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Cooks off their best as GNG deservedly took the points with a 3-0 win.

Saturday 6th November 2021





Gomes 29

Mangwa 71

Bham 73


Att; 41


The Cooks were able to welcome back Rico Alexander, Dylan Wilson and Jack Riley who all missed the Lutterworth game, with the latter having to make do with a place on the bench. The visitors won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to kick with the wind in the first half. It wasn’t a ‘Cogenhoe gale’ but it was certainly significant enough to play a big part in the game. Craig Foxall made a great early catch from a high corner, whilst down the other end Tom Wakley did well to nip the ball off a defender’s toes, but his pass looking for Wilson was cut out. Wilson did well just inside the box to work himself a little room before placing a shot across the dive of Ethan Dawe, but the ball was just the wrong side of the far post. Wilson was certainly making up for lost time after his enforced absence and he went past his man wide on the right and unleashed a shot that forced Dawe into a save at his near post.

Alexander did well as he blocked a shot from Adam Zia, then a nice free-kick from the right was met by a diving header from Zia just beyond the far post, but it went wide and the flag had been raised for offside anyway. Over playing at the back opened us up as Nuno Gomes took up play in a dangerous position and he whipped the ball across the face of the goal, but fortunately for us there were no takers in a red shirt, but a real warning for the Cooks.

Great keeping from Foxall saw him dive at full stretch to get a hand to a Musa Bham shot, then Wilson went for goal from outside the box, but he didn’t find the connection he was looking for. Josh Adams beat Ben Sault on the left a sent over a good cross that Alexander met with his head, but it looped into the wind and went over the bar. We shot ourselves in the foot on 29 minutes though as we needlessly gave the ball away inside our own half and Gomes broke through the centre and into the box. Foxall made a great save to deny him, but it fell kindly for Gomes and he stroked the ball into the empty net as Alexander desperately tried to cover.

Adams was forced off on 36 minutes with a shin injury with Alex Vaughan taking his place in a straight swap at left wing-back. Will Bates defended well as Bham did well inside the box on our right. An audacious effort from half-way was caught comfortably by Foxall who hadn’t strayed far off his line, then Dan Mortimer picked up the game’s first yellow card after catching Sault who had just beaten him to the ball. Umar Hussain sent over a dangerous free-kick following the foul with the ball just begging to be put away, but again no takers and we trailed 0-1 at the break, but with the advantage of the wind for the rest of the game.


Half-time; Cooks 0 Poachers 1.


Andre Williams came on for Gomes at the break and was quickly into the action with a good strike from just outside the box on the left that flew narrowly over the far top corner as Oadby started well into the wind. Archie Culley dinked a free-kick over the top from a central position looking for Alexander’s run, but Ashveer Narwal stretched to get a boot to the ball and it looped up and over his own crossbar. Dawe had to stretch and touch over a Culley free-kick from half-way that would have dropped just under his bar and from the resulting corner Culley picked out an unmarked Vaughan, but the ball skidded off his head and went wide of the far post.

Mortimer looked for Wakley’s run into the box, but it had a little too much on it, then Paddy Cichosz defended brilliantly as Oadby caught us out with a quick break down the left. Chief Boateng made way for Ivandro Monteiro on the hour and then we saw two quick bookings for the visitors with Zia perhaps a little unlucky, but no arguments about Mylan Charles who caught Monteiro after he had played the ball out to Wakley wide on the right. A great cross from the right from Cichosz found Wilson and his shot struck a defender and went behind for a corner. Oadby broke through the centre through Yaegan Gore who drew Foxall before unselfishly squaring to an unmarked teammate with just a tap in in front of him, but he somehow managed to get the ball stuck between his feet and the ball wide harmlessly wide.

Zia made way for Elidjah Mangwa on 67 minutes and once again the sub made an almost instant impression on the game as he hit a great effort from outside the box that Foxall did extremely well to get a hand too. The final change from Darren Long saw the cautioned Mortimer replaced by Riley with twenty minutes remaining.

Oadby struck again on 71 minutes and it was a super strike from Mangwa that beat the full length dive of Foxall from 25 yards out and I doubt you will see many sweeter hit shots all season. Oadby now had the bit between their teeth and Vaughan had to head off the line after Mangwa had lifted the ball over the keeper’s head, but another individual mistake cost us dear on 73 minutes and an unmarked Bham was able to lift the ball over Foxall’s head from the centre of the box and it dropped inside the keeper’s left-hand post. A veritable mountain to climb now for the Cooks if they were to get anything out of this game.

Alexander was cautioned for a foul on 77 minutes and Zico Thandi hit a decent effort from the free-kick, but Foxall caught it comfortably. The final change came on 83 minutes as Cameron Powell replaced Bham as Oadby looked to see out this game. Vaughan found Wilson outside him and his cross was cut out for a corner, then Alexander lifted a high ball into the box that Culley had to stretch to reach just beyond the far post and he steered the ball straight across the face of the goal. Wakley got his head to a Culley free-kick played to the back stick but couldn’t get it on target, but we were almost killed off completely by a great break from the visitors than saw Williams play a one-two with Sault just inside the box, but he put his shot the wrong side of the post.

Wakley got a touch to the ball a few yards outside the area and Culley hit a beauty first time that clipped the bar and went over, but this was the closest we had come to opening our account as timed ticked away. With no Adams to deliver the corners from the right, Wilson went over and curled in a beauty that Dawe did well to turn over the bar. It may well have been heading straight in, but if it hadn’t then Ryan Archer was waiting at the far post to help it, so a vital piece of play from the keeper. Bates tried to drive into the box but his shot under pressure was blocked and when the rebound fell to Monteiro outside the box, his low drive struck Vaughan and went harmlessly wide, which kind of summed up our day. Monteiro slipped a great ball through to Bates, but Dawe was quickly off his line and saved the wing-back’s shot and then Bates played the ball into the box looking for Wakley, but it just eluded him and referee Harry Moir brought proceedings to an end on a disappointing afternoon for the Cooks.


There is no questioning that Oadby deserved their win today as they handled the conditions much better and took their chances when they came. My Cooks man of the match today has to be Craig Foxall, who despite playing through the pain barrier, made three excellent saves and had no real chance with any of the goals. The second was a real beauty, but the first and third were definitely avoidable as individual mistakes were punished dearly. We were well off our best today though and lacked the fluency we had became used too for some reason. Can’t fault the effort though, but we just lacked that cohesion and spark to open up a very well organised Oadby team today. It’s now three defeats in a row and that nine-match unbeaten run seems a long time ago now, but we have the chance to get straight back into the saddle as we head to Bugbrooke on Tuesday night for the quarter-final of the county cup.


Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Will Bates 3. Josh Adams (sub 15. Alex Vaughan 36) 4. Dan Mortimer (sub 12. Jack Riley 70) 5. Paddy Cichosz 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Archie Culley 8. Ryan Archer 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Chief Boateng (sub 14. Ivandro Monteiro 60) 11. Tom Wakley.

Yellow cards; Mortimer (45+3) Foul. Alexander (77) Foul.


Poachers; 1. Ethan Dawe 2. Ashveer Narwal 3. Matt Richmond 4. Mylan Charles 5. Umar Hussain 6. Zico Thandi © 7. Ben Sault 8. Adam Zia (sub 14. Elidjah Mangwa 67) 9. Musa Bham (sub 12. Cameron Powell 83) 10. Yaegan Gore 11. Nuno Gomes HT). Sub unused; 16. Jagraj Gill.

Yellow cards; Zia (61) Foul. Charles (63) Foul.


Referee; Harry Moir

Assts; Stewart Glendinning & Jack Badcock.





Gary Fletcher faced a massive headache going into this game as he had over 20 players unavailable through injury and illness (seven of which were Covid cases) so secretary Jon Wright was busy registering players late in the week and we had six players making their Cooks debuts in one of the toughest games we will face this season. Alexander Kalorros, Samuel Mensah, Nick Fleming, Isaac Appiah and Mawuli Kisseih all started with Oliver Birch coming on as a sub.

Our cause wasn’t helped when Sam Russell was shown the red card with only 24 minutes played with the home side despatching the penalty to take the lead, but the lads battled hard and only trailed 2-0 at the break, with the second coming on 44 minutes. The second half saw the Badgers make the extra man count though as they fired home four more unanswered goals with the final one coming in the last minute, but this was far from a disgrace for the inexperienced Cogenhoe side, many of whom won’t even have trained together. They are back in action on Tuesday night with a trip to another of this season’s title hopefuls in Harborough Town and barring a miracle Mr Fletcher will face another selection nightmare as he tries to piece together a competitive team for another tough game.


Cooks; 1. Alexander Kalorros 2. Ben Short 3. Matt Fletcher (sub 12. Michael Mensah 70) 4. Samuel Mensah 5. Jake Walpole © 6. Sam Russell (sent-off 24) 7. Nick Fleming 8. Isaac Appiah (sub 16. Nat Allam 60) 9. Will Russell 10. Ben Mason (sub 14. Oliver Birch 80) 11. Mawuli Kisseih.


Referee; Simon Cheney.

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