The Cooks bowed out of the Senior Cup, but it took penalties for the Cobblers to edge through after Dylan Wilson’s late equliser.
Tuesday 19th September 2023
NORTHANTS F.A HILLIER SENIOR CUP – 1ST ROUND
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 NORTHAMPTON TOWN U23 (1) 1
The Cooks played host to what was basically the Northampton Town youth team to kick off the NFA Senior Cup who were under the watchful eye of club coach Marc Richards, with goalkeeper James Dadge the only member of the senior squad to be included. This meant that for the first time this season the Cooks couldn’t claim to have the youngest team on the pitch. Scott Carlin made a few changes from the GNG game, giving starts to Sonny Knights, Josh Jones and Tommy Curry with Jack Connor and Damien Osoimoejiokhian dropping down to the bench and Alex Parkes missing out after being on the wrong end of the horror tackle in Leicester. It was not going to an easy night for either team as the ‘Cogenhoe Breeze’ had returned with a vengeance, blowing a near gale straight down the pitch from the clubhouse end towards the village. At least it wasn’t raining!
The Cobblers kicked with the wind in the first half and it took them just two minutes to take the lead as Neo Dobson tapped in at the far post after Jamari Hart had played the ball in low from the left. Tommy Curry was working hard down the left flank and was the victim of one or two kicks to the shins from his former teammates as a result of this. He did well to get past two defenders to reach the dead-ball line, but his cross was blocked, but a majority of the early play was in the opposite half. Leo Jenkins massive throw was a big feature made even harder to defend against with the wind behind them, but Adam North caught most of them cleanly inside his 6-yard box as the Cobblers failed to take any advantage.
A great effort 25-yards out by Dobson was inches over the bar, while Josh Rayfield was extremely lucky not to be shown the yellow card after taking out Curry for the third time down the flank. Cal Farmer hit a 25-yard shot straight at keeper Dadge with the Cooks first effort on target, while a great run from Curry won a corner down the left, but Farmer didn’t judge the wind well. Dylan Wilson, thriving in playing down the middle tonight, made a great run into the box before seeing three shots blocked before the visitors managed to get the ball away, while North got down well to save a Harry Guess drive from just inside the box on the right. Ben Dimond had North to thank for saving his blushes after his backpass looked to have played in Hart, but the former Cobblers keeper was quickly off his line and slid in to get their first before hooking the ball away. Earl Atat defended solidly inside the box to make a timely challenge and from the ensuing corner, Jacob Scott could only direct his header wide of the target.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Cobblers 1
The Cooks now had the advantage of the wind and almost levelled things up when Jones controlled the ball well before hitting a low shot from 20-yards that hit the base of Dadge’s left-hand post with the keeper well beaten, but the Dadge won the next round as Jones powered down the right flank before whipping in a cross that the keeper took well on the edge of his 6-yard box. Dalton Leon tried his luck from distance with his shot sailing over the top and then the first changes saw the Cooks bring on former Cobblers man Jack Connor for Leon on 52, then Atat made way for Osoimoejiokhian three minutes later with Kieron Mobbs moving across the back four to add right-back to his CV. Mobbs cut into the box from the right but caught the leg of the defender as he tried to force his way past him, then Jones intercepted a poor clearance from Dadge and worked his way into the box and when his cross was cut out, Farmer met it first time from 25-yards, but his well-struck effort was blocked inside the penalty area.
Farmer eyed up the target with a central free-kick 25-yards out, but hit it straight at Dadge, just before Curry, feeling the effects of those fouls in the first half, came off to be replaced by Jamie Hall five minutes after the hour. Osoimoejiokhian got past his man on the left before sending over a great cross that Dadge punched off his line under pressure from Connor, then Mobbs won a corner as he took a swing on the edge of the box with his shot coming off a defender. An up-and-under attempted clearance inside the box from a defender saw the ball drift back towards his own goal and Wilson pounced on the edge of the box firing over the top. Charlie Pearson replaced Farmer on 69 minutes, but the Cobblers would have doubled their lead had they been a little more incisive inside the penalty area. Dobson sent Hart clear inside the box and North was forced off his line with the Cobblers man taking the ball round him before checking back. He really should have had more options, but had to play the ball back across the box to pick out Freddy Findlay and he needed a touch that allowed the Cooks to get back and quash the opportunity.
Findlay made way for Aleks Jevterevs and then Stan Channell replaced Jones as the changes continued, while great work from Mobbs saw him make room for a cross, but Hall couldn’t get his head to it in the centre. Harley Mallard did really well to get his head to a cross with Guess seeing his follow up shot blocked just before Ben Pateman got his yellow card for the only time on the night for Dobson for his foul on Mobbs in front of the dug-outs. In a reserve of the norm, Wilson rose to nod the ball on to Hall on the right and he sent over a good cross to pick out Channell, but the Cooks wideman had drifted offside. Richards brought on Charlie Carroll in place of the now limping Dobson on 82 minutes, but the Cooks drew themselves level a minute later as Wilson bagged his eighth goal of the season in just his twelfth game. North had played a free-kick from inside his own half up into the opposite box and Cobblers defender Jenkins had got a touch that sent the ball across his own area and Wilson the goal-predator was on hand to steer the ball home from 8-yards out. It was also one of those ‘poetic justice’ moments as the Cobblers defender who inadvertently set up the goal had been made to eat his words after his comments just moments previous. The last chance of the game fell to the Cobblers but the shot from angle inside the box on the left took a deflection into the side netting and the tie would be decided on penalties.
Dylan Wilson tucked his away nicely but was matched by Reuben Wyatt. Hall put his penalty straight down the middle leaving Dadge to make a comfortable save and the advantage swung the Cobblers way when Guess scored. Pearson netted his and it was all-square again when North dived to his left to save the sixth spot kick from Guess. Channell hit a beauty that was matched by Jacob Scott and after Dimond placed his penalty wide, a place in the next round came down James Owen’s spot-kick and he duly sent his team through.
From a personal point of view I thought both teams did exceptionally well given the conditions out there and although penalties is never a nice way to lose a game, my eyes are firmly on the F.A Vase game at home to Winlsow United this Saturday. The young Cobblers team are having a great season so far in the EFL Youth Alliance and I wish them all the best in the next round (and especially at MK Dons this Saturday morning which hopefully I will get along to see). Paul’s man of the match today goes to Dylan Wilson.
Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Earl Atat (sub 17. Damien Osoimoejiokhian 55) 3. Kieron Mobbs 4. Sonny Knights 5. Ben Dimond 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Josh Jones (sub 15. Stan Channell 73) 8. Call Farmer (sub 16. Charlie Pearson 69) 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Dalton Leon (sub 12. Jack Connor 52) 11. Tommy Curry (sub 14. Jamie Hall 65).
Cobblers; 1. James Dadge © 42. Josh Rayfield 3. Freddy Findlay (sub 20. Aleks Jevterevs 70) 4. Jacob Scott 5. Kiantay Licorish-Mullins 6. Leo Jenkins 7. James Owen 8. Reuben Wyatt 9. Neo Dobson (sub 23. Charlie Carroll 77) 11. Jamari Hart 43 Harry Guess. Subs not used; 13. Marcus Bald 33. Archie Murray 37. Joziah Barnett.
Referee; Ban Pateman Assts; Nick Marriott and Gary Halliday.