The Cooks drew a blank at St Neots as Jordan Brown’s early goal proved enough to give the home side all three points.
Tuesday 10th October 2023
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
ST NEOTS TOWN (1) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 0
Jordan Brown 8
Having travelled to third placed March on Saturday, it was back-to-back tough away days for the Cooks with the midweek action coming at second placed St Neots Town, with the home side looking for a win that would take them back to the top of the table. To add to his long-term injury worries, Scott Carlin was also hit by the unavailability of leading scorer Dylan Wilson whose work commitments meant he was unable to travel, but he was boosted by the return of skipper Harley Mallard at the back. This meant a recall for Jack Connor who partnered Jamie Hall up top, while Dalton Leon was able to return to midfield following his spell at centre-back. Saints gaffer Cameron Mawer made three changes to the starting line-up that had been held to a goalless draw by Yaxley three days earlier with Dammy Nickels, Harvey Williams and Israel Ajana all coming in, while Dean Dummett and Tom Rowley dropped down to the bench.
We felt the oncoming Autumn in the air as the breeze brought a bit of a chill to the Premier Plus Stadium with the home side starting on the attack with a driving run by the impressive Magloire Nuyembe taking him 40-yards before being ended illegally by Earl Atat just outside the box in a very similar position to the goal on Saturday, but Williams didn’t show the same coolness as Danny Emmington as he fired over the bar and out of the ground. Atat committed his third foul of the game with just 7 minutes played and referee Joshua Williams brandished the first of many the yellow cards he would produce during the game. A minute later and the Saints would take the lead as Jordan Brown found space inside the centre of the box and although Adam North did well to save his initial shot, the recent signing from Real Bedford followed up to fire home from close range. It had been a powerful start from the home side and the early goal was going to make this a very stern test for the Cooks young team.
Atat did well down the right and pulled the ball back to Hall just inside the box and he swivelled to fire in a shot that was too close to former Cobblers keeper James Goff, but good play from the Cooks striker all the same. Hall battled for the ball down by the left corner flag with Tommy Reynolds playing the ball across his own box where Connor nipped in to beat his man and pull the ball back to Hall, who hit a low first-time effort that was heading just inside the near post had Goff not dived down to get his hand to it and push it round the post. Kieron Mobbs’ throw-in to the feet of Connor saw the striker take a touch before going for goal, but his marker was alert to this and blocked his effort at source, with Connor’s next action seeing him stretch and get his foot to the ball ahead of Kyle Lincoln and the Saints skipper reacted causing a brief skirmish that Hall seemed to calm down. Connor took the ball and didn’t touch the man, but referee Williams opted to show him the yellow card (assumedly because his foot was slightly off the ground) but didn’t even speak to home player for his retaliation.
Jordan Brown broke into the box only to find Damien Osoimoejiokhian in determined mood with the defender winning the ball cleanly, while Cal Farmer was deservedly booked for barging into Israel Ajana who was flying past him down the left flank. Mobbs did well to get past Reynolds before finding Connor, but he overhit his cross, then a nice turn of pace by Muyembe saw him get into the box down the left before firing a low-cross inside that North took well. Connor chased a long ball into the box, but although he managed to get to it just before it went out, his attempted cross when straight out for a goal-kick. Williams kicked-the ball away to stop the Cooks taking a quick free-kick and somehow avoided a booking from his namesake and when Farmer was eventually allowed to take the free-kick it was won in the air by a defender before dropping to Mallard 20-yards out and he lifted it back at goal on the volley, but the ball dropped just too late and skimmed the top of the net. Alex Parkes turned a Mobbs throw into the feet of Hall on the left angle of the box and he hit a great curling effort that went just over the bar at the far post and that proved to be the last action of the first-half.
Half-time; Saints 1 Cooks 0
No changes at the break and it was the Cooks who showed first when Connor spotted the keeper off his line from 30-yards out and his effort wasn’t too far off target. Osoimoejiokhian dinked a ball over the top for Mobbs to run on to, but it rolled through for a goalkick before he could reach it, then North had to stand firm at his near post as Jordan Brown drilled in a shot. Hall was replaced by Shama Bako on 52 minutes, a bit harsh on the big striker who had done well tonight and two minutes later the Cooks were reduced to ten men when Leon was given his marching orders. The Cooks man had been frustrated not to have been given a free-kick after being fouled inside the home half and he chased back and lunged into a challenge that definitely warranted a yellow card. Another brief fracas followed when the home player retaliated and Leon then shoved him. The referee showed Leon a yellow for the foul and then immediately another one for the push, which was followed by a red. James Hatch was also booked for his part in the afters.
Osoimoejiokhian was caught late by Williams (the player), but Williams (the ref) saw nothing wrong with it and Mobbs’ cross was cleared, but once the ball went dead Piers Bodily had to come on and patch the Cooks defender up. Harvey Williams appeared to be living a charmed life tonight having got away with kicking the ball away, he now got off scot free with a late challenge and could have joined Leon on the naughty step with different official. With the game now heading into the final twenty minutes, the inevitable subs began with Rowley coming on to his own Park in place of the lucky to still be on Williams, then a few minutes later Luke Bullement replaced Atat at right wing back. Jordan Brown battled well inside the box, using his upper body strength to his advantage before appearing to pull his shot wide, but the ref gave a corner and by this point nobody was particularly surprised by the decision. (I must add I was a long way from this though).
Bullement was shown the yellow card for a foul on Jordan Brown, which seemed a very harsh decision from where we stood, with Osoimoejiokhian heading away the free-kick at the back post. Connor made way for Charlie Pearson on 80 and two minutes later Stan Channell came on for Farmer as the Cooks tried to refresh their attacking options. Bullement saw a decent cross headed behind for a corner by Lincoln, with the Saints skipper also getting his head to a Parkes delivery with the ball dropping to Pearson inside the box on the right, but the sub wanted a touch too much and his attempt to get the ball back into the danger area was half blocked sending the ball looping up and into the arms of Goff. More subs followed as the home side ran down the clock, while the Cooks gaffer brought on his son Dylan for his first run out of the season, with his long throw adding a new weapon to the Cooks armoury as time ticked away. Mobbs was the Cooks man to make way, while Mawer brought on Matteo Perkins and then Dean Dummett with Jordan Brown and Muyembe giving the two subs very late cameos. Channell whipped over a cross that Goff took comfortably, but the keeper had to put more effort into the Cooks’ subs’ next effort and that was that. Andy Batty added to the already long list of yellow cards for the Cooks who will have to pay a heavy fine for their indiscretions tonight on the field.
The Cooks have now lost all three of their last away games 1-0 and in truth they perhaps should have got at least a point from all of them, but tonight the Saints showed why they are now top of the table by winning games that they never really dominated and in truth didn’t play that well on the night. It was another decent enough performance from the Cooks, but we are lacking that spark to lift us above the average on the park at this moment and with the current squad, we are certainly missing Tommy Curry, Bailey Weatherly and Sonny Knights who are all players that can and do make things happen. Dylan Wilson not being able to make the game through work was another blow to us with the nippy front player already having ten goals to his name so far this season, but credit must go to Jamie Hall and Jack Connor tonight despite the lack of goals, with Hall a real threat during the first half. My man-of-the-match today comes at the other end of the field though as Damien Osoimoejiokhian put in another very good performance and seemed to be involved in a lot of the action tonight and is showing a real hunger for the game. Good luck to St Neots going forward, very nice bunch of people behind the club and although they weren’t at their best tonight, some impressive players in their squad too with Magloire Muyembe and Israel Ajana catching my eye in this game.
The Cooks have a Saturday off now but return to action next Tuesday with yet another tough away game as we head to currently play-off chasing Wellingborough Town as we reacquaint ourselves with several former Cooks people.
Saints; 1. James Goff 2. Tommy Reynolds 3. Dammy Nickels 4. Josh Brown 5. Nathan George 6. Kyle Lincoln © 7. Harvey Williams (sub 14. Tom Rowley 69) 8. Magloire Muyembe (sub 12. Dean Dummett 90+3) 9. Jordan Brown (sub 17. Matteo Perkins 90) 10. James Hatch 11. Israel Ajana. Subs not used; 15. Rev Kalek 16. Demi Romeo.
Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Earl Atat (sub 16. Luke Bullement 74) 3. Damien Osoimoejiokhian 4. Alex Parkes 5. Ben Dimond 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Kieron Mobbs (sub 14. Dylan Carlin 90) 8. Callum Farmer (sub 17. Stan Channell 82) 9. Jack Connor (sub 11. Charlie Pearson 80) 12. Jamie Hall (sub 15. Shama Bako 53).
Referee; Joshua Williams
Assts; Paul Buck & Martyn Allen
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