Dove Double does it again for Cooks.
Two superb finishes from Ryan Dove leaves Cogenhoe top of the pile.
Saturday 4th August 2018
FUTURE LIONS UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED (0) 2 v HARBOROUGH TOWN (0) 1
Cooks; Dove 46, 77
Bees; Milne 64
Jake Stone made two changes to the side that swept Whitworth aside in last Sunday’s League opener. George Barnell was back from holiday and he took up his familiar role alongside Dan Stevenson in place of the cricketing Dan Smith, while Luke Stone replaced the absent Harry Chipchase in the central midfield three. Jacob Gartland is still struggling with his shoulder injury so had to settle for a place on the bench where he was joined by teenager Tom Iaciofano. Charlie Hynam, Matt Long and Ben Drinkwater all retained their substitute roles from the previous game.
The blistering heat had returned after last weekend’s brief respite as referee Abdul Kadir got things underway at Compton Park. Harborough started the better of the two attack and possession wise, but they didn’t look like breaking through the Cooks back-line. Liam Tuck hooked a ball inside to Ryan Ansell who took it on and played it into Montel Dore’s run into the box, where he stepped inside his man and went for goal, but his shot hit a defender. Harborough broke well down our right through Jordan Levers, but although his cross was a dangerous one, Dan Stevenson stretched to cut it out before it could reach Gregg Usher in the centre.
Dore delivered a cross to the far post where Séan McBride headed it back across goal. Ryan Dove met it with his head and got it on target, but it hit Ansell a yard out and Harborough cleared and broke quickly. Aaron Preston got himself clear and ran onto the edge of the box on the right, but Stuart Lutter came out to narrow the angle and when the striker rolled his shot wide of the keeper, it was also wide of the far post. Callum Steer drilled in a shot for the left that Lutter took comfortably at his near post, while Ansell won The Cooks first corner with a quarter of an hour gone. Tuck played it in and Stevenson looked to be the target, but the big centre-back was clearly pushed by Bees skipper Ben Williams, but neither ref or assistant had that view. The ball was returned into the area where Dove got up to flick but it was blocked, before Ansell returned it once more and Stevenson guided his header at goal, but keeper Tom Cocking took it at bar height over a forward’s head.
Dove went into the book for what it has to be said was a rather unnecessary foul a few yards outside the Bees box. Ansell made a good run into the box on the right and drilled a cross-shot that was taken in the midriff by Cocking at the near post. A lovely delivery from a free-kick wide on the right from Liam Tuck saw Dove get in a decent header that Cocking watched well and tipped over his bar. Down the other end Harborough broke quickly and despite Stone committing a foul, Mr Kadir waved the advantage and Harry Henbury was looking dangerous down the left, but Barnell used his pace and vision to get across and make the vital tackle. The referee did call Stone over though afterwards and brandish the second yellow card of the afternoon.
McBride and Ansell worked the ball into the box with the latter getting a low shot on goal, but it didn’t have the power to beat Cocking, although it did force him to stretch and get a hand to it, but his defence did the clearing up job effectively. Tuck went for goal from thirty-yards, but it was always going away from the far post, while a great ball from Usher gave Steer a chance to run and cross, but Stevenson was on hand to head it away. A real talking point followed five minutes before the break as Ansell at full pace touched the ball past Williams and the defender took the Cooks man out ten yards inside the Harborough half. There is no doubt that the visitor’s skipper was indeed the last man, but Ansell’s touch had taken the ball wide and this is probably the reason that Kadir decided that the yellow card was the appropriate colour to wave in this instant, although not everyone agreed on the blue side of the fence.
Tuck won a competitive header and Dove turned to fire in a thirty-yard volley, but it was too high to trouble the keeper, then Usher got into a good position on the left side of the box, but his lifted effort went straight across the area and out for a goal-kick.
Half-time; Cogenhoe United 0 Harborough Town 0.
The Cooks made the perfect start to the second half by grabbing the lead inside 70 seconds. Stone’s throughball was cut out, McBride steered it on to Dore who teed up Ryan Dove just outside the box and he unleashed an unstoppable drive across the keeper and just inside the post. A great finish from the skipper as he continues where he left off last season.
A great interception from Barnell ended a slick move involving Wilson and Harry Henbury before Dore made another good run into the box, but with the numbers stacked against his, he checked back a set up Stone for a shot twenty yards out, but his effort was blocked. Melling sent over a cross from the right, but he didn’t get the whip he was looking for and the keeper caught it just in front of his line. Another dangerous run saw Dore pull a low ball back across the box, but Cocking dived forward to get his hands to the ball.
Harborough made the first change just before the hour with Dan Forbes replacing debutant Pernell Taylor-Jacob and the sub was soon in the action, forcing Lutter to get down well and save his shot, before trying to lift the rebound back in, but the ball landed harmlessly on the roof of the net. Jake Stone gave the hard-working Ansell a blow on 62 minutes, with Matt Long the man to take his place to the right of Dove.
Henbury got a hold on his shot from outside the box, but Stone put his body in the way and they had to settle for a corner, although that proved to be the undoing of the Cooks. The delivery was met by Callum Milne with an unmarked header in the box and he steered it on target with Lutter being challenged (and he tells us fouled-couldn’t see from where I stood), the ball found its way into our net and the score was 1-1. Jordan Lever, often a thorn in our side during his Kirby Muxloe days, saw a dangerous shot deflected narrowly wide as Harborough turned the screw.
Down the other end, Long got the better of two red shirts to deliver a low cross in towards McBride, but a defender got the vital first touch, while Henbury could only hit the side-netting with Lutter covering his near post after a defensive error had allowed him to get into our box on the left. A few subs ensued as the heat took its toll, with Mohamed Zakaria replacing Usher for the visitors, while Tom Iaciofano and Chalie Hynam replaced Jamie Inwood and Luke Stone on 70 and 75 minutes respectively.
On 77 minutes Cogenhoe regained the lead and it has to be said somewhat against the run of play at the time. It came from an error by Alfie Harris who failed to middle his free-kick out on the their left and Hynam calmly steered the ball through to Ryan Dove who held off his man and side-stepped the out-rushing keeper, before firing another well-struck shot into the far corner. Feed the Dove and he will score and it’s 4 in 2 for last season’s leading scorer with 77 minutes played of this game.
The goal certainly settled the Cooks after being under a lot of pressure for quite a period and both Long and Dore put decent crosses into the box from opposite wings. A strong break through the middle by Lever was thwarted by the determination of Iaciofano to get back and make a challenge, before Long cut inside from the right and went sprawling under a challenge in the box, but again the referee waved away his protests for a penalty. Have no idea on his one as I was on the opposite side.
Long won the ball and found Dove who in turn set up Hynam outside the box, but his well hit shot was too close to the keeper. The final throw of the dice for Harborough saw Jamie Mastropierro given the last eight minutes in place of Steer and a quick break saw Preston play the ball across the box for Zakaria, but Lutter was wise to the danger and came off his line to block his shot as he hit it. Dove held the ball up well and he laid it off to his right where Long hit his first-time shot well twenty-five yards out and forced the keeper to parry it away. Dore got into the box once again, but his cross was cut out, then Barnell reacted quickly to nip across and stop Zakaria’s run down the left flank.
Iaciofano defended with maturity beyond his tender years as he frustrated and drew a foul from Zakaria and shortly afterwards the referee called a halt to proceedings.
A very hard fought for three points against a more-than-useful Harborough Town team on a hot summer’s day to make it two out of two and leave the Cooks on top of the table tonight with a mere 36 games left to play!
Another real team performance from Jake’s squad today, but the man-of-the-match has to go to match-winner Ryan Dove. Two more absolutely cracking goals from captain fantastic as well as one header blocked on the line and another turned over in a very hard-working performance in the sapping heat of Compton Park. Montel Dore was again a constant threat and pushed him close today, while the defence, marshalled and covered so well again by Stuart Lutter, did their job really well again during a sustained spell of pressure during the second half. Teams win games at this level and this was another gritty team performance all over the pitch and also a big well done to Jake, Ben, Luke and Amo for instilling this spirit, fight and winning mentality into the boys. Also deserving of a separate mention is Tom Iaciofano who came off the bench to make his senior debut and settled immediately. A real prospect and great to see Jake giving the young lads their chance in the first team when they merit it.
Special mention to Harborough who will play worse and win this season, but probably need a bit more fire-power upfront to be a top six candidate.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Josh Melling 3. Jamie Inwood (sub 15. Tom Iaciofano 70) 4. Luke Stone 5. George Barnell (sub 14. Charlie Hynam) 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Séan McBride 8. Liam Tuck 9. Ryan Ansell (sub 16. Matt Long 62) 10. Ryan Dove © 11. Montel Dore. Subs not used; 12. Jacob Gartland 17. Ben Drinkwater.
Harborough Town; 1. Tom Cocking 2. Tony Bartlett 3. Alfie Harris 4. Callum Steer (sub 15. Jamie Mastropierro 82) 5.Ben Williams © 6. Callum Milne 7. Jordon Lever 8. Pernell Taylor-Jacob (sub 12. Dan Forbes 58) 9. Gregg Usher (sub 17. Mohamed Zakaria 68) 10. Aaron Preston 11. Harry Henbury. Subs not used; 14 Harry May 16. Jack Weight.
Referee; Abdul Kadir.