Skip to main content

The Cooks and The Doughboys couldn’t be separated at Compton Park as it ends 1-1 in difficult conditions.

Saturday 30th December 2023





Connor 81 (pen)


Bates 54


Att; 125


The Cooks welcomed their near neighbours Wellingborough Town to Compton Park for their final game of 2023 on a gloomy overcast afternoon in that period between Christmas and New Year when nobody knows what day it actually is, but I am assured that it is a Saturday.

Scott Carlin was without the working Bailey Weatherly today, but he did have Ben Gough back and he returned at left back with Kieron Mobbs moving further up field into his favoured midfield role. Paddy Cichosz started in the centre of midfield, while youngster Matty Ireland dropped down to the bench which was unfortunate after his very good performance on Boxing Day. Dex Nkrumah was named on the bench in place of Lewis Green in the only other change to the squad. Former Cogenhoe boss Jake Stone made just one change his starting eleven from the 1-0 win over Desborough with Séan McBride swapping places with Jorrin John who dropped down to the bench. The only other difference was Tom Iaciofano dropped out of the squad altogether and was replaced on the subs bench by another former Cook in Mitch White. Séan was joined in the starting line up by another six former Cogenhoe players in Adam North, Rico Alexander, Jack O’Connor, Will Bates, George Barnell and Jessi Obeng.

Recent rain had left the pitch much heavier than that we have become accustomed to these days and with the wind blowing straight down the pitch towards the village as is almost customary at this time of year, it wasn’t going to be an easy game for either set of players today. The visitors started with the wind at their backs and managed to win an early corner, but in truth there really wasn’t much going on early doors as the game spluttered along in midfield. A nice move from the Cooks involved Gough and Jack Connor and although Mobbs was crowded out inside the box, he worked the ball back to Gough and he found Dom Wysocki who went past his man to send over a cross from the left that was cleared on the edge of the 6-yard box. The first real chance came when Connor played a great ball into Sonny Knights inside the box, but North was quickly off his line to make a good save with the ball just not falling kindly for Mobbs in the centre with an open goal in front of him. Obeng sent over a cross from the left that eluded the head of Wellingborough’s leading scorer Neo Richard-Noel in the centre as it swirled in the wind. Richard-Noel used his strength well to get into the box in the visitor’s next attack, but he couldn’t get the better of Gough who defended the situation well.

The Doughboys had their best chance to date with a lovely bit of football that saw Lloyd Buckby release Richard-Noel inside the box, but John Meadows came out quickly and dived at his feet to save the incoming shot leaving both teams thankful to their respective keepers for maintaining a clean sheet at this point. Harley Mallard was penalised for climbing on Richard-Noel a few yards outside the box with the Doughboys striker lining up the free kick himself, but all he could do was hit the wall with his effort from what looked a dangerous position. Wysocki went past Alexander on the right and sent over a cross that was taken away from goal by the wind, but Connor did brilliantly to get his head to it with Mobbs then seeing his shot blocked behind for a corner. Wysocki took it and Gough rose in the centre to meet it with a good header that went just the wrong side of the post with the Cooks faithful waiting for the net to bulge.

The Doughboys launched a big wind-assisted free kick from their own half into the Cooks penalty area and the defence inexplicably let it bounce not once but twice before it fell to Buckby in the middle of the box, but the Cooks had a big let off when he lobbed the ball over the top rather than take a touch and pick his spot. The impressive Charlie Green whipped in a good cross from the right that skidded on the wet surface inside the box with Bates homing in, but Meadows did really well to claim it before the Wellingborough midfielder without knowing Rob Porter had raised his flag for offside. The final action of the half saw Connor play a good ball to Mobbs just inside the box, but Green managed to get a foot in to avert the danger and the two sides went into the break tied at 0-0.

The Cooks will have been the happier dressing room I think given the fact that they would have the advantage of the wind that was forecast to increase during the afternoon, but both teams had their keepers to thank for a fine save in an interesting first forty-five minutes played in difficult conditions.


Half-Time; Cooks 0 Doughboys 0


Despite the fact that they were now kicking into the wind, the Doughboys started the second half on top and began to camp inside the Cooks half. Alexander tried to whip in a cross from just beyond the corner of the box that died and drifted wide, but the Cooks broke well from another ball played into their box with Wysocki making a 60-yard run down the right flank before cutting back inside from the byline, but he couldn’t pick out Connor with his pull back and as Buckby got to it first to clear. Alexander lifted a ball into the box for box-to-box midfielder Buckby to chase that Meadows came out to claim, but the young Cooks keeper could do nothing about the Wellingborough opener on 54 minutes. Will Bates was a real favourite amongst the Compton Park faithful during his spell at Cogenhoe and when he scored, they were often absolute beauties, and he has clearly taken that to the Dog & Duck. OK, we did stand off him too much as he worked across the pitch from right to left, but there was no stopping his 20-yard shot that flew a couple of feet off the ground all the way from boot to back of the net as it went just inside the Meadows right hand post with the keeper at full stretch. 1-0 to the visitors and given their start to the second half, probably deserved at the time.

Veteran campaigner Brett Solkhon saw a shot from the edge of the box deflected over for a corner from a similar set piece, then Barnell became the unluckiest of players to be shown a yellow card on 59 minutes when it was clearly his skipper O’Connor who had kicked the ball away after the whistle had gone for a free kick to the Cooks. Connor battled inside the box to work the ball right for Wysocki and he beat Alexander to get come inside but couldn’t find the power he was looking for with his shot that North dealt with comfortably. It was a similar situation at the other end moments later as Buckby fed Richard-Noel on the edge of the box, but he failed to add to his goal tally as he hit a rather tame shot that failed to test Meadows.

Despite 2pm being the UCL’s default kick-off time for not using floodlights, referee Ali Cera clearly hadn’t read the mandate as he insisted they were turned on with 66 minutes played, but of course they had no real effect on this dreary afternoon. O’Connor had won a lot of high balls in the game and repeated this as he headed away a Gough free kick as his almost namesake challenged him in the air before the first sub of the game saw Biff replace Mobbs with Matty Ireland. O’Connor got his head to a long Gough throw with Wysocki first to the rebound as he hit it first time, but it was blocked before it could test North. Both teams made changes with Stone swapping Obeng for Eniola Agemoah-Davies on 73 minuets and the Cooks bringing on Dex Nkrumah for Cichosz three minutes later.

Connor was too high with a 25-yard effort while Brad Ilunga did well just outside the box on the right as he played the ball into the danger area where Knights met it first-time. A defender managed to get across and get a foot to the shot with the ball looping up and over the head of North, but the former Cooks keeper did brilliantly to get back and reach up to turn the ball over the bar. The Cooks were now edging the attacking play and Wysocki cut in from the right to go past his marker where he was brought down as he went across his man to win a penalty. Jack Connor claimed the ball and coolly stepped-up to place it inside North’s left-hand post to level up the scores on 81 minutes. The final change of the game saw former Cogenhoe players swap places as McBride made way for Mitch White on 84 minutes with both teams still looking to win the game. Mallard and Bates both went in for a header with intent to win the ball which resulted in a nasty looking clash of heads, but thankfully both were able to continue, with the latter perhaps not overly pleased to see a cross come in front of him moments after recovering, but he still met it with a diving header that Meadows gathered up. Nkrumah won the ball on the right and found Ireland who in turn fed Wysocki on the edge of the box and he middled his first-time shot, but it struck a defender on the chest in the centre of the box, while Wellingborough were denied by a great save from Meadows down the other end. A low ball in from the left picked out the run of Richard-Noel perfectly in the centre and his first-time shot was heading inside the post but for Meadows getting across to make a fine save with his foot. Back down the village end and the Cooks nearly won it themselves when Ilunga got his head to Wysocki’s corner and steered it just inside the post, but Bates was perfectly positioned to block it between his legs allowing North to dive in the ball. Ireland sent over a decent hanging cross that nobody was able to get to at the far post and that proved to be the final action of the match. There was still more to come though even if the game was over as a number of Wellingborough players surrounded referee Ali Cera after the final whistle and he produced red cards to Barnell and O’Connor if the aftermath. Pointless however frustrated you are as this now means Jake Stone will lose them both for three matches as he looks to win promotion this season.

The draw means that Wellingborough stay in second place on goal difference as racing Club Warwick’s game at Nirvana was called off today due to a waterlogged Hamilton Park pitch and it also means that they no longer have a game in hand, but with fifteen still to go there is plenty of time remaining between now and April to reclaim top spot.

The Cooks will be pleased with the point today against a title chasing team, especially after the stoppage time heartbreak at Newport four days previous and overall, a draw was probably a fair reflection on the day. Both keepers made a couple of top notch saves today in very difficult conditions and I have certainly seen worse games of football over the years. My Cooks man=-of-the-match goes to Jack Connor who worked tirelessly and despite not getting any real chances of his own today, held the ball up well and made good use of it as well as volunteering to take the penalty that earned us a point as well as his sixth goal of the season. Special mentions to Earl Atat and Ben Gough who stopped the Doughboys getting any dangerous balls into out box and to John Meadows who kept the ball out when they did. Dom Wysocki was again a real threat on the ball going forward, Sonny Knights, Ben Dimond, Paddy Cichosz and Kieron Mobbs gave everything on the pitch again today while Brad Ilunga and Harley Mallard defended exceptionally against the constant threat of Neo Richard-Noel and stopped him adding to his 20-goal tally today. With the game tightly balanced, the subs didn’t get too much of a look in today, but Matty Ireland showed some good touches while Dex Nkrumah worked hard in his short spell on the field towards the end of the game.

Next up for the Cooks is another team in the play-off positions as Aylestone Park visit Compton Park for the first time at senior level with their 3-1 win over GNG today seeing them keep their noses in front of Newport Pagnell in fourth place. The Cooks stayed in eleventh spot two points behind Bugbrooke with two games in hand after the Badgers drew 2-2 at Coventry United this afternoon.


Cooks, 1. John Meadows 2. Earl Atat 3. Ben Gough 4. Ben Dimond 5. Brad Ilunga 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Kieron Mobbs (sub 14. Matty Ireland 68) 8. Paddy Cichosz (sub 17. Dex Nkrumah 76) 9. Jack Connor 10. Sonny Knights 11. Dominik Wysocki. Subs not used; 12. Callum Farmer 15. Josh Rayfield 16. Josh Jones.

Doughboys; 1. Adam North 2. Charlie Green 3. Rico Alexander 4. Brett Solkhon 5. Jack O’Connor © 6. Séan McBride (sub 16. Mitch White 84) 7. Will Bates 8. George Barnell 9. Neo Richard-Noel 10. Lloyd Buckby 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 15. Eniola Agemoah-Davies 73). Subs not used; 12. Kiantay Liquorish-Mullins 14. Jorrin John 17. Jamari Hart.

Referee; Ali Cera Assts; Robert Porter & Chris Coles


Happy New Year to you all and see you in 2024.




Leave a Reply