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Cogenhoe signed off their home campaign with a deserved 1-0 win over sixth place Newport Pagnell Town. 

Easter Monday 1st April 2024





Kuspert 53


Att; 122


The Cooks welcomed Newport Pagnell Town to Compton Park on Easter Monday afternoon as they brought down the curtain on their home fixtures, even though it is only the 1st April. Thankfully the forecast for rain showers all afternoon was somewhat off target as we were greeted by warn sunshine and only a gentle breeze which all in all made for a lovely afternoon in the village.

Scott Carlin gave starts to young trio Josh Rayfield, Kai Fifield and Jack Kuspert, while Paddy Cichosz was fit enough to return to the starting eleven as well. Alex Parkes and Dom Wysocki dropped down to the bench where they were joined by Matty Ireland, while Sonny Knights dropped out sick in the morning (too many Easter eggs?) and Callum Farmer was away. Arron Parkinson, assisted by former Cooks keeper Matt Finlay, made two changes to the side that drew at Warwick on Saturday, although Adam Miles was originally on the teamsheet but pulled up in the warm-up with Ben Shepherd quickly stepping back up from the bench. Nathan Olukanmi and Nat Gosnal-Tyler were both promoted up from the bench with Jim Burnside going in the opposite direction. Parky opted to go without a sub keeper today so Callum Westwood got the nod over George Rose.

The game got underway and you couldn’t help but sense an end of season feeling about the early stages as very little of note happened in an even opening ten minutes. Mobbs dinked a ball up to Jack Connor, but the experienced Bleu McNeil wasn’t going to let him get by him, then the first sniff of a chance came from John Meadows kick that sent Kuspert running into the box, but he couldn’t get his shot on target as he was challenged while shooting. Kuspert did well on the left before releasing Tak Chijota inside the box and he placed a low shot across Patching, but the keeper had his angles down to a tee as he watched the ball roll wide of his far post. Fifield played a free kick into the box and when the visitors failed to clear their lines, Chijota’s shot was blocked and the same Cooks player dinked it over the top looking for Cichosz just beyond the left hand post and he hit a low drive that took a deflection past Patching and straight across the face of the goal. Gosnal-Tyler played a high cross in from the right that drifted out of play beyond the far post while Connor played in a good ball from the left that was cut-out for a corner. Fifield took the flag kick which Brad Ilunga got his boot to, but Connor couldn’t convert it as it came onto him very quickly.

Chijota had to defend to stop Dan Walker’s cross reaching the box, while Cichosz sent in a driven cross that Connor won in the air with a glancing header, but with the keeper beaten, the Cooks striker was again questioning his luck as the ball came back into play off the post. Cichosz tried to squeeze into the box only to find his shot blocked by a wall of green while down the car park end Ben Ford’s shot from 25-yards out landed of the roof of the disused portacabin. A decent free kick by Kieron Barnes was headed away by Cichosz, then Walker’s cross was won in the air by Chijota with Barnes first to it as it dropped just outside the area, but his shot was over the top. Good football from the Cooks down the left saw a move started by Rayfield and he received the ball back from Keiron Mobbs before pulling the ball back low, but his teammates hadn’t read this one and nobody could get near enough to take advantage and the ball was cleared.

Christian Smail’s corner from the right was won in the air by Dalton Leon which allowed Meadows to claim it safely just before another good move saw Rayfield find Mobbs and he slipped it into the feet of Chijota on the edge of the box, but his touch was heavy and the ball got away from him and out for a goal kick. Chijota then returned the compliment as he sent Mobbs down the left and the full back sent over a looping cross that landed on the roof of the net, possibly via a deflection, but after a little confusion referee Paul Mihalache awarded the visitors an indirect free kick in the middle of their box.

Not a classic so far, but a relatively close encounter with the Cooks having enjoyed the better of the first half with neither keeper being stretched particularly, with for Connor’s header that hit the post the closest to a goal so far.


Half-time; Cooks 0 Swans 0


Connor won an early corner down the right with a strong run, while they had another soon afterwards as the Cooks battled hard in a sequence that saw both Cichosz and Fifield have shots blocked. Meadows held a deep Walker cross comfortably, but it was down the other end that we would witness the first goal of the game thanks to some lovely football from the Cooks. Mobbs played the ball to Connor who controlled it really well before slipping Kuspert in behind the defence with a great pass and the youngster calmly steered the ball past the advancing Patching with just enough on it to go just inside the far post before any covering defender could keep it out. First goal for the Cooks for the young striker and on his full debut too. 53 minutes played and for the first time in recent matches, the Cooks had the lead.

Parkinson made a change before the restart with former Cooks midfield player George Herbert replaced Shepherd, then two more changes were to follow in the next couple of minutes with Jim Burnside coming on for Olukanmi and then Callum Westwood taking the place of skipper Smail. Connor was given offside from a Newport backpass, but it didn’t really matter as he had been beaten to the ball by Patching and play was now inside our half when the whistle blew, while good play from the lively duo of Kuspert and Fifield was ended when Luke Abraham brought the latter down a few yards outside the box in a central position. The Swans player also kicked the ball away so not sure which offence the yellow card was produced for, or maybe it was a bit of both. We discussed on the sidelines who would take this free kick, but Fifield needed no such debate as he lined it up and indeed, he did find the top corner, but unfortunately it was of the cover behind the goal (thanks Jon Wright for that little quip).

Biff made his first change after 66 minutes as he brought on Parkes for Rayfield with the Cobblers youngster being limited to game time in this one by his gaffer, but it has to be said be really impressed out there again and would almost certainly have remained on the field if allowed today. Ilunga Was booked for a foul on Burnside in a clash of the heavyweights, but the Cooks continued to snuff out Newport’s attacks as they managed the game with confidence. Cichosz, who is struggling with an injury of late, came off on 78 minutes giving Ireland another chance, while Connor, definitely offside this time, was allowed to continue down the right flank but unable to pick out a blue shirt with his cross. Burnside and Walker were involved in a break that ended when Barnes shot was well blocked by Mobbs, then Meadows was finally called upon to make a save as he dived to his left to turn away Walker’s powerful shot from the left after he had cut inside from McNeil’s long pass.

Cogenhoe nearly broke clear as Connor fed Fifield inside the box, but he had just strayed offside, then the games final change came when Dex Nkrumah was handed the final five minutes in place of the impressive Fifield. Barnes ran onto a high ball played down the left and as Meadows came off his line, the Swans number seven tried to lift his shot over him, but the Cooks keeper got his glove to the ball to make a fine save. Barnes swung the ensuing corner into the near post where Nketia rose to meet it with a towering header, but he couldn’t keep his effort on target from close range. Walker sent in a dangerous cross that Leon defended superbly at the back post and the final league action at Compton Park this season saw Nkrumah do well down the right before cutting in from the by line, but his low cross rolled straight into the waiting hands of Patching.

It is always nice to bring down the curtain on your home campaign with a win and in truth we deserved all three points today with a vastly improved performance, With a couple of exceptions, our best performances have come against the teams in the top half of the season and that is where we would be looking at finishing had we not underperformed against many of the clubs at the wrong end of the table. The two Jack’s were really good for us today and combined for the game’s only goal as if they have been playing together all season, but my man of the match today goes to Kai Fifield whose speed and enthusiasm was matched by his touch as he livened things up for us in the middle of the park. It was a solid team performance against an experienced Swans team who boast some real quality in their ranks with players who have been there and done it, but these Cogenhoe youngsters all have the ability to do just that if they continue to listen and learn to their peers. We may well not see Matty Ireland and Josh Rayfield in blue again as the Cobblers U18 still have number of games to play and both our last two matches are on Saturday’s, so I would like to personally thank them for their time at the club, for all the effort they have put into their games for us and wish them all the best as they hope to make it in the professional game. I will probably see you in action again for the Cobblers at some point next season. John Meadows was given far more help by his teammates hence a quieter afternoon for the keeper, but he still made a couple of very good saves late in the game when called upon, while Jamari Hart in an unfamiliar right back role was up to the challenge against some very good players today. Keiron Mobbs never lets us down and again he didn’t disappoint, Brad Ilunga was solid at the back while Dalton Leon, filling in for the excellent Harley Mallard, had an extremely good game in again what is an unfamiliar role forced upon his probably because he has the height that makes him look like a centre back. Paddy Cichosz gives us some quality in midfield, whether trying his luck on the edge of the opponent’s box or back in his own winning a decisive header and his work rate was second to none today which is extra important given the fact that we are missing Ben Dimond in that role, While Tak Chijota has really impressed me in his two starts over the Easter weekend.

The home campaign may be over, but we do still have two more games to go starting at Aylestone Park next Saturday with our hosts still needing points to cement second place, although they have already secured a place in the play-offs.


Cooks; 1. John Meadows 2. Jamari Hart 3. Keiron Mobbs 4. Josh Rayfield (sub 12. Alex Parkes 61) 5. Brad Ilunga © 6. Dalton Leon 7. Takula Chijota 8. Paddy Cichosz (sub 15. Matty Ireland 78) 9. Jack Connor 10. Jack Kuspert 11. Kai Fifield (sub 14. Dex Nkrumah 85). Sub not used 16. Dom Wysocki.

Swans; 1. Lewi Patching 22. Bleu McNeil 14. Joel Nketia 4. Christian Smail © (sub 8. Callum Westwood 59) 19. Ben Shepherd (sub 16. George Herbert 53) 20. Dan Walker 7. Kieran Barnes 18. Luke Abraham 17. Nathan Olukanmi (sub 23. Jim Burnside 55)10. Nat Gosnall-Tyler 11. Ben Ford. Subs not used; 15. Ernie Njoroge 5. Adam Miles.

Referee; Paul Mihalache Assts; Kenny Wells & Glenn Capelli


Congratulations to former Cogenhoe United manager Jake Stone as today’s 1-0 victory at Desborough means they are UCL Premier South champions and have secured promotion to step four for the first time in many years.




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