball before going down under a challenge just inside the box, but referee Richard Fullicks waved play on.
Culley hit a first-time shot the wrong side of the post from a few yards outside the box, whilst good defending from the experienced Mortimer denied Stott a shooting chance as Easington broke away. Tom Wakley was unfortunate to be shown the yellow card for a challenge on the left. It was definitely a free-kick, but there was clearly no intent from the Cooks no. ten as he made a genuine attempt to get to the ball but was just beaten to it by James Watts. Bates sent over a cross-shot from the right that went just wide of the back stick, then a great cross by Adams saw White just manage to get his fingertips to the ball. The keeper got enough on it to put it just behind Boateng, but the forward managed to twist and hook it on target, but he couldn’t get any power behind his effort and it was cleared off the line by the covering defender.
Boateng played the ball out right to Wakley who cut back and sent over a cross that saw Wilson beaten in the air and although the ball fell to Boateng, he placed his shot the wrong side of the post from a good position inside the box as the mist started to drop over Compton Park. Levi Steele fired well over from outside the box before Adams fed Wakley on the left and his touch off was back heeled by Wilson to find Culley who took it on before hitting a curling effort that White had to dive to his left to save. A strong run by Dunn was ended on the edge of the Cogenhoe box by Alexander’s interception and we went into the break all-square at one apiece. An entertaining half between two teams doing their best to play football.
Half-time; Cooks 1 Sports 1
Bates was forced off at the break with an injury he picked up in the first half, so Riley came on with Cichosz moving out to the right. Wakley won the ball in the centre of the park and played it ahead of Wilson and he ran to the edge of the box on the left and fired a low shot across White, but the keeper did well and held on his shot as he dived to his left. An Alexander pass was won in the air by Barton, but Wilson played a great ball to Wakley who was now clear with only the keeper to beat, but as he reached the edge of the box he sliced his shot high and wide, although there may well have been a bobble on the ball as he went for goal.
Dunn shot from 30-yards out and wasn’t too far over the bar, then Steele got into a great position but was robbed by Mortimer before he could shoot. Mortimer was again the man of the moment at the back as he dispossessed Stott on the edge of the box. Easington were playing the ball around and keeping possession well as Cogenhoe seemed to step off the pace a little and we backed off allowing Watts to make a run through the middle, but he put his low shot wide, then only a great challenge by Riley denied Stott a shot on goal from well inside the box and then Steele fired high and wide from the edge of the box.
Boateng made way for Archie Elmore three minutes past the hour in a straight swap up front for the Cooks. Alexander played a good ball wide to Wakley who was fouled in front of the Cooks dugout and the yellow card came out again. I think it was Harry Brock but I’m not certain. Culley played the free-kick into the box but we couldn’t make it count as Easington defended it with determination. A spot of hesitation at the back saw Wilson nip in a feed Elmore to his right and he struck it first time only to see White save with his legs.
A superb cross from the left dropped just over Alexander’s head in the middle of the Cogenhoe box and fell to the unsuspecting Stott in a great position in front of goal, but all he could do was steer straight at Foxall. Cogenhoe started to get themselves back going up front and put some pressure on the Sports goal without quite creating an opportunity for a shot despite some good football. A great ball from Culley to Adams saw him make yards down the left and send over a great cross that White just managed to tip away and Culley had made tremendous ground to be the one running in to shoot, but his effort was blocked by a defender. The danger was far from over though and Archer played the ball back in towards Elmore deep inside the box on the right and he brilliantly lifted it over White and it dropped inside the far post. A great finish by Elmore and a reminder of what we have been missing whilst the youngster was at Daventry Town.
Adams found Elmore in the box and he held the ball up before stepping back to create space and hitting a shot that would have found the far corner had it not been for a great diving save from White. The ball ran loose to Wakley fifteen yards out, but he went for sheer power and blasted it over the bar with the keeper still recovering from his initial save. Elmore played a great low ball across the face of the goal from the right that was inches ahead of Wilson as he slid in at the far post with an empty goal in front of him. Adams was impeded by Barton on the left, but the free-kick was awarded to the visitors as the Sports man grabbed the Cooks youngster by his collar in an attempt to ‘look hard’, but the referee ignored it all walked away from the incident. Elmore tried to play the ball over the top to set Wilson away, but a defender did well to get his head to it while a chance for Sports down the other end was placed into Foxall’s waiting arms in the fog. Adams found Elmore with a good ball and he reciprocated by pulling it back to Cichosz on the edge of the box, but his effort was blocked. A second Sports player was shown the yellow card over the far side from where I stood, but the mist was thickening and I couldn’t see who it was. This was the final reportable action of the game and Cogenhoe had their first win in ten games to make it a happy Christmas for the Compton Park faithful.
After last weeks shocker, this was a vastly improved performance from the Cooks and we have our first victory since October. As a team we looked hungry again and created plenty of chances whilst looking a lot more solid at the back and the midfield was never overrun in the way they were at Eynesbury. Great performance from Archie Culley (including that wonder-goal) and Tom Wakley looked a lot more confident and effective in the deeper role. Josh Adams looked like creating something every time he got the ball inside the Sports half and Dylan Wilson looked sharp without the luck he needed in front of goal. Archie Elmore came off the bench and played up front and looked dangerous, creating chances and taking one superbly himself. With all of these players mentioned, my man-of-the-match today goes to defender Dan Mortimer. Several times today he was the man covering or making a challenge at the vital moment. He doesn’t seek the headlines, he simply gets on with his job and distributes the ball well whilst never looking phased at all. Thanks to Easington Sports for giving us a very entertaining game today and I wish you all the best for the remainder of the season. Alex Stott was real handful and I was also very impressed by Lucas Northover too.
Our last game of 2021 is a local derby at O.N Chenecks on Tuesday 28th December with a 3pm kick-off. All that is left for me to do is wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you can spend some special time with your family and friends and that you all stay Covid-Free over the festive season and beyond.
Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Will Bates (sub 16. Jack Riley ht) 4. Josh Adams 5. Paddy Cichosz 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Archie Culley 8. Ryan Archer 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Tom Wakley 11. Chief Boateng (sub 15. Archie Elmore 63). Subs not used; 12. Alex Vaughan 14. Jack Norman.
Yellow card; Wakley (33) Foul
Easington; 1. Joe White 2. Luke Swann 3. Harry Brock 4. Lucas Northover 5. Elliot Barton 6. Lloyd Sabin © 7. Piers Walton 8. James Watts 9. Levi Steele 10. Alex Stott 11. Alfie Dunn. Subs used; 12. Jack Fountain 17. Owen Hamblett. Subs not used; 14. Reece Bayliss 15. Sam Sherpa-Moore GK. Jake Butler.
Yellow cards; 66 & 90-2
Referee; Richard Fullicks
Assts; Gary Halliday & Peter Lee Ellson
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-RESERVE DIVISION
G.N.G OADBY TOWN (1) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (1) 3
Jessi Obeng 2
Kelvin Gyamfi 67, 87
The Cooks reserves travelled to Oadby this afternoon who were 6th in the league but with a good run during the last few games we were looking forward to a good game. The KO was 2pm due to the home team having floodlight issues. It was dreary afternoon and we had the usual late squad cancellations meaning Gary and Damien had to make last minute changes to the team. We got off to a great start with a sweet strike from Jessi Obeng after 2 minutes to put is 1-0 up. Oadby then started to apply pressure which brought two good saves from Goalkeeper Ben Westwood, however the home teams pressure paid off with a well taken goal to make it 1-1 and that’s how it stayed until half time. The dressing room was calm and constructive and all agreed that we could push a little harder a get the win. Thankfully the floodlights came on and despite some Oadby pressure we stayed composed and on 67 minutes Kelvin Gyamfi ran onto a superb though ball and calmly slotted past the keeper to make it 2-1. There was some great battling from both teams in midfield as Oadby pushed for the equaliser but the Cooks stayed strong, then on 87 minutes, Kelvin Gyamfi pounced on some confusion from the home team following a goal kick, and he calmly made it 3-1. A very good game, played in good spirit form both sides. A very nice end of 2021 for the reserves, and the lads got what they deserved today.
Report kindly decided by Cooks assistant manager Damian McGrath.
1 – Ben Westwood
2 – Matt Fletcher
3 – Ben Short
4 – Samuel Mensah
5 – Nat Allam
6 – Jake Walpole ©
7 – Jessi Obeng
8 – Nick Fleming
9 – Oshane Asmara Bartley
10 – Ben Mason
11 – Isaac Appiah
12 – Kelvin Gyamfi
14 – Emmanuel Owusu