Winning end to season for Cooks.
Headers from skipper Luke Stone and his deputy Ryan Dove see off Harborough Town at Compton Park.
Saturday 29th April 2017
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 2 v HARBOROUGH TOWN (0) 1
Cooks; Stone 22 Dove 82
Bees; Tuksar 71
The final game of the 2016/17 season seems to have come around very quickly and Tom Chapman made just two changes from the side that drew at Wellingborough Town on Easter Monday. Stuart Lutter was unavailable so youth team keeper Dan Ross stepped in for his first team debut. I have seen Dan in action pre-season for the Reserves and also for the Under-18s and was confident the youngster would be decent understudy for our most experienced player. Dan Smith also returned at left back after missing the last few games in place of the injured Jacob Gartland. The bench saw reserve duo Joe Shanley and George Barnell (my joint men-of-the-match last weekend) step up to first team duty, although I’m not sure George was actually there!
It's not unusual to find a stiff breeze blowing towards the village at Compton Park and today that was the case once more. Cogenhoe had it at their backs for the first half and were soon putting pressure on the visitor’s back four. Luke Stone played a through-ball for Matty Long to chase, but Harborough keeper Glen Giles was quick off his line and launched the ball onto the Brafield Road. Long then turned Harry May, who caught the Cooks striker on the ankle, but the referee played advantage as Long sent over a cross, but Giles took in confidently on the edge of his six-yard box. Stone played a good ball out to Ryan Ansell on the right and he cut inside before firing in a low shot that Giles had to stretch to turn around the post one handed. Ansell’s corner was a good one and Giles had to come off his line and punch the ball clear, catching his skipper Ben Williams around the head in the process. Long got away from his man as he ran after a big clearance and sent over a dangerous cross, but it cut out just in front of Ryan Dove. Giles was once again out to the edge of his area to pip Long to the ball, then Dove steered a header wide to Ansell who played a low ball across the box, but it was just too far ahead of Long for him to get on the end of.
Harborough got the ball in the Cogenhoe box from a Harry May free-kick and Williams got up to head it across the box, but there was no yellow shirt able to get near it and when Greg Usher tried to cross it back in from the far side, his cross went straight behind for a goal-kick. Another May free-kick, this time from the left, saw Dove get up and steer a header back to Ross. A dangerous looking Long ball into the box was turned behind by Callum Milne and Tuck swung the corner in to the near post, where Luke Stone stooped to steer his header past everyone and into the net to give Cogenhoe a deserved lead after 22 minutes. His 11th goal of the season.
Munya Matiyenga made a great interception on the edge of his own box as Usher tried to turn and the full back broke out of defence before playing it out to Ansell, but his touch was a bit heavy and the move broke down. Alex Lowery switched play with a looping ball the out to Dove and he took it in his stride superbly to play it first time across the box, but Giles read it well and dived on it before Long could get there. Long whipped a ball in and Dove got the first touch, but although it was on target, it was too close to the keeper to cause him any problems. Harborough’s leading scorer Barnes Gladman got inside Tuck and delivered a low ball that Usher wasn’t too far away from as he tried to flick it at goal. Matty Long then gave away a corner when he over hit the ball as he tried to lay it back to Smith. May took it and picked out Williams, who got a decent header at goal, but Matiyenga was there to clear the ball off the line.
Another cross from Long bounced awkwardly for the defender and shot up over his head with Dove just behind him. The Cooks striker really connected with his shot, but Giles made a great reflex save to acrobatically parry the ball away. Ansell reacted quickly to get to the rebound and fired the ball past the keeper, but this time Callum Traynor was backing up and blocked his effort just in front of the line. Tuck played a good one-two with Long to get into the box, but he path was blocked before he could get a shot in. Milne then tried to find a teammate with a header but Ansell nipped in to steal back possession and although he could have tried a shot, he chose to try and lay it inside to Long, but it was a yard or so too far ahead of his run.
It was a bit of a scrappy first half at times if truth be told, but Glen Giles had been forced into a few good saves and Harborough had him to thank for still being in this as we went into the break.
Half-time; Cogenhoe Utd 1 Harborough T 0.
Smith showed some good control of an awkward ball and lifted it forward for Long, but some excellent defending from Milne tidied things up for the visitors as he guided the ball back to his keeper. Dan Ross hadn’t really had too much to do, but he caught an awkward May free-kick well. Dove and Ansell both showed nice touches before Long played it wide to Stone, who played it back inside to Dove who met it with a well struck first time volley that flew across Giles and not too far wide of the far post. Great determination form Tuck saw him win the ball and get into the box. Giles was quick off his line and narrowed the angle and he got a vital touch to it as Tuck tried to pull it back across. Matiyenga went into the book for pulling back Tuksar after the full back had been caught in possession.
Dove got a flick header onto Cayton’s long throw and it was just asking to be turned in as it went through the six-yard box, but instead a went untouched and inches wide of the far post. Cogenhoe had a bit of luck on their side as a high ball into the box caught the wide and I’m not sure if Ross got his fingertips to it or not, but it came back into play off the underside of the bar. Luck stayed with us moments later as Gladman got away from Cayton in the centre and burst through the middle. Matiyenga came across, but appeared to stumble at the vital time leaving the Harborough striker clean through. However, the referee ruled that Gladman had fouled Munya and I dare say he is no longer on Harborough Town’s Christmas card list!
Matiyenga’s throw was turned wide by Long to Ansell and his cross was steered goalwards by Tuck, but once more Giles got down well to save. A few of the Harborough players had been less than happy with referee Nick Fuller and after a handball decision had been given against his team, the frustrated Gladman said too much and became the second player to be shown the yellow card this afternoon. Long was fouled on the edge of the box just to the right side of the goal. Tuck stepped up and his effort was heading for the back of the net, but Giles dived to his left to push the ball round the post for another good save.
Joel Konteh played a ball up to Usher on the edge of the box and he turned to get in a shot, but it was blocked at close range by Cayton. This signalled the first change of the day with May, who appeared to be limping, making way for Harvey Morgan and seeing a bit of a shuffle for The Bees. Tuck was penalised for a foul on Konteh just inside the Harborough half and Konteh played a great ball across the park that picked out Dino Tuksar’s run. The wide man’s first touch was superb and his second saw him fire an unstoppable shot past Ross and the scores were level after 71 minutes. A very good goal at any level, but disappointing for Cogenhoe who had defended so well in this game.
Cogenhoe were soon pushing for a winner and Stone played a ball up to Long on the corner of the box. He turned neatly and curled a shot towards the far corner, but again Giles dived across to make another good save. Lowery got his head to Tuck’s corner and first Long and then Stone couldn’t get in a shot in the crowded six-yard box and the ball bounced safely into the arms of the keeper. With just over a quarter of an hour left, Tom Chapman made his first change with Ashley Clamp replacing Ansell on the right. Dove won a brave header in the centre and Long steered it through to Long on the right of the box, but he tried to shoot early and put it wide of the near post.
Alex Lowery got his head to a deep Tuck corner, but it was behind him and he couldn’t keep it on target, then Dove battled hard to get the ball through for Long, but great defending from Traynor stopped him getting clear. Tuck bravely charged down Konteh’s clearance and chased the ball as it looped into the box, Long touched it back to him and his shot looked destined to go just inside the far post, but once more Giles dived to his left to touch the ball wide with an outstretched arm. Tuck swung in the corner to the near post and Clamp met it with a good header, but that man Giles was there again to make the save. With just 8 minutes remaining, Long turned his man and sent a fantastic cross to Dove beyond the far post and he calmly looped his header over the keeper and into the far corner to restore Cogenhoe’s lead.
Down the other end some strong defensive work by Lowery denied Usher a chance and allowed Ross to claim the ball, then a lovely ball from Milne gave Tuksar another chance on the left, but this time his shot flew wide of the far post. Long was battling back to win the ball in his own half and gave Clamp the chance to break down the right. He made good ground before checking back and crossing in to Tuck, but his although he got to the ball first, he couldn’t get his shot on target. Lowery played a no-nonsense clearance from the back that Long got on to, but his shot hit Dean McBride.
Cayton defended well as Harborough tried to break down the right, but Cogenhoe were happy to try and run down the clock as time ticked away on the season. One last opportunity for The Bees saw Konteh launch a free-kick into the box, but Ross palmed it out and the referee blew time and the Cooks extended their unbeaten run to eight games, the best of the season.
A game that improved as it went on and I feel a deserved victory today for Cogenhoe. Harborough are a big side and a difficult team to beat and a testament to how far we have come since the turn of the year. A few real decent shouts for man-of-the-match today, Luke Stone, Matty Long and Ryan Dove all superb today, but my nod goes to Liam Tuck, who, on another day, could have scored at least two and was a constant threat down the left, while linking well with Dan Smith at the back. A special mention for Dan Ross for his winning debut in goal today, no chance with the Harborough goal itself. Obviously my man-of-the-match always goes to a Cogenhoe player, but the real stand-out performance today came from Glen Giles in the Harborough goal. He made so many really good saves and I’m told he shouldn’t have been playing due to a hand injury and in all fairness, he probably didn’t deserve to be on the losing side today. Without him this could have been Cogenhoe’s biggest win of the season.
I will do a review of the season on here over the next few weeks, so I won’t say any more for now, but thanks to Tom Chapman, Rob Gould, Graham Bates and Roy Long, who do so much but seldom get a mention in the dug-out, for everything you have given me to write about this season. To all 51 players who have represented the first team this season, some better than others, and to Jake Stone, Curtis Avery and Lee Haines for taking their young reserve side to third in the table. I still don’t know everyone’s name off the pitch but a big thanks to all of you for making me welcome, especially Mr Chairman Derek Wright without whom there might not even be a Cogenhoe United to write about. Thanks to Jon, Brian, Ian, Fred, Maurice, Phil, Brian and everyone else for making me feel welcome at Compton Park and to Stuart Lutter for helping out with some reserve team reports, before Tom selfishly promoted him back to the first team! I for one can’t wait until next season begins, though I’m sure the players are looking forward to their break. Just remember to take your holiday’s BEFORE the season starts this time.
Cooks; 1. Dan Ross 2. Munya Matiyenga 3. Dan Smith 4. Jake Cayton 5. Alex Lowery 6. Séan McBride 7. Ryan Ansell (sub 12. Ashley Clamp 74) 8. Luke Stone © 9. Matty Long 10. Ryan Dove 11. Liam Tuck. Subs not used; 14. Joe Shanley 15. George Barnell.
Bees; 1. Glen Giles 2. Joel Konteh 3. Dean McBride 4. Ben Williams 5. Callum Traynor 6. Callum Milne 7. Harry May (sub 12. Harvey Morgan 61) 8. Lukas Blackwell 9. Barnes Gladman 10. Greg Usher 11. Dino Tuksar. Sub not used; 14. Costin Tamga-Gibson.
Referee; Nick Fuller.