St Andrews run out winners in the clash of the strugglers.
Three similar goals see Cogenhoe slip to their fifth straight defeat.
Saturday 14th October 2017
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
ST ANDREWS (2) 3 v COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1
Drews; Baird 8 Turland 27 Chavundura 72
Cooks; Shanley 20
It’s been an interesting couple of days to say the least with the shock departure of manager Tom Chapman leaving everyone somewhat stunned to say the least. Reserve team boss Jake Stone agreed to step into the hotseat today with Curtis Avery supporting him in the dugout. His first task was simply to get a team on the field with so many players not available today, with Dan Smith, Jake Cayton and Ryan Dove adding to his headache. Jake started with a 4-3-3 in front of Stuart Lutter with Munya Matiyenga, Dan Stevenson, Josh Melling and Ryan Cooke along the back four, Séan McBride, Harry Chipchase and Michael Parkes across the centre and Nathan Burrows in between Ryan Ansell and Joe Shanley up front. Just three subs with Matt Long, making his first steps towards his long-awaited return, joined by George Barnell and Ali Duncan.
With the weather more spring like than autumnal, both sides made lively starts as they went out in search of points to pull them away from the bottom. Ansell made himself some space from a free-kick and Chipchase slipped it to him on the left, but Ansell’s ball into the box was cleared. Stevenson fouled Matthew Baird just to the left of the box, Lewis Hill delivered a decent free-kick, but the ball skidded off Baird’s head and across the box to safety. Good work from Ansell won the Cooks an early corner, but Cooke’s delivery into the wind held up nicely for Ryan Elliott to take.
On 8 minutes the home side grabbed that all-important first goal of the game. Lewis Turland had too much time and space on our left inside the box and although Lutter got his fingertips to the low cross, Baird was on hand to sweep the ball home at the far post. Cooks tried to hit back immediately and a good move saw Ansell cross, Shanley put enough pressure on the centre-back to mean his header didn’t clear the danger, Burrows laid it back to Chipchase just outside the box but his first time shot went a foot or so wide of the post. McBride won the ball in the centre and played a good ball through for Ansell, but his shot was blocked by Luay Bashir and Cogenhoe had to settle for another corner.
Turland got the better of Cooke again on the edge of the box and played the ball in, but Nathan Mewis could only pick out Lutter with his shot, then a big ball up from the back caught us out for pace, but Lutter again made the save as Baird went for goal.
On 20 minutes the Cooks levelled the scoring with a good poacher’s goal from Joe Shanley. After a spell of pressure around the Andrews box, McBride drilled in a low shot that Elliott got a hand to, but Joe Shanley was first to the rebound and fired home from the edge of the six-yard box before the keeper could recover. It was no more than Cogenhoe deserved at this point after taking the game to their hosts.
Cooke got up to intercept a cross with his head before making fifty yards down the left, but his cross was taken by the keeper with Burrows his intended target. The scores were only level for seven minutes today as we were undone by another quick break and not a million miles away from their first. Again a big ball saw Turland get clear through our left back channel and deliver a low ball into the box to Baird. Lutter made a good save with his foot to deny the striker a second, but Turland had been left after his original cross and when the ball came back to him he had time and space which he made the most of, by drilling a low shot across the keeper and just inside the far post. Although there was a large suspicion that he had used his arm to control the ball.
Chipchase was enjoying a rare start in the first team and he did really well on the right, cutting inside and hitting a well struck effort that was unfortunately too close to the keeper who took it into his chest. Burrows looped a good ball into the box, but Matiyenga’s shot was blocked, then Melling played a lovely ball through to Shanley, but he had strayed offside. Matiyenga played a good ball up to Ansell who turned and hit a shot, but it was slightly too high to trouble the keeper. Ansell delivered a great cross that Shanley rose to head and for a moment it looked like it was heading for the back of the net, but it went agonisingly just the wrong side of the post. Burrows held the ball up nicely before laying it back to Chipchase. He slipped it through to Shanley in the box, but Luke West made a very timely challenge. Great play from Chipchase gave Burrows a chance on the edge of the box, but the striker chose to check back and shoot with his effort going over the bar.
St Andrews went into the break with a 2-1 advantage, but it didn’t really reflect the game so far with Cogenhoe having much more of the attacking play, but it’s about taking your chances at the end of the day.
Half-time; St Andrews 2 Cogenhoe United 1.
Cooks were straight back on the offensive and Burrows turned nicely on the right before trying his luck, but his shot was well over the top. Chipchase fed Shanley in the box, but the youngster pulled his shot wide of the target, then Melling got up for a Cooke corner, but couldn’t get the connection he needed. Some great determination from Ansell saw him get the better of two defenders before slipping it through to Burrows on the edge of the box. When the ball was played inside Ansell had continued his run and he met it with a powerful drive, but it was a matter of inches over the St Andrews crossbar. Cooke won possession and made good ground, but his shot was well over the bar from distance. Chipchase found Shanley and he played it inside to Ansell, but although he really met it well, it was again just of the top.
We then saw the long-awaited return of Matt Long, given the last 30 minutes for his first action for a couple of months, replacing Michael Parkes as Jake Stone reverted to a 4-4-2. Weirdly enough this is the exact change I was thinking we should make from my safe place on the other side of the barrier. Matiynega played a good ball up to Burrows who flicked on to meet Ansell’s run. He sent over another decent cross that fell to Burrows, but his volley lacked the power needed to beat Elliott.
The second half had been dominated by the visitor’s, but they were started to get frustrated and giving away a few silly free-kicks. Hill took one of these from just in front of the dugouts and took the chance to play the ball into the box. Baird got up well and got his header on target, but Lutter was more than equal to his effort. Melling did similar with a free-kick that Stevenson flicked on, giving Long his first sight of goal, but he couldn’t beat Elliott with his shot. Cogenhoe won a succession of corners and they had a very good shout for a penalty when a defender pushed Burrows in the back as he prepared to jump, but it went unseen by the officials. From another one, Stevenson hooked the ball over his shoulder only to see the ball bounce back into play off the bar. Chipchase chased a ball into the box and went to ground as the keeper came out to dive at his feet. It certainly didn’t look like a penalty from where I stood and referee Shaun Barry agreed and showed the Cooks player the yellow card for simulation….or diving in English.
After such a good spell without finding the breakthrough they so desperately needed, it was almost inevitable that we would get hit on the break and that is exactly what happed with eighteen minutes remaining. Once again it was too much space on our left that caught us out and when the ball was played across our box, Tinashe Chavundura was totally unmarked and he smashed the ball home from close range with Lutter having no chance at all.
Ali Duncan came on for Shanley soon after the goal. Ansell played in a free kick that both Stevenson and Melling got their head to. Duncan hooked it back across the box and Long did well to direct his header on target at the far post, but Elliot was in the right place to make the save. McBride played a one-two with Chipchase and got a touch to take the ball past the keeper, but a defender got back to block as off-balance Cogenhoe skipper tried to get up and steer the ball goalwards. A Cooke corner was headed out, but only as far as Ansell on the edge of the box and the Cooks number ten did well to hook a volley, but it went wide of the goal. A superb low ball in from Ansell saw Long get in front of his marker, but he could only steer the ball the wrong side of the post at the near post.
The pressure continued with Long lobbing a great ball over the centre-back for Burrows to run on to. The keeper came off his line but the striker got there first and lifted over his head, but just as our luck is at this moment, it came down wide of the target. Good pressure from Long saw him win the ball in the box and challenge the keeper. McBride tried to poke the loose ball in from an angle, but the defender on the line had no trouble blocking his effort and clearing up. Matiyenga played in a deep cross that Duncan met with his head beyond the far post, but it went across the keeper and wide on the opposite side. The final change for the Cooks came with eight minutes remaining as young George Barnell replaced the hard-working and impressive Chipchase for the final charge.
A big clearance saw the ball bounce and Baird jumped into a challenge with Lutter that the keeper didn’t appreciate, but he did get the free-kick. Ansell played a short corner with Cooke and delivered another good cross, but again we couldn’t take advantage, then Long did well to hook a ball into the box under pressure, but the keeper took it unchallenged. Ansell put Duncan through with a great pass, but the striker seemed to fall over his own feet as he took the ball into the box with the keeper coming out towards him. The last shot of the game came from Barnell from thirty-yards out, but it wasn’t struck that well and bounced well wide of the far post.
The result means St Andrews move above us and we are ahead of just three sides now, although we have a six-point cushion over them. Jake Stone got a good reaction from his team today and we dominated most of the afternoon, but we didn’t take the chances when they came and St Andrews did. All of their goals came down the left and we really missed Dan Smith this afternoon. I’m not putting all the blame on Ryan Cooke though, he isn’t a left-back and looks really good when playing in his usual attacking midfield role and we should have been helping out more as he helped us out by playing in an unfavoured role. I sincerely hope that Jake doesn’t take this defeat to heart or let it harm his confidence because he really shouldn’t. He was left with a severely depleted squad and did well to put out a team that was competitive and really shouldn’t have lost, given the possession they had this afternoon. It’s a massive boost to get Matt Long back out there, although he will need some game time to back his sharpness and we again saw a really determined performance from Ryan Ansell who went very close to nabbing my man-of-the-match again, but I’m giving that to Harry Chipchase today. He looked totally distraught at the end of the game, but he should hold his head high tonight after a solid performance in the centre of the park and his vision started so many of our better moves today. The midfield three all played well, Michael Parkes does exactly what you expect him to do and Séan McBride never lets you down and didn’t today. On to Rothwell Corinthians on Tuesday and we should see some key players available again. This is a good squad that shouldn’t be anywhere near the bottom, but with so many players injured and unavailable it doesn’t matter who the manager is, they are going to find it very difficult to find consistency.
Well done to St Andrews on the win today. Their keeper did well, Baird and Turland were a constant threat when they got hold of the ball, which wasn’t too often today. Very friendly club too and I wish them well.
St Andrews; 1. Ryan Elliott 2. James Hogan 3. Ryan Hodkinson 4. Lewis Hill 5. Luke West 6. Luay Bashir 7. Lewis Turland (sub 14. Kurtis White 69) 8. Dan Kitching 9. Matthew Baird 10. Nathan Mewis 11. Tinashe Chavundura. Subs not used; 12. Ennis Fyffe 15. Callum Robinson.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Munya Matiyenga 3. Ryan Cooke 4. Michael Parkes (sub 15. Matt Long 60) 5. Josh Melling 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Harry Chipchase 8. Séan McBride 9. Nathan Burrows 10. Ryan Ansell 11. Joe Shanley (sub 12. George Barnell 82).
Referee; Shaun Barry.