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Tom Wakley’s first half header enough to seal a win at Kiln Park.

Saturday 24th July 2021
Wakley 25
Att; 50
Admission £3-00

There were a few changes from last Saturday’s win at Sileby with Jamie Mastropierro, Dylan Wilson and Josh Adams all joining Jack Daldy on the absence register while Jack Riley was injured  today. This did give Craig Adams a chance to give a few reserve team players a run-out though whilst we also saw the return of Kobi Bivens and Sam Liddington to the squad. Curtis Green, JJ McCarthy, Elijah Noel and Connor Brunton stepping up for the first time while we also featured one trialist in the squad.

Up to very recently the forecast for Raunds had been pretty horrible but thankfully the thunderstorms and heavy rain was only going to dampen the south of the country now and we even had some sunshine to take the edge off the stiff breeze blowing down and across the pitch toward pay hut. The Cooks had much the better of the opening exchanges as Archie Elmore seized on an early error to make yards before playing the ball into the middle, but Tom Wakley couldn’t get enough power into his volley in the centre of the box. Jordan Orosz laid the ball inside to Bivens and his first time shot from the edge of the box was saved low by Raunds trialist keeper, then Orosz made a run across the pitch from right to left which allowed Harry Arundel to send over a good cross, but Elmore wasn’t able to keep his header on target.

Orosz won a fifty-fifty in the middle of the pitch and Patryk Cichosz burst down the right to send over a good cross that Bivens met with an acrobatic volley that took a deflection off Ryan Vale and went behind for a corner. Faz Rahman delivered the flag-kick and Lloyd Groves headed it down and towards the back stick, but neither Cichosz or Rico Alexander could get it over the line from inside the six-yard box as the keeper and Dean McBride did all they could to block the way to goal. A Rahman free-kick struck into the breeze didn’t have enough behind it to trouble the keeper, even with the last second swerve, but in the 25th minute the Cooks finally got some reward for their dominance. A good cross from Arundel from the left touchline saw Wakley rise above the keeper, Kurt Randall and Luke Aridegbe to win the header and steer it back into the now unguarded net. A brave and determined effort from the front man justly rewarded with his third goal of pre-season.

Groves went close from Rahman’s near post corner from the left, then another Rahman cross, this time from a free-kick from the same side, saw the keeper come off his line and palm the ball forward, but Groves hooked attempt to lift it back over the number one held up in the breeze and the keeper gratefully held on to it this time. Bivens lifted the ball over the keeper and into the net from Rahman’s clever lob over the top, but the flag was up for offside and it didn’t count, before Elmore had the last chance of the half after cutting past his man and hitting a low drive from just outside the box that forced the keeper to dive low to his left to make the save.

Adams made a number of changes at the break which were followed over the opening minutes after the restart meaning we had seven subs on by around the hour mark. One of them was JJ McCarthy who will give you 100% whatever the game is and he battled out on the right to beat his man and pick out Elmore in the centre and although he swivelled nicely to lose his man, he curled his shot just over the angle of bar and post on the far side. Rahman and Arundel did well down the left before the later went for the far post with a well-struck effort that was a foot wide, while minutes later Rahman saw his last action after being showed the yellow card for a very needless foul deep inside the Raunds half after initially giving the ball away cheaply.

A decent shot by Dylan Carter hit a defender and with both pace and direction taken off the ball it was easy for Craig Foxall to gather and by this time in the game the home side were having the better of the attacking play. Ed Bates had a shot blocked before some great defending by Alexander denied Geani Stanchu getting in a shot after bursting through the centre and into the Cogenhoe area. Orosz made a vital cut-out from Corey Bowden’s dangerous ball into the box. A good delivery from the right saw Biven’s free-kick into the box met by Alexander’s head, but his powerful effort flew wide of the far post, then good link-up play involving Noel, Brunton and McCarthy saw the latter cut inside the box and release a powerful left foot strike, but McBride threw himself across to block and that was that in our penultimate friendly of the season. Just Barton Rovers to come now before we head to the Waterworks Field a week on Tuesday.

Bit of a game of two-halves this one with Cogenhoe dominant in the first half with the only disappointing thing being we scored just once, but it changed as the game went on with so many changes to the Cooks personnel meaning players in unfamiliar position and a loss of our fluidity. Definite plus though has to be they way we defended and protected Foxall’s goal during Raunds good spell which meant our third clean-sheet so far in pre-season.

Next up Barton Rovers on Tuesday night at Compton Park with a 7-45 pm kick-off.

Great to meet up with Craig Hayward once again, thanks for the game and all the best in you Spartan South Midland League campaign.

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