Clinical first-half finishing by Kempston left the Cooks with a mountain they just couldn’t climb on an awful night in Bedfordshire.
Thursday 27th April 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – RESERVE DIVISION
KEMPSTON ROVERS RESERVES (3) 3 COGENHOE UNITED RESERVES (0) 1
Wielblad 20, 45
In their penultimate game of the season, the Reserves travelled to Kempston on a foul night not to dissimilar to that of our recent trip to Chenecks, but the pitch was looking in good shape and the wet surface would certainly make the game interested as the ball zipped around at speed on the deck. Ian Adcock was boosted by having centre-backs Perry Ronayne (lining up against his former club) and Luca Purse at his disposal tonight. In fact, he should have had a third first defender in his team, but Bruce Tsinosis had been sent to Coventry by his work and a city gridlock meant he was still there with less that 45 minutes to go until kick-off, so Ian and Lee were forced to shuffle their pack. With Finbarr unavailable tonight, I took over the lens duty and was pleased to see Kempston wearing bright yellow shirts on this gloomy evening, but this was countered by the fact they we were wearing our very unphotogenic grey kit. A mention to Kempston who only charged £2-00 for adults today, very good value for money given the current climate.
Kempston thought they had taken the lead inside two minutes with a very good break that saw Taylor Bakogeorge send the lively Benjamin Sinclair down the right flank and played a great ball into the box where Raf Wielblad steered it past Ciaran Wells, but the flag was up for offside against the Rovers number nine. Sam Giddens won a corner down the left that Tom North swung in. He received it back off a defender’s head and whipped a good ball into the danger area, but this time it was cleared up the park. Giddens made a good run to get into the box on the right, but we was slowed down by the defender and was off-balance and couldn’t play the ball across the box and from the corner, North again delivered and Alfie Bozward did really well to get above the crowd to touch the ball away.
The home side took the lead on 20 minutes when a lovely ball from just inside the Cooks half fell to Wielblad inside the box on the left and he steered a volley over the head of Wells and beyond the desperate attempt of Ronayne to keep it out for what was an excellent goal. Battling from Giddens gave Dan Webb a sight of goal 16-yards out, but he appeared to hit it with the wrong foot and sent it flying well wide of the far post, then down the leisure centre end, Ronayne did well to cut out Corey Bulley’s cross after Sam Daminabo had sent him clear down the right. Wielblad got a touch to a ball in from the left that Sinclair almost got to at the back stick, but the lead was doubled on 28 minutes when a lovely cross from Bakgeorge was met with a glancing header by Arsh Ali in the centre that found the far corner giving Wells little chance of reaching it. Well created and taken goal, but the scorer did have a little too much space in the middle as his run hadn’t been picked up. A decent turn and shot on the edge of the box by Giddens had the keeper worried, but went just the wrong side of the post, then Purse played a good ball into the box from the right looking for Webb’s run, but it skidded on the wet surface and went through to Bozward. Things got even worse for the Cooks as half-time approached when Wileblad turned inside and onto his left foot about 25-yards from goal before hitting a sweet curling effort that went in off Wells’ right-hand post and we now trailed by three goals. The Cooks went close to pulling one back with the final action of the half when a Sam Harris cross was headed out by Angelo Moscaritolo as far as Luke Andrews just outside the box and he hit a first-time volley that screamed just over the bar.
Rovers may have edged the first-half, but the game had been much closer than the 3-0 scoreline suggests, but finishing is a massive part of the game we love.
Half-time; Walnutboys 3 Cooks 0
Adcock made three changes at the break with Felgate, Hine and Giddens all coming off to be replaced by Aidan Rundel-Muller, Mirzan Noka and Tom Mitchell, but if anything, the rain had got even heavier now which would make it even harder for the Cooks to turn this around at Hillgrounds.
North fired well wide from 25-yards out with the first shot of the second-half, then Mobbs won the ball just outside the box in a central position, but his shot went over the bar. Andrews found Noka on the right and he played it into the feet of Mobbs a few yards outside the box and the youngster struck it well, only to hit teammate Webb inside the box with the ball being diverted wide. It had been a bright start from the Cooks, but Kempston broke quickly and Sinclair found himself inside the box on the right, but he slipped as he shot and the ball struck a defender’s leg and looped over the bar. Wells punched away the corner and Daminabo fired the loose ball just wide of the far post. Giddens returned to the action on 67 minutes replacing Webb and sixty-seconds later he had pulled one back for the Cooks. North’s corner was headed against the underside of the bar by Ronayne and when the ball dropped into the box, leading scorer Giddens was on hand to fire it past Bozward and it was game-on once again.
Noka’s speed saw him brought down by Gio Moscaritolo just beyond the right angle of the box, earning the Kempston player a yellow card and Andrews got his boot to North’s delivery, but only managed to steer it straight at the keeper. Wieblad fed Sinclair on the right and he whipped the ball straight across the box, then down the other end, both North and Mobbs sent over decent crosses that we couldn’t get on the end of. A good turn of pace from Wielblad saw him get clear and place his shot across Wells, but also wide of the far post, then a challenge from Ronayne that wasn’t deemed a foul by referee Rob Porter sparked a bit of anger from the home team. Kempston weren’t happy at all and although their player got back to his feet, Reece Martindale continued to argue and was shown a card. I assume he was sent to the sin-bin rather than sent-off as he went and sat in the dug-out. Either way we had played 81 minutes and the Cooks would have the man advantage for at least ten minutes.
Noka played a great one-two with Giddens and flew into the box where he was brought down and in a pivotal moment, North saw his penalty saved by Bozward. In truth it wasn’t a good spot-kick, although the keeper stood his ground and waited to see which way it was going which often isn’t the case. 3-2 with eight minutes left of the ninety would have made for a very exciting finish, but unfortunately, we still trailed by two goals with time running out. Ronayne picked up a yellow card for a foul on 85 minutes and Klekowski hit the resulting free-kick too close to Wells to cause him any problems. A great delivery from North with a free-kick just outside the area on the right wasn’t far out of the reach of Purse at the far post, then Rundel-Muller won the ball on the half-way line and Harris sent Mobbs down the right to play a low ball into the box that Giddens got in front of his man to meet at the near post, but he could only steer the ball the wrong side of the post. Klekowski was shown the yellow card for a foul on Rundel-Muller just inside the Cooks half with 90 minutes on the running clock, then Giddens got on to a through ball, but his shot looped over the top after a heavy deflection from a defender. Andrews worked some space for Giddens to shoot from the edge of the area, but he hit it straight at Bozward, while Giddens had the last chance of the game when he fired wide from 25-yards out. Mr Porter brought the game to an end eight minutes into stoppage time (not sure where all that came from), but it wasn’t to be Cogenhoe’s night, despite a decent performance, especially in the second-half.
The defeat ends the hopes of a top half finish for Ian Adcock in his first season in the hot-seat, but considering the conditions, this had been a decent evening’s entertainment from the two teams on show, with finishing the main difference if truth be told over the 90 minutes.
Kempston; 1. Alfie Bozward 2. Corey Bulley 3. Wojciech Klekowski 4. Reece Martindale 5. Angelo Moscaritolo © 6. Gio Moscaritolo 7. Taylor Bakogeorge 8. Sam Daminabo 9. Raf Wieblad 10. Arsh Ali 11. Benjamin Sinclair. Subs all used. 12. Kristian Esposito 14. Nico Harris 15. Claudio Aca 16. Ben Cherry 17. Flynn Knowles.
Sin-bin; Martindale (81)
Yellow cards; G. Moscaritolo (61) Foul. Klekowski (90) Foul.
Cooks; 1. Ciaran Wells 16. James Hine (sub 7. Aidan Rundel-Muller ht) 3. Tom North 4. Luke Andrews 5. Luca Purse 6. Perry Ronayne 20. Lee Felgate © (sub 15. Tom Mitchell ht) 8. Sam Harris 9. Dan Webb (sub 11. Giddens 67) 10. Kieron Mobbs 11. Sam Giddens (sub 14. Mirzan Noka ht). Subs not used; 2. Bruce Tsinosis 17. Mason McIlwraith.
Yellow card; Ronayne (85) Foul.
Referee; Robert Porter.
Saturday 29th April 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – RESERVE DIVISION
GODMANCHESTER ROVERS RESERVES v COGENHOE UNITED RESERVES
The David Wilson Homes Ground,
The Reserves end their season with a trip to Gomanchester Rovers looking to complete a league double against a team who have exactly half of the Cooks points tally going into the game, although they do still have three games to go after this one following some serious pitch issues this season. This is Goddy’s first season in the UCL at Reserve level and our only meeting to date saw the Cooks win 2-1 at Compton Park back at the start of October. Glenn Cakebread netted both Cooks goals that afternoon, with Ben Clarke on target for the visitors.
Goddy have lost their last two games this midweek, both at home, losing 0-3 to Milton Keynes Irish on Thursday after a 0-4 reverse to Desborough two days previous. A 4-2 win at Wellingborough Town before that had reversed a trend of seven games without a win, with their first season in the league bringing them just six wins to date, although a three-point deduction hasn’t helped their quest much either. Four of those wins have come at home though, so we certainly won’t be taking anything for granted in this trip, but it would be nice to end the season on a high after losing their previous two games.
If you are travelling to Godmanchester tomorrow, please remember this one is a 2pm kick-off.