Cogenhoe face a Tuesday night trip to Stoke-on-Trent as Stone fight back to claim a 1-1 draw.
Saturday 6th August 2022
EMIRATES F.A CUP-EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1 STONE OLD ALLEYNIANS (0) 1
The Cooks welcomed Stone Old Alleynians from the Midland Football League to Compton Park as the F.A Cup competition gets underway. This was the first ever meeting between our two clubs and it wasn’t the ideal start to proceedings for the away side as holds ups on the M6 and the M1 between Stoke-on-Trent and our village saw them arrive at 2-15 pm, 45 minutes later than they had planned. It was another beautiful, sunny afternoon with no breeze at all as Scott Carlin made a few changes from the game on Tuesday with Luke McDonald making his Cooks debut, Will Bates returning from injury and attacking pair Jessi Obeng and Pharrell Anderson being handed starts. Paddy Cichosz is out for a week after the injury he picked up late in the Bugbrooke game, Brad Marshall is away with his work, while Archie Elmore and Alex Parkes were given a breather on the bench.
Attacking the village end first half, the Cooks broke down the right through Anderson and he pulled the ball back inside for Obeng, but Jayden Shepherd managed to get a foot in before the Cooks striker could create anything. Juliette Baxter was on the field with just five minutes played to treat Louis Barrett who had landed badly following an aerial challenge, but thankfully it was nothing too serious and he was able to continue. Matthew Thomas won the ball in the air just outside the Cogenhoe penalty area and Oliver Boote steered it back to him and he hit it first time, but could only slice his volley wide of the goal. The first corner of the game went to Stone after Thomas drilled the ball across and hit Gough, but they couldn’t make it count and Kodi Briggs was soon bringing the ball out from the back before playing a nice ball through to Obeng, but the striker ran into trouble on the edge of the box and although Barrett did manage to get a foot on the ball, he couldn’t get away from the three defenders that now surrounded him.
The Cooks enjoyed a good spell of the attacking play with Bates, Barrett, Obeng, Adams and Anderson all playing well inside the visitor’s half, but Stone were still breaking quickly and Thomas drilled a low shot the wrong side of the post from the edge of the box. Luca Purse got up to win a Briggs free-kick just inside the box only to see his header go wide, then a good move that started when Obeng won a 50-50 on the half-way line and McDonald picked out Adams run down the left. He sent over a high cross, but keeper Andrew Walklate came off his line to catch it cleanly. Bates and Barrett battled hard for possession wide on the right and the later sent over a cross that Adams jumped well to win, but his header didn’t have enough power behind it to trouble Walklate. A strong run by Boote saw him cut into the box where he was denied by a well-timed challenge from Bates, then Oliver Davies was a little unlucky when his angled shot from the left of the box went inches wide via a deflection off a Cooks defender.
It was the Old Boys time for a good spell and Thomas headed a corner just wide, then the same player got his head to another flag-kick and Ryan Goodwin headed it goalward, but after a spot of head-tennis and a bit of a scramble, the Cooks kept their clean-sheet intact. Barrett flew past Davies down the right wing, but his pull-back looking for Anderson was easily cut out by Goodwin and the visitors broke away and Thomas stung Saunt’s gloves with his powerful shot.
The deadlock was broken on 34 minutes and it was the Cooks who were celebrating. Centre-back Ben Gaunt won the ball deep inside his own half and made a driving run through the middle before playing Jessi Obeng clear through with a slide-rule pass and the young striker broke into the box before calmly slotting his shot past the out-coming keeper and into the back of the net. Very well taken goal, but superbly made by skipper for the day Gough.
The confidence was clear to see for the Cooks right now and a lovely move involving Obeng, McDonald and Gough saw the skipper find Anderson just outside the box, but he didn’t get anything behind his shot and it rolled through to Walklate. Obeng very nearly played Anderson clear inside the box, then Stone broke quickly with Thomas finding Boote inside the Cooks area and he forced Saunt into save, then Gough threw himself in front of Thomas’ shot from the rebound. Gough won the ball at the back allowing Obeng to play it through to Anderson inside the box and his deflected shot was saved by Walklate. McDonald played the corner in deep and although Walklate couldn’t get his hand to it, he did just enough to make sure Gough didn’t have an easy header beyond the back stick. Sam Wilson’s looping header landed on the top of the net with Saunt having it covered, then Obeng fed Anderson on the left and he found Mitch White with his pull back. White’s shot was blocked and Anderson was first on to the loose ball where he played it back across the face of the 6-yard box, but just ahead of Barrett in the centre.
A very entertaining first half between two teams with different styles, but it was the Cooks who held the initiative thanks to that Jessi Obeng goal on 34 minutes.
Half-time; Cooks 1 Stone OA 0
Thomas sent Boote down the line with a good ball and Purse had to be at his best to deny him a shooting chance, then Adams brought the ball out from the left and played it down the line to Anderson who held off his man nicely before playing across the park where McDonald stepped over to leave White with a shooting chance, he hit it well from 25-yards out, but the low shot flew just wide of the keeper’s left-hand post. Some fluent football saw Anderson’s angled run allow him to find Barrett on the right and although he got past his man, he couldn’t get a cross in this time. The first change of the game saw Stone OA replace Jayden Shepherd with Dylan Young with 51 minutes on the clock.
White burst into the box and Obeng found Adams to his left, but the ball just wouldn’t sit right for him to get in a shot, then Obeng fed Barrett on the right and his low cross was put behind by Goodwin from a very dangerous position. Adams swung in the corner and Gough got up well, but his header went over the top. Alex Cimano made way for Tom Harley on 57 minutes as Stone tried to get themselves back into this cup tie. Purse coolly steered a header back to his keeper under pressure from Harley, then back down the other end as Bates and Barrett combined on the right with Anderson cutting into the box before seeing his shot blocked and as the visitors broke quickly, Purse tracked back well to deny Boote a shooting opportunity as he reached the edge of the box.
The end-to-end cup-tie continued as Gough did well to dispossess Thomas with the Stone striker in a great position on the edge of the box, then Anderson had a shot blocked with Adams forcing a save out of Walklate when he pounced on the loose ball. Adams picked up a needless booking for kicking the ball away on 57 minutes, whilst McDonald dinked a lovely central free-kick over the wall, but Bates couldn’t quite get his foot to the ball in the centre. Gough received treatment for a head injury and when play restarted Obeng played the ball to McDonald a few yards outside the box and his shot was well held by Walklate.
Parity was restored on 74 minutes when Stone OA drew themselves level through substitute Tom Harley. Saunt twice denied him in the move with close range saves, but as the ball came back to Harley close in just to the right of the goal, he lifted his shot over the keeper as he got back to his feet and also over the head of the jumping Purse on the goal-line to hit the far top corner of the net.
The Cooks were determined not to let this one slip away and they forced a couple of quick corners that the visitor’s defence cleared away, whilst Anderson won a free kick in the left-hand corner. McDonald swung it in to the far post where Purse rose under pressure to steer his header on target. Walklate got a hand to the ball but had to juggle it before he could get it in his grip and as some of the Cooks lads claimed it had gone over the line, both assistant Trevor Martin and referee Jake Bloom waved away their appeals. Not a goal, but a great delivery from McDonald and even better effort by Purse all the same.
Carlin made his first changes as Anderson and Briggs made way for the fresh legs of Archie Elmore and Owen Brooks with eleven minutes left until the ninety. Obeng fed Brooks who in turn found his fellow sub inside the box, but it was took off him before he could make anything happen, then the Cooks made their final change as Louis Martin came on for Obeng after 84 minutes. Barrett was high and wide from 25-yards just before Elmore robbed Goodwin inside the box and found Martin who turned sweetly before firing in a shot that was blocked by the boot of the recovering Goodwin and looped over the bar for a corner. Gough saw his shot from just inside the box on the right blocked, then Barrett’s volley went over from 20-yards after some battling play by Elmore inside the box. Martin sent over a cross that was just too far ahead of Elmore allowing Walklate to catch it safely and in the last action of the game, Gough was unlucky to see his hooked shot deflect an inch or so wide of the far post with the keeper beaten.
So, we have to make the long trek to Stoke on Tuesday night for a replay, something that Stone OA will be much happier with than ourselves, I’m sure. It was a decent match to watch between two sides with differing styles and from the Cooks perspective it was a disappointing outcome after taking the lead in the first half. We were much better as a team than we were on Tuesday night and at least we have put an end to our losing start to the season, so let’s hope we can go one better at Kings Park in three days’ time. Everybody gave their all today, but Paul’s man-of-the-match goes to Ben Gaunt who lead the team as skipper, was a constant pain to the opposition forwards and also made the goal with some real classy football.
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Will Bates 3. Kodi Briggs (sub 16. Owen Brooks 79) 4. Mitch White 5. Luca Purse 6. Ben Gough © 7. Louie Barrett 8. Luke McDonald 9. Pharrell Anderson (sub 15. Archie Elmore 79) 10. Jessi Obeng (sub 14. Louis Martin 84) 11. Josh Adams. Subs not used; 12. Harley Mallard 17. Callum Farmer 18. Lewis Green 19. Alex Parkes.
Stone OA; 1. Andrew Walklate 2. Joe Baxter 3. Oliver Davies 4. Jayden Shepherd (sub 16. Dylan Young 51) 5. Ryan Goodwin 6. Josh Sedgley 7. Alex Cimano (sub 14. Tom Harley 57) 8. Will Bailey 9. Matthew Thomas © 10. Sam Wilson 11. Oliver Boote. Subs not used; 12. Ben Whealer 13. Mawgan Blight (GK) 15. Nathan Brayford 17. Josh Watters 18. Lewis Hassall.
Referee; Jake Bloom
Assts; Trevor Martin & Aaron Clayton