Gomes 94th minute equaliser denies the Cooks three points at home to Lutterworth Town.
Saturday 15th October 2022
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (3) 3 LUTTERWORTH TOWN (1) 3
Obeng 32, 40
Gomes 53, 90+4
It was a beautiful sunny day in the village, but with the return of the Cogenhoe breeze blowing down the pitch from the car park end and although we will certainly see windier days at the park this season, this was the first time it had really affected the game since the season began. Scott Carlin welcomed back Will Bates after work had ruled him out of Tuesday’s game, meaning Konnor Dixon moved to the centre of the defence in place of Joe Morris. Jamie Hall was away this weekend so Pharrell Anderson stepped back in to re-forge his partnership with Jessi Obeng up top. Harley Mallard and Callum Farmer both returned on the bench.
The Cooks won the toss and elected to kick with the wind in the first half and really pushed the Swifts back, winning six corners in the first five minutes! The first came inside 20-seconds when Louie Barrett did well on the right and Josh Adams delivery led to the second on the opposite side. Luke Andrews was first to a Luke McDonald corner with the latter putting it back into the box and Bates got past two defenders allowing Obeng to shoot with his effort going wide off a defender. The assistant referee flagged for a corner, but his boss overruled him and Lutterworth had a goal-kick.
Anderson cut inside from the left to wrong-foot Jamie Cooper and the defender caught the heel of the Cooks forward just inside the box, but play was waved on by Ryan Allison, the man-in-black today. McDonald picked up play on the left of the box and pulled it back Adams who found Barrett deep inside the box on the right and he stepped inside to hit a powerful shot that Warren Butlin parried with both palms for another corner. Adams’ delivery was initially won by the head of a defender, but it fell to Bates on the edge of the box who hit it on the volley, but Butlin caught it at head height.
The Cooks made their dominance count on 9 minutes with a piece of individual brilliance that would have had the pundits purring if it had happened in the Premier League. Pharrell Anderson won the ball just inside the Lutterworth half on the left and he turned away from his man for unleashing that blistering pace that took him past three orange shirts before breaking into the box to the right of centre and literally passing the ball past Butlin and into the net. If the Cooks had a goal of the season award, we would have one very strong contender here.
Ash Bodycote got his first touch of the matchball on eleven minutes when he caught a floated cross from the left from Ryan Hodkinson, but he was to be a little closer to the action now as Lutterworth finally managed to get some possession inside the Cooks half. A nice turn by Karabo Motshweni found Marley Spencer on the right and Adams had to work hard to get back and cut out his cross. A great ball from McDonald picked out Barrett on the right and although his cross was cut out, Obeng got onto the ball and when he couldn’t create the space for a shot, he played it back to Alex Parkes whose first-time effort was blocked. Anderson was causing Cooper plenty of issues and the defender tripped the Cooks man in a central position some 30-yards from goal. Dixon stepped up on this one as McDonald peeled away and although it was a decent effort, it went over the top with Butlin appearing to have it covered.
McDonald lifted the ball into the box looking for Anderson, but it bounced into the arms of Butlin, then Anderson robbed Callum Steer and although Spencer blocked his shot, it came to Adams just outside the box on the left and he hit a very good low effort that flew just wide of the far post. Obeng found Barrett on the right and his dinked cross was caught cleanly by Butlin, but the second goal of the game was to follow on 27 minutes as Lutterworth levelled things up against the run of play. A very good break from the visitor’s saw Spencer find Nuno Gomes in the centre and he played back into Spencer’s feet inside the box on the right. Bodycote came to his near post to block any shot that might come in, but Spencer picked out Dion Potter unmarked at the far post. His first touch wasn’t the greatest, but he ended up lifting the ball into the air and was able to simply nod the it over the line from maybe a couple of feet out. 1-1 with 27 minutes played and Cogenhoe had it all to do again. It could so easily have been worse a minute later when Gomes hit a very good volley from inside the box following a ball in from the left and although it beat the full-length dive of Bodycote, it smacked against the woodwork and Cogenhoe were able to catch their breath.
The Cooks once again began to dominate proceedings and they were rewarded with a second goal on 32 minutes. Bates started the move by winning the ball and found Adams to his left. He dinked the ball into the box on the wind and Anderson rose to flick it on and drew the keeper before pulling it back across the goal for Jessi Obeng who had got in front of his marker and turned the ball home from 5-yards out. Another very good goal but this one was a real team effort finished off in true striker’s fashion.
Parkes picked out Anderson’s run with a good pass, although the hanging cross that followed was claimed by Butlin, then a McDonald free-kick was won in the air by Cooper, but Luca Purse headed in back to Bates whose hooked-volley forced Butlin to stretch out an arm and the keeper just managed to claw the ball away from the target. A great cross by Adams was touched away by the fingertips of Butlin, but Barrett was quickly onto the loose ball and his shot forced a very good save out of the Lutterworth number one, leaving Barrett wondering when that elusive first goal for the Cooks will arrive. Andrews played the ball to Obeng who picked out Barrett on the right side of the box, but this time his shot was well over the top.
Anderson’s pace caught out Romain Quilter-Watson and the defender tripped him just outside the box and picked up the game’s first yellow card on 39 minutes. Bates took the free-kick and although his effort hit the wall, he picked up the pieces and went on a great run into the box on the left, weaving through the defence before drawing the keeper and laying to Jessi Obeng inside the 6-yard box to his right and he slotted home his second goal of the game with five minutes to go before the break.
Anderson switched play with a great pass to Barrett in space on the right flank, but this time he overran the ball and Lutterworth cleared the danger. A McDonald free-kick was won by a defender and when the ball dropped to Purse, he hit it on the volley but couldn’t breach the packed penalty area in front of him. A good run from Bates on the right saw him place his shot across Butlin, but it was the wrong side of the post and the Cooks had a 3-1 lead to defend as we headed into what was likely to be a much tougher second-half as we play into the wind.
Half-time; Cooks 3 Swifts 1
My health took a turn for the worse at the break and I have to admit I missed the first five minutes of the second half in the loo, but I was relieved to hear it was still 3-1 when I ventured back to the side-lines! Obeng won a corner down the left and McDonald delivered to the far post where Purse directed his header on target, but man-on-the-post Motshweni kicked the ball off the line. We really needed to avoid conceding early in the half, but on 53 minutes the visitor’s pulled themselves to within one goal when Potter did well on the right side of the box and squared the ball to Gomes who fired first time past Bodycote.
It was pretty likely to be mostly Lutterworth this half with the wind at their backs and Hodkinson hit a dangerous swirling effort from outside the box that flew a foot or so the wrong side of the keeper’s left-hand post, before Bodycote did well to deny Potter at the near post and then get up amid the crowd to touch the ensuing corner over the bar. Adams played the ball up to Anderson just outside the box and despite the attention of two defenders, he worked them to get into the box on the left before firing a shot wide from a tightening angle. The first change of the game saw Evanaro Sanches make way for Mark Warren just after the hour. A drop ball just outside the box gave Motshweni the chance to lift the ball into the box, but Steers could only steer his close-range header wide of the target.
Obeng won the ball and played it across the edge of the area and with Anderson stepping over it to allow Barrett to attack the box, but his first touch was much too heavy and he put the ball out of play. I think it was a case of the dummy fooling him as well as the defender on this occasion. Motshweni lifted a ball over the top that Bodycote claimed before Gomes could get too it, then Motshweni was again involved as he floated a dangerous free-kick across the area from just outside the box, but none of his teammates were able to take advantage. An off the ball incident involving Purse and Motshweni saw the Cooks defender penalised and from a similar position to the last free-kick, the big number eighteen again elected to cross and this time he won a corner. Warren sent it over and Bates won it in the air at the expense of another corner and it was Bates again the saviour as he cleared the ball off the line before Bodycote caught Josh Gunn’s follow up.
Potter caught Andrews late in the centre to earn a yellow card on 73 minutes, then Parkes picked out Obeng who outpaced Steers, but put his shot wide of the target in a pivotal moment for the Cooks when a fourth goal would surely have tied things up nicely. Subs followed as Carlin brought on Lewis Green for Adams after 75 and two minutes later Lutterworth made their second change as Jordan Small came on for Spencer.
A free kick in a dangerous position down the left a few yards in from the touch-line saw Purse get a clean header onto Warren’s delivery, then Dixon played a good ball up to Obeng who had four men in front of him and with no support he had little option but to shoot, but unsurprisingly his effort was blocked by one of the orange quartet. This was Obeng’s final action of the game as the Cooks sacrificed a forward for another centre-half for the final four minutes with Harley Mallard helping to bolster things up at the back.
A darting run by Potter into the box was ended by a great challenge by Bates and Bodycote did really well to get up in the middle of the crowd and get his hand to Warren’s corner. Another dangerous corner, this time from the left taken by Motshweni, was again won by Bodycote as the game went into added time with the referee stating two minutes to go. On 90+2 Callum Farmer was handed his first team debut as he came off the bench for McDonald with seconds left to play. Play continued though and Bodycote again did well to get to a dangerous in-swinging corner to concede another with play now four minutes into stoppage time. Warren Butlin went up for this one and he may well have got his head to Warren’s far post delivery, but it came off a Purse for another corner on the opposite side and this time Gomes was first to Motshweni’s delivery and he levelled the scores at 3-3. Cogenhoe were incensed that the Swifts had committed a foul on the previous set-piece and they should have had a free-kick instead of having to defend a corner, but I have to say from where I stood down the opposite end, I hadn’t seen the offence for myself. We were now five minutes into the two initially indicated and the referee blew the final whistle seconds after we had kicked off.
It’s definitely a tough one to take in having held firm for so long defending against the wind and we were so close to earning the three points, but we are going to have to put this behind us quickly as we prepare for next Saturday’s game in the F.A Vase. One thing I do have to mention is that we didn’t do ourselves any favours in the first half as we allowed Lutterworth to consume so much time on goal-kicks when we should have been getting another ball into play quickly. We also took our time when we were 1-0 and 2-1 up while we were very much on top and I feel we could have really put them to the sword and opened up an insurmountable lead into the break.
Largely a good performance all round once again from the Cooks and I do see this as two points dropped if I’m honest. Will Bates frightened the visiting defence every time he got the ball inside their half in the first forty-five and showed us what we are missing whilst he is playing in defence and Luke Andrews had his best game in the first team to date in a solid and constructive midfield. Luca Purse is really improving every game now as he regains his fitness and I felt Konnor Dixon did well alongside him today. Louie Barrett deserved a goal of his own today, Jessi Obeng did his job well with two close range finishes, but my man-of-the-match today goes to Pharrell Anderson who scored a superb individual goal and set up another whilst looking hungry for the ball throughout.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Will Bates 3. Josh Adams (sub 12. Lewis Green 75) 4. Alex Parkes 5. Luca Purse 6. Konnor Dixon 7. Louie Barrett 8. Luke McDonald © (sub 17. Callum Farmer 90+2) 9. Pharrell Anderson 10. Luke Andrews 11. Jessi Obeng (sub 16. Harley Mallard 86). Subs not used; 14. Kodi Briggs 15. Regan Saunt.
Swifts; 1. Warren Butlin 2. Romain Quilter-Watson 3. Ryan Hodkinson 4. Jamie Cooper 5. Josh Gunn 6. Callum Steers 7. Dion Potter 18. Karabo Motshweni 9. Nuno Gomes 10. Evanaro Sanches (sub 12. Mark Warren 61) 11. Marley Spencer (sub 14. Jordan Small 77). Subs not used; 15. Ben Law 16. Mussa Yousef.
Yellow cards; Quilter-Watson (39) Foul. Potter (73) Foul.
Referee; Ryan Allison
Assts; Paul Kimbrey & Stewart Glendenning.