Ian Adcock’s team ended their season with a convincing 5-0 win away to Godmanchester Rovers today, securing ninth place in the table.
Saturday 29th April 2023
UHSLPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – RESERVE DIVISION
GODMANCHESTER ROVERS (0) 0 COGENHOE UNITED (3) 5
Noka 18, 89
Att; © 20
The Cooks headed to Godmanchester for their final game of the season and once again Ian Adcock was left with a bare eleven with Lee Saving and himself the only two subs on the teamsheet. Goddy named four subs on theirs and I must admit it wasn’t until the game was getting on for twenty minutes in that I realised they only actually had ten starters and that was only because somebody told me! Bailey Weatherly came in from the first team, but in-form Sam Giddens had travelled down to join in the championship celebrations at his beloved Leyton Orient, but they did the town no favours by losing 0-3 to the Cobblers promotion rivals Stockport County today. It also meant his dad wasn’t at the game, so Ian Adcock had the lino duties once again. The home side had been hit by some of their players travelling up from London and they had been stuck in heavy traffic, so they slowly built up their numbers and even had three subs during the second half.
The Cooks, resplendent in their orange change strip in the beautiful sunshine, had most of the early play as they attacked the car park end with Ciaran Wells looking into the sun for the first half and a long throw from Tom Mitchell was just over Lee Felgate’s jump in the middle. Mirzan Noka won a corner on the left that he took himself, with James Hine winning it in the air at the back post, but his effort hit a defender. Aidan Rundel-Muller sent over a good cross following a set-piece that Felgate jumped for with Nick Hurst and it was the Cooks skipper who came off worse from the collision after being caught by an elbow, although he was able to get up and carry on after a minute or so. Weatherly went for goal from 25-yards out, but his shot was always going wide of the far post, then another great cross by Rundel-Muller from the right saw Noka loop a header just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Mobbs won the ball inside the Rovers half and Dan Webb carried it forward before hitting a powerful low shot from 20-yards out that forced Otto Eagle to dive to his left and save at the base of his post with the ball squirming behind for a corner. Webb delivered this one and Lee Felgate nipped in at the near post to steer his header across the keeper and inside the far post to open the scoring on 16 minutes. The Cooks were deserving of this lead and they doubled it two minutes later when a great ball from Weatherly played Mirzan Noka clear through inside the box and coolly slotted the ball past Eagle from 12-yards out. Things really weren’t going well for the home side and they lost Jack Burton to injury, but had the added boost of Dave Steven arriving to bring the headcount back to ten. The Cooks continued to press and they went three-up in the 24th minute when Weatherly sent in a great free-kick that that picked out James Hine at the back post and the centre-back netted his first goal for the Cooks from close-range.
The ten became nine when Oli Hurst was forced off with an ankle injury lamenting the fact that he had come back to soon from ligament damage to help his gaffer out due to the shortage of available players, hopefully he hasn’t done himself and permanent damage in doing so. A good run into the box by Mobbs was eventually ended by Nick Hurst’s challenge, with another significant change being that of the linesman for the home side, The guy doing it up to this point had been spot-on and extremely fair, however the replacement’s first offside decision seconds after coming on was pretty awful, as was the decision to let them take the indirect free-kick a good 15-yards forward of where the alleged infringement had taken place. Not sure what started it, but there was some tension between Nick Hurst and Weatherly and when confronted, the Cooks man shoved his opponent hard in the upper chest and was shown a yellow card by referee Tolga Yildiztepe and he can have no arguments about that decision. Hurst was not happy with this and felt it should have been a red card instead and told the ref he had ‘one in the bank’ and would be using it now, which he did a few minutes later. Weatherly hit a powerful low shot from 25-yards out that forced a save out of Eagle, but Hurst went straight through the Cooks man late with his studs off the ground and although the free-kick was given, the ref failed to even speak to the Goddy player. Felgate went for goal with the free-kick and forced a save out of the keeper and Rundel-Muller saw his follow up blocked with what proved to be the last chance of the half as the game petered out somewhat.
Half-time; Rovers 0 Cooks 3
The arrival of Calum Marshall meant the home side were back up to ten men from the start of the second half and by 53 minutes they made it up to eleven as Santiago Rosniak joined the action. Between those two events, Weatherly robbed his man on the half-way line and tried to lob the keeper from 50-yards out, but he didn’t get enough behind it and it dropped into the keeper’s arms in the box. Weatherly brushed past Jordan Jakes who brought him down with an agricultural ‘challenge’, but again no warning was issued, while Jakes then made a positive run into the Cooks half and managed a shot that was blocked by Hine, with Jensen Gardenne pulling the rebound well wide from the other side of the box, although he didn’t look balanced at all as he stretched to hit it first time. Quick mention to Gardenne who had apparently played 90 minutes in the morning as well as a full game on Friday too.
The Cooks seemed to wake up again as Goddy began to grow into the game with their full compliment of players and Rundel-Muller made good run to the edge of the box before placing a low shot beyond the reach of Eagle, but his effort hit the outside of the post. The home players continued to arrive and they were soon making subs, something that the Cooks could have done with on pretty hot and sunny day, but the Cooks were still looking the better of the two teams as Weatherly somehow stretched to bring down a high ball and find Noka who shot wide from 20-yards, then with 61 minutes played the home side won their first corner of the game and went close from it as it was hit deep to find Hurst who met it with a powerful header that hit the side netting. Mobbs picked up on a poor pass from Goddy and he fed Webb inside the box who went past his man before firing his shot the wrong side of the near post.
Noka was probably 10-yards onside when the lino flagged him off, but not even he could stop Cogenhoe extending their lead on 70 minutes with an absolute beauty from Bailey Weatherly. The Cooks man picked up play level with the penalty area on the left and stepped inside before hitting a thunderous shot that curled beyond the desperate reach of Eagle hit the far top corner. Cogenhoe had another chance minutes later when a long throw by Mitchell on the left only needed a touch to put it past the keeper, but Rundel-Muller just couldn’t get to it. Webb’s 20-yard effort was too close to the keeper, then Weatherly sent in a cross from the left that Eagle soared like a bird-of-prey to touch away over the head of Webb, then the Cooks won a free-kick just beyond the corner of the box on the right. A defender won the original delivery and Rundel-Muller’s follow up was blocked with the ball falling to Felgate just outside the box and he side-footed a shot that was heading for the roof of the net when Eagle got his fingertips to it and touched it onto the underside of the bar. So nearly a second for the Cooks centre-back, but he had another chance a couple of minutes later when Weatherly was fouled just outside the box on the left and the Cooks skipper sent his free-kick over the wall and with the keeper beaten, it clipped the top of the bar and went over.
A great ball from Mobbs found Weatherly inside the box on the left and he lifted it over the Eagle, but the keeper did really well to get his hand up to the ball and steer it away from the far top-corner. Felgate, frustrated twice by the crossbar down the other end, turned his attention to his own goal as he tried to head the ball back to his own keeper and Wells was forced to turn it over the top for a corner. Nick Hurst was shown the yellow card for a foul on Mobbs, then Jordan Atkin had a good chance for Goddy after beating Wells to the ball inside the box on the left, but he could only steer the ball wide of the target. Webb won a corner that Weatherly delivered with Hine just unable to get to at the back stick, then Mobbs picked out Rundel-Muller’s run into the box on the right and although his cut-back was cut out, Mobbs ran on to hit a first time shot from the edge of the box that bobbled wide. Mobbs pounced on a mistake at the back to feed Rundel-Muller inside the box on the right but he couldn’t keep his shot under bar height, while a pacy run down the left by Atkin saw him get to a ball over the top first, but he lifted his shot over the bar. With a minute remaining, Mobbs, my man-of-the-match today, ran on to a Noka pass to get into the box on the right before cutting inside and squaring for Noka to net from point-blank range to round off the Cooks biggest away win of the season.
Always nice to end on a high and a 5-0 away win ticks all those boxes. Its true that the home side had ten and then nine players in the first half and at times we didn’t look after the ball as well as we might have, but this was a solid performance to bring the curtain down on the season and move above Wellingborough Town to take ninth place. A lot has been said about Godmanchester’s pitch since they came into the UCL and in truth it has to be the worst Cogenhoe have played on all season, but without a lot of money they are between a rock and hard place as far as relaying the turf and sorting the drainage out, but hopefully that is something they can sort out over the next season or so. As far as the Cooks reserves go, we saw excellent performances from Kieron Mobbs and Aidan Rundel-Muller, whilst there was plenty of promise from Tom Mitchell, although it wasn’t a day for the Cooks defence to excel in all honesty. You have to feel a bit for Lee Felgate today who hit the bar twice after netting in the first-half and could have had a hat-trick today. Bailey Weatherly netted the goal of the game whilst getting an assist on another two, whilst those not mentioned all did their jobs with little fuss today in the sunshine.
All the best to Goddy who still have three home games to come as they host Raunds. Harborough and Newport Pagnell, with two of those games looking pretty tough as they take on the champions and the team still looking to secure second spot.
Well done and thanks to Ian Adcock for his write-ups throughout the season and for keeping going when players let him down on a regular basis and for running the line which is about as far from ideal as you can get for a U.C.L manager, whilst also having to play a few times to fill the team. Hopefully the club can fix this in the summer. Thanks also to Finbarr Carroll for standing out in all weathers to photograph the Reserves matches this season too, even when frustrated by the grey kit on days that match its hue. His season is still going on though as the Vets team have yet to finish and need just one point from tomorrow’s game at Great Horwood to lift the Division Three title at the first attempt.
Goddy; 1. Otto Eagle 2. Cyrus Hussain 3. Jack Burton 4. Oli Hurst 6. Nick Hurst 7. Zac Chaudhari © 8. Calum Marshall (started at HT) 9. Martin Faulkner 10. Jordan Atkin 14. Jordan Jakes 15. Jensen Gardenne. Subs used; 5. Ricardo Joseph 11. Chris Martin 12. Santiago Rosniak 17. Dave Steven.
Yellow card; N. Hurst (80) Foul.
Cooks; 1. Ciaran Wells 2. Sam Harris 3. Tom Mitchell 4. Luke Andrews 5. James Hine 6. Lee Felgate © 7. Aidan Rundel-Muller 8. Kieron Mobbs 9. Dan Webb 10. Bailey Weatherly 11. Mirzan Noka. Subs not used; 12. Lee Saving 14. Ian Adcock.
Yellow card; Weatherly (36) Violent conduct.
Referee; Tolga Yildiztepe.
The majority of the photos below were supplied by Fin, with the last 28 from your match reporter.
To Cyrus Hussain, I think I managed to get one decent photo of you in action this time, but apologies to Jordan Atkin’s dad as the one I showed you was the only I managed to get of his son.