Easter Monday 10th April 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN v COGENHOE UNITED
Dog & Duck Ground,
The Cooks head to local rivals Wellingborough Town on Monday after back-to-back wins over fellow Northamptonshire sides Desborough Town and Bugbrooke St Michaels in the previous five days, with both those opponents having winning streaks ended by the Cooks. Wellingborough are likely to prove a much tougher nut to crack though, currently sitting in third spot and looking to finish the season in that place by staying ahead of F.A Vase finalists Newport Pagnell who are four points behind them, but have three games in hand. Up until recently, the Doughboys were battling for the play-off place and were indeed second in the table for a couple of weeks, but Sphinx won their games in hand, while Wellingborough dropped a few points and are now eight points adrift of Rugby Town having played a game less with just three games remaining, so realistically they will be thinking about a good finish with next season in mind.
Former Cooks manager Jake Stone, assisted by another Compton Park favourite in Jake Cayton, have made some impressive signings this season and if they can keep them at the club in the summer they will definitely be one of the favourites for promotion next season. Brett Solkhon has spent all of his career at a much higher level and his addition as player-coach was a massive boost to the Dog & Duck club, even if his legs aren’t as young as they used to be, his experience is an enormous plus factor. Jake’s most recent signings have been former Cooks striker Jack Bowen who left Daventry Town following the removal of the playing budget, which is also the factor behind signing Bleu McNeil. There are also a number of former Compton Park favourites in Jake’s squad with Will Bates making the move a few weeks ago which was a big blow to the Cooks which shows how much he had done for us and we would love to see him push on to a higher level in the future (just hope he has a rare bad game tomorrow!). Tom Iaciofano was one of the best players to come through the ranks at Cogenhoe and he stayed loyal to his old boss after leaving Loughborough Students and has repaid Stone with 18 goals so far this season, while Séan McBride, Jack O’Connor and Carter Price all played in the 2-2 home draw with March Town United on Saturday, with Harry Chipchase coming off the bench to make the ex-Cooks count seven on the day. They have also used Rico Alexander and Matt Long in their matchday squad in recent games, so we are sure to see a number of familiar faces tomorrow afternoon.
The Boxing Day game at Compton Park ended 1-1, but we were very close to causing an upset that day as the Doughboys grabbed a 90th minute equaliser through Charlie Green after Bates had given the Cooks the lead with a great strike in the first minute of the second-half. Both sides finished the game with ten men in a typical local derby as Solkhon and then Luke Andrews were showed straight red cards in front of a crowd of 148. Wellingborough go into the game on a four match unbeaten run, two wins and two draws, with the previous game seeing them lose 0-1 at home to Bugbrooke in a surprise defeat, their sixth home reverse in the league, which is the main reason they are not fighting it out with the top two now as they haven’t been beaten on the road. They have picked up 26 points at the Dog & Duck, but 39 away from home with this being their final home game of the season.
Our last trip to the Dog & Duck was a memorable one for the Cooks, coming in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup very early on in Darren Long’s short spell in the hot seat and the Cooks ran out 5-0 winners. Jack Riley (7), Dylan Wilson (35, 66), Tom Wakley (55) and a screamer from Will Bates (76) all on target for the Cooks that night. Our previous visit in the league came a few weeks before that and wasn’t such a happy one for the Cooks though as O’Connor netted against his old club five minutes into the second-half to win the game for Paul Lamb’s team.
Tuesday 11th April 2023
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – RESERVE DIVISION
O.N CHENECKS RESERVES v COGENHOE UNITED RESERVES
Old Northamptonians Sports Ground,
KO 7-45 pm
Ian Adcock takes his team to O.N Chenecks on Tuesday evening looking to build on Saturday’s 4-0 thumping of G.N.G and keep up their hopes of a top ten finish. Chenecks will be a tough challenge though with the Northampton side sitting in fourth spot on 51 points, but given the amount of games they have played, that is likely to be the highest they can finish this season.
Sam Giddens netted twice on Saturday for the Cooks, taking him to the top of the scoring charts with 8 for the season, while Mirzan Noka and Dan Talbot both scored their first goals for the club. Chenecks travelled to fellow high-flyers Newport Pagnell Town and despite leading at the break through Ryan Coxhill, they had to settle for a 1-1 draw after substitute Gianluca Zanatti pegged them back on the hour. Prior to that game they had won their previous seven and have won their last five home games, rattling in 22 goals to entertain the Billing Road faithful in the process. They have only been beaten once at home and have won nine out of fourteen, scoring 52 goals, with champions elect Harborough Town the only team to have beaten them on their own patch in the league so far, doing it in style by four goals to nil.
The game at Billing Road back in October ended goalless with the Cooks finishing the game with ten men after Harley Mallard picked up two yellow cards in the space of two seconds.