COGENHOE UNITED RESERVES – A REVIEW OF THE 2022/23 SEASON.
Ian Adcock had been appointed as the new Reserve team manager for this season before the last one had finished, but as he was still in charge of Earls Barton at the time, so he began his new tenure in pre-season. With him came assistant Lee Saving and player-coach Sam Harris and with the pre-season friendlies going fairly well, they kicked off the real stuff with a trip to title favourites (and as it turned out runaway champions) Harborough Town. Luke Andrews put the Cooks ahead in the second half, but the Bees hit back to win 2-1 through a Terry Falcini double. Fred Amankwa’s red card didn’t help the Cooks’ cause, but the narrow defeat was a massive improvement on our previous trip to the Leicestershire town when we ended up on the wrong end of a 9-2 scoreline. A 2-0 defeat at Huntingdon Town was to follow, but that one would be wiped from the records as the home side folded early in the season.
The first home game of the season was the boost Ian and the boys needed as they thrashed Rothwell Corinthians 5-1 with Josh Jones helping himself to a second-half hat-trick after early goals from Glenn Cakebread and Lee Felgate had put us in firmly in charge. Wellingborough Town visited us in midweek and brought a number of first team players with them, so the narrow 0-1 defeat for the Cooks wasn’t a bad outcome in reality, former Cooks player Dan Porter coming off the bench to net the only goal of the game late on. The KO Cup saw us drawn at home to Bourne Town and skipper Felgate popped up with the only goal of the game in the second half to secure a place in the next round. Cakebread was on target under the lights as we faced MK Irish at home, but the visitors hit back after the break to take all the points with a 2-1 win, then a difficult trip to Newport Pagnell Town left Adcock disappointed with just one point from a 1-1 draw. Isaac Redding put the Cooks ahead against ten-men Newport, but the Swans hit back to steal a point with a last-minute goal.
Cakebread struck twice as we beat bottom club Godmanchester Rovers 2-1 at home, but a trip to Bugbrooke St Michael in midweek brought us crashing back down to earth as the home side netted five without reply with Bailey Weatherly getting their first of the night. The trip to Whitworth was closer, but we lost again to two second-half goals as we bowed out of the KO Cup, but we returned to winning ways at Bourne Town with Sam Giddens and Felgate securing in a 2-0 success for the Cooks from their long trip to Lincolnshire. A frustrating 0-0 draw at home to O.N Chenecks followed on the Tuesday night, with Harley Mallard picking up two yellow cards in the same incident to leave us playing a man short for the final ten minutes and then we extended our unbeaten run to three games with a 2-1 win at G.N.G Oadby Town as Cakebread and Kieron Mobbs hit the target in Leicester. Daventry Town brought our run to an end when they beat us 4-2 at Compton Park with former Cooks player Jimmy Lovell netting twice for the visitors. Felgate and new signing Dan Webb were the Cooks marksmen that afternoon.
Raunds Town, without a point all season before their visit to our village, frustrated the Cooks as they held them to a 1-1 draw with Webb’s effort counting for the Cooks, with the same score coming at home to Desborough the following weekend as Webb struck once again. The lads kicked off their N.F.A Junior Cup campaign with a tricky trip to Combination side Spratton and they held their nerve to go through 2-1 with Giddens and Webb on target, the latter making it four in four since joining Adcock’s squad. Kempston Rovers came to Compton Park in good form so nobody was expecting to see the Cooks romp home 6-1 on the day, Connor Gibbins not only netted his first goal of the season, but he went on to hit a first half hat-trick, with debutant Konnor Dixon scoring twice and Felgate putting the icing on the cake. With the winter weather now hitting the area pretty hard, it would be another month and indeed another year before the Cooks were to see action again.
The Junior Cup had tied us up with Wittering Premiair and with the pitches still recovering, the decision was made to switch our home tie to Moulton College’s 3G facility and it paid dividends as we progressed 4-1 despite falling behind early on. Gibbins and Cakebread both scored twice as we swept away the Peterborough League Premier Division club. The Reserves would now enter their worst run of the season with just one draw coming from our next five games, starting with a 2-3 home reverse to Newport Pagnell with the visitors clinching it with a 93rd minute winner. Gibbins made it six in his last three games for the Cooks, with an own goal counting for our other goal of the afternoon. Gibbins scored again, but we went down 2-1 at Whitworth, before our county cup dreams came to a crashing end as we were beaten 8-0 at Joe Rich’s Kettering Nomads. Raunds, whose only point to date had come at Cogenhoe, frustrated us again in a goalless game at Kiln Park before Whitworth beat us 2-0 at Compton Park to complete a quickfire double.
The disappointing run came to and end at Rothwell Corinthians as we ran out 3-1 winners, despite having Andrews sent off in the second half. Gibbins, Sam Harris and Bailley Weatherly the men on target for the Cooks, but a George Bonifas goal condemned us to defeat the following Saturday as Bugbrooke beat us 1-0 at Compton Park. Felgate scored a late equaliser at MK Irish on a Tuesday night to earn us a 1-1 draw, while a Harris goal at Desborough was chalked off with the teams level at 1-1 by a freak hail storm that left the pitch totally waterlogged. The weather had improved by the following Saturday as the Cooks headed to Daventry for the second time this season after their previous attempt to play had been scuppered by a ‘Desbororough-esque’ downpour half an hour before the scheduled kick-off time. Since that postponement most of the Daventry Reserve squad had been elevated to the first team following the removal of the budget so we faced a very young team this time around. It was also a day that young Sam Giddens won’t forget in a hurry as he netted four goals in a 5-2 win. Debutant Aidan Rundel-Muller the other Cooks marksman, while former player Lovell netted both of the home team goals to take his tally against the Cooks to four for the season..
Harborough Town were champions in all but name by the time they visited Compton Park on a Tuesday night and despite a good defensive display from the Cooks, the Bees ran out 3-0 winners, but it was back to winning ways on the Saturday as GNG were dispatched 4-0 with two more goals for Giddens backed up by the first Cogenhoe goals for both Mirzan Noka and Dan Talbot. The games were coming thick and fast now and Chenecks away under the Billing Road lights on an extremely wet night didn’t go the way of the Cooks as Gibbins’ lovely finish was only a consolation as the home side ran out 4-1 winners with former players Tom Caton and Jonny Shakespeare amongst their scorers. The replayed game at Desborough saw Andrews bag the only goal to give the Cooks three points and they made it back to back wins with a 4-3 success at Wellingborough Town with Webb (2), Rundel-Muller and Giddens on target.
Three games in the last week of the season was a tough end to affairs and it didn’t start well as Bourne Town returned to Lincolnshire with maximum points as a wonder goal from Liam Thirkell gave them a 2-1 win at Compton Park on the Tuesday night after Giddens appeared to have secured a late point, then on Thursday it was off to Kempston Rovers in search of a double, but the home side enjoyed the pouring rain the most as they went 3-0 up before the break and not even Giddens second half goal could put a dampener on their evening as they held out to win 3-1. This was Giddens 9th goal in his last 8 games, a superb record as this level of football. The final day of the season came in the sunshine at Godmanchester Rovers and this time it was the Cooks who raced into a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes. Felgate, James Hine and Noka the early scorers with a superb strike from Weatherly piling on the misery for the home side after the break and Noka grabbing his second from point-blank range in the final minute of the season.
Before the season kicked off a top half finish was a realistic target for the new squad, so 9th was a decent end place for Ian Adcock in his first season in charge of the Reserves. There were highs and lows as you would expect with the 6-1 demolition of Kempston Rovers surely the game that stands out above all others. They were also the only reserve team to reach the quarter-finals of the Northants F.A Les Underwood Junior Cup which is another excellent achievement for the squad.
Full list of 2022/23 Appearances and goal scorers from all competitions below.
|LEE FELGATE||31||SAM GIDDENS||11|
|SAM HARRIS||29||CONNOR GIBBINS||8|
|KIERON MOBBS||29||GLENN CAKEBREAD||7|
|SAM GIDDENS||28||LEE FELGATE||7|
|CIARAN WELLS||28||DAN WEBB||6|
|MORGAN HARRISON||26||JOSH JONES||3|
|LORENCO SOULOLLARI||21||MIRZAN NOKA||3|
|DAN TALBOT||20||LUKE ANDREWS||2|
|GLENN CAKEBREAD||18||KONNOR DIXON||2|
|CONNOR GIBBINS||17||AIDEN RUNDELL-MULLER||2|
|DAN WEBB||17||BAILEY WEATHERLY||2|
|JOE MORRIS||16||JAMES HINE||1|
|LUKE ANDREWS||15||KIERON MOBBS||1|
|JAMES HINE||14||ISAAC REDDING||1|
|ISAAC REDDING||14||DAN TALBOT||1|
|UCL RESERVE DIV.||30||11||6||13||53||48||5||39|
|NFA JUNIOR CUP||3||2||0||1||6||10|
|LEAGUE KO CUP||2||1||0||1||1||2|
End of season awards.
Supporters player-of-the-season; Sam Harris
Players-player-of-the-season; Kieron Mobbs
Managers-player-of-the-season; Sam Harris