We had, kestrels, red kites, wind, rain, a rainbow, sunshine and six goals as one of the Cooks teams finally managed to play a game of football this weekend.
Sunday 8th January 2023
MILTON KEYNES VETERANS LEAGUE – DIVISION THREE
BROOKLANDS & BLAKELANDS VETS (0) 0 COGENHOE UNITED VETS (2) 6
S. Carroll 9 (pen), 48 (pen)
C. Smith 52
Reed 60 (pen)
G. Duggan 80
After a month without a game due to snow, rain and Christmas, the veterans could well have been excused a rusty start to their game in Milton Keynes today, but that certainly wasn’t the case as Oli Reynolds rounded the keeper to give his side the lead inside the first minute. It was 2-0 after 9 minutes when Steve Carroll slotted home from the penalty spot after Ricky Smith had been brought down inside the box. The B&B keeper did well to tip over a swirling shot from Sam Duggan as Cogenhoe continued to boss the game despite kicking into a strong breeze and from Paul Carroll’s ensuing corner, Gary Duggan put his shot narrowly wide from 15-yards out. Paul Carroll picked out his brother with a lovely pass and he lobbed the ball over the keeper from the edge of the box, but the wind took it wide of the target, whilst just before the 20 minute mark the home side really should have pulled one back when a cross from the left picked out the man unmarked at the far post, but he put his header wide of the target. Steve Carroll had a chance late in the first half from just inside the box on the right, but his right-foot shot went over the bar at the near post and it stayed 0-2 into the break. Brooklands had got more into the game with the wind at their backs as the half wore on, but they didn’t real trouble Stuart Schofield in goal and the Cooks were still looking the more likely to add to their tally.
Half-time; Brooklands 0 Cooks 2
No changes at the break from Sam Duggan as Cogenhoe started on top. Steve Carroll spurned a good chance early on when he didn’t get enough power behind his shot, but he didn’t have to wait long until he got another chance from the penalty spot after Oli Reynolds had been tripped going past his man as he cut in from the right side of the box. Carroll calmly slotted home his second spot-kick of the game and the lead was three with 48 minutes played. Four minutes later and Carroll turned provider as his deep cross from the left was met by a decent header from Craig Smith at the back post. His effort hit the post, but he was first to the rebound as he followed up to prod home from close range to make it 0-4 on 52 minutes. Sub Donovan Reed almost scored direct from a corner on the right when he used the wind to swing it in and the keeper had to touch it onto the crossbar., but the keeper was picking the ball out of the net again on the hour as he was beaten from the penalty spot for the third time in the game. Steve Carroll opted against a hat-trick of penalties and handed the ball to Donovan Reed who tucked his low spot-kick to keeper’s right with his trusty left-peg. Steve Carroll was far from happy when his glancing header was ruled out for offside and everybody chatted to themselves for a few minutes as the Cooks man and the referee argued their cases on the pitch. Craig Smith fired over from a good position after latching on to Steve Carroll’s pull back, then a lovely move that involved at least five Cooks players came to nothing when Steve Carroll pulled his shot wide from close range. Oli Reynolds’ shot from a tight angle was safely gathered by the keeper, then a great ball from Steve Carroll sent Lewis Hill through on goal, but he just couldn’t get to the ball ahead of the keeper as he stretched his leg out. The sixth and final goal came on 80 minutes and it was one that the wind can definitely claim the assist on. A free-kick on the touchline about ten yards inside the Brooklands half was lifted into the box by Gary Duggan and it sailed over everybody’s heads, plus the keepers outstretched arm, to drop just under the bar and into the far top corner. One final chance fell to Steve Carroll, but another hat-trick eluded him today as he shot wide from 25-yards and that was that on a chilly day in Milton Keynes.
Cooks; 1. Stuart Schofield 2. Craig Smith 3. Lee Haines (c) 4. Oli Reynolds 5. Paul Carroll 6, Steve Carroll 8. Sam Duggan 11. Phil O’Brien 12. Gary Duggan 14. Phil Hanger 16. Ricky Smith. Subs all used 7. Cormac Hamill (66 mins for 16) 8. Dan Duggan (52 mins for 8) 9. Donovan Reed (52 mins for 11) 10. Lewis Hill (60 mins for 5) 17. Rob Curry (52 mins for Haines)
Thanks to Finbarr Carroll for the photography duties and his company for this morning’s game and his photo gallery can be viewed below this report.