A single goal eleven minutes into the second half proved enough to give in-form Rugby the win at Compton Park.
Saturday 22nd January 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 0 RUGBY TOWN (0) 1
M. Johnson 56
Darren Long made just one change from the team that lost at Potton two weeks ago with Dylan Wilson starting and Archie Culley dropping down to the bench as they welcomed fourth place Rugby Town to Compton Park, with the visitors having won nine of their last ten games. He was also able to bring back Will Bates after missing a few games through injury, but he had to settle for a place on the bench today.
The opening minutes produced little worth commenting on as both sides tried to get forward without creating any chances, with first shot of game falling to Rugby assistant-manager Justin Marsden who turned on the edge of the box to the left and tried to lift the ball over Craig Foxall, but it wasn’t high enough to trouble the tall Cooks keeper. Archie Elmore whipped in a cross from the right that Ash Bodycote caught comfortably then the best chance of the game so far came when Rico Alexander swept up at the back and played the ball through for Wilson who had the pace on Jamal Clarke, but he shanked his shot wide of the near post from the left corner of the box.
David Kolodynski had a good effort at the near post when his lifted the ball over his own head, but also the crossbar, then Ryan Archer must have covered 50-yards with his run from inside the Cooks half before he played right for Elmore, but his cross was headed away by Clarke in the centre. Paddy Cichosz lifted a free-kick into the box from deep only for Clarke to get above Alexander to head away, whilst Rugby leading scorer Kolodynski had another sniff of goal, but his shot from a tight angle only hit the side-netting. Wilson made himself a bit of space on the edge of the box, but couldn’t get hold of his shot, whilst down the clubhouse end Kolodynski got a header on target from a great delivery on the left, but Foxall was behind it all the way. A great run down the right from Cichosz was matched by the low cross and although Tom Wakley dived in to get a touch ahead of Loyiso Recci in the 6-yard box, the ball looped over the crossbar and out for a goal-kick. Elmore was causing plenty of problems down the right for the visitor’s defence, but he couldn’t find that ball inside to open up the Rugby defence despite his best efforts.
Barry Fitzharris slipped a good ball into the path of Edwin Ahenkurah’s run deep inside the Cooks penalty area on the left, but he blazed his shot over the top from a good position, then a Danico Johnson shapshot from the edge of the box was well held by Foxall. Wilson spotted Bodycore off his line as he seized possession around 25-yards out and despite a decent effort at lobbing him, the Valley keeper retreated quickly to make the catch. Danico Johnson swung a good ball wide to Caine Elliott on the left and he played a one-two with Marsden before picking out an unmarked Kolodynski with his cross, but the although the striker’s header beat the keeper, it hit the bar. Unlucky on Rugby, but the closest we had come so far to a goal in a tight game.
Fitzharris sent a 30-yard effort sailing over the bar, then Foxall dived bravely at the feet of Marsden to deny Rugby a goal. The final action of the half saw Alexander play a free into the box from the half-way line and despite Wakley winning the header, the ball ran harmlessly wide for a goal-kick.
By no means a classic 45-minutes of football, but a tight game that had seen Rugby just beginning to edge things as the half wore on.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Valley 0
Justin Marsden made way for Max Johnson at the break in the only change before we got back on with the game. The sub was straight into the action as he sent a very dangerous free-kick into the box that Alexander just couldn’t get his head too and Foxall pushed away from goal with the visitors not putting as much pressure on our last line of defence as you would have expected them too. A long ball from Archer towards Josh Adams, who was our most forward player, was steered back to his keeper by the head of Dam Summerfield, then Loyiso Recci got his head to a free-kick inside the Cogenhoe box, but couldn’t find the power he had hoped for. The game finally got its first goal with 56 minutes played when Summerfield found Max Johnson just inside the box on the right and he took a touch before firing a swirling shot into the far top corner. Unstoppable finish, but from where I stood it looked like a toe-punt. One thing was for sure though, Rugby had the lead and Cogenhoe had a lot to do if they were to salvage something from this game against a very good team.
Cichosz, who had played well today, made way for the returning Will Bates three minutes after the opening goal. Foxall saved a close range far-post header (I think from Recci) as Rugby were enjoying the bulk of the attacking possession. Chief Boateng came on for Dan Mortimer in a surprise change for the Cooks, with Alexander shuffling left, Archer dropping back and the sub going into midfield. Kolodynski dinked a nice ball across the box and won a corner from the scramble to get to it at the far post, then a great pass from Jack Norman sent Wakley down the right, but he opted to play it early and low across the box before any support could arrive.
Adams was tripped by Recci wide on the left and sent the free-kick into the box himself. It was won by a Rugby head, but the ball dropped to Wilson just outside the box and he hit it well first time, only for Recci to block his shot in the centre of the box. Rugby made another change as former Long Buckby man Adam Shaw came on for veteran-striker Kolodynski with 76 minutes played. Archer became the first player to be shown a yellow card for a poor tackle just outside our box on the left after 82 minutes and Rugby boss Carl Adams swapped Elliott for James Hancocks for his final change of the afternoon in the same minute.
Archer took a shot from 18-yards out that hit a Rugby defender on the arm, but it wasn’t a penalty in my opinion despite a few hopeful shouts, then Max Johnson weaved his way into the Cogenhoe box with a great run, but Foxall came out to make it tricky for him and pulled off a good save when his shot came in. Cogenhoe desperately needed to get bodies forward as time ticked-by, but it was Rugby who were dominating the play now and managing the game inside our half. We were already well into stoppage time when a tussle broke out between Tom Wakley and Jamal Clarke that continued for over a minute and despite assistant referee Laurie Evans flagging, the referee carried on with the game. Players for both sides now became involved as they tried to pull the two apart and it had calmed down once the ref had ambled over to the crowd. He chose not to consult with his flagging linesman and not to talk to the two players involved, but instead sent Wakley to the sinbin for comments he made. It was a blatant red card for both players involved without a doubt, but it was the just the Cooks who had to see out the game with a man short. The final opportunity to get the ball into the Rugby box came when Riley played in a free-kick from his own half and Boateng flicked it on, but Rugby cleared their lines and as they broke into the Cogenhoe half the final whistle blew.
I have to say that Rugby deserved to win today, but the Cogenhoe lads gave their all and on another day we might just have come away with a point. We are still nowhere near our best though and didn’t create too much, especially in the second half and once Rugby took the lead they managed the game out very well. Archie Elmore gets my man-of-the-match today for his efforts up front and trying to make things happen, whilst it was another solid display at the other end from Craig Foxall.
The games don’t get any easier for the Cooks as they head to still unbeaten leaders Hinckley LRFC and their superb Leicester Road stadium next Saturday.
Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Paddy Cichosz (sub 12. Will Bates 59) 3. Josh Adams 4. Dan Mortimer (sub 15. Chief Boateng 69) 5. Jack Riley 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Ryan Archer 8. Jack Norman 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Tom Wakley 11. Archie Elmore. Subs not used; 14. Alex Vaughan 16. Archie Culley.
Yellow card; Archer (82) Foul. Sinbin; Wakley (90+4)
Rugby; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Dan Summerfield 12. Edwin Ahenkorah 4. Jamal Clarke 5. Loyiso Recci © 6. Keenah Rosser 7. Justin Marsden (sun 14. Max Johnson ht) 8. Barry Fitzharris 9. David Kolodynski (sub 18. Adam Shaw 76) 10. Danico Johnson 11. Caine Elliott (sub 15. James Hancocks 82). Subs not used; 16. Madundo Semahimbo 17. Liam Francis.
Referee; David Jarrett
Assts; Laurie Evans & Gary Halliday
UHSLPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-RESERVE DIVISION
NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN Reserves 5 COGENHOE UNITED Reserves 0
Unfortunately the Cooks couldn’t build on their excellent win over Kempston last week and went down to 5-0 defeat to fifth place Newport Pagnell at Willen Road on Saturday.
1 – Ben Westwood
2 – Alfie Gee
3 – Matt Fletcher
4 – Nat Allam
5 – Jake Walpole ©
6 – Sam Russell
7 – Luca Iaciofano
8 – Nick Fleming
9 – Isaac Appiah
10 – Ben Mason
11 – Ben Short
12 – James McGrath
14 – Ion Sagaidoc
17 – Kelvin Gyamfi