Depleted Cooks put up a great effort, but in the end they didn’t get the rub of the green on the day as Newport keep the promotion push on course.
Saturday 19th November 2022
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN (1) 3 COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1
Hall 34 (pen)
Barnes 90+3 (pen)
The Cooks made the difficult trip to high-flying Newport Pagnell Town with a number of changes enforced on Scott Carlin with Ben Gough, Pharrell Anderson, Lewis Green, Jamie Snapes, Callum Farmer and Jamie Hall all missing from the team that won at Boston last week, adding to those already ruled out through injury. New signing Bruce Tsinosis came in for his Cogenhoe debut, whilst our latest recruit Kyle Ansell was named on the subs bench alongside Dylan Carlin and Kieron Mobbs. His opposite number Garry Flynn made a number of changes too from the team that had thrashed Didcot Town 8-1 on Wednesday with Christian Smail, Lewis Wilson, Mo Ahmed and Shane Bush all reclaiming their starting positions.
The pre-match sunshine gave way to an overcast afternoon as we got underway with the Cooks attacking the new Steve Dart Terrace, but it was down the bottom end where we saw the first effort at goal when Alfie Powell headed over from a corner. Tsinosis lifted a ball over the top looking for Jessi Obeng, but Martin Conway rose well to claim the ball, then Will Bates was brought down by Adam Pryke wide on the right and Luke McDonald’s free-kick was flicked on by Bates only for a defender to take the ball on his chest before clearing their lines. Wilson touched the ball back to Pryke on the right and he whipped over a cross that Ahmed headed wide, then down the other end a poor clearance by Conway was headed back by Luca Purse to send Obeng away, but despite appearing to be well onside when the ball was played, the flag was raised for an offside call.
Albie Hall headed over a Ben Shepherd free-kick, then on 23 minutes Pryke sent the ball into the box and when Hall was pulled to the ground and referee Matt Paul pointed to the spot before showing Paddy Casey the yellow card. Ben Shepherd stepped up take the penalty, but Ash Bodycote dived to his left to make a great save and he then stopped Ahmed’s header before being fouled as he stopped another follow-up. A dangerous ball in from the right caused a bit of a scramble in the Cogenhoe box before Louis Barrett got it away, then a seemingly great tackle by Tsinosis to stop Hall’s run down the right was penalised and Hall appeared to stamp on the Cooks new boy before most of the players got into a pushing match. No cards were shown after the melee, but Tsinosis was then booked for not retreating at the free-kick. Ben Ford sent over the free-kick, but Bodycote rose in the crowd to punch the ball away. A ball played into the box went straight through to the waiting arms of Bodycote, but Hall went crashing to the ground and Paul awarded a second penalty to the home side. I have to say I didn’t see what happened so can’t comment, but Purse became the third Cooks player to be shown the yellow card with 34 minutes played. Hall was given this one after Shepherd’s miss and he sent Bodycote the wrong way with a coolly taken spot-kick to make it 10 goals in two-and a-bit games for the tall striker.
The Cooks quickly got themselves back into the game and drew themselves level on 38 minutes. McDonald sent in a corner from the left that Tsinosis rose to head down and Bates stooped low to head the ball home from five yards out. Great reaction from Will to net this chance and pull his side level again. The Swans were eager to restore their lead as the half wore on and Hall headed over following a free-kick, then Purse did well to block a Wilson effort from the right of the box and then a fierce strike by Ahmed from 20-yards went behind for a corner off a defender. A slip from Conway saw him give Obeng the ball on the right, but he opted not to shoot and played it inside to Barrett whose shot from just outside the box was blocked by Christian Smail and the teams went in to the break level.
Half-time; Swans 1 Cooks 1
No changes for either side at the break and Newport were first to show with Ahmed pulling a shot wide from 20-yards out after a nice lay-off from Hall, then Pryke showed his experienced as he defended a potentially dangerous position for Obeng really well. Barrett lifted a high ball into the box from the right that Conway ran under and couldn’t hold, but the keeper was awarded a very spurious free-kick by the referee. Conway would have got to the loose ball first, but a free-kick for what exactly I would like to know. Purse was sent to the sin-bin on 51 minutes to make our task that little bit harder for the next ten minutes, assumedly for saying what everyone else was thinking.
Barrett was that little bit quicker getting to the ball than Smail who caught him late to become the first Swan to be shown the yellow card on 55 minutes, but two minutes later the home side made their man advantage count as they re-took the lead. The Cooks had cut out a couple of balls into the box, but the it fell kindly for Ben Ford inside the box to the left and he made no mistake with a low finish that gave Bodycote no chance at all, much to the delight of the home support on the terrace behind the goal. 2-1 to Newport with 57 minutes played and the Cooks still four minutes away from going back to full strength. Carlin made his first change on the hour as skipper Paddy Cichosz came off for debutant Kyle Ansell who moved across from Wellingborough Town in the week.
An Ahmed corner was punched away by Bodycote as far as Ford 20-yards out and his first-time volley tested the strength of the roof of the new cover, then on 64 minutes Smail went in studs-up on Bates in the centre of the park and was shown a straight red card and it was the Cooks who now had a man advantage. McDonald played a clever free-kick down the right flank to Barrett, but his first touch was a little heavy and it allowed a defender time to get across and cut-out his cross. Josh Adams swung the corner in and a great leap from Purse saw him head the ball on target, but Powell blocked his effort a yard from the line before clearing.
Barrett cut inside and fired his shot wide from the right side of the box, then Ahmed worked from right to left before teeing up Shepherd who certainly got the power he was looking for, although the accuracy needs working on as it flew several yards wide of the target. The home side made a double change on 69 minutes as Ahmed and Pryke made way for Lewis Markey and Aaron Pike respectively. Adams burst down the left at speed and whipped in a cross that went just wide of the far post, then Wilson fed Hall whose shot was blocked by Casey and when the ball went across the box Pike fired it back in where Purse blocked it at the far post before Hall hit a first time shot that Bodycote gathered up safely.
Adams was taken off on 74 minutes to give Kieron Mobbs his first team debut just before some great work on the left by Ansell saw him play a pass through to Obeng, but the striker had strayed offside. I always except time-wasting as part and parcel of the game, but I have to say that Conway was taking it to the extreme as the minutes ticked by, but with the referee not asking him to speed things up at all, I can’t blame him for continuing to extend the time he took to get the ball back in to play from offside and goal-kick decisions. Mobbs made a good run before being fouled just outside the box on the left and Conway held on to Ansell’s free-kick comfortably, but surely this was prime position for a right-footer to shoot.
Shepherd and Kieran Barnes were swapped by Flynn on 84 minutes, but the former was shown the yellow card for taking to long to get off the pitch. With 30 seconds added on for substitutions it does seem weird that this should be picked on and not the other time-wasting though. Wilson was off target from a few yards outside the box before Cogenhoe made their final change as Dylan Carlin came on for McDonald with five minutes left to play. Ansell played Mobbs down the left and his cross was cut out and cleared by Bush, then with the game already three minutes into stoppage time, Tsinosis gave away a needless penalty as he ran into the back of his man and Newport had their third penalty of the afternoon, plus their third taker as Hall had been replaced by Russell Short a few minutes previous. Barnes was penalty taker number three and he placed his shot just inside Bodycote’s right-hand post, although the keeper very nearly got his fingers to it. Andrews was sent to the sin-bin before the game got back underway to make it ten against ten, but the final whistle was blown a minute later and the Swans had the three points. One last mention goes to Newport keeper Martin Conway whose quick retort to Foe’s comment that it was twelve against eleven out there, as he pointed out that Newport only had ten men on the field and gave us all a laugh.
This was always going to be a tough afternoon for the Cooks with a depleted squad and players in unfamiliar positions, but the lads did themselves and the Cogenhoe support proud today as they gave their all to a man. Things really did not go our way today and Newport are a very good side and I will keep with my tradition of not criticising official’s performances, so I’m ending things here.
Cooks man-of-the-match today goes to Ash Bodycote who made another penalty save and had little chance with any of the goals today, just pipping Will Bates who played in yet another position today and capped this off with a goal.
The games don’t get any easier as we no host second placed Coventry Sphinx next Saturday with the game kicking-off at the usual 3pm, not 2 as I accidentally put on the ground posters. All the best to Newport Pagnell Town, great support and a friendly welcome as always, at least until we meet again in the New Year at our place.
Newport Pagnell; 1. Martin Conway 2. Adam Pryke © (sub 16. Aaron Puke 69) 3. James Sage 4. Christian Smail 6. Alfie Powell 8. Ben Shepherd (sub 7. Kieran Barnes 84) 10. Shane Bush 11. Ben Ford 14. Lewis Wilson 19. Mo Ahmed (sub 12. Lewis Markey 69) 20. Albie Hall (sub 21. Russell Short 87). Sub not used 17. Dan Willett (gk).
Red Card; Smail (64) Foul
Yellow cards; Smail (55) Foul, Shepherd (84) Foul.
Cooks; 1. Ash Bodycote 2. Will Bates 3. Josh Adams (sub 15. Kieron Mobbs 74) 4. Paddy Cichosz © (sub 12. Kyle Ansell 60) 5. Luca Purse 6. Bruce Tsinosis 7. Louie Barrett 8. Luke McDonald (sub 14. Dylan Carlin 85) 9. Luke Andrews 10. Patrick Casey 11. Jessi Obeng.
Yellow cards; Casey (23) Foul. Tsinosis (23) Not retreating at free-kick. Purse (34) Foul.
Sin-bins; Purse (51), Andrews (90+3).
Referee; Matt Paul
Assts; Paul Speakman & Laurie Evans