Saturday 7th August 2021
EMIRATES F.A CUP-EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
COGENHOE UNITED v HAVERHILL ROVERS
With three points safely in the bank following our 3-0 win at Desborough on Tuesday night, we turn our attentions to the F.A Cup as we host Haverhill Rovers from the Eastern Counties League. Our visitor’s league opted to start the previous Saturday and Rovers made the trip to across the border to Norfolk and I would think they will be fairly happy with the 1-1 draw they picked up at Norwich United. Jake Williams 25th minute goal had given them the lead at Plantation Park, but United fought back after the break to share the spoils through a Mac Gee effort seven minutes into the second half. Due to the lockdown, Haverhill’s previous match had been at Wellingborough Town in the F.A Vase last season and I actually saw that game having driven back from Cockfosters following the deluge that caused our game to be postponed. On that occasion they were deservedly beaten by the Doughboys who had current Cooks striker Dylan Wilson on target for them, but comparing the team sheet from that game to Saturday’s, it is clear that they have made numerous changes to their playing staff in the summer so comparisons would be difficult to draw up from that game nine months ago.
The F.A Cup has joined in with the rest of the country in its bid to return to some sort of pre-covid normality so replays are back on the menu this season. Should the scores remain level after 90 minutes there will be no extra time or penalties in the first game, although these would be used to decide the game should the replay end all-square. Should it be needed will be heading off to Suffolk on Wednesday night for an evening at the New Croft. I had previously watched a couple of games at their old Hamlet Croft ground when they played some Friday nights but such is the way of progress they were forced to leave this quaint set-up and head for a new build on the edge of town. I have been to this one once in the early days on a largely forgettable day that saw Spencer stuffed 4-0 by a much better Haverhill team on the day, although things might have been easier had the coach driver checked ahead and realised it was the Duxford Air Show and took a different route as I had in the car. Arriving at 3-25 and kicking off at 3-35 wasn’t ideal for the Spencer players. The ground was a typical new build at the time (think Sleaford but replace the green with red and remove the force nine gale) but a lot could have happened since my visit over ten years ago.
The UCL went goal crazy on its opening league fixtures in the Premier Division South so Cooks are only 5th despite winning 3-0, but at this stage of the season it really doesn’t make a lot of difference. Dylan Wilson had given us the lead before Jack Daldy chipped in with a brace to secure the three points at the Waterworks Field, whilst we kept up our good pre-season defensive form with another clean sheet for Craig Foxall. If the game is decided tomorrow and assuming Harborough don’t draw their F.A Cup tie, we will be at home to the Bees on Tuesday night so it is Watch this space to see if and who we will playing midweek.