Four more goals and another clean-sheet as Athletic are depatched.
Milton Keynes Veterans League
19th Feb 2023
Cogenhoe United 4 Bicester Athletic 0
For the first time that I have watched and photographed the Cogenhoe veterans at home this season, I was forced to cross over the pitch away from my usual vantage point with the sun blazing into my face for the first time making it impossible for me to photograph from my usual spot.
Bicester took the kick-off and were soon on the attack down their left wing, but Dan Hanger was wide awake to the danger and snuffed out any further advance and cleared the ball.
The first chance from the Cooks came after a great pass from Paul Carroll to Craig Smith saw a shot from Smith that forced a save out of the Bicester keeper.
Some neat play from Paul Carroll saw him get a cross over from his left wing with a Bicester defender fouling him after the ball had left his feet, Paul Carroll was not happy with what had just happened to him and we then saw a bit of handbags between the 2 players resulting in the pair of them seeing a yellow card each.
Some more good defensive work from Cooks Dan Hanger saw him make a tackle then put through a good ball to Lewis Hill who received the ball and after a touch was able to get a shot off from 35yards but his effort went just over the bar.
The game for long periods was pretty even between the two sides and Bicester hadn’t turned up to Compton Park to rollover, in fact, they seemed to be that keen to play this game that most of their players had turned up to play before a lot of the home players had as they were not leaving anything to chance with any traffic problems travelling from Bicester.
In the 28th Minute some superb play from Cogenhoe player Ollie Reynolds saw him beat a couple of defenders and get a shot off that well saved by the keeper blocking the ball getting his whole body between the ball and his goal, the ball eventually ended up with Steve Carroll to the right of goal and after getting the ball under control, Steve Carroll fired the ball across and into the far corner of the net.
There were 2 players on the pitch that had no clue whatsoever what had just happened and one of them being Steve Carroll’s brother Paul who had just been head-butted on the halfway line by a Bicester player, but as the ref had not seen it, nothing resulted from the altercation except the referee asking both captains to get both sets of players to behave. 1-0.
The Cogenhoe back four of Dan Hanger, Sam Duggan, Mark Dent and skipper Lee Haines were playing solidly not allowing much to get past them to bother their goalkeeper Stuart Schofield. Midfielders Craig Smith, Ricky Smith and Ollie Reynolds were all putting a shift in and always trying to get the ball forward at every opportunity.
Cooks Paul Carroll was unlucky not to score when he had a shot stopped by a Bicester defender who (my photo show’s it clearly but there is no VAR in vets footbal, yet!) from inside the goal, stopped the ball with the ball hitting both his arms.
With time in the first half fast running out, a superb ball up field from Dan Hanger found team-mate Lewis Hill who seeing the keeper off his line, fired the ball from fully 30yards into the net. 2-0.
The second half saw Cooks on the front foot and it wasn’t long before they went further ahead when centre-forward Lewis Hill picked the ball up and ran at goal outpacing the defenders around him and with the Bicester keeper coming off his line to narrow down the angle, Lewis Hill squeezed the ball between the outstretched hand of the goalie and the upright to put Cooks 3 goals up. 3-0.
It was after going three goals in front that Cogenhoe introduced a fleet of substitutes with Rob Curry, Gary Duggan, Cormac Hamill, Donnie Reed and Phil O’Brien coming on. It wasn’t long before Phil O’Brien got into the swing of things on his right wing when he nutmegged a defender, drawing audible gasps from the Bicester players around him.
Cogenhoe forward Steve Carroll was unlucky not to double his goal tally for the day when his shot, well placed from the edge of the area saw it defended between a Bicester player and the upright.
With the game nearly over and done with, up stepped Donnie Reed on the left wing who, after beating a defender, shot from distance catching the Bicester keeper unawares watching the ball fly over him into the net. 4-0.
Another fine win for Cogenhoe and with the opponents scheduled to be played today not turning up, Cooks now go 6 points ahead in the table with another clean sheet today and 540 minutes since last conceding in the league with a goal difference of plus 61.
Lee Haines (c)
Cogenhoe Utd vs Mereway Sapphires. NFA Veterans Cup. Compton Park back pitch, 26th Feb, 10.30.
Report and photos supplied by Finbarr Carroll.