The Cooks ran out 4-1 winners with some very well taken goals, but they were far from being at their best today.
Saturday 29th October 2022
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE SPORTS GROUND DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE CUP – 2ND ROUND
COGENHOE UNITED (3) 4 v WEST BRIDGFORD (1) 1
Scott Carlin made a few changes to his starting line as Jamie Hall, Harley Mallard and Kodi Briggs all started as Alex Parkes dropped down to the bench with Ben Gough and Konnor Dixon not involved at all. Josh Adams had to make do with a place on the bench after getting stuck in traffic and not making it until 2-30, but one person much happier about getting one of the subs shirts today was skipper Paddy Cichosz who returned to the squad following a long injury lay-off.
Bridgford won the toss and kicked with the wind at their backs attacking the village end in the first half, but it the Cooks who took an early lead with the first chance of the game just 4 minutes in. A great pass from Will Bates picked out Jamie Hall just inside the box and his first touch created space for him to place his shot past Archie Corrall from 10-yards out. The visitors got the ball into the Cogenhoe penalty area when Buba Ceesay robbed his man just outside the box on the right and played it inside looking for Grant Ryan, but Mallard got there first and his clearance bounced off the forward and into the arms of Regan Saunt. Jessi Obeng did well on the right to get into the box only for his cut-back to be cut out, but the lead was doubled on 8 minutes. A move involving Hall, Luke Andrews and Bates saw the latter pick out Louie Barrett inside the box on the right and he cut inside before hitting a bullet of a shot that Corrall got his fingertips too, but could only divert the ball onto the underside of the bar from where it crashed into the back of the net. First Cogenhoe goal for Barrett and I think it pretty fair to say he enjoyed that one.
A high ball from the back by Luca Purse was won really well in the air by Briggs as he found Hall on the edge of the box with the big striker forcing a good diving save out of Corrall with his low drive. The resulting corner was a peach delivered by the left boot of Briggs and Purse met it with a powerful header on the edge of the 6-yard box at the far post, but it hit the underside of the bar and came back into play and Mallard’s attempt to follow up was blocked and cleared. So close for the Cooks, but on 14 minutes it was 3-0 as Kodi Briggs netted his first goal for the Cooks. A looping Bates cross from the right was nodded down by Hall to Briggs just inside the box on the left and hit the sweetest of shots that gave the keeper no chance at all. 3-0 with just 14 minutes gone and this looked like it might end up as a cricket score. Saunt had a couple of touches of the ball as he held a weak header into his chest and then came out the edge of his penalty to claim a through ball. A Luke McDonald cross from the right was headed out by Harry Hudson with Obeng’s follow up being blocked, then Abou Sylla had Bridgford’s first real chance of the game as he seized on an error to get into the box, but he shot early and put it wide of the far post.
Hall played the ball to Obeng just inside the Bridgford half and the Cooks man got goal-side following a slip by the defender, but Nick Knight did really well to get back and get a foot to the ball as he shot. Briggs did really well to recover and make a timely tackle inside his own box after Buba Ceesay had tried to set up Sylla, then Barrett sent Obeng down the right where he came inside and dinked over a cross that Hall headed just over from the edge of the 6-yard box. Obeng again did well inside the box on the right before pulling it back to Hall 16-yards out, but the striker pulled his shot wide this time. Hall and Obeng combined to allow Barrett to use his pace to get into the box and fire in a low shot that Henry Gardner did well to get a touch too and divert the ball into the side-netting. Gardner was involved down the other end but his pass to Sylla was a little too hard for his teammate to control and Purse put the ball behind for a corner. The flag-kick was sent in from the left by Liam Harper and we totally failed to clear our lines and after a bit of a scramble, Abou Sylla bundled the ball home from close range to make it 3-1 with 34 minutes played. A minute later it probably should have been 3-2 when Saunt seemed to freeze on a cross allowing Grant Ryan a free close-range header, but he hit the underside of the bar and before we could get it away, Hudson miscued deep inside the box as we somehow survived. A big turning point followed on 43 minutes when for reasons only known to himself, Bridgford skipper Ryan lashed out with an elbow to connect with the head of McDonald, right in front of referee Stuart Lathan. No option here for the official but to brandish the red card and leave the visitors with ten men whilst 3-1 down with 47 minutes of the game remaining.
After a blistering start with three goals in the first 12 minutes, the Cooks had really lost their impetus and after conceding one and very nearly a second, but they really should be in a great position to go on to a resounding win with the wind at their backs against ten men.
Half-time; Cooks 3 W. Bridgford 1
Josh Adams, who spent much of the afternoon stuck on the A45, came on for the second 45 minutes of the game in place of Briggs who had done well today. Barrett was close to adding to the Cooks goal tally with a powerful strike from 25-yards out the Corrall tipped over, then Barrett and Obeng worked well down the right, but the final pass was a little overhit. A lovely ball from McDonald was controlled well by Pharrell Anderson to get into the box, but Corrall saved his shot with his legs, while a great strike from the edge of the box by Gardner swirled just over down the other end. Both Barrett and Anderson made driving runs that came to nothing, then Hall turned his marker inside-out in the box, but Hudson did really well to block his shot. Adams swung in a dangerous corner that Hall failed to control just beyond the far post, then Hall and McDonald both had shots blocked after some good work by Obeng inside the box on the right. A lovely lobbed pass over the top from McDonald created a chance for Obeng inside the box and forced a good save out of the keeper and when Obeng turned to steer the ball back at goal, Corrall was there again to complete a double-save.
Both side’s made changes as Biff swapped Obeng for Lewis Green with Bates moving further forward and West Bridgford took off Zak Hill and brought on Ashley Butterworth. Anderson did well to win the ball back inside the box on the right and delivered a cross that Barrett couldn’t reach, then Purse forced a save from a low 25-yard effort. McDonald played a free-kick into the box that found its way to Anderson, but his attempted shot seemed to come of his shin and went well over the top.
Bridgford brought on Klaudio Marqeshi for Luke Johnson after 69 minutes and shortly afterwards Barrett made way for Alex Parkes. Green cleared off the line after the visitors had won two headers from a corner and a shot had been hooked past Saunt, before a double sub by the Cooks as Hall and Andrews came off to give Cichosz and Farmer some minutes. Mallard had to head a Gardner free-kick behind for a corner that Liam Harper delivered. Saunt managed to turn the ball away from his goal and Hudson could only lift the ball over the bar as it dropped to him. The game was now pretty scrappy, but it was the ten men of West Bridgford who were having all the play.
Ceesay was maybe a little unlucky to be shown the yellow card after Bates beat him to a lose ball and his momentum meant he caught the Cooks man late, with Adams free-kick being headed out by Harper. Saunt held a whipped-cross from Sylla cleanly, while Anderson turned away from his man and fired over from 20-yards out. Anderson played a one-two with Cichosz before firing over from a tight angle on the right, then the ref played advantage after Cichosz had been fouled just inside the visitor’s half, but Anderson’s eventual shot was blocked by Ceesay in the box. Anderson raced clear as he ran on to a flick header and got the better of Ceesay, but again he was thwarted when Corrall saved his shot. Cichosz was ten yards wide with a snapshot from just outside the box (but he has asked me to mention his nut-meg to balance this up). With the game now two minutes into stoppage time and West Bridgford’s efforts seeming to have taken their toll on them now, Josh Adams won a fifty-fifty and McDonald returned the ball into his path and he raced clear before beating Corrall with a great finish just inside the box.
In truth the second-half was a pretty dire affair and I suppose we had won the game inside the opening 12 minutes. Well done to West Bridgford who fought so hard with ten men and had more of the play as the game wore on, good luck to them in their battle to pull away from the relegation zone in Division One. As for the Cooks, we go into the draw for the next round even if the scoreline did flatter us in many ways. Paul’s man of the match today goes to Louie Barrett who was a threat down the right, especially during the opening half-hour, plus of course he celebrated his first goal in Cooks colours too.
Next up we have a Friday night game when Godmanchester Rovers come to Compton Park on November 4th. Hopefully there will be a few more fireworks on the field that day.
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Will Bates 3. Kodi Briggs (sub 15. Josh Adams ht) 4. Luke Andrews (sub 17. Patryk Cichosz 76) 5. Luca Purse 6. Harley Mallard 7. Louie Barrett (sub 14. Alex Parkes 71) 8. Luke McDonald © 9. Pharrell Anderson 20. Jamie Hall (sub 16. Callum Farmer 76) 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 12. Lewis Green 64).
West Bridgford; 1. Archie Corrall 2. Courtney Bartley 3. Luke Johnson (sub 15. Klaudio Marqeshi 69) 4. Harry Hudson 5. Nick Wright 6. Liam Harper 7. Zak Hill (sub 14. Ashley Butterworth 64) 8. Henry Gardner 9. Abou Sylla 10. Grant Ryan © 11. Buba Ceesay. Sub not used; 12. Rav Jackson.
Red card; Ryan (43) Violent conduct.
Yellow card; Ceesay (79) Foul.
Referee; Stuart Lathan
Assts; Paul Speakman & Kenny Wells