Despite a decent start, Cogenhoe were made to look poor by an Eynesbury side who have been struggling themselves.
Saturday 11th December 2021
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
EYNESBURY ROVERS (0) 2 COGENHOE UNITED (0) 0
Hatch 63, 67 (pen)
After two disappointing home draws, the Cooks travelled to face an Eynesbury side who had won just once in the last 15 games hoping for better fortunes. Jack Riley joined Paddy Cichosz on the naughty step as he served his one match ban, so Darren Long moved Ryan Archer back into the defence and Ivandro Monteiro took his place in midfield. The rest of the team remained as they were against Desborough whilst Rovers were forced into changes of their own as they had three players out suspended. Daz took on the roles of manager and physio today in the absence of Steve Ganley in a half-empty away dug out at The Alfred Hall Memorial Ground. The pitch was in superb condition and a credit to the groundsmen, especially after the wet weather we have seen recently, whilst the December leaden skies posed a threat of nastier things to come as we arrived with a fine-drizzle in the Huntingdonshire air.
Cogenhoe started with intent as Tom Wakley burst down the right wing, but couldn’t beat the first defender with his cross just before Jordan Brown broke down the other end only to see his cross cut out by Dan Mortimer for a corner that they couldn’t take advantage of. A huge kick from Craig Foxall bounced once before going into the box and Dylan Wilson put enough pressure on to keeper Jonah Gill and defender Ben Walsh to make sure they couldn’t clear and he won the ball back to the left of goal, but although he sent over a decent cross, Archie Culley wasn’t able to get to it at the opposite post.
James Hatch found a gap in the middle of the defence as he slipped the ball through for Andy Sinclair, but it had a little too muck on it and Foxall gathered the ball up safely. We gave the ball away inside the home sides half and allowed them to break quickly through the lively Jordan Brown and he worked Rico Alexander on the edge of the box before placing a low shot to Foxall’s right, but the Cooks keeper dived to get a hand to the ball and turn it around the post. Lovely play from the Eynesbury man and a great save needed to keep the game scoreless. The corner was won in the air by Jack Uttridge and again Foxall was called upon as he touched the ball onto the bar and over for another corner.
Play was fairly even at this point with the Cooks having plenty of play in the Rovers’ half, but it was the hosts who were looking the more dangerous when they broke away. Dan Mortimer, who it turns out was playing although not really well enough to do so as we were so short at the back, caught Brown on the half-way line as the wide-man looked to have got the better of the Cooks player and subsequently went into referee Aimee Kier’s notebook. She then teased us though as she first brandished a red card, but quickly put that back in her pocket and showed him the yellow instead. Wakley was tripped by James Duckett to hand the Cooks a sight of goal with a 25-yard free-kick just to the left of centre, but Archie Cullley’s low ball went straight through to the keeper.
Mortimer did well to win the ball and a great pass from Wilson picked out Wakley inside the box on the right, but I’m not sure if he shot or tried to lift the ball into the middle as it looped wide of the far post. Will Bates and Archie Elmore combined to win a corner on the right and a great delivery by Josh Adams saw Gill just manage to get his hand to the ball under pressure, but gave Adams another chance to swing one in. It was a similar ball from the Cooks youngster and this time the keeper managed to get both gloves on the ball as he jumped with Bates, but the ball then hit the far post and when Bates tried to turn it in, he hit the same post again. Monteiro played it back into the middle but this time Eynesbury were able to get the ball clear. Cooks continued to have a good spell with Wakley given offside from a great Wilson flick and then Elmore and Culley, the latter with a free-kick, got decent balls into the box without us really looking like scoring.
The tide started to turn though after a decent fifteen minutes as Eynesbury got themselves going forward again. A great move ended when Hatch saw his low shot from just inside the box saved by Foxall, then Sinclair found Romaine Walker on the left and he got past Adams, only to find Mortimer covering with a good challenge. A high ball in from the left saw Foxall jump above the head of Hatch on the edge of the 6-yard box, but the loose ball wasn’t attacked by a blue shirt as it came down inside the box and Cogenhoe cleared their lines. Mortimer was a little late on Brown to give the home side a free-kick just outside the box and Walker sent in a shot that curled wide of the keeper’s right-hand post as he dived across.
After a decent fifteen-minute spell from the Cooks, the home side were now on top, but we really weren’t helping ourselves as we continuously gave the ball away and conceded a number of needless free-kicks along the way. Alexander slid in well to cut out a Tom Spark cross from the right, but we had fallen back into the long-ball game leaving Wilson and Wakley with little chance of making anything happen down the other end. A vital cut out by Adams started a good passing move from the Cooks that unfortunately didn’t go anywhere, then Andy Sinclair cut inside and found himself in plenty of space, but his shot from 25-yards out floated harmlessly over the bar. Culley played a free-kick square to Archer who dinked it over the defence for Elmore to run on to, but the youngster had strayed offside and the referee soon brought the first half to a close.
Half-time; Rovers 0 Cooks 0
One change at the break as the poorly Mortimer was forced to come off and Alex Vaughan came on to replace him in the defence. Alexander played a ball up towards Wakley and he hit it early from just outside the box, but Gill got down to hold the shot comfortably, then Eynesbury did well through Hatch as he found Brown in space on the edge of the box, but his powerful strike was straight at Foxall who got both hands to the shot. Rovers very nearly broke the deadlock when Scott Sinclair rose well to win a header and Hatch played Walker through inside the box on the right and he hit a bullet of a shot that beat Foxall, but thudded against the base of the near post. A fifty-fifty clash of heads between Bates and Walsh saw the home player come off worse and the physio was forced to come onto the field for the first time in the game, although Bates took a moment or two to gather his senses, he got up and was able to continue without the use of a magic sponge.
Eynesbury had been knocking at the door for some time and they took a deserved lead with a simple goal after 63 minutes, just as the drizzle turned into persistent and heavy rain at Hall Road. Brown found himself with a lot of space inside our box on the right and he slipped it across the area for an unmarked James Hatch who just had to side foot the ball into the empty net in the centre. Elmore made way for Chief Boateng before the restart as Long tried to get his side going after the poor start to the second half, but it was the home side who extended their lead on 67 minutes. Again we were opened up completely as Brown’s pace saw him race clear from a simple through ball and he took it past Foxall at pace inside the box, but the keeper caught him and sent him crashing to the ground. My initial thoughts were a red card for the Cooks keeper, but referee Kier had seen that we had a covering defender running in from behind so only issued a yellow card to Craig. Hatch calmly sent the keeper the wrong way as he rolled home the spot-kick and the Cooks found themselves 2-0 down with just over twenty minutes left to play.
It was almost three minutes later when Hatch thought he had bagged a hat-trick with his header from a corner, but Foxall threw himself to his right to make yet another great save at full stretch. Rob Sinclair’s first change saw his brother Scott come off for Rob Duckett with 74 minutes played. Foxall was caught in a fifty-fifty challenge inside the box and needed some treatment before he could carry on, but Rovers should have added another when he stayed down as a shot from an angle was fired into the side-netting when there were two unmarked players shouting for the ball in the middle.
Culley swept a nice ball out to Bates on the flank, but his cross was cut out leaving Eynesbury breaking quickly again and Alexander made a crunching tackle that assistant Steve Hoare flagged for and the Cooks skipper became the second player to go into the book with eleven minutes remaining. More changes saw Aidan Vaughan replace Walker for the home side, whilst Bates came off to give Jack Norman a run out for the final seven minutes. A good break from Eynesbury involving Arnis Iala, Brown and Hatch saw the latter slip as he went to shoot and Foxall gathered the ball at the far post, then in a rare moment down the bottom end, a couple of Eynesbury players collided as they went for the same ball, but Boateng’s cross went straight into the waiting arms of Gill at the near post.
A jinking run by Brown saw Alexander block his shot on the edge of the box, then Foxall got down to save a shot from well outside the area from Rob Duckett. Wakley won a free-kick off of Rob Duckett wide on the right and Adams sent it into the box. It came back across the area off a defender’s head and Wakley didn’t have the confidence to go for goal with his header and headed it back to whence it came where the home defence successfully cleared their area. Jordan Brown had the last chance of the game as he drove a low shot across the goal that forced Foxall to make another great save and the keeper really was he only reason that the home side weren’t celebrating their biggest win of the season tonight.
Without doubt Craig Foxall has to be the Cooks man-of-the-match today with some superb saves to keep Eynesbury down to just two. The home side were worthy winners and I don’t mean any disrespect to them, but they were made to look like champions by a very poor Cogenhoe performance, when in reality they are probably a mid-table team at best. I would normally add a few positive comments to the end of my report at this point, but honestly apart from a spell in the first half, we were second best by some way today. Miss placed passes, poor clearances and getting caught in possession are killing us at the moment and we all know that these players are capable of doing so much better. We are in poor run of form and confidence is very low at the moment, so the players need to think about this performance and give the Cooks supporters who made the trip today something to erase the memory when we host Easington Sports in a week’s time.
Well done to Eynesbury today, lovely people over there and always a pleasant welcome.
Eynesbury; 1. Jonah Gill 2. Tom Spark 3. Ben Walsh 4. Scott Sinclair (sub 15. Rob Duckett 74) 5. Jack Uttridge 6. James Duckett © 7. Romaine Walker (sub 16. Aidan Vaughan 83) 8. Andy Sinclair (sub 14. Arnis Iala 68) 9. James Hatch 10. Josh Page 11. Jordan Brown. Sub not used; 12. Byron Lee-Clarke.
Cooks; 1. Craig Foxall 2. Will Bates (sub 15. Jack Norman 80) 3. Josh Adams 4. Dan Mortimer (sub 14. Alex Vaughan HT) 5. Ryan Archer 6. Rico Alexander © 7. Archie Culley 8. Ivandro Monteiro 9. Dylan Wilson 10. Archie Elmore (sub 12. Chief Boateng 63) 11. Tom Wakley.
Yellow cards; Mortimer (14) Foul. Alexander (79) Foul.
Referee; Aimee Kier
Assts; Laurie Evans & Steve Hoare
UHLPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-RESERVE DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (3) 4 DESBOROUGH TOWN Reserves (2) 4
Obeng 41, 44
W. Russell 62
After losing 6-1 and 10-1 at Desborough earlier in the season, this result shows the hard work everyone has put into the reserves team as the picked up a point in an eight-goal thriller.
Gary Fletcher gave a debut to keeper Ben Westwood who joined the club this week from Irchester and we welcomed back Ceepy Logongo after a long spell on the sidelines, whilst we made good use of Jessi Obeng’s holiday from University in Newcastle as he bagged two goals this afternoon.
Lorenco Soulollari netted our first after 26 minutes, then a quickfire double from Obeng after 41 and 44 saw us go into the break in the lead. Will Russell netted on 62 minutes, but Ar Tarn matched us with four goals of their own.
1 – Ben Westwood
2 – Samuel Mensah
3 – Lorenco Soulollari
4 – Ben Short
5 – Nat Allam
6 – Jake Walpole ©
7 – Jessi Obeng
8 – Nick Fleming
9 – Ben Mason
10 – Ceepy Longono
11 – Will Russell
Subs all used;
12 – James McGrath
14 – Kelvin Gyamfi
15 – Emmanuel Owusu
16 – Isaac Appiah