The Cooks ended the unbeaten run of leaders Racing Club Warwick with a superb display at Compton Park.
Saturday 2nd September 2023
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (2) 3 RACING CLUB WARWICK (1) 2
Wilson 12, 63 (Pen)
Mallard (og) 55
The Cooks welcomed unbeaten leaders Racing Club Warwick to Compton Park with the Racers yet to concede a goal away from home in the league and that wasn’t a big enough task. Scott Carlin had to make two late changes to his plans as Alex Parkes was stuck at work and then Josh Jones pulled up injured in the warm-ups. He was able to welcome back Adam North in goal though, with Lewis Green and Kieron Mobbs coming into the starting line-up, while Dylan Carlin was added to the subs bench. Opposite number Scott Easterlow made two changes from the side that had beaten Easington at home last time out, with five-goal man Matt Reed dropping down to the bench and Connor Mort missing altogether meaning starts for Josh Parsons and Charlie Jones. The weather was at least good though, in fact it may have been the warmest day of the season as the sun shone over the ground, something we haven’t see too much of just lately.
The Racers were certainly quick out of the stalls, winning a corner inside the first minute as Ben Dimond nicked the ball off the feet of Josh Parsons and they were to win several more over the opening ten minutes. Earl Atat picked up a yellow card for clipping leading scorer Luke Shearer who had made a strong run through the middle with Parsons lining the ball up and 25-yards out and hitting the free-kick sweetly, only for North to make a great save with the ball bound for his top left-hand corner. A number of dangerous corners were dealt with one way or another with the Cooks a little lucky when Parsons pounced on a loose ball just inside the box and his shot struck a Cooks player and looped just over the bar. Another corner, played to the back stick, was met with a powerful header by Jones, with the ball hitting Harley Mallard and diverting away from the target.
Having been forced to defend deeply from the first whistle, the Cooks had their first real attack of the game on 12 minutes and it led to a goal. The ball had been played into the box a couple of times in the move, but the Racers had got to the ball first, but when Atat looped it into the box, leading scorer Dylan Wilson nipped in to meet it with a header that looped over Brad Catlow and dropped under the bar at the far post. It would be hard to argue that the goal was against the run of play, but we had defended resolutely during the early siege and the difference now was that we had made our only chance count. As expected, Warwick were down the other end again as the corner count went into double figures, while a rare mistake from North with a clearance presented Cameron Ebbutt with the ball about ten yards outside the box with an unguarded net in front of him, but he put his shot wide of the goal. North had tried desperately to get his hand to the ball, but despite the fact that he couldn’t, a corner was awarded, but we were pretty used to defending them by this point. Another deep delivery was met with a powerful header from Jones, but this time Green got in the way at the expense of yet another flag-kick. Some standard UCL head tennis resulted in Ebbutt going for goal from well outside the box, but he couldn’t keep his shot on target, then the Cooks broke with Mobbs doing well on the left and a deft flick from Jack Connor gave Damian Osoimoejiokhian some space inside the box on the left, but his cross was hit much too firmly and sailed over everyone in the middle.
Skipper Harley Mallard defended an awkward bounce inside his own box with two gold shirts on his back, while a nice attack from Warwick saw Kyle Barnett pick put the run of Shearer in the inside left position, but his run came to an abrupt climax when Atat upended him just outside the box. Ebbutt struck the free-kick cleanly, but North caught it just under bar height with barely a bead of sweat required. A lovely turn by Charlie Pearson deep into enemy territory opened up space for Cal Farmer to pick out Wilson inside the box to the right, but his cross was caught cleanly by Brad Catlow, then Mobbs intercepted a pass 30-yards from goal and broke into the box on the left before pulling his shot across the keeper and wide of the far post. If only he had pulled it a yard further across it would have been met by the far post run of Wilson. Atat burst into the box and when his low cross was cut out, Pearson punced to drill the ball in and win a corner on 36 minutes. After defending so many down the other end, the Cooks were relishing the opportunity and although Farmer’s outswinger was just behind Mallard, the Cooks skipper rose high to meet it with a bullet header that was adjudged to be already over the line when a defender blocked it with his arm. The goal was awarded, and the Racers kept eleven men on the field as a penalty decision would certainly have led to a red card in this instance. Having not conceded in any of their first three away games, the Cooks had now penetrated the Warwick amour twice inside the first 36 minutes.
Farmer again picked out Wilson inside the box with a great pass, but this time under pressure from Archie Hamp and he could only steer the ball wide for a goal-kick. On 40 minutes the visitors pulled a goal back as Barnett picked out left-back Archie Hamp and he got the better of his man to cut inside and beat North with a thumping low drive, a goal that would surely now test the nerve of this young Cooks team. Shearer got a touch on the edge of the box so send him goalward, but he appeared to step on the ball as he tried to get it out of his feet and there were some vociferous shouts from the bench and the field claiming a penalty, but referee Aaron Lloyd waved away their appeals. Shearer then went sprawling in the box again moments later with the ball this time falling to a Warwick player whose thunderous shot hit Ben Dimond in the midriff and while he was down, Hancocks rolled the loose ball wide of the far post.
It had been a great defensive display form the Cooks in the first half with two goals down the other end shocking the leaders, but that goal back late in the half could prove to be a real turning point in the game.
Half-time; Cooks 2 Warwick 1
Carlin and Easterlow both continued with their starting eleven as the second half got underway and the Cooks were claiming a penalty after Osoimoejiokhian went down inside the box as he tried to get onto Farmer’s free-kick that had skimmed off the head of Jay D’Lionga and when Warwick broke, Mobbs was back in his own area making a great challenge to rob Hamp. A great cross by Hancocks saw Shearer launch his head at the ball but fail to get any contact, then Parsons went for goal from the left with North watching it all the way as it went wide of his far post. North had to get down well at his near post to save a decent shot from Hancocks, but on 55 minutes the league leaders drew level with an unfortunate own goal. They had been mounting the pressure on the Cooks defence and when Shearer drilled a low ball across the 6-yard box, Mallard got his foot to it and could only put it past his now wrong-footed keeper from close range.
Far from crumbling, the Cooks showed great character and were soon back on the attack and Farmer sent in a corner that saw Mallard hauled to the ground by Hamp and the Cooks were awarded a penalty. Wilson, bubbling with confidence after his goal, stepped up to fire low to the keeper’s right to put the Cooks back in front. Sixth goal of the season for Wilson and his second of the game. 63 minutes played and the Cooks lead 3-2.
A weaving run by Parsons saw his shot deflect wide for a corner, while Shearer headed a great chance wide from D’Lionga’s dinked cross. North made light work of Shearer’s powerful header from a deep D’Lionga cross, then North got down to save a Hancocks shot struck for the edge of the box. The pressure was on the Cooks defence now with Warwick desperately trying to salvage something from this game and preserve their unbeaten start, but the Cooks were looking to hit them on the break and Farmer’s dinked ball over the top wasn’t too far ahead of Jack Connor’s run into the box. Tommy Curry and Stan Channell came on after 72 minutes, as did Warwick’s Reed. Two-goal hero Wilson, who had taken a blow to his back shortly before, and Green the men to make way for the Cooks. Curry was straight into the action as he pressurised D’Lionga into conceding a corner that Farmer whipped into the near post for Dimond to flick on, but there was nobody on the same wavelength and the ball was safely dealt with by the Racers defence.
Subs followed as Easterlow brought on Ryan Quinn for Jones and soon afterwards Carlin replaced Pearson with Jamie Hall. Another dangerous corner from Farmer was punched away by Catlow inside his own 6-yard box with Curry receiving a knock to the head in the crowded area, then Quinn met a Hamp cross with a glancing header that North took cleanly. A good break from the visitors saw Shearer cut into the box from the left only to be stopped by a great challenge from Atat, then North held on well to keep out an Ebbutt free-kick fired on target from 25-yards out. The final change of the game saw Ssonko Pius replace Parsons with four minutes remaining of the ninety, but the Cooks managed those out, plus the added five, without being unduly threatened and took the points to make it three wins on the spin.
This was a superb result for the Cooks, ending the overnight leaders unbeaten start to the season and it moves them up to sixth, just one place below the play-offs with a game in hand on all the teams above us. I think everybody at the club would have been delighted with four wins and two draws from our first seven games and today’s victory shows how far these young lads have come under the guidance of Biff and Batts. There could be eleven man-of-the-matches for the Cooks today given the team performance, but my nod goes to Kieron Mobbs, called back into the starting line up late on and showed great determination and maturity firstly attacking down the flank, then at the back for the final section of the game to help repel the waves of attack from the visitors. Adam North, Harley Mallard, Ben Dimond, Earl Atat and Lewis Green were all colossal at the back today, while Damian O and Charlie Pearson both seem to be getting better every game they play. Cal Farmer’s delivery is a major factor in this season’s early success, while Jack Connor spent almost as much time in his own area defending corners than he did up front today. Last word to Dylan Wilson, two more goals taking his tally to six already and one of the best finishers in the league and he certainly didn’t disappoint today, showing no sign of nerves as he tucked away the penalty despite the pressure of the situation. The three subs, Stan Channell, Tommy Curry and Jamie Hall also played their part, coming on as we led 3-2 and under the cosh which can make it very difficult to get straight into the tempo of the match, as the visitors pushed themselves forward to try and salvage something from the game.
The Cooks have a break from league action next Saturday with a trip to the western suburbs of Nottingham to face Clifton All-White for what will almost certainly be a very different game with the hosts also sixth in the table, albeit in the division below.
Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Earl Atat 3. Damian Osoimoejiokhian 4. Kieron Mobbs 5. Ben Dimond 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Lewis Green (sub 16. Stan Channell 72) 8. Callum Farmer 9. Jack Connor 10. Charlie Pearson (sub 15. Jamie Hall 76) 11. Dylan Wilson (sub 17. Tommy Curry 72). Subs not used; 12. Dylan Carlin 14. Josh Jones.
Warwick; 1. Brad Catlow 2, Jay D’Lionga 3. Archie Hamp 4. Callum Carsley 5. Kyle Barnett 6. Cal Templeton © 7, Charlie Jones (sub 12. Ryan Quinn 72) 8. James Hancocks (sub 15. Matt Reed 73) 9. Luke Shearer 10. Josh Parsons (sub 17. Ssonko Pius 87). Subs not used; 14. Joe Cairns 16. Ollie Mulders.
Referee; Aaron Lloyd
Assts; Marc Finch & Windham Trusler
Photos will follow on the Cogenhoe United Facebook page.