Great start for Cooks.
Whitworth were swept aside on their own patch as Cooks make a winning start.
Sunday 29th July 2018 (1-15pm KO)
FUTURE LIONS UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
WHITWORTH (0) 0 v COGENHOE UNITED (2) 3
Dove 43, 82 (pen)
We arrived at a wet London Road for the first game of our 2018/19 Future Lions United Counties League Premier Division campaign with a majority of the crowd still next door watching Wellingborough Town defeat Peterborough Northern Star 3-0. This was Cogenhoe United’s first appearance in the UCL & PDL Groundhop weekends and Whitworth were clearly organised and ready to greet the bumper crowd today.
Jake Stone has been joined by brother Ben and Luke Bartley in the dug-out and had a nice headache before team selection. The last couple of seasons have seen Cogenhoe struggle with injuries and absence meaning the team pretty much picked itself, although they were without the injured Jacob Gartland, long term absentee Jake Cayton (who hopes to be back playing in December), plus George Barnell who was away this weekend.
Thoughts of retirement were thankfully put to one side as Stuart Lutter donned the gloves again and while Dan Smith hasn’t really been involved pre-season with a move to Japan imminent, he came in to partner Dan (Terry Butcher) Stevenson at centre back, with Josh Melling on the right and Jamie Inwood on the left. Midfield has plenty of options and Jake went for Liam Tuck, Séan McBride and Harry Chipchase across the park with Ryan Ansell wide right, Montel Dore opposite and Ryan Dove down the centre as the main striker. This meant that Matt Long, Luke Stone, Ben Drinkwater, Charlie Hynam and Curtis Avery all had to settle for a place on the bench this afternoon.
The game got underway with the rain blowing straight across the pitch towards the dug-outs and it was the home side who had the first attack, but Lutter claimed the ball and we could have taken the lead straight away as Ansell latched onto the ball to break into the box, but the keeper spread himself well to save his low shot. Jamie Black had Whitworth’s first shot at goal direct from a twenty-yard free-kick, but it was a yard over with Lutter covering comfortably.
Montel Dore got the better of right-back Callum Ward and sent a low cross zipping into the near post and it bounced off keeper Luke Reay’s chest. Dove was first to the rebound but his shot was successfully blocked. Dore was looking very lively down the left and again got past his man to get to the by-line, but this time his attempted cross drifted out of play behind the goal. On 16 minutes the breakthrough goal that was looking more-and-more likely finally came. Great work on the right-wing by Dove saw him play a superb ball into the near post where Montel Dore steered it first time past the keeper from eight yards out.
Good back-tracking from Tuck saw him throw himself to block a Nathan Burrows shot at the expense of a corner, then the ball broke very nicely for Cavell Jarvis in a great central position a few yards outside the box. He took it on, checked and swerved to get himself a shooting chance, but he fired his shot over the bar. Ansell drove a shot on target from twenty-five yards, but Reay took it well, then McBride got up to flick on a Lutter kick for Ansell to break and cross, but although it was a dangerous delivery, the home side managed to clear.
It was almost two when Dore took up possession and slipped a great ball through to Ansell to race clear. He got into the box and sidestepped the keeper before trying to slot home, but Black did really well to cut it out at full stretch. Josh Melling went into the book on 33 minutes for a foul just inside his own half at Whitworth broke quickly, while Lutter kept us in front a few minutes later. A big drop-kick from Reay (who was at least a yard outside of his box when he let the ball out of his hands) bounced high and Stevenson found himself the wrong side of Jack Dyson. The striker got clear in the box and fired in a low shot, but Lutter saved well with his legs.
Dore again stripped his man to get to the by-line and played a low ball into Dove at the near post. His clever flick was blocked on the goal-line by the keeper, who then blocked the Cooks skipper’s follow-up too. Chipchase chased a high bouncing ball into the box, but the keeper was off his line and managed to get a vital touch to deny the Cooks midfielder a chance.
Dore played Ansell into the box and he took the ball past the keeper again, but his angle was now very tight. He managed to get his shot on target and Ash Hunt did well to get something in the way and the ball went across the six-yard box where Ryan Dove was the man on the spot to net from no more than two-yards out. Two-up with two minutes remaining in the first half.
Half-time; Whitworth 0 Cogenhoe United 2.
Ansell played a good ball through for Dove to chase but Reay was quick to react and got to the ball first a couple of yards outside his box, while Lutter took a cross confidently down the other end. Inwood played a ball into Dove inside the box and he turned to find Dore who swivelled and shot, but it was easy for the keeper this time. Good hold-up play from Dove gave Dore a chance from the edge of the box but he curled his shot over. A decent effort though.
Whitworth were first to make a change with recent signing Daniel Uche replacing Jack Dyson but it was the visitor’s who continued to press. Stevenson got a top-hat to a good Inwood free-kick, but it was successfully cleared by the defence. A poor pass out from Reay went straight to Dore in the middle of the half and his run took him right where he tried to find Dove with his cross, but it was too far in front and too high for the striker to have any chance of getting his head too.
Tuck was caught late by James Harvey who became the second player to be shown the yellow card by referee Daniel Todd and in a quiet spell action-wise, we saw Whitworth replace Scott Leibscher with Jonny Hazell and Cooks give a rest to Ansell with Matt Long coming on and this was followed by a yellow card to Matt Judge for an ongoing battle of words with the referee. Inwood almost opened up his Cogenhoe account when his cross didn’t quite go to plan and was dropping just under the bar when Reay managed to claw it over at full stretch. The corner was taken short and Tuck sent over a cross that was just behind Dove and he couldn’t get round it enough to keep his header on target.
Chipchase made way for Luke Stone’s return to Saturday football with just under twenty-minutes left to play, then a huge kick from Lutter sent Long sprinting forward and he just manged to get to the ball around the corner of the box and lift it over the keeper, but it dropped agonisingly wide of the far post. Former-Cook Dean Hall looked like he had played Cavell Jarvis clear, but the ball zipped along the hard, wet surface and through to the waiting Stuart Lutter.
The hosts final change saw Judge make way for Dayne Wood, but time was slipping through their fingers now. Stone played a good free-kick into the box that was only half-cleared and Dore sent a fizzing volley goalwards, but it hit a red shirt and bounced away. Long made a run down the right and cut inside the penalty area where Black made a challenge. I have to say I thought the defender did well, but the assistant referee a few yards away raised his flag and Mr Todd pointed to the spot. Their s only one man for the job these days and skipper Ryan Dove spotted the ball, took his customary one step run-up and placed the ball low to the keeper’s right. Three-nil to the Cooks and surely game over.
This was Dove’s last action of the game as the two-goal man made way for new signing Ben Drinkwater to get a run out against his former club. The sub is full of running and was soon in the action with a strong run that was ended when Ash Hunt brought him down. Stone played in the free-kick and Drinkwater rose under pressure to get a header on target, but that man Black was on the line to block again. Tuck’s corner was met by Drinkwater, but this time he couldn’t get over it and it went out for a goal-kick. The final shot of the day came from Whitworth sub Wood from just outside the box, but his connection wasn’t great and it drifted over and wide on the wind.
A great start to the season for Jake and his team with another real team performance from back to front. Stuart ‘clean sheet’ Lutter was rarely troubled, but his talking and organising of the defence has more to do with this that a lot of people realise. Dan Smith was superb when you consider he hasn’t really been involved in the friendlies, Jamie Inwood gave 100% and wasn’t fazed at all by the usually dangerous Jarvis. Josh Melling and the bandaged Dan Stevenson largely did what they had to do and because of this they had relatively quiet games. The middle three, Liam Tuck, Harry Chipchase and Séan McBride all worked tirelessly and stopped most of the Whitworth runners while serving the front three well. Ryan Dove hasn’t looked his sharpest pre-season but was excellent when it really mattered today and will be pleased with two goals however they come, while also creating the other. Ryan Ansell could have had a couple himself on another day and the defenders certainly didn’t like him running at them, while my man-of-the-match goes to Montel Dore. He wasn’t quite as effective later in the game, but he ran and beat players, played the right balls at the right time and opened the scoring in typical style. The three subs all played their part. Matt Long worked hard down the flank and won the penalty, Luke Stone showed the class we know he has at times and Ben Drinkwater gave everything and caused the Whitworth defenders plenty of problems in the short time he was on the field.
You can’t read too much into one game, but we are top of the table tonight, albeit on alphabetical order! Harborough Town are next at Compton Park next Saturday and this performance will have us playing with confidence.
Whitworth; 1. Luke Reay 2. Callum Ward 3. Jamie Black 4. Scott Leibscher (sub 12. Jonny Hazell 61) 5. Ash Hunt 6. Nathan Burrows 7. James Harvey 8. Dean Hall 9. Jack Dyson (sub 14. Daniel uche 54) 10. Matt judge (sub 15. Dayne Wood 77). Subs not used; 16. Trent Woodley 17. Connor Mallows.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Josh Melling 3. Jamie Inwood 4. Liam Tuck 5. Dan Smith 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Séan McBride 8. Harry Chipchase (sub 15 Luke Stone 73) 9. Ryan Ansell (sub 16. Matt Long 63) 10 Ryan Dove (sub 17. Ben Drinkwater 82). Subs 12. Curtis Avery 14. Charlie Hynam.
Referee; Daniel Todd.