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Dalton Leon finally ended the Cooks goal drought, but it was the visitors from Notts that progressed into the second round.

Saturday 21st October 2023





Leon 70


K. Wilson 31

O’Connor 47

Blake 90+3


Att; 61


The Cooks were back on the Wembley trail today as they welcomed Eastwood Community to Compton Park in the very first meeting of our two clubs. Scott Carlin was able to welcome back both Callum Farmer and Dalton Leon after completing their one match suspensions and they replaced Alex Parkes who dropped down to the bench and Troy Johnston. Other changes saw a full debut for Callum Swain who took the left back berth with Damien Osoimoejiokhian moving into midfield, while Luke Bullement took over from Earl Atat at right-back. The other changes came up front where Jack Connor swapped places with Jamie Hall with Kieron Mobbs taking on a more attacking role in the absence of Dylan Wilson who is away with his day job. Eastwood joint managers Martin Ball and Daryll Thomas named themselves amongst the six substitutes which also included 16-year-old Godfrey Bailey. They had 40-year-old Aaron O’Connor up front with the former Kettering and Diamonds man bringing a wealth of higher-level experience to the team. They have been hampered by injuries lately, much the same as the Cooks, and made several changes from the team that won comfortably in the Notts F.A Senior Cup in midweek with Jack Meesom, new signing Jack Fletcher and Kamani Wilson all starting the game.

O’Connor had the games first shot with around ten seconds on the clock, but his 25-yarder was gathered comfortably by keeper Sam Wilson. A great ball from Farmer found Shama Bako in space wide on the right and he pulled the ball back across the box, but it was slightly behind the run of Connor. Swain played a nice ball down the left to Osoimoejiokhian who won an early corner when his cross was cut out and then Farmer sent in a superb ball from wide on the left that dropped over the last defender’s head, but Harley Mallard hadn’t read the situation and he couldn’t control the ball with only the keeper in front of him. There was a shout for hand-ball inside the box when O’Connor’s pull back was blocked by a Cooks defender, but referee Chris Howes waved the appeals away, while down the village end, Bullement played a low ball into the box that Mobbs pulled back looking for Connor, but Fletcher got his foot to it and took it away from the striker’s feet.

Terry Atem fired over from 25-yards before Swain played another good ball into the box where Connor’s shot was saved and went behind for a corner. Connor was caught late as he flicked the ball on for Osoimoejiokhian and the referee opted not to go back for the free-kick even though the flag went up for offside straight away and there was no advantage for the Cooks. Adam North had to come to the edge of his box and jump to catch a high bounce that Atem had chased, then Mobbs managed to keep going despite a pull and a trip before turning inside and playing a one-two with Connor that took him into the box, but it overran just a little and Wilson came off his line to block the shot. The Red Badgers keeper caught a high Swain cross on the edge of his 6-yard box, while the Cooks were nearly made to pay as O’Connor robbed his man deep in the Cooks half and made ground before teeing up Tyler Blake inside the box to the right and his shot fizzed just over the bar. Farmer was shown the game’s first yellow card for an incident in that build up with the referee seemingly indicating a push and pointing out a prior offence too.

Kyle Tomlin rolled a corner across to the edge of the box where O’Connor hit it first time but pulled his shot wide of the far post, but the visitors were to take the lead with 31 minutes gone. Tomlin sent in a deep corner that Cooks didn’t deal with and it dropped for Kimani Wilson who smashed home on the volley from close range as the Cooks fell behind for the sixth game running. A good pass by Atem picked out Wilson and he cut inside before squaring, but Ben Dimond did well to cut it out before it reached O’Connor and when the ball was cleared down the pitch, the other Wilson had to run out of his box to beat Connor and clear. Mobbs held the ball up nicely just outside the box and laid it off to Connor to make progress, but he was denied a shot by a great challenge by Fletcher. Bako played the ball inside to Osoimoejiokhian who lifted it back into his run and his shot took a heavy deflection through to the keeper, then Osoimoejiokhian won a corner after twisting and turning his man inside the box, but it came to nothing, leaving the Cooks trailing 0-1 at break yet again.

It had been an even first 45 minutes with the only difference being Kimani Wilson’s unstoppable close-range finish.


Half-Time; Cooks 0 Red Badgers 1


It was as you were on the field as the second half got underway with O’Connor getting the first sniff of goal with a shot on the turn from 18-yards that went wide of North’s right-hand post, but the Cooks keeper could do nothing to stop the experienced striker adding to his already impressive career total in the 47th minute. O’Connor broke into the box just to the left and fired a rocket of a shot across the keeper and it hit the net high up just inside the far post. Great finish from the veteran marksman for his eighth goal of the season. North had to get down at his near post to take a drilled cross from Atem that took a deflection, while Dimond picked up a yellow card for bringing down O’Connor wide on the left after he had been beaten on the turn. Marcus Marshall defended well as Bako looked to get clear from a North kick, but the Cooks had lost their way a little since the restart with the visiting keeping only seeing the ball when he came out of his area to sweep up some of the hopeful long balls kicked into his half.

Bako did well down the right wing and won a corner when his cross was cut out, but Farmer’s delivery was over everybody and Mallard had to chase it just to keep it in play. Carlin made a double change on 61 minutes as Hall replaced Connor and Charlie Pearson came on in place of Dimond, meaning Leon dropped back to partner Mallard at the back. Bullement won a corner on the right and Farmer’s out-swinger was won in the by Mallard who directed his header on target, but it was too close to the keeper to cause him any real problems. Mobbs swivelled before sending over a great cross that Hall was a whisker away from getting his head to and Bako came in behind him to force a save out of Wilson, who turned the ball behind for a corner. Farmer sent it over and although it was won by a defender, it dropped to Leon on the edge of the box and he lifted it over the keeper’s head on the volley with his shot going in off the underside of the bar to put the Cooks right back in this cup tie. Swain was off the field receiving treatment from Piers Bodily so Alex Parkes took his place on the field before the restart.

Mobbs held the ball up well under pressure from Messom before laying it back to Osoimoejiokhian who dinked a good ball into the box that Pearson headed wide, but the flag had been raised for offside. Not sure about this one so happy to give the benefit of the doubt, but the same assistant had flagged both Connor and Hall offside right in front of me earlier on when they had clearly ran past the defender after the ball had been played on both occasions. Tomlin wasn’t far wide of the far post with a 25-yard free-kick, but North did look to have it covered, then Marshall was shown the yellow card for the visitors even though I don’t think it was actually a foul. North made a good save from Wilson who had found space deep inside the box, but again the flag was raised so it wouldn’t have counted. North made a great save to deny O’Connor’s goal bound bullet, getting his gloves to it and turning it over the bar, but it was a far more routine save for North as he got behind Tomlin’s low drive from a few yards outside the box that lacked the power the Eastwood leading scorer had been looking for. Mobbs cut inside and playing with the confidence he has perhaps missed just recently, hit a good shot that Wilson had to tip over the top, then Wilson was again the hero as he made a great save to deny Hall after a nice move involving Parkes and Osoimoejiokhian had found him just inside the box where the striker took a touch before letting fly. The visitors could easily have been pegged back in the dying seconds if it hadn’t been for their keeper, but they added a third and killer goal with virtually the final action of the game three minutes into stoppage time. A short corner had seen O’Connor go to ground, but the well-placed referee waved play on and we lost concentration for a moment allowing Tomlin to play the ball into the box find the unmarked Tyler Blake at the near post and he had the simple task of side-footing home from close range for his eleventh goal of the season.

Congratulations to Eastwood on their win today and good luck in the next round. As for the Cooks, we were much better than we were on Tuesday night and the game itself was a pretty close affair, but again the difference between the two teams was mainly converting chances. Man-of-the-match today goes to Kieron Mobbs who was back to taking on and beating players, held the ball up nicely and with a successful passing rate too. Damien Osoimoejiokhian also impressed in a midfield role, as did Luke Bullement over at right-back. Early views of Callum Swain are very positive as well and he supplied a few very good balls down the line, especially in the first half. It wasn’t to be again for the Cooks and worryingly this was our sixth straight defeat, but at least we ended the goal drought with Dalton Leon’s beauty today. We are straight back into action with a Tuesday night home game against Easington Sports and it is vital now that we end this losing streak against the Banbury club.


Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Luke Bullemnent 3. Callum Swain (sub 12. Alex Parkes 71) 4. Damien Osiemoejiokhian 5. Ben Dimond (sub 16. Charlie Pearson 61) 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Kieron Mobbs 8. Callum Farmer 9. Jack Connor (sub 17. Jamie Hall 61) 10. Dalton Leon 11. Shama Bako. Subs not used; 14. Dylan Carlin 15. Stan Channell 18. Earl Atat.

Eastwood; 1. Sam Wilson 2. Jack Messom 3. Daniel Fletcher 4. Marcus Marshall 5. Romaine Graham 6. Steven Beejer 7. Kamani Wilson 8. Kyle Tomlin 9. Tyler Blake 10. Aaron O’Connor © 11. Terry Atem. Subs not used; 12. Daryll Thomas 14. Martin Ball 15. Godfrey Bailey 16. Ferdinand Bartley 17. Isaac Warner 18. Danny Elliott.


Referee; Chris Howes

Assts; Zheng Fang & Luke Addis


The drive home saw my thoughts taken in a totally different direction on hearing the sad news of the death of Sir Bobby Charlton. A true legend of the game and someone I was lucky to see in action as a youngster. A World Cup winner with England and you didn’t have to be a Manchester United fan to recognise just how good a player he was. RIP Bobby.




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