Rothwell Corinthians put up a battle, but it was the Cooks who made progress with a 3-2 victory.
Saturday 27th August 2022
ISUZU F.A VASE – 1ST ROUND QUALIFYING
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 3 ROTHWELL CORINTHIANS (1) 2
Anderson 25 (pen)
Bird (OG) 72
Both sides made changes from last weeks game between the two sides as Scott Carlin gave a start to Louie Martin in place of the unavailable Luke Andrews, whilst on the bench he brought in Josh Jones who has impressed in the reserves recently, Luca Purse, Lewis Green, Callum Farmer and Dylan Carlin all came in on the bench with seven subs allowed in the F.A Vase (although you can only use three). The Cooks were also without the working Luca iaciofano, Josh Adams and Owen Brooks who has decided to take a rest from football. Rothwell had a change in management in midweek and new boss Jordan Henson had to do without himself after picking up a back injury and Carlton Beardmore dropped to the bench. Brandon Beardmore was originally named on the bench, but actually started following the no-show of Nathan Bobowicz who they had re-signed recently from Blisworth, while Aaron Lingley stepped back into the starting line-up.
In a reverse of last week’s game, Rowell made the early running with the Cooks hardly getting out of their own half for the first ten minutes, with Regan Saunt saving a Jurelle Phillip effort, then taking a high cross cleanly under pressure from Corinthians skipper Connor Bird. Saunt got down at his near post to save a low effort from Zac Allen, then a horrible slice wide from a Rowell player was somehow given as a corner. Luke McDonald sent in a good cross from the right that saw Martin stoop to send a powerful header on target, but Jude O’Connor made a very good save to keep him out. Beardmore did well with an angled run just outside the box as he held off the challenge of Harley Mallard before forcing a good save out of Saunt with a well struck shot, then the Cooks keeper punched clear the ensuing corner.
Jessi Obeng did well to get past a couple of challenges as he worked his way into the box from the right, but his attempted pass to McDonald was cut out by O’Connor’s outstretched arm and his defence got the ball away, but on 25 minutes the Cooks got their noses in front. Pharrell Anderson provider and scorer as he burst into the box with pace before being brought down by a Rowell defender. Anderson took the penalty himself and stroked it to the left as the keeper dived the other way.
With the Cooks now having the lead, they started to look far more comfortable with the ball and a good move came when McDonald curled the ball into the box, Martin and Anderson combined before Obeng touched it into the path of McDonald and he forced another good save from O’Connor with his close-range shot. Alex Parkes fed Obeng inside the box on the right and he tried to take it wide of O’Connor before hitting a low shot that the keeper did really well to get down and save. There was a really contentious issue that blew up out of nothing as Aaron Lingley clearly slapped Parkes in the face off the ball. The referee didn’t see it, but the assistant did and after speaking with the ref, he only brandished a yellow card rather than the red we had all anticipated.
Martin drilled a 30-yard free-kick straight at the wall, then with 41 minutes played the visitors found an equaliser. We probably should have got the ball away as Rothwell kept possession inside our box on the right, but it was played back to an unmarked Marcel Rzeszutek around 12-yards out and he a sweet first time shot that gave Saunt no chance at all. I think this would be classed as one of those goals that you consider a little soft when you concede, but well taken if you score it. Obeng’s touch sent Anderson running into the box and from pretty much the same position as the penalty, he was sent tumbling to the ground by a defender, but this time there was no flag and referee Ali Cera waved away the Cooks appeals. Dom Page was shown the yellow card shortly afterwards and we soon headed in for the break.
HALF-TIME; COOKS 1 CORINTHIANS 1
Cooks were forced into a change at the break as Gough came off with a knee injury and was replaced by Louie Barrett. Bates took over the armband and also the centre-half role with the sub going wide right.
Brad Marshall was just wide with a header from McDonald’s free-kick, then Barrett seized on mistake at the back by Liam Merrick and he laid it back to Obeng, but his pass to Martin was cut out. Obeng won a corner and Briggs’ delivery was a good one, but Marshall just couldn’t get behind his attempted header under pressure from two red shirts. Allen’s shot struck Mallard and went behind for a corner that Saunt touched away in the centre, then a great pass from Jude Rodwell was met with a powerful header from Bird. but Saunt got down to make the save.
McDonald played a free-kick into the box that Marshall won in the air, but it just wouldn’t fall for Bates to get in a shot as the defence descended on him in the middle. Martin was subbed off on 62 minutes as Josh Jones was handed his first team debut. Rzeszutec fired just wide after playing a neat one-two with Rodwell, then down the other end Briggs wasn’t too far wide with his 25-yard free-kick. The Cooks final change came on 71 minutes when Briggs came off injured and Lewis Green came on to make his debut.
A minute later the Cooks retook the lead, although they had a large slice of lick in doing so. Anderson hit a good low shot that O’Connor saved with his feet, but the ball struck Connor Bird and flew back past the stranded keeper and into his own net. A few minutes later the visitors were reduced to ten men for the next ten minutes when Bird’s afternoon got even worse when he was sent to the sin-bin for carrying on arguing with the referee. O’Connor did really well as he came off his line to block a powerful shot from Anderson at close range. Green and Obeng exchanged passes before the later played the ball up to Anderson on the edge of the box and he set Obeng for a shot, but it was too close to the keeper to cause him any problems.
Rowell made their first change of the game on 80 minutes when Jakub Toth replaced Beardmore, but it was Cogenhoe who were now having the best of the play as Jones made a good run through the middle to win a corner. Anderson did well on the right before clipping the ball back to Jones just inside the box and he hit a stunning volley that looped over the keeper and found the far top corner of the net. Early candidate for goal of the season and a debut goal for the youngster. 3-1 to the Cooks with 82 minutes gone and it really should now be a case on managing the game out.
Barrett did really well as he got past his man and cut inside another, but he couldn’t find a teammate and when the ball ran loose, he was beaten to it by O’Connor. The Cooks were left frustrated again as neither Barrett or Obeng could get in a shot inside the box whilst down the other end, a good cross from Rodwell was met at the far post by a very good header from Phillip that Saunt got his fingertips to and pushed onto the post. Bird came back on the field after his sin-bin ended and was thrown up front by Henson for the last five minutes. The impressive Rodwell was subbed late on with Ben Eldred taking his place and as they pushed forward looking to get back into the game they were denied by some very good defending by Mallard. The game was already three minutes into added time when Phillip received the ball at an awkward height on the left corner of the box when he appeared to bring the ball under control with his hand and as it dropped fired an unstoppable shot into the far top corner. I think we were all waiting for the whistle to go for a free-kick, but instead the referee gave the goal. Seconds after the kick-off he then blew the final whistle and it was the Cooks who progressed into the next round.
Back-to-back wins for the Cooks, but we were nowhere near as impressive as we were last week and struggled to raise the tempo they had dictated seven days before. Rothwell were much better certainly, and gave us much more of a game this time around, but a win is a win and its now three unbeaten for the boys with a trip to Eynesbury Rovers next up on Tuesday night.
Paul’s man-of-the-match is Pharrell Anderson, created and scored the first, his shot created the second, before he set up the third. Regan Saunt ran him a close second with some vital saves. We did just enough today to win the game today and were overall ok, but we will need a little more than this against the top teams in our league, having said that nobody had a poor game for us either.
Special mention to Rowell’s keeper Jude O’Conner who was superb both today and last Saturday.
Cooks; 1. Regan Saunt 2. Harley Mallard 3. Kodi Briggs (sub 16. Lewis Green 71) 4. Alex Parkes 5. Brad Marshall 6. Ben Gough © (sub 15. Louie Barrett HT) 7. Will Bates 8. Luke McDonald 9. Pharrell Anderson 10. Jessi Obeng 11. Louie Martin (sub Josh Jones 71). Subs not used; 12. Luca Purse 17. Ash Masumbuko 18. Callum Farmer 20. Dylan Carlin.
Yellow card; Obeng (27) Foul.
Rothwell; 1. Jude O’Connor 2. Owen Wells 3. Aaron Lingley 4. Liam Merrick 5. Connor Bird © 6. Dom Page 7. Jude Rodwell 8. Marcel Rzeszutek 9. Jurelle Phillip 10. Brandon Beardmore (sub 16. Jukub Toth 80) 11. Zac Allen. Subs not used; 12. Ben Eldred 14. Nathan Bobowicz 15. Carlton Beardmore.
Yellow cards; Lingley (34) Violent conduct. Page (45) Foul.
Sin-bin; Bird (75).
Referee; Ali Cera (Leicester)
Assts; Mark Watkins & unknown.