Dylan Wilson’s fourth goal of the season earns the Cooks a point at home to The Stutes.
Saturday 19th September 2023
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 HISTON (0) 1
The Cooks got back into action looking to get back on track after the midweek defeat and Scott Carlin was without three of Tuesday’s nights squad, so he handed Manny Mpambi his first chance after joining the club from Bugbrooke in the summer, while Jack Connor started up front, Josh Jones got his first start of the campaign in midfield and Callum Farmer returned in the centre of the park. Alex Parkes and Nathan Bell-Toxtle dropped down to the bench while Bailey Weatherly, Jamie Hall and Damien O were all unavailable today. As the two teams made their way onto the park for the handshake, you couldn’t help noticing an impression of boys against men given the stature of several of the Histon players compared to our young lads.
A good early move from the Cooks saw Jones play a good ball to Stan Channell inside the box on the left, but Miles Smith tracked him back to intercept, then Jones tried to play in Connor, but keeper Sam Roach was quickly out of his area to clear. Farmer got the chance to deliver a free-kick into the box from the right after Channell had been fouled and Harley Mallard challenged for it in the air, coming off worse from a clash of heads, but he was able to continue after a spot of treatment from Piers Bodily. Another Farmer free-kick was won in the air inside the box by Connor, but he could only direct the ball at Roach, then down the bottom end, Max York showed all those hours in the gym have paid off with the first of many long throws into the box, with Efraim Ramanos flicking it on with his head for Marcus Cole, but his headed effort went over the bar.
Kieron Mobbs won the ball with a good interception on the left and fed Dylan Wilson down the line and he slipped it back inside to Jones who turned back and sent in a cross that was won in the air by a defender. York touched on a long ball to put Ryan Towner through on goal and he lobbed the ball over Adam North’s head and was unfortunate to see the ball drop onto the bar and go behind for a goal-kick. Mobbs saw a cross won in the centre by a defender with Jones picking up play just outside the box where he found Wilson to his left and the Cooks striker turned to hit a shot that died a little in the wind on route to the safe hands of Roach. North had to stretch to get his glove to a deep corner swinging in on the wind and the ensuing collision resulted in treatment for the Cooks keeper. Charlie Tunnell fired wide with a low shot from a yard or so outside the box just before a sickening head injury ended Mpambi’s Cooks debut on 32 minutes as Bodily helped from the field with a nasty cut above his eye. Thankfully after patching it up in the dressing room, Manny was able to at least watch the rest of the game. May wake up with a headache tomorrow though. Lewis Green took over the right-back berth that he had occupied several times already this season.
Shirt pulling that seemed to go both ways in front of the Stutes dugout saw referee Andy Hitchcox wave play-on as Wilson broke away from his man to make a great run forward which allowed Mobbs to whip in a cross that Channell touched down just behind Connor, but Wilson had continued his run into the box, and he fired over from 15-yards out. North couldn’t get to a deep Histon corner and York got his head to it, but couldn’t get any control over the ball, then North caught another corner before bowling the ball out to set Jones on the run, with Wilson then finding Dalton Leon who was making for the box when Smith got a vital toe to the ball to see it out for a throw. Jones got up well to nod the ball into the path of Channell inside the box on the left and he lifted his shot over the keeper only to see the ball hit the bar. One-all in the crossbar challenge. Another long York throw was headed wide at the near post by Rob Ruddy just before Harvey Bullinaria went through Mobbs on the touchline, sending the young Cooks left-back crashing to the ground with a heavy fall. I have seen plenty of players over the years roll around in ‘agony’ after this type of challenge, but Kieron, although clearly feeling it, just got up and got on with it which is a great attitude to see from a young player. The referee blew for the foul, but decided no card was required, but he did reach into his pocket less than a minute later to book Pat Bexfield after the central defender pulled back Connor just inside the Histon half.
Half-Time; Cooks 0 Histon 0
The Stutes boss Lance Key made one change at the break with the recently booked Bexfield making way for Sam Collison, while it was same again for Biff’s boys. Cogenhoe now had the wind at their backs and Farmer sent in a free-kick that Roach punched away, but Channell returned the ball into the penalty area where a defender did well to get his head to it before Jones saw his shot blocked. Histon won a free-kick just outside the box that York sized up, but he went for sheer power and actually cleared the clubhouse with his shot. Not sure I have ever seen that done at Cogenhoe before. A long kick by North sent Channell racing towards goal and Roach came out of his area and badly sliced the ball, but had luck on his side as the spin took it away from Channell. Channell was fouled in front of the dug-outs and Green took the free-kick quickly to send Channell running down the right flank and he sent over a low cross that was cut out for a corner. Farmer sent it into the danger area where Roach punched it away and the ball just wouldn’t come down for Wilson on the edge of the box and so he laid it back to Farmer who crossed it first time, but it was over the head of Connor at the back post.
Connor got up to top-hat the ball into the path of Channell, but Tunnell defended the situation very well inside the box, but it was the visitors who took the lead two minutes short of the hour mark. A free-kick just inside the Histon half saw Towner ping a lovely ball up to York on the edge of the box and in one move he touched, turned and hammered an unstoppable drive just under the crossbar for a goal-of-the-season contender. After a good spell of attacking play from the Cooks, they now had to react to falling behind, which would be a real test for them after the events of Tuesday night.
A quick break through the centre lead by Jones saw him find Channell to his right and he hit a low shot wide of the near post from 20-yards out and this was to prove to be the lively wingman’s last action of the game as Biff brought on Tommy Curry with 63 minutes gone. Farmer picked up a yellow card for a foul, while Bodily was back on the park to treat North again, before Mobbs defended really well to stop Cole after Towner had sent him down the right-flank. A double change on 75 minutes saw Biff introduce Parkes and Charlie Pearson for Farmer and Jones just before another long York throw was back-headed at goal by Ruddy, forcing Dalton to clear the ball off his goal line at the back post.
Histon struggled to clear a Cooks corner and during a frantic few seconds, Connor, Wilson and Parkes all had shots blocked inside the packed penalty area, while Wilson nipped past his man on the right just outside the box and was upended by Lindsay who became the third recipient of Mr Hitchcox’s yellow card. The Cooks had been exerting some real pressure on the away side and they deservedly drew themselves level in the 79th minute as Dylan Wilson fired home his 4th goal of the season, a great ball played from deep picked out Wilson just inside the box and he turned towards goal before hitting the ball cleanly on the volley from 12-yards out. Great finish and so typical of Wilson when he gets a sniff of goal inside the box.
Histon made a couple more changes as Dan Gould and Buba Camara were given the last ten minutes of the ninety in place of Bullinaria and Lindsay, with Camara centimetres away from grabbing a winner almost immediately. A ball in from the left had deflected towards him on the edge of the box and he stretched out his boot to lift the ball over the head of North on the volley, only to see his effort hit the bar for the third time in the game. Pearson was brought down from behind by Cole as he broke into the Histon half which led to caution number three for the Stutes, while a nice move from the visitor’s saw Camara play a one-two with York before finding Cole out wide where he sent over a cross that York headed wide of the target. The final sub of the game saw Bell-Toxtle come on for Connor after 87 minutes, but time now ticked away with eight minutes of stoppage time not seeing any real chances created, although Green had to defend one break well as Gould twisted and turned just inside the box before Mallard blocked his shot.
The players had been asked for a response after Tuesday’s disappointment and they gave just that today for which both management team and players must take real credit for. It was a tight game between two well-matched teams and in the end, I think the draw was the fairest outcome today. My Cooks man-of-the-match goes to Josh Jones who worked to make things happen in the centre of the park today. Mentions in dispatches to Kieron Mobbs and Dylan Wilson too, but moreover a solid team performance.
No midweek action for the Cooks so it’s back to the training ground to prepare for Saturday’s trip to Bedfont as we kick-off our F.A Vase campaign hoping for a decent run in the competition.
Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Manny Mpambi (sub 12. Lewis Green 32) 3. Kieron Mobbs 4. Dalton Leon 5. Ben Dimond 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Stan Channell (sub 17. Tommy Curry 63) 8. Callum Farmer (sub 14. Alex Parkes 75) 9. Jack Connor (sub 16. Nathan Bell-Toxtle 87) 10. Josh Jones (sub 16. Charlie Pearson 75) 11. Dylan Wilson.
Yellow card; Farmer (65) Foul
Histon: 1.Sam Roach 2. Miles Smith 3. Charlie Tunnell 4. Harvey Bullinaria (sub 15. Dan Gould 81) 14. Pat Bexfield (sub 12. Sam Collison ht) 6. Rob Ruddy 7. Luke Lindsay (sub 17. Buba Camara 81) 8. Efraim Ramanos 9. Max York 10. Ryan Towner © 11. Marcus Cole. Subs not used; 5. Guy Motley 16. Dexter Todd.
Yellow cards; Bexfield (43) Foul. Lindsay (78) Foul. Cole (85) Foul.
Referee; Andrew Hitchcox
Assts; Thomas Brentnall & Russell Tunney
Photos will follow on the Cogenhoe United Facebook page.