Cracking game in the heat as Cooks pick up their first point of the season.
Saturday 13th August
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (2) 3 G.N.G OADBY TOWN (2) 3
Bates 38, 46
- Bham 13
With the temperature hitting 35 degrees, this was going to a very tough afternoon for both sides as we played host to G.N.G Oadby Town. Our guests had received a bye in the F.A Cup, so this was only their second game of the season which had both ended up 4-2, but only one in their favour, but would they keep up their average of six goals per game? Scott Carlin made two changes to the team that had lost at Stone in midweek with Will Bates coming straight back in for the absent Louis Barrett and Harley Mallard making his full debut in place of Luca Purse who dropped down to the bench.
The Cooks attacked the clubhouse end in the first half and the first move worthy of mention came when Alex Parkes tried to play Pharrell Anderson in, but Matt Richmond swept up well, but on 5 minutes the Cooks grabbed an early lead. Ben Gough’s ball over the top was won in the air by a defender, but he only managed to put Jessi Obeng clean through and as we have seen so many times before, he kept his cool and picked his spot beyond the reach of the keeper. G.N.G tried to respond immediately and a snap-shot from the edge of the box by Mason Lopes forced Regan Saunt to dive to his right to make a very good save.
Down the other end, Bates won possession and played it through to Josh Adams on the right and his cross flicked off a defender and looped over the bar. The by Parkes was met at the back post by the head of Gough and keeper Charlie Andrews saved it on the line at the expense of another corner on the opposite side. Adams swung this in deep to where Bates headed back across, but Andrews held on to safely. On 13 minutes, G.N.G drew themselves level with a very well-worked goal. Nyle Patel controlled the ball just outside the box and split us wide open with a simple, yet perfect ball into the path of Musa Bham who took the ball around Saunt before slotting the ball into the empty net. I’m sure the management team will see this as disappointing defending, but it really was a well-worked goal all the same.
A good ball from Patel saw Bham play a one-two with Cameron Powell to get inside the Cooks penalty area and only a good interception by skipper Gough stopped the visitors getting into a great scoring opportunity. Umar Husain was a couple of feet wide with a 30-yard effort, but G.N.G took the lead for the first time on 26 minutes. Powell tried a shot from outside the box, but the ball took a heavy deflection straight into the path of Sulieman Nassor on the left and he sent a low ball across the box where Patel stretched out a leg to steer it past Saunt from close range.
A contentious point came when Mallard lost control of the ball on the half-way line and he was taken out completely by Husain who was at full pelt. Both were down injured with the young Cooks centre-half seemingly coming off a lot worse, but after treatment it was the Oadby man who couldn’t continue. It had looked to me that the Oadby man had been the offender in this incident, but referee Wyndham Trusler saw things differently and awarded the free-kick to the visitors. Lamar Parkes came on for the stricken Husain who was nursing a painful ribs injury when we caught up with him later.
Richmond cut out a Parkes pass and sent Lopes running towards the danger area, but he couldn’t find a way past Gough and as Cogenhoe broke quickly through Anderson, Andrews came out of his box quickly to sweep. Adams played a great ball over the defender’s head to put Anderson totally clear and despite a couple of Compton Park bobbles, he made it into the box and drew the keeper, but put his shot agonisingly wide of the far post. Anderson got his head to an Adams cross but couldn’t get behind it, but a few seconds later the Cooks were celebrating again when another Adams cross saw Bates header loop over the crossbar and hit the top of the bar, but Bates showed the most determination to get to the ball and steer it over the line from close range as it came down. This was the first time we have scored two goals in a game this season and with only 38 minutes of the game played.
Kodi Briggs made a good challenge as Parkes looked dangerous, then Anderson released Luke McDonald down the right wing where he sent over what appeared to be a very good low cross, but it wasn’t attacked by a blue shirt and G.N.G got it away at the second attempt. A very entertaining first half to watch despite the intense heat, but could they keep this up for another 45 minutes?
Half-time; Cooks 2 G.N.G 2
The Cooks could not have wished for a better start to the second half as there were just 45 seconds gone when Bates jinked his way through the centre of the box before clipping the ball past Andrews to restore the Cooks lead once more. Great play from Bates who was now celebrating his second goal of the match and it hadn’t even been the first Cooks attack of the half either as Obeng had almost put Anderson clean through within fifteen seconds of the restart.
A White free kick from 25-yards out took a heavy deflection off the wall and went through to Andrews, then pressure from Anderson forced Richmond to concede a corner. Adams played it in and although the powerful figure of Powell had headed it out, Bates met it was a thunderous volley 20-yards out that would probably have crashed into the back of the net had Shahid Miah not taken it straight in the face. They are clearly made of strong stuff in Leicester though as despite a bit of a wobble, he drew himself back and signalled he was OK.
The Cooks thought they had extended their lead to match G.N.G’s usual 4-2 scoreline, but the flag of Gary Halliday ruled it out. Gough had played a great ball to Briggs down the left and held off his man to break into the box before firing a low shot that beat the keeper, but hit the base of the inside of the far post. Adams was following up at the back stick and swept the loose ball home, but the ‘scorer’ was ruled to have been in an offside position when Briggs took the initial shot so the ‘goal’ was chalked off. Parkes dinked a nice ball up to Anderson who was bundled over by Miah just outside the box to the right, but Briggs hit his free-kick straight into the wall.
Saunt got down to make a decent save down the other end, but with the next move he was helpless to keep out Nassor’s shot on the turn from close range after the striker found himself with some room in the centre of the box. 57 minutes played and back all-square at three apiece. Great play from White saw him make a diagonal run to the left before sending in a low cross towards Anderson at the near post, but he didn’t manage to get the vital touch and Andrews gathered it after falling on the ball. The second point of contention came two minutes after the goal when Obeng tried to make a run and Bahada Sandhu flew into the tackle with his studs showing and his foot well off the floor to make contact with the Cooks striker. After checking his number (which in the old days always meant they were about to walk), Mr Trusler produced only a yellow card. It may be a case of it looked worse than it was, but it certainly appeared worse than the one White saw red for on Tuesday night.
Carlin made his first changes with forwards Archie Elmore and Owen Brooks replacing Anderson and Obeng in a straight swap on 64 minutes and a couple of minutes later G.N.G took off Sandhu and brought on Jaga Singh. Bates cut inside to hit a powerful shot from 20-yards that forced a save out of Andrews, then the keeper did even better to keep out Adams shot after Bates had put him clear inside the box on the left. The ball came back across the box with Elmore looking to pounce, but the amount of spin on the ball would have been the dream of the bowlers on the rec as it turned away from Elmore and allowed the defence to get back in numbers.
McDonald played a free-kick to the left of the wall to find Adams and he sent a great low ball across the box, but Brooks wasn’t able to take advantage, then more good play from Adams saw Elmore win a corner off Miah. Briggs played a ball in from the left that Elmore touched off to Gough just outside the box and he hit it first time only for it to go the wrong side of the post. 76 minutes in both teams made their third change of the game with two-goal hero Bates making way for Louis Martin and veteran striker Sukhbinder Johal coming on for Lopes.
We were dealt a blow to our hopes of winning the game when we were reduced to ten men for the last ten minutes of the game when McDonald was sent to the sin-bin for dissent after we had been awarded a free-kick. Brooks saw an attempt to cross the ball cut out and Adams sent in a corner that Elmore headed on target, only to see Andrews get his hands to the ball. It looped up towards the goal, but Rickveer Gill was well-placed to head it off the line. Parkes was booked for pulling back his man as Oadby broke, then a great ball from Gough saw Brooks beat Andrews to the ball and lift the ball goalward over the keeper’s head, but a defender cleared the ball away as far as Martin who fired well over the top from 30-yards out.
Oadby very nearly snatched it when Musa Bham hit a powerful shot across Saunt from the left and it smashed against the underside of the bar and back into play. Gough overhit a pass to Elmore a little, but the sub did really well to get to the ball and whip it back across the box, but it was cut out for a corner at the near post and the ensuing flag-kick from Martin was headed away at the near post. Andrews’ pass sent Johal running down the right flank but his low cross was cut out by Gough. Singh’s corner was a good one and Saunt got his hand to the ball above everyone’s heads before we managed to scramble the ball way.
What a game and I have to say well done to all the players who took part today on a ridiculously hot afternoon. Six goals, both keepers made very good saves and both teams hit the woodwork. You can’t ask for any more from your Saturday afternoon. For the Cooks it also means we have our first point of the season and while Biff and Andy will probably feel we should have won the game, I personally think the draw was a fair result in the end as it would have been harsh on either side if they had lost. Good luck going forward to G.N.G Oadby Town and we will see you later in the season at your new home ground. The Cooks now travel to Rothwell Corinthians next Saturday after both teams had been knocked out of the F.A Cup.
Paul’s man-of-the-match today goes to Josh Adams who was absolutely phenomenal out there today, but he was pushed really close by two-goal hero Will Bates.
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Alex Parkes 3. Kodi Briggs 4. Mitch White 5. Harry Mallard 6. Ben Gough © 7. Will Bates (sub 17. Louis Martin 76) 8. Luke McDonald 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 15. Archie Elmore 64) 10. Jessi Obeng (sub 16. Owen Brooks 64) 11. Josh Adams. Subs not used; 12.Luca Purse 14. Ashraf Masumbuko.
G.N.G; 1. Charlie Andrews 2. Bahada Sandhu 3. Shahid Miah 4. Matt Richmond 5. Rickveer Gill 6. Umar Husain 7. Musa Bham 8. Cameron Powell © 9. Suleiman Nassor 10. Nyle Patel 11. Mason Lopes. Subs; 12. Lamar Parkes 14. Zaakir Bham 15. Garwinder Bangh 16. Jaga Singh 18. Sukhbinder Johal.
Referee; Wyndham Trusler
Assts; Robert Porter & Gary Halliday