After seven straight losses, Bailey Weatherly’s second half goal proved enough to secure all three points at home to Godmanchester Rovers.
Saturday 28Th October 2023
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE – PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 1 GODMANCHESTER ROVERS (0) 0
The Cooks welcomed Godmanchester Rovers to Compton Park on the final day of British Summertime and one short shower aside, the sun shone on Compton Park as two teams struggling for form went head-to-head. There was a blustery breeze blowing from dug-out to stand which would make things a little tricky for the players though. Scott Carlin made a few changes from the team that fell away against Easington on Tuesday night with Luke Bullement, Ben Dimond, Jack Connor and Sonny Knights all starting, while Callum Swain returned on the bench. Shama Bako, Jai Newell-Hollely both dropped down to the bench, Damien Osoimoejiokhian reverted to the defence with Earl Atat, Dalton Leon and Charlie Pearson all missing out today.
Dylan Wilson got up well to win the ball in the air and flick it into the path of Connor on the right and he took the ball into the box before firing over from an angle on the right. Harley Mallard headed out a Ezedin Yesuf corner and Ben Tait fed Lewis Lembikisa inside the box on the right with a good ball, but Adam North was behind his low shot all the way. Troy Johnston won the ball in his own half and Kieron Mobbs sent Connor into the box on the left, but a very timely challenge left us with just a throw-in. Goddy skipper Tom Spark had gone down injured early in that move and despite the attention of his physio, he was unable to continue and Matt Green took his place with just 12 minutes played. Great work by Connor in the middle of the Goddy half saw him hold off the challenge of two defenders, but his pass to Knights had a little too much on it and keeper Ben Newton raced off his line to clear the ball.
Mobbs was fouled wide on the right in a similar position to our goal on Tuesday night and Callum Farmer sent in a similar free-kick, but this one was slightly too deep and although Connor did manage to stretch and get his head to it, he could only direct the ball the wrong side of the post. Johnston won a header in the middle of the park and Mobbs played it inside to Knights who took a touch before hitting a decent shot from 25-yards that Newton got both hands to before claiming the ball at the second attempt. Bullement whipped in a cross from the right touchline that Newton caught comfortably before Connor ran onto a Knights flick, but neither he or his marker could get the ball out of their feet in the tangle and when it came out to Bullement just outside the box, the wing-back hit it first time with a bullet of a shot that skimmed the side-netting.
Osoimoejiokhian lofted the ball into the box and despite being off-balance, Knights still managed to get a shot on target that Newton dealt with comfortably. Osoimoejiokhian was soon down the other end making a great challenge inside the box after Tait had played in Yesuf and when North launched the ball down the field, Connor got up to win the ball and Knights played it into the run of Mobbs, but he was denied a shot by a great challenge from Alfie-Ray Turner. The Cooks were desperately close to taking the lead just before the break when an Farmer corner played into the wind almost went straight in with Ruari O’Boyle doing really well to hook it off the line in spectacular fashion, but the ball only went to the edge of the box where Osoimoejiokhian met it on the volley forcing Newton into a great save as he touched it onto the bar with his glove, with Wilson then winning his header only for it to be touched behind for a corner. Pretty much the luck of a team struggling for points and goals, but a great save from the Goody keeper.
Goalless at the break and apart from the odd moment, a dour 45-minutes with far more offsides than chances.
Half-Time; Cooks 0 Goddy 0
The second half started with the visitors on the attack without threatening the Cooks defence at all and when we broke, former Cooks player Linus Kusi kicked Wilson off the ball, which was spotted by assistant referee Kevan Atkins. The free-kick was awarded and Kusi shown the yellow card by Daniel Miller, but Wilson’s effort from 30-yards out hit the wall and Knights fired the rebound over the top from 15-yards out. Goddy suffered another setback with Owen Wallis unable to continue and he limped off to be replaced by Under-18s player Martin Hill with 51 minutes gone. Johnston picked up his usual booking after catching Dom Butkus late as he stopped the visitors breaking and before play restarted Carlin made his first change with Bailey Weatherly coming on for Connor a minute shy of the hour.
The Cooks sub was quickly into the action as he won the ball in the air sending Mobbs running into the box from the left, but a very good challenge from Green denied him just as he was about to shoot. Mobbs took the resulting throw-in quickly to pick out Knights inside the box and he hit a shot on the turn that was heading for the far bottom corner had Newton not dived at a stretch to turn the ball wide for a corner. Farmer sent it in and although Knights won it cleanly in the air, his header didn’t have enough power to beat the keeper. Two quick subs ensued with Jesse Manu replacing the now struggling Butkus who never fully recovered from Troy’s cchallnge on 65 and then Knights made way for Bako two minutes later.
Mobbs turned well from the left corner of the box and hit a low shot that Newton had to get down to and save at the near post just before the Cooks third change saw Alex Parkes take over from Johnston in the centre of the park with 73 minutes played. Goddy probably should have taken the lead when a cross played in from the right picked out an unmarked Manu just beyond the near post, but I’m assuming there was no call and he was challenged by his teammate Yesuf with the result being his heading going wide of the target. Mobbs made way for Newell-Hollely on 76 minutes and two minutes later the Cooks had the lead. A through ball was flicked on by Wilson with Weatherly cutting inside the box from the left before firing over the keeper with a curling, dipping effort that flew into the net at the far post. Great finish from Weatherly, not too dissimilar to his match-winner in Bedfont.
North had to come to the edge of his box catch Mallard’s back-header with Manu in pursuit, while late changes for both sides saw AJ Myles come on for Lembikisa after 82 and Swain replace Osoimeojiokhian three minutes later as the clock ran down. Weatherly switched play with a good ball looking to play in Swain, but Newton came out of his box to clear with the Cooks managing out the five minutes of stoppage time without drama, they ended the losing streak with a vital win over the team that had started the day one place above them.
After recent results this wasn’t far off being a must-win game for the Cooks and even though the game was very scrappy and short on entertainment, it was probably just what the Cooks needed today with Bailey Weatherly’s superbly taken 78th minute goal enough to earn all three points. Rovers’ keeper Ben Newton had made three very good saves during the game, the one denying Damien Osoimoejiokhian the pick of the bunch, which does underline the fact that the Cooks deserved the win today without playing that well in truth. Paul’s man-of-the-match today goes to Sonny Knights on his return from injury, but the whole performance was a marked improvement on Tuesday night with Weatherly stealing the headlines.
Next up for the Cooks is another home game next Saturday as we host St Neots Town. This is a late change as our scheduled opponents Ayslestone Park now travel to Skegness in the KO Cup after today’s match programme had already gone to the printers.
Cooks; 1. Adam North 2. Luke Bullement 3. Damien Osoimoejiokhian (sub 14. Callum Swain 85) 4. Troy Johnston (sub 12. Alex Parkes 73) 5. Ben Dimond 6. Harley Mallard © 7. Kieron Mobbs (sub 17. Jai Newell-Hollely 76) 8. Callum Farmer 9. Jack Connor (sub 16. Bailey Weatherly 59) 10. Sonny Knights (sub 15. Shama Bako 67) 11. Dylan Wilson.
Rovers; 1. Ben Newton 2. Alfie-Ray Turner 3. Ruari O’Boyle 4. Owen Wallis (sub 16. Martin Hill 51) 5. Linus Kusi 6. Tom Spark © (sub 12. Matt Green 12) 7. Ezedin Yesuf 8. Sam Tagg 9. Dom Butkus (sub 14. Jesse Manu 65) 10. Ben Tait 11. Lewis Lembikisa (sub 15. AJ Myles 82).
Referee; Daniel Miller
Assts; Gary Capps & Kevan Atkins
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