For the second game running Tom Wakley’s first half goal secures the 3 points.
Saturday 9th October 2021
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
BUGBROOKE ST MICHAELS (0) 0 COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1
The early morning Autumn fog had cleared away to leave a very pleasant sunny afternoon in Bugbrooke as we looked to continue our winning run against our Northamptonshire rivals. Darren Long made one change with Chief Boateng coming in up front in place of Paddy Cichosz, although this meant Will Bates starting at right wing-back and Tom Wakley dropping behind Boateng and Dylan Wilson up front which is how we finished the game last weekend. There did appear to be a few changes for the home side though but they still featured former Cooks Josh Whaler, George Barnell and Ben Drinkwater in the starting eleven, plus Curtis Avery and Ronni Gibbon on the bench.
The first shot of the game came from Wilson who hooked a volley on target from 25-yards, but the ball had looped up into the air and Jake Bull saw it all the way to make a comfortable catch. A mistake a the back almost let in Drinkwater, but skipper Rico Alexander got a vital toe to the ball to take it away from the striker’s feet inside the box. Great work from Wilson just inside the box on the right saw him work his man to create space for a shot, but his powerful effort was blocked bravely by Bailey Weatherly and went wide for a corner. Josh Adams sent over another great delivery that Boateng got his head to under pressure from Barnell in the middle and the ball dropped to Wakley, who turned and steered it past the keeper to give the Cooks the lead on 10 minutes. Tom is just bubbling with confidence at the moment which is great for the team.
A great ball across the face of goal from Wilson saw Bull get a touch which just put it out of the reach of Wakley and Adams who were both looking for a tap-in, then Boateng did well to get away from his man and cut inside the box from the right, but he was penalised for a foul. Wilson sent over a cross from the right that Wakley got his head too, but couldn’t direct on target, then we saw Bugbrooke start to get themselves back into the game. Very good defending from Dan Mortimer stopped a forward getting clear inside the box, then a lovely ball across the face of the goal from Waetherly was missed by both sets of players. Greg Ling slipped a great ball through to Joe Power inside the box, but Craig Foxley came off his line quickly to make it tight and saved his shot at close range.
A free-kick taken by Calvin Green was headed wide by Weatherly, then Aiden Webster played a dangerous ball forward, but Foxall read it well. Back down the bottom end and Bates sent over a cross that Wakley won in the air, Adams came in behind him to head towards goal and as the ball dropped Bull caught it above Wilson as he challenged for the ball. Archie Culley found himself some space and took it on before hitting a good curling effort from outside the box that the keeper caught just under bar height, although for a split second it looked like it may escape his grasp. A dangerous low ball into the box from Whaler was cut out by Alexander with Drinkwater looking to pounce and the final action of the first half saw Calvin Green send in a free-kick from the right that Foxall met with a commanding punch and the Cooks took a slender one goal lead into the break.
Half-time; Badgers 0 Cooks 1
The Badgers made one change at the break with one former-Cook replacing another as Avery came on for Barnell at the back. Great defending from Bates saw him coolly chest a cross back to Foxall deep inside the box, whilst the Cooks wing-back took a good cross-field pass in his stride only to be brought down by Charlie Green and referee Aidan Murphy showed the first yellow card of the game to the Badgers defender with 47 minutes played. Culley sent in a corner that Bull punched, Alexander turned it back into the centre and Wakley’s ensuing shot was blocked on the line. Before it could be cleared properly it fell to Bates 20-yards out and he hit if first time on the volley, but couldn’t keep it below bar height.
Drinkwater went for goal with a speculative effort that flew high and wide, then Boateng was much closer with a volley from just outside the box down the other end, but not close enough to trouble the keeper. Bugbrooke took off former Cook Drinkwater for young prospect Eddie Panter ten minutes into the second half, but it was the Cooks who had the next effort as Ryan Archer went for goal from 25-yards yards with the ball ballooning into the air off Ling, but Bull managed to claim the ball before it landed as Wilson had his eye on a goal for himself.
Alexander was shown the yellow card as he stopped a breakaway by the home side with his arm, looked a little harsh from where I stood though as he would have done well to get out the way, then Avery dinked a ball over the top that Foxall came out to claim and after catching the ball Panter raised his boot and caught the Cooks keeper. Surprisingly no card and not even a lecture for the sub as Foxall received treatment before we could continue.
Mortimer, who had received a couple of warnings for fouls, committed another worthy of a yellow, but the referee seemed to be having none of it. Badgers boss Jamie Forrest was clearly upset by the lack of a card and Mr Murphy went over and showed him the yellow card for his protests, then went back on to the pitch and called over Mortimer to show him a yellow card. Bates did well to win back possession and he played the ball through for Wilson to head for goal, but Whaler came across to make a superb tackle to stop the Cooks leading scorer getting clear on goal.
Paddy Cichosz replaced Boateng on 67 minutes with the sub going to right wing-back, Bates moving into a central position and Wakley going up top. A great turn and cross from Adams on the right saw Wakley put pressure on the defender and force a corner, but Bull punched away Culley’s flag-kick, then down the other end the already cautioned Mortimer had just committed another foul before tripping his man on the edge of the box. It was a little hearts-in-mouths moment as we watched on to see if Murphy would reach into his pocket for a second yellow, but he did no such thing and Long quickly substituted the defender with Alex Vaughan coming on for his debut in a Cooks shirt. It was however prime Calvin Green territory from the free-kick though and as one of the most-deadly in the league in this situation, the danger was far from over. On this occasion he chose to go to the left of the wall and Foxall had positioned himself well to hold onto the ball comfortably and we breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Calvin Green sent over a free-kick from wide on the right that went across the box with Foxall covering. Charlie Green did come in beyond the far post and get to the ball for a heart-stopping moment from where we stood, but in reality the ball had already gone out before he’d reached it. Wilson and Charlie Green went in for a fifty-fifty with the home defender coming off worse. Bugbrooke were claiming a deliberate elbow and a straight red, but Murphy showed him the yellow and we carried on with eleven a side.
Bugbrooke were becoming more and more frustrated with the referee’s decisions and Power was sent to the sin-bin for his protestations and as we were already inside the final ten minutes it affectively ended his game. Forrest immediately made his final change with Cameron Harrison replacing Weatherly in the final throw of the dice. Culley sent over a corner that Bull just clawed away at the far post, then Tom Simmons launched a long throw that Avery headed over. Would certainly have been Avery taking the throw in the not too distant past. An old-fashioned up-and-under from Alexander saw Wakley jump with the keeper inside the box, but Bull got his hands to it and then claimed it before the Cooks man could react. Vaughan picked up a debut booking deep into stoppage time for a foul, but the referee finally blew the final whistle meaning I could stop biting my nails as we clung on to the three points.
Its now five wins in a row for the Cooks and six unbeaten. A superb run of form under Long and Ganley, but this was definitely under the category of ‘ugly wins’ and the final whistle brought a massive sigh of relief from the away contingent today. We certainly weren’t at our best and could easily have been punished if Bugbrooke had been sharper at the business end today. Having said all that though this was the second successive clean-sheet and our fourth in five games which is a superb record and one we can all be very proud of as we dug in when we had to and ground out a result against tricky opponents. My Cooks man-or-the-match today goes to Craig Foxall who commanded his box, made all the right decisions and did exactly what he had to do on the rare moments he was called upon.
Bugbrooke; 1. Jake Bull 2. Josh Whaler 3. Tom Simmons 4. Charlie Green 5. Calvin Green © 6. Greg Ling 7. George Barnell (sub Ben Avery ht) 8. Baily Weatherly (sub 14. Cameron Harrison 83) 9. Ben Drinkwater (sub 12. Eddie Panter 55) 10. Joe Power 11. Aiden Webster. Sub not used; 16. Ronni Gibbon.
Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Will Bates 3. Josh Adams 4. Dan Mortimer (sub 14. Alex Vaughan 72) 5. Jack Riley 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Ryan Archer 8. Archie Culley 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Chief Boateng (sub 12. Paddy Cichosz 67) 11. Tom Wakley. Subs not used. 15. Ben Short 16. Ceepy Logongo.
Referee; Aidan Murphy
Assts; Gary Capps & Kieron Hawthorn
We are back to midweek action on Tuesday when Eynesbury Rovers head to Compton Park. Before that the U18s travel to play Kempston Rovers on Monday night with both games getting under way at 7-45 pm.
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-RESERVE DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED Reserves 2 WELLINGBOROUGH WHITWORTH Reserves 2
Noel Sent-off 80.
The young Cooks Reserves team ended their losing streak with a creditable 2-2 draw at home to Whitworth this afternoon. Andis Vigants and Shad Reza were both on target in the first half, but we did play the last ten minutes with ten-men following the red card shown to Elijah Noel.
1 – Nathan Adamson
2 – Ollie Sljivic
3 – Elijah Noel
4 – Caleb Jones
5 – Nathan Jones ©
6 – Lorenco Soulollari
7 – Luca Iaciofano
8 – Ivandro Monteiro
9 – Ben Mason
10 – Shad Reza
11 – Andis Vigants
12 – Nathaniel Allam ( for Soulollari)
14 – Matt Fletcher ( for Iaciofano)
15 – Michael Mensah ( for Mason)