A piece of Wilson magic gave the Cooks a point, but Foxall and some wayward finishing had kept us in the game.
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 POTTON UNITED (0) 1
Alexander (og) 62
It was Cooks v Potton part two on a still and relatively mild night at Compton Park as Darren Long made a couple of changes with Dan Mortimer and Chief Boateng retuning to the starting eleven, meaning Josh Adams and Archie Culley dropped down to the bench. We were without Ivandro Monteiro though as he had picked up an injury playing for the Rushden & Diamonds U21s.
Potton were quickly on the attack with a spell of pressure that saw us have to defend a corner that Craig Foxall punched away. The opening stages were fast and furious, but very scrappy with nobody having time on the ball, but the first real chance fell to Potton and their player will be happy that I didn’t see his number as he sliced horribly wide by going for power rather than accuracy, even though he had time for a touch to balance himself.
Cogenhoe slowly started to get the ball into the visitor’s half and Paddy Cichosz sent over a cross that Joe Gauge headed away, then a lovely low ball across the area from the right by Tom Wakley was deflected by a defender and Boateng nipped in in front of a his man, but he was out of luck as the ball hit the base of the post and Potton scrambled it away. Bates sent over the corner to the far post and Wakley got the touch, but pressure from a defender made it difficult and he couldn’t get round it enough to put it on target.
Potton’s Jamie Sylvester curled a free-kick around the wall but put it wide of the far post, then a good battling run on the left saw Ibrahim Camara given a shooting chance just outside the box, but he put it a few yards wide of the target. A Sam Willis shot was bravely blocked by Jack Norman and when the ball came back to him, he volleyed it well over, then Louis Octave sliced horribly wide from a very good position. Incredible defending from the Cooks saw no fewer than four goal-bound shots blocked in and around the six-yard box as a long Gauge throw caused havoc for what seemed like an eternity as we threw our bodies on the line. Bates managed to get enough onto a Camara volley to take the sting out if it to make it easy for Foxall to claim, then as half-time neared a bad foul from Sylvester on Boateng led to a melee which was behind the dug-out from me so I can’t comment. Referee Simon Kavanagh showed two yellow cards, one to the perpetrator and the other I believe to Rico Alexander, assumedly for something that occurred in the aftermath.
The two teams went into the break level at 0-0 with the Cooks thankful for some wayward finishing from Potton, but all to play for in the second half if we were to get our act together. Of course having said that, we were the width of the post away from Chief having given us an unlikely half-time lead.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Potton 0.
The game so far was pretty much summed up in the first minute of the second half when Aaron McArdle controlled the ball just outside the box and hit his shot on the turn, but the result was much closer to the corner flag than it was the goal. Quick thinking from Mortimer saw his throw almost give Bates an opportunity inside the box on the left, but Gauge got his body between him and the ball to see it safely out for a goal-kick. Ryan Archer lifted a ball into the box before being caught late by the already cautioned Sylvester and the referee waited to see if there would be any advantage before calling play back. Cichosz whipped over a dangerous cross that would have seen Wakley surely nod the ball in unmarked at the far post had Sam Irish not made a superb catch high above his head. We were quickly down the other end again as Gauge had a free header as he ran in to meet Sylvester’s corner at the near post, but the power wasn’t matched by the direction.
Jack Riley brought down McArdle just outside the box and was duly shown the yellow card and Foxall was forced into a save from Willis’ low driven free-kick. The game was by this point approaching the hour mark, but this was the first real save either keeper had been forced to make. The deadlock was finally broken on 62 minutes though, but perhaps in suiting to the action so far, it was an unfortunate own goal. A good cross from the left saw Alexander stretch to get his boot to the ball with a man coming in behind him and it gave the now stranded Foxall no chance at all as it went just inside the far post.
It was nearly two a minute later when Alexander slipped but made a great recovery before Riley got in a vital challenge in the box, but the ball fell kindly for an unmarked Sylvester a few yards inside the box to the right and he fired a low shot across the keeper, but Foxall got down well to stretch out one of those long arms and get his hand to the ball for an excellent save. Potton keeper Irish came out of his goal to clear the ball up field and Jack Thomas turned to hook it on goal from the edge of the box, but again Foxall was there to dive to his left and keep his team in the game with another good save. Another very good opportunity followed for Potton as a good ball from Liam Andrews played in Ibrahim, but he opted to hit it with his right foot rather than the one it was on and put it straight at Foxall.
Potton were well on top at this stage with Foxall having kept us in it, but Dylan Wilson was about to change all that. He loves to use his pace and run at players and he got his first opportunity of the game to do just that on 69 minutes when he took a simple pass and raced clear of his man to get inside the box on the right. He had Wakley to his left which meant the keeper had to be wary of a pass inside as he tried to narrow the angle and Wilson had seen this so he slipped his shot past him on the inside, Great goal from Dylan and it underlined what he gives us when given the right material to work with.
McArdle’s shot from the edge of the box was too close to trouble Foxall, then great play from Wilson down the left saw his pass find Wakley in the centre, but his first touch was a little heavy and it ran through to the keeper. Cichosz picked up a yellow card for a foul after his man had got by him and Sylvester headed the ensuing free-kick wide at the far post. Sylvester made way for Sam Dowridge with 77 minutes played and from the next attack Potton should have re-taken the lead. McArdle found himself with the ball in front of his feet just inside the box and even though Foxall came off his line very quickly, the forward should have done much better that fire the ball over the bar.
Boateng came off on 82 minutes with Archie Elmore taking his place on the field. The referee had to go over to the Potton bench for the third time in the second half and showed one of their party a yellow card for comments made. I think it was their manager Jimmy Martin and from a personal point of view I don’t think I would want to listen to the combination of loud voice and constant moaning every matchday.
We were into stoppage time when a very poor challenge by Octave on Wakley saw the Cooks man get up and shove him. A number of players joined in again and when things were settled down both these two players were shown yellow cards. Seconds later Wakley beat Octave to a ball on the touch line and the Potton player took him late, assumedly as a little ‘afters’ for the previous incident, but the referee didn’t deem it even worth a talking to as some of the Cooks following shouted for a red. Not quite sure what McArdle chose to argue about with the referee as his teammate had just had a huge let-off, but he ended the game back in the dug-out after being sin-binned. Elmore sent a great free-kick into the back post where Wakley won the header and forced a great save out of Irish. Ironically seconds later the visitor’s broke and Cichosz took one for the team with a foul on the halfway line and in truth the referee had little option but to show him a second yellow card followed by a red. Had the opposite not happened a minute earlier with Octave I don’t think anyone would have raised an eyebrow, but the thoughts of ‘one rule for one, one rule for another’ did spring to mind.
We know have ten days before we play again which might be a good thing in the long run as this was a poor performance in which we were very lucky to take a point. Potton will be kicking themselves tonight and training on Thursday may well revolve around shooting practise. For the first time this season some people were questioning our urgency out there as a team. Some certainly gave it their all but even when we went a goal down we didn’t seem in any sort of hurry to get on with things. Going long in the second half didn’t help us either as the Potton defence ate everything up comfortably. Hopefully this was a one-off that we can now move on from and all teams, wherever you happen to be playing, have them. Craig Foxall get’s my man-of-the-match for those two very good saves, but special mention to Dylan Wilson for doing what he does best in the only real opportunity had had this evening.
Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Paddy Cichosz 3. Dan Mortimer 4. Ryan Archer 5. Jack Riley 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Chief Boateng (sub 14. Archie Elmore 82) 8. Jack Norman 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Will Bates 11. Tom Wakley. Subs not used; 12. Archie Culley 15. Josh Adams 16. Alex Vaughan 17. Ceepy Logongo.
Red Card; Cichosz (90+5) 2nd yellow.
Yellow cards; Alexander? (43) Retaliation. Riley (58) Foul. Cichosz (74) Foul. Wakley (90+3) Retalation. Cichosz (90+5) Foul.
Potton; 1. Sam Irish 2. Louis Octave 3. Josh Howard-Dobson 4. Joe Gauge 17. Jamie Sylvester (sub 14. Sam Dowridge 77) 6. Isaac Charles 7. Liam Andrews 8. Sam Willis 9. Aaron McArdle 10. Jack Thomas 11. Ibrahim Camara. Subs not used; 12. Curtis Bloxham (gk) 15. George Brinkman 16. Ieuan Lewis 5. Jamie Eames.
Yellow cards; Sylvester (43) Foul. Octave (90+3) Foul.
Sin-bin; McArdle (90+4).
Referee; Simon Kavanagh.
Assts; Trevor Martin & Kenny Wells.