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Cogenhoe keep their third straight clean sheet as goals from Elmore and Wilson see them safely through to the next round.

Wednesday 11th August 2021




Elmore 40

Wilson 85


A long trip to Suffolk isn’t ideal on a Tuesday night but thankfully Craig Adams was able to take a strong squad with only Dan Mortimer unable to get away from work in time. He did shuffle the pack after Saturday’s 0-0 draw by making five changes, whilst Rovers made three to theirs. For the Cooks in came Paddy Cichosz, Josh Adams, Faris Rahman, Tom Wakley and Kobi Bivens, all making their first starts after being subs in the first two games. Rovers’ manager Marc Abbott started himself with Charlie Davies and Josh Brooke also stepping up from the bench to the starting line-up. I was surprised to see Tom Stoker being dropped as he really was their main threat in the first game.


Wakley was lively early on and had the game’s first shot after picking up a loose ball and cutting inside before unleashing a shot from the edge of the box, but it was blocked by a defender for a corner. Adams delivery was dangerous but won in the air by a red shirt only to find Rahman who took on his man to get inside the penalty area, but Afraim Romanos defended the situation very well. A long throw was headed over in Haverhill’s first foray forward whilst Wakley won another corner which resulted in Rico Alexander firing a volley high and wide from the edge of the box.

Cichosz almost played Wakley in but his through ball had just a little too much on it and zipped through on the heavily watered pitch and the Rovers keeper Dan Kimber came out to the edge of his box to claim the ball before the Cooks striker could get there. Jack Riley intercepted play and fed Adams down the left flank and the youngster whipped over a good cross before being taken late by Josh Brooke. Lloyd Groves got some of his head to the original cross with the ball going beyond the far post, but referee Richard May brought play back for the free-kick. Archie Elmore took the set piece and it looked like a good one, but frustratingly it fell between Groves and Wakley in the middle of the box and was won by a defender.

Bivens marked his full debut with a yellow card on 15 minutes for a miss-timed challenge on the half way line which sparked a bit of pushing and shoving with a number of players getting involved from both sides as tempers momentarily boiled over. Cichosz sent Elmore down the right and he whipped over a good low cross that Bivens tried to turn onto, but Adrian O’Hara was all over him and appeared to wrestle the Cook man to the ground. The referee waved away the appeals for a penalty although my opinion was it would have been given anywhere else on the pitch, as similar ones were during the game.

A nice interchange between Rahman and Jamie Mastropierro saw Riley slip the ball through to Wakley who won his side a corner on the right. Adams swung it over and Groves met it with a powerful downward header that hit the legs of a defender and went wide of the target. A big defensive header from Groves saw Wakley knock the ball over his marker and give chase, but his touch was a little heavy and took him wider than he wanted allowing the keeper to come out to the corner of his box and avert the danger. With Groves header being the only effort on target before, the Cooks finally made a chance count on 40 minutes. Mastropierro played a free-kick from his own half up into the home box and Groves nodded it down. Wakley got a touch on the ball that took it away from goal but it was into the path of the incoming Archie Elmore and he struck it low first time although Kimber seemed to get a good hand behind the shot, he couldn’t stop it from going into his net just inside his right hand post.

We had just gone into first half stoppage time when things blew up on the field for the second time. A terrible tackle by Romanos on Adams sparked some pushing and as more and more players joined in Ryan Weaver threw a punch that was spotted by one of the officials. The pushing continued for a minute with some players trying to break things up while others wanted to carry them on before calm once again prevailed. After discussing matters with his assistants, referee May called out Weaver who was now hiding by the home dugout and brandished the first red card we have seen this season. He also booked Romanos for the foul that kicked it all off and Mastropierro who it has to be said was one of the more aggressive players at the start of the silliness.

With normality restored Elmore sent in the free-kick and it was headed behind for a corner which Adams sent over from the right. Groves again won it in the air, but it was blocked and we all headed off for half-time. Pretty scrappy in truth with it only really coming to life in the final few minutes.


HT; Rovers 0 Cooks 1


The onus was now on the home side as we moved into the second half with a man advantage. Alexander looked for Groves with a free-kick around the half-way line, but was just too high for his defensive partner to get his head on, before Adams won two challenges and found Cichosz to his right and he made a good run before pulling the ball back across the box to pick out Elmore. It was a very good position and Elmore will be disappointed not to have done better as he didn’t get a great connection on his shot making it relatively easy for the keeper to save.

Both teams made their first changes with 53 played as Rahman made way for Will Bates and Tom Stoker replaced Ridwan Hussein for the home side. Foxall punched clear under pressure as a high cross came in from the right on a rare occasion Haverhill got the ball in our box just before Dylan Wilson entered the play in place of goalscorer Elmore.

A deep corner from Adams almost picked out Riley at the back post as he stretched to get his head on the ball, before a poor tackle from Davies on Cichosz saw him become the latest recipient of the referee’s yellow card. Cichosz took the free-kick and put it into the box, but Kimber came out well and got above the pack to punch the ball clear. Bates was caught late by Abbott but this time the referee played advantage with Wilson running through and he got his shot off, but it was blocked by Alfie Carroll inside the box.

Wilson was really looking up for it as he burst through again to the left and was only stopped by a very good challenge and seconds later he was running at the defence once more and beat two defenders before seeing his shot from 15-yards out blocked. Davies, already cautioned and having been going to the dugout regularly for water, made way for Reiss Oteng with just over twenty minutes remaining, while Abbott got into a great position down our left and was about to pull the trigger when Groves came out of nowhere to make a fantastic tackle.

Bivens, making his first start after missing much of pre-season, had been feeling his calf after chasing a ball into the box and being beaten to it by the keeper, was given a rest with Jack Daldy coming on with twelve minutes of normal time to play. The sub was soon in the wars after Kaylum Timberlake took him out and the Rovers number two joined two of his colleagues on a yellow card. A good challenge from O’Hara stopped Wilson inside the box, then Groves headed wide from close range from a great Adams corner as the Cooks looked more likely to add a second than Haverhill did of equalising.

With 85 minutes played Cogenhoe got that vital second goal and it was brilliantly taken by Dylan Wilson. Alexander’s pass sent him through and his pace took him clear into the box and as the keeper came towards him, he calmly dinked the ball past him and high into the net. Thoroughly deserve goal for the substitute and the opportunity to silence the group of home fans who had been giving him stick ever since he came on. Not sure why they were congregated behind their own goal rather than the one their team were attacking, perhaps they knew something all along.

One-nil is always a tenuous lead so the second goal was very much welcomed by all from Cogenhoe who had travelled down to Suffolk to support their club. Haverhill responded to the goal by taking off O’Hara and replacing him with Charlie Walker for the final few minutes of the game. Timberlake was well off target with a shot from outside the box as my chances of using ‘just in’ as a terrible pun in my report faded, whilst back down the other end and Wilson broke away from his man again, although this time his angle was tight he still managed to force the keeper into saving with his boot as he drilled in a low strike. Adams corner saw Daldy unable to get in on goal, but he battled hard to win another one at Romanos’ expense. Corners and throws near the flag saw the Cooks try to keep possession and run down the clock and from one of these Timberlake was probably a little lucky to stay on as the already cautioned player flew in with no intention of taking the ball. It was from one of these keep the ball in the corner scenarios that the referee called time with the game well and truly over as far as the result would go, so it’s a home tie with Dereham Town to look forward to in ten days time.


A similar game to Saturday in many ways with long scrappy spells of little happening from a spectator’s point of view. I wouldn’t say we ever took control of the game, but we were worthy winners on the night and in all honesty we shouldn’t have been there at all as we should have won the first game. You have to salute our defensive and midfield performances this season, having not conceded a single goal so far with Craig Foxall in goal again having very little to do last night. We haven’t made many mistakes in our three games, but on the odd occasion we have there has been somebody covering to eliminate the danger which is of course what teamwork is all about. Lloyd Groves has been superb at the back and once again he bossed things with his burst of pace to stop a clear run on goal in the second half one of the match highlights. Jamie Mastropierro was again awesome in his defensive midfield role, although he did pick up an unnecessary booking at the end of the first half.  All five of the lads who stepped up for their first starts of the season gave their all and showed that changes won’t adversely affect the team on the field. I rarely give my man of the match to a substitute, but today Dylan Wilson was superb and caused the home side’s defence a massive headache for the whole time he was on the pitch. Capped it with a great finish for his goal and could have scored more with a little luck.

Finally good luck to Haverhill for the rest of the season. Fantastic facilities, superb pitch and really nice people as well.


Haverhill; 1. Dan Kimber 2. Kaylyn Timberlake 3. Charlie Davies (sub 14. Reiss Oteng 69) 4. Efraim Romanos 5. Alfie Carroll © 6. Adrian O’Hara (sub 15. Charlie Walker 86) 7. Marc Abbott 8. Ridwan Hussein (sub 12 Tom Stoker 53) 9. Ryan Weaver 10. Josh Brooke 11. Josh Lee. Su not used 16. Jonny Butler.

Red card; Weaver 45 (violent conduct)

Yellow cards; Romanos 45 (foul), Hussein 63 (foul)


Cogenhoe; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Paddy Cichosz 3. Josh Adams 20. Lloyd Groves 5. Jack Riley 6. Rico Alexander 7. Faris Rahman (sub 16. Will Bates 53) 8. Jamie Mastropierro © 9. Tom Wakley 10. Kobi Bivens (sub 15. Jack Daldy 78) 11. Archie Elmore (sub 14. Dylan Wilson 57). Sub not used; 12. Jordan Orosz.

Yellow cards; Bivens 15 (foul), Mastropierro 45 (retaliation).


Referee; Richard May (Cambs)

Assts; James Broughall & Max Pauley.

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