Ar Tarn end Cooks winning run as they take a point at Compton Park.
Desborough Town came from behind to earn a point against ten men Cogenhoe.
Saturday 1st April 2017
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1 v DESBOROUGH TOWN (0) 1
Cooks; Dove 27
At Tarn; Davies 52
On a bright, sunny afternoon at Compton Park, Tom Chapman had to make one player and two positional changes to his side for the visit of fourth placed Desborough Town. Ashley Clamp was away in Dublin, so Josh Melling came into the starting line-up at right back, with Munya Matiyenga pushing up into wide right in front of him. Ryan Ansell returned to the bench after being absent last week, while Rhys Taylor made a welcome return after a long spell on the sidelines through injury.
Cogenhoe started well on a very hard surface ad Dan Smith whipped in a cross that flicked off a defender’s boot and lobbed up nicely for Chris Jones to take. Jake Cayton played in a free-kick that Ryan Dove headed back across the box, but Leo Adams got the top of his head to it to take the ball away from goal. Luke Stone dinked it back in and Dove got his head to it despite the presence of a couple of red shirts, but his header dropped the wrong side of the post. Aiden Bradshaw broke quickly down the right and Smith had to make a really good tackle to stop him and give the visitor’s their first corner. Matiyenga won back possession in his own half and found Séan McBride, who played a one-two with Stone and went wide before firing in a low cross that was cut out for the first of a succession of corners for the Cooks. Tuck swung it in and Alex Lowery met it with a header that struck a defender and went out for another on the opposite side. Stone took this one and Jones got up to punch it back out from deep inside his six-yard box. Stone played this one in deeper and Lowery arrived to meet it with a powerful header that went just over the top, but referee Paul Mihalache blew for a push anyway. Dove got up well again to flick on for McBride who in turn played it through for Long to get into the box, but Adams came across to whip the ball away from him before he could balance himself for a shot. Matiyenga won another corner which Tuck played in to the near post, but John Dean was happy to nod it wide for another. It came to nothing and Desborough broke up field with Olly Jones finding Dan White, but McBride had worked back well and blocked his cross at source. Matiyenga got away with a telling off after catching Dan Law late down by the corner flag before a neat exchange between Dove and Tuck saw the latter sent crashing to the ground by Aaron Davies who was also lucky not to see yellow. Stone played in the free-kick and Lowery headed it down for Tuck who forced a very good save from Chris Jones with his first time effort. Long was quickest to the loose ball but his angle was extremely narrow and he could only fire it into the side-netting. Dove won the ball in the centre and Long played it through to Matiyenga on the right side of the Desborough box, but he spooned his shot somewhat and Jones was able to catch the ball comfortably. Lowery made a great defensive challenge to win the ball from Olly Jones before Josh Melling lifted the ball in from the right and Long stretched to get his head to it, but he couldn’t keep it on target. On 27 minutes Cooks got the vital breakthrough. Liam Boath had handled Luke Stone’s pass and Tuck delivered a great free-kick that Ryan Dove met with a glancing header that was placed just inside the far post to give Cogenhoe a deserved lead.
Olly Jones sliced a shot well wide from a decent position although it did appear that Lowery had been fouled in the build up, but with no whistle it was certainly the visitor’s best chance to date. Melling delivered a good cross from the right but Davies got the better of Long in the air at the expense of a corner. Stone went long and Melling met it with a header just beyond the far post but he couldn’t keep it on target. Tuck and Melling combined to get Tuck into a good position and it took a combination of a Davies and keeper Jones to stop his shot from making it two-nil. Law was forced off after feeling the effects of a tackle from Dove and a foul by Matiyenga and the visitors were forced to make their first change with just a third of the game gone. Louis Martin came on but the it also meant a mini-reshuffle at the back.
McBride was at his best in centre and his partnership with Stone was running the midfield during the first half. The diminutive man was winning so many balls and setting up moves and Desborough couldn’t seem to get past him in the centre of the park and this he underlined with a couple of really outstanding tackles to break up moves. Unfortunately Luke Stone also felt the power of his midfield partner as McBride got up to win a powerful header and sandwiched the Cooks skipper between himself and Will Arnold, leaving him on the deck and holding his head. After treatment he returned to action as we approached the break. Melling became the first player to go into the ref’s book for something he said with both sides constantly barracking the official this afternoon. Dove again used his strength to get up under pressure and flick on for Long, who played a low ball into the box for Matiyenga, but his touch was too heavy with what proved to be the last chance of the half.
Another good forty-five minutes for Cogenhoe against a side in the top four and they thoroughly deserved their lead. Stuart Lutter had very little to do during the half with the midfield soaking up most of the Desborough play with Lowery and Jake Cayton bossing the usually dangerous Jason Turner.
Half-time; Cooks 0 Ar Tarn 0.
Luke Stone had been left nursing a very sore head from his collision and Tom Carroll came on for him at the break, with Dove taking over the arm-band. Carroll played in a good corner that Lowery met with his head at the far post and it looked like he had found the target, but for a goal-line clearance. Long pounced on the loose ball but his shot hit a defender, Dove tried a scissor kick that didn’t come off and finally Melling sliced his shot from just outside the box and the ball sailed over. It has to be said that we still give away too many unnecessary free-kicks and we did just that down the left today. Arnold delivered it to beyond the far post and Davies came in late to meet it with a free-header that gave Lutter no chance and Desborough were level seven minutes into the half. The play was now much more even, with Desborough perhaps shading possession, but neither side were looking too dangerous with most moves breaking down before they got to the penalty areas. Cooks were forced into a change after 70 minutes with Liam Tuck feeling his calf, so Ryan Ansell came on in a straight swap. It was another good performance from Tuck even though he is still struggling with his injury that sidelined him for several weeks. A huge kick from Chris Jones saw Turner cut inside and shoot, but it was both high and wide. Adams went into the book for a double foul on Dove after he had powered past him just inside the visitor’s half before Desborough made another swap. Number 16, who I’m assuming was Matt Firth (they had no 16 on their team-sheet) came on in place of Olly Jones as Desborough looked for a winner. Lowery did well to get a head to Boath’s cross, then Matiyenga was left feeling the pain after a great tackle on Boath to stop Desborough breaking.
Dove went into the book for one foul too many as he brought down Boath and Davies got his head to the free-kick but Lutter took it comfortably. Things got a lot tougher for Cogenhoe on 75 minutes as they gifted Desborough a man advantage. Josh Melling lost out to Bradshaw in the Desborough half and stupidly kicked-out at visiting full back as he took the ball past him. A straight red followed and although Melling complained, it was definitely the right decision and the full backs second rush of blood in the last five games meant we were now looking to hold on for a point, rather than thinking we should still take all three. Long was booked minutes later for leaving his foot in on a tackle as we lost our discipline and a few minutes later the striker was taken off and replaced by the returning Rhys Taylor. Long had worked really hard as usual, so Tom Chapman probably felt the fresh legs of Taylor would suit the lone striker role after the enforced reshuffle. Dove had dropped into midfield, Carroll out wide and Matiyenga into Melling’s right-back spot.
A ball over the top caught Cogenhoe out at the back and Dean found himself through on goal, but he tried to lob the ball over Lutter, who took it comfortably. The Desborough man’s reaction showed he knew he should have done better and this was a real let off for the Cooks. Bradshaw found himself in a great position inside the box, but pulled his shot wide as Desborough looked the most likely to snatch it late on. Taylor became the next man to go into the book for kicking the ball away after he had been penalised. Lutter came and missed a cross with Smith putting the ball behind, but the man in yellow atoned with a great take from the corner. Matiyenga became the fifth Cook to see the yellow card for a foul on the corner of the box and the free-kick saw Bradshaw get a clear header, but thankfully he didn’t get any power behind it and Lutter got down to save. Desborough made their last swap deep into injury time with Dean making way for Lee Rowbotham, but it was Cogenhoe who had the last chance when Cayton launched a long throw into the box that Taylor met with a top hat, but Jones took the ball safely and that was that.
In the end we will be happy with a point, but until the sending off I felt we could have taken all three and I’m afraid Melling let his teammates down today after he had been playing pretty well in his return to the starting line-up. My man of the match goes to Séan McBride for a colossal performance in the middle today. Ryan Dove and Liam Tuck worked their socks off as usual, while Alex Lowery impressed at the back. All-in-all a good performance from the Cooks, although we drop a place to 14th as a result of the two points dropped.
Cooks; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Josh Melling (Sent-off 75) 3. Dan Smith 4. Jake Cayton 5. Alex Lowery 6. Séan McBride 7. Munya Matiyenga 8. Luke Stone © (sub 14. Tom Carroll HT) 9. Matty Long (sub 15. Rhys Taylor 83) 10 Ryan Dove 11. Liam Tuck (sub 12. Ryan Ansell 70).
Desborough; 1. Chris Jones 2. Aidan Bradshaw 3. Dan Law (sub 12. Louis Martin 31) 4. Liam Boath 5. Leo Adams 6. Aaron Davies © 7. John Dean (sub 15. Lee Rowbotham 90) 8. Dan White 9. Jason Turner 10. Will Arnold 11. Olly Jones (sub 16. Matt Firth 66).
Referee; Paul Mihalache.