Jessi Obeng’s 15th goal of the season late on took the tie to penalties, but it wasn’t to be for the Cooks today as Deeping progressed to the semi-finals.
Saturday 25th February 2023
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – THE SPORTSGROUND DEVELOPMENT KO CUP
DEEPING RANGERS (0) 1 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1
(DEEPING WON 5-4 ON PENS)
With a number of players cup-tied and one suspended, Scott Carlin was forced into a number of changes to his starting line up with Ben Heath, Lewis Green, Kodi Briggs and Harry Waple-Moors all coming in. Jamie Hall dropped down to the bench where he was joined by the returning Josh Adams. Having arrived at the Haydon Whitham Stadium in a hailstorm, we were treated to a typical spring-like afternoon in Lincolnshire as pre-match sunshine was blown away by a rainstorm just as the game got underway.
Pharrell Anderson tried his luck from 25-yards out inside the first minute but his shot drifted well wide of the target, then a long ball from Gough saw Waple-Moors run through onside, but Dan George came out to the corner of his box to sweep up. Anderson was tripped by Spencer Tinkler 40-yards from goal to the left and Alex Parkes lifted the free-kick into box were Ben Gough rose to win it in the air, but he couldn’t get over it and the ball looped high and wide of the goal. A lovely move from the home side saw Tom Smith receive the ball wide on the left, but the flag was immediately raised for offside and even though his low cross was converted in the centre by Will Bird, referee Aimee Keir was already blowing her whistle. The Cooks were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous place just outside the box after Anderson went down after appearing to run into the back of Josh Sennett, so maybe it was poetic justice when Briggs fired the free-kick several yards over the top.
A mistake at the back by the Cooks saw Matt Sparrow burst clear down the right wing, but his cross was gathered comfortably by Heath, then Anderson’s pace caught Deeping keeper George and centre-back Jack Withers looking to each other and with the keeper well out of his box, Anderson got there first just inside the touchline on the right and lifted the ball towards the goal, but he couldn’t find the target and it went a couple of yards the wrong side of the near post. A good ball by Ewan Fieldhouse allowed Dan Flack to whip over a cross that Gough got his head to and Green tidied up behind him, then a good turn by Sparrow just outside the box saw him caught by Paddy Cichosz and give Deeping a view of goal from the free-kick. If anything it was worse than the Cooks effort as Aaron Eyett went for power and his shot was going further away from the goal every second and even went wide of the covered terrace.
A cross-field run had seen Louie Barrett end up on the left side of the pitch and when he picked up a loose ball, he cut inside before hitting a shot from well outside the box that wasn’t too far wide of the far post. Barrett won a corner after running on to a Green pass, then a decent cross by Briggs was well held in the middle by George with Gough lurking behind him. A good piece of play down the bottom end saw Sparrow take a touch on the edge of the box before fizzing a shot just over the top, then Bird fed Sparrow on the right and his cross found its way to Eyett, but his shot was blocked by Green. Sparrow sent over a corner from the left that Harvey Henderson ran on to a few yards inside the box on the right, but he fired his shot wide of the near post. Gough blocked a Bird effort with Perry Ronayne tidying things up nicely in the box when it was returned by Sparrow, then a determined effort from Barrett saw him win the ball back and find Parkes who slipped a good ball to Jessi Obeng just inside the box on the right, but he tried to square the ball and slipped in doing so, allowing the home defence to clear the ball up field. Obeng sent over a decent cross from the left that George caught cleanly, then the final chance of the half came when Withers pass saw Bird cut inside Green, but his cross-shot curled wide of the back stick.
Half-time and goalless. In truth it was probably one of the least inspiring halves I have seen this season with neither team registering a single shot on target.
Half-time; Deeping 0 Cooks 0
Both managers resisted the temptation to make any changes at the break and it was the Cooks who were first to show. Obeng played a ball up to Anderson who got past Withers, but Tom Smith came in to nip the ball off his toes, while Sennett made a good run to reach the box, but Ronayne took the ball off him with a great challenge before he could cause any real damage. Barrett sent over a cross from the right that was just over the head of Anderson and was caught cleanly by George just outside his 6-yard box. Jamie Hall replaced Barrett with 55 minutes gone and the sub was quickly in the action as he back-heeled the ball to Anderson on the right for him to send a low cross in, but it was just ahead of Obeng’s run. Deeping’s first change came on 57 minutes when Fieldhouse made way for Ross Watson.
Obeng played a ball up to Hall on the edge of the box, but George was off his line quickly to beat the Cooks striker to the ball just outside the box and launch it over the main stand, then the home side got their noses in front on 59 minutes with the game’s first shot on target. Bird was played clear on the right and he sent a low cross in towards the near post. Eyett couldn’t get in a shot but the ball fell to Sennett who turned and steered the ball across Heath and into the far corner of the net from 10-yards out.
Sparrow had a good chance to double the home side’s lead shortly afterwards, but he sliced his shot from the edge of the box wide of Heath’s right hand post, then George got his hands to a Briggs free-kick curled in from the right and followed up to clutch it safely. Sparrow made a good diagonal run that was ended by some cool defending from Ronayne, then back down the other end as Obeng played the ball to Anderson inside the box on the left and he stepped inside to shoot, only for Flack to make a vital challenge at just the right time.
Deeping brought on Josh Moreman, who has a 100% record as a Cooks player, scoring the only goal of the game in his single appearance, as he replaced Eyett, while Josh Adams returned to the Cooks side with Briggs heading in the opposite direction. There was a stop in play for treatment, so I nipped to the loo and in this time the home side were awarded a penalty that Bird blazed over the top on 81 minutes, then Cooks skipper Cichosz made way for Dalton Leon with six minutes remaining. There were four left when Waple-Moors played a good ball to Obeng who took it into the box on the left before cutting inside and curling a superb shot beyond the reach of George and into the far top corner. A superb finish from the Cooks leading scorer as he took his tally up to 15 for the season so far.
A good touch by Bird was negated by a great challenge from Gough, but the Cooks so nearly won it when Waple-Moors laid the ball to his right for Obeng and the Cooks scorer kept his cool before slotting his shot past the outcoming George, only for it to hit the base of the post a roll back into the arms of the keeper laying on the floor. Parkes and Obeng set Anderson on the right and he won a corner, but the whistle was blown for a foul when Adams swung it across, while Deeping should have stolen it deep into stoppage time as Sparrow found himself total clear with just Heath to beat, but he hit his shot straight at the keeper at neck height with seemingly most of the goal to aim at. I have seen Sparrow play many times over the years and he was always a natural goalscorer, but today he appeared a shadow of his former self to be brutally honest.
So, 1-1 is how it ended, so it was onto our fourth penalty shoot-out of the season, with the Cooks going first. Anderson sent his low to George’s right, but the keeper went the correct way and got his hand to the ball to keep it out and that save proved to be vital. Bird, Gough, Moreman, Ronayne, Sennett, Waple-Moors, George and Obeng were all successful leaving Tinkler just needing to convert his to put Deeping through and he did just that.
Congratulations to our old friends Deeping Rangers and I wish them luck for the semi-final and their Lincs F.A Cup Final too. You always get a warm welcome over there and today was no exception. In truth it wasn’t a good game to watch, but did improve a lot following the first goal and a penalty shoot-out always livens things up at the end. Nice to catch up with Steve Sennett, even if his son did score their goal today, but I don’t bear a grudge! Paul’s man-of-the-match today is actually Jon’s and he chose Perry Ronayne as the pick of the bunch.
Next up is another away game, this time a trip up the M1 to face Lutterworth Town on Tuesday night with three points the target from this game against one of the three teams below us in the table.
Deeping; 1. Dan George 2. Dan Flack 3. Tom Smith 4. Spencer Tinkler 5. Harvey Henderson 6. Jack Withers 7. Matt Sparrow 8. Aaron Eyett (sub 15. Josh Moreman 76) 9. Will Bird 10. Ewan Fieldhouse (sub 14. Ross Watson 57) 11. Josh Sennett. Subs not used; 12. Will Moxon 16. Scott Bogusz.
Cooks; 1. Ben Heath 2. Lewis Green 3. Kodi Briggs (sub 15. Josh Adams 76) 4. Alex Parkes 5. Perry Ronayne 6. Ben Gough 7. Louie Barrett (sub 20. Jamie Hall 55) 8. Paddy Cichosz © (sub 12. Dalton Leon 84) 9. Pharrell Anderson 10. Harry Waple-Moors 11. Jessi Obeng. Sub not used; 14. Jamie Snapes 16. Callum Farmer.
Referee; Aimee Keir
Assts; Chris Giles & Anthony Leadbitter.