The Cooks lead twice in the F.A Cup replay, but bowed out on penalty kicks to Westfields.
Tuesday 8th August 2023
EMIRATES F.A CUP – EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND REPLAY
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 2 WESTFIELDS (1) 2
(WESTFIELD WON 5-4 ON PENALTIES)
Own Goal 60
Newbury 45 (pen)
C. Davies 86
Westfields had to make the long midweek trip up from Hereford as a result of Saturday’s 2-2 draw after surprisingly not opting to request a Saturday fixture for the game, but they managed to bring a full squad of 18 players with them on the coach. They also brought a healthy following with them much to their credit. On the field they made three changes to their starting line-up, bringing in Paul Hurrell along with promotion for Saturday’s subs Steve Davies and Archie Pitman. Scott Carlin returned to the dugout for the first time since pre-season and he made just one change as the available again Dalton Leon came in for Nathan Bell-Toxtle who dropped down to the bench.
Thankfully the afternoon rain has passed by the time the game got underway at 7-55 pm and it was the visitors who started off quickest with a bright start, but the Cogenhoe back four dealt with the situation well. A good run down the right by Stan Channell saw him play the ball inside for Alex Parkes whose effort was blocked with the ball looping over the head of Jack Connor deep inside the box. Harrison Summers fired wide of the near post from wide on the right of the box when a cross probably would have been his better option, but in truth neither side were creating anything clear cut in a stop-start game dominated by the referee’s whistle. Lewis Green appeared to be slightly late in a challenge just inside the visitor’s half and I felt he was rather unlucky to be shown a yellow card, but this was just the first of many we would see during the game. Matt MacDonald played in a high ball from wide on the right that Adam North took cleanly in the centre, but it was down the other end where the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes as Dylan Wilson made it three goals in three games this season. Cal Farmer played in a free kick from just inside his own half on the left and as Harley Mallard and a defender challenged for the ball in the air, it found Wilson inside the box completely unmarked and he took a touch before drilling low past Matt Apperley and into the net.
Jack Connor was shown a yellow card for a poor challenge on Joel Edwards that left the Westfield’s skipper requiring treatment just before a deep Farmer free-kick from wide right saw Mallard challenge for the ball with two defenders, but the ball didn’t fall kindly for the Cooks and went behind for a goal-kick. Summers had a chance down the clubhouse end but his shot from the edge of the box was straight at North, then Wilson didn’t connect with a half-volley as clean as he would have liked and he too put it straight at the keeper. Wilson picked up his third silly yellow card of the season as he kicked the ball away after the visitors had been awarded a free-kick on 41 minutes that Edwards delivered in towards the far post where it was nodded down for Summers, but he sliced his shot badly from a dangerous position. We were into the 45th minute when a free-kick played into the box saw Mallard push Summers and referee Jon Livingston pointed to the spot for a penalty, adding to the two we witnessed on Saturday afternoon. Ollie Barnes netted Westfields spot kick on Saturday, but he wasn’t here today so Adam Newbury stepped up and gave North no chance as he levelled the scores up at 1-1. Connor was well wide with an ambitious effort from 25-yards out, while the last chance of the half fell to Summers, but he pulled his shot wide of the near post and the two teams went into the break locked level at 1-1.
Half-time; Cooks 1 Westfields 1
The Cooks were first to show in the second half and a Farmer free-kick came off the head of Connor and looped over the bar, then Connor steered he ball to Leon with his knee and he fed Channell on his right, but his low cross was cut out in the middle by Muirhead before it reached Connor’s run into the box. Channell made a darting run down the right and went for goal after cutting inside, but his low effort from 25-yards was always going wide. Ben Dimond became the third Cooks player to be shown a yellow card two minutes before the hour, not sure whether it was for the foul (would have been harsh) or if he made a comment to earn it. I’m guessing it was the latter as he was clearly having his shirt pulled before he and his opponent went to ground. A Westfields player was shown the yellow card for charging down North’s drop-kick (think it was Summers but their numbers are very hard to read under floodlights), but the luck swung the way of the Cooks on the hour mark. Wilson was very lucky to be awarded a free-kick on the left just outside the box and Farmer sent in a superb free-kick into the box where a defender could only put the ball past his own keeper with his header to give Cogenhoe a 2-1 lead.
A powerful shot from Dan Stoneman deflected wide for a corner before both teams made their first change on 64 minutes. Jamie Hall replaced Connor, while Kyle Cassell came on for the visitors. Wilson almost got clear in the box but was unfortunate with the bounce, then Edwards was cautioned for a foul just outside the box. Farmer hit a decent free-kick that Apperley could only parry, but it didn’t fall for Channell just beyond the far post. North was knocked over in a collision as he went for a high cross with a forward and needed a bit of treatment from Piers Bodily before he could continue. Channell was the next player to go into the book after kicking the ball away on 73 minutes and a minute later he was joined by MacDonald for dissent. Josh Jones entered the field in place of Parkes at this point just before Wilson skipped past his man to get into the box on the left and forced a good save from Apperley with his low angled shot fired across the keeper.
More subs followed as timed ticked away with Damien Osoimoejiokhian returning from injury in place of Channell at the same time as Westfields took off Summers and Steve Davies as Adam Wakley and Harry Pitman were given game time with 81 minutes played. Jones took Cooks yellow card tally up to seven on 82 minutes for an innocuous foul, while North showed a good pair of hands to keep out a shot from well outside the box. Westfields were throwing bodies forward now as time ticked away and they drew themselves level on 86 minutes. We stood off a little allowing Stoneman to run at us down the left before playing the ball low across the box to pick out Cameron Davies who side-footed home from close range. The Cooks picked themselves up and went searching for a late winner with Hall flicking the ball on with his head and into the path of Jones who a rising shot from the left corner of the box that went a few inches over the bar, while the visitors threatened themselves only to be denied by a great piece of defending from Dimond. Muirhead became the second Westfields player to pick up a yellow card for blocking North as he drop-kicked the ball five minutes into stoppage time and then we headed into extra-time with the 90 minutes up and a reversal of events three days earlier.
90 minute score; Cooks 2 Westfields 2
It was already a late night before we headed into extra-time and it was the visitors who found that extra bit of energy first, pushing the Cooks back in their own half with a wave of attacks. A good run was eventually thwarted just outside the box just before Cameron Davies volleyed wide from 18-yards with the Cooks hanging on somewhat. MacDonald was just too high with his effort from the edge of the box, but we got going again and fell afoul of the game’s most controversial incident with five minutes left of the first half of extra time. Wilson showed a quick turn of pace and was brought down a couple of feet inside the penalty area. The ref blew straight away, but awarded us a free-kick a yard outside the box much to the dismay of pretty much everybody inside the ground. Having been denied a penalty, Leon went for goal with the free-kick, but his effort caught the wall and went behind for a corner. Wilson placed a shot past the keeper, only for the covering defender to head it away inside the 6-yard box as the Cooks dominated the attacking play for five minutes. The final chance of the first half fell to Westfield, but Pitman didn’t trouble North as he fired into the side-netting after some good work from Stoneman.
Extra-time allows you to make a fourth sub in the F.A Cup, so Biff brought on Charlie Pearson for the tiring Farmer for the final 15 minutes of the tie. A great run from Stoneman who had really grown into the game saw him send over a low cross to pick out Cassell on the edge of the 6-yard box and he forced a great save out of North, but we received a major body-blow on 110 minutes when Jones became the recipient of Cogenhoe’s seventh yellow card of the night which was also his second of the game, so we would play out the final ten minutes with a player short. Westfields took advantage of this and got themselves back on top again with North making another great save to keep out Cassell’s close range header and although the rebound was put into the Cooks net, the visitors’ celebrations were quickly dampened by an offside flag. The yellow card bingo continued when Newbury was cautioned a minute into stoppage time (the twelfth of the game) and the Cooks then had to survive a very late goalmouth scramble before the final whistle blew and the game would be decided by kicks from the penalty mark.
Pearson, Newbury (although North almost kept it out), Hall and Pitman all scored their penalties, but Leon fired his just over the bar. Stoneman gave Westfields the advantage for the first time and although Dimond and Wilson both netted, Wakley and Edwards scored to complete the perfect five and earn the visitors a cross border derby with Worcester City in the next round.
Thanks to Westfields for their hospitality on Saturday and for the two tightly fought games and I wish them all the best in the next round and for the rest of the season. Tonight could have been a memorable game for the right reasons, but will be remembered most for the sound of the referees whistle and the number of yellow cards dished out on what was a competitive, but never dirty game of football. Tweet of the day on 59 minutes from Westfields. ‘Not a lot happening but the blowing of a whistle’.
It is never nice to lose a game, with penalties probably the worst of the worst, but the young Cooks squad can hold their heads up high after pushing a decent Westfields team all the way over four hours of football. Paul’s man-of-the-match today goes to Ben Dimond, a young lad who is showing the promise of great things to come in the centre of defence. Adam North deserves credit again too for a couple of great saves, while you have to admire Lewis Green, Kieron Mobbs and Harley Mallard for their performances in what is probably the youngest defence in the UCL Premier Divisions.
Next up we travel to Desborough Town on Saturday afternoon with the match preview for that game coming up on the website later in the week.
Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Lewis Green 3. Kieron Mobbs 4. Alex Parkes (sub 14. Josh Jones 74) 5. Ben Dimond 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Stan Channell (sub 18. Damien Osoimoejiokhian 81) 8. Callum Farmer (sub 15. Charlie Pearson 105) 9. Jack Connor (Sub 12. Jamie Hall 64) 10. Dalton Leon 11. Dylan Wilson. Subs not used; 13. Mick Ibbeson 16. Nathan Bell-Toxtle 17. David Sarpong.
Westfields; 13. Matt Apperley 2. Cameron Davies 3. Sean Powell 4. Joel Edwards © 5. Paul Hurrell 6. Adam Newbury 7. Dan Stoneman 8. Matt MacDonald 9. Harry Summers (sub 12. Adam Wakley 81) 10. Steve Davies (sub 14. Harry Pitman 81) 11. Archie Muirhead (sub 16. Kyle Cassell 64). Subs not used; 13. Jack Oxendale 15. Sam Gwynne 17. Zac Johnson 18. Teddy Mee.
Referee; Jonathan Livingston
Assts; Russell Shacklock & Zheng Feng
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