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Wonder save from Kai Hanley keeps Cooks in the game before late McCarthy strike.

Tuesday 6th July 2012

Cooks; JJ McCarthy 90 (pen)

Kingsthorpe Jets were something of an unknown quantity as they step into senior football for the first time with their base being built around the former U18s squad. The Northants Combination team soon found their feet and should have taken the lead inside three minutes when their striker nipped in after some hesitancy at the back from the Cooks, but he decided to go for goal off-balance when he should have taken a touch and simply rolled the ball into an empty net. Thankfully for us he put it wide. A good run by Alex Nwafor saw him break into the area on the left and pull the Ball back across the box. It was slightly behind JJ McCarthy, but the striker turned well and got enough power behind his shot, but it was too close to the keeper. JJ was next to have an effort on target with a header from a Nathan Jones free-kick, but again he wasn’t able to beat the more than capable Jets keeper.
The Cooks had a setback midway through the first half when Manny Uwazie was forced off with a shoulder injury and U18s keeper Kai Hanley got on the pitch earlier than planned. A Shad free-kick came off Manny Asante’s head and dropped to JJ on the edge of the box, but with the ball coming to him at an awkward height he couldn’t keep his volley on target this time. Shad went for goal from outside the box on the left but couldn’t get enough curl on it to keep it on target and we went into the break with the game remaining goalless.
The visitor’s had looked good going forward and they finally broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half. A big kick from his own area by the Jets keeper saw the ball go over our defence and their striker nipped in behind to place a shot wide of the keeper and into the net. Cooks did rally after the set-back and both Jake Walpole and Isaac saw their shots blocked as Jets struggled to clear their own area after an Ethan Gordon corner.
Down the other Hanley kept us in the game with a fantastic save from a powerful close range header as he stretched to his right to get a glove to the ball and turn it over bar, while Gordon had a great chance to level after being played into to the box, but the keeper came off his line to block his shot. Gordon had another chance soon afterwards but fired over under pressure from the centre-half. The Cooks were now really pushing for an equaliser with a few somewhat tasty tackles coming in from the Jets with not all of them taking the ball and resulting in a couple of yellow cards. JJ saw a free-kick from just outside the box deflected wide, then Jones met a low drilled cross just outside the 6-yard box with a first time shot that the keeper saved well.
We were going into the final minute when JJ battled for the ball with the centre half inside the box before going down in a tangle of legs. The referee pointed to the spot much to the dismay of the home defenders and McCarthy stepped up with a superbly struck penalty into the keeper’s top right hand corner and the Cooks had ‘earned’ a draw.

Cogen FC Match

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