Farmer and Bates on target as Cooks leave it late at Hayden Road.
Tuesday 12th July 2022
RUSHDEN & HIGHAM UNITED (0) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 2
The Cooks made the short trip to Hayden Road with Scott Carlin giving a chance for a number of the younger players to shine and impress, whilst Will Bates, Archie Elmore and Louie Martin returned to the starting eleven after being unavailable last weekend. Thankfully the heat of the day had subsided a little as we approached kick-off and we also treated to some extra cooling drizzle for the first fifteen minutes of the game.
The Lankies included two former Cogenhoe players in their starting line-up in the shape of keeper Ben Westwood and Harry Arundel, who played in the centre of the defence. The highlight of the warm-ups has to be Gina Mann’s dog joining in with home team, then attempting to defile some of their kit.
The opening exchanges were very even with neither side getting a foothold on the game. Luca Purse made a very timely challenge inside his own box, whilst a great cross from Elmore saw Martin beaten in the air, with the ball falling just too far away from Luca Iaciofano for him to pounce. Bates found Iaciofano who played a good ball through to Alex Parkes inside the box on the right, but his low shot was taken comfortably by Westwood.
Another nice piece of play from the Cooks saw Adams’ short corner whipped in by Martin and Iaciofano won it in the air, but his powerful header flew the wrong side of the keeper’s right hand post. Elmore’s battling won us possession in the centre before laying it off to Parkes 25-yards from goal and he hit a beauty of a curling first time shot that left Westwood well beaten, but it clattered back into play off the far post. A great turn from Elmore saw him release Bates on the right and he slipped the ball through to Iaciofano running into the centre of the box with the striker stretching to get to the ball, but he steered straight at the keeper.
A free-kick on the half-way line a few yards in from the old stand saw player-manager Jory Mann spot Regan Saunt off his line and he struck it really well, but the ball smacked against the post. Jake Reynolds headed over a Mann corner just before the break but it remained goalless at half-time and one all on hitting the woodwork.
A decent Bates corner saw Purse launch into a downward header that hit a defender and went just wide as Cogenhoe had a good spell with Pharell Anderson looking very lively down the right after coming on at half-time. Fellow sub Ben Dimond headed wide from a Parkes corner, then Anderson used his pace after taking down a long ball and got the better of his man before cutting inside and trying a shot, but it was easy for Westwood on this occasion. Rushden look the lead on 67 minutes with an absolute screamer from their number fifteen. It was good build up from the Lankies that concluded with the sub hitting a bullet of a shot from the right edge of the box that cannoned into the back of the net off of the underside of the crossbar.
Alex McDonald played a dangerous free-kick towards the back post where Purse rose to meet it with his head and place it across the keeper, but it hit the post and Dimond was unable to turn in the rebound. McDonald’s 30-yarder was too close to Westwood to cause any problems for the keeper, before Saunt got down at his near post to save as Rushden countered quickly. Purse went close again when he arrived in the box to meet a low ball in from the left with an out-stretched boot, but couldn’t direct between the sticks after only half connecting, but there were no connection issues on 85 minutes from Cal Farmer. The midfield man picked the ball up 30-yards out and found himself with a little space so he let fly with a rocket that gave Westwood no hope at all as it arrowed into the top corner.
Back down the other end where Mann put a free-kick a foot too high just before Jessi Obeng headed over from Farmer’s corner. The Lankies really should have grabbed a late lead when a mistake by Dimond just outside the area allowed Reynolds to advance into the box unchallenged with seemingly all the time in the world, but the striker seemed in two minds as of what to do, so when he eventually tried to shoot, Saunt was off his line and managed to touch the ball wide of the post. The clock had just reached 90 minutes when the Cooks won another corner on the right. Farmer swung in good one and Will Bates had got ahead of man to plant his header beyond the keeper to seal a dramatic late win for the Cooks who are unbeaten in four games.
It’s now three wins and a draw from four for Carlin in pre-season and next up is the 1st Round of the N.F.A Senior Hillier Cup at home to AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday afternoon.
Cooks; Saunt, Carlin, Adams, Farmer, Purse, Mallard, Bates, Parkes, Iaciofano, Elmore, Martin. Subs all used; Obeng, Anderson, Dimond, Morris, McDonald, Green, Cichosz.
Referee; Chris Walton.