Plenty of endeavour, but no goals at Freeway Park.
Saturday 18th August 2018
FUTURE LIONS UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
OADBY TOWN (0) 0 v COGENHOE UNITED (0) 0
Just a couple of changes from the starting line from last Saturday with Jamie Inwood and Matt Long coming in to replace Dan Smith and Charlie Hynam. It was a bit of a trip into the unknown for Cogenhoe as we knew very little about our opponent’s new squad having replaced everybody over the summer, but 3-1 wins in both league and F.A Cup told us that they are likely to present more of a challenge than they did last season when they only survived on goal-difference.
The game got underway in the Leicestershire sunshine and it soon became apparent that this would be no easy pitch to play on with the grass needing a trim and a very hard, bumpy surface. Next season will be different though as Oadby are laying a 3G pitch next summer as part of the revamp of the whole set-up at Wigston Road.
Oadby were first to get the ball into their opponent’s penalty area with Sam Hollis dinking in a cross, but Jamie Inwood headed it away. Cooks won a corner that Oadby struggled to clear and Dove hooked a shot goalwards, but it bounced up nicely into Taylor McMillan’s arms. Long won another corner off the impressive Kane Peden, while George Barnell stretched to cut-out a dangerous Jack Samples cross down the other end. Callum Patching was quick off his line to dive and claim the ball at Mason Brown’s feet, although they then had a great chance to take the lead minutes later. Samples steered the ball back to Sam Hollis in a great position in front of goal, but he could only put the ball over the bar from fairly close range with most of the goal at his mercy. A real let-off for Cogenhoe.
The game went through a very scrappy phase with both teams attacking without really troubling the opposite defences, while Oadby saw Brown appear to be a bit unfortunate to be shown the yellow card for a foul, although the same can’t be said for Mason Hirst who was high and late on Dore as he broke down the wing.
Cogenhoe had a shout for a penalty when Long appeared to be pulled back inside the box, but they had to settle for a corner, one of a few they won in a good spell for the Cooks. From one of these Dan Stevenson got in front of his man at the far post and dived into his header, but he could only put it wide of the post. Hollis looked to get on the end of the ball inside the box, but George Barnell was ice-cool and defended the situation superbly.
Liam Tuck got hold of a shot from the edge of the box that hit a defender and went behind for another corner that he took himself. The delivery was superb and Stevenson should really have got his far post header on target after getting in front of his marker again. Tuck won the ball in midfield and found Long who looked to have picked out Montel Dore’s run in from the left, but Ryan Dove jumped to claim in before it could reach him, although the skipper turned well and fired in a shot from just outside the box that the keeper caught comfortably above his head.
A low ball into the box found Hollis in a great position, but although the ball sat up nicely for the striker, he could only hook it over the bar. Hollis almost made amends moments later, but his rasping twenty-five yarder flew inches over the top. Josh Melling gave away an unnecessary free-kick out on our right and Samples played it in for Brown, but he didn’t get around his header enough and it went several yards beyond the far post before going out.
A superb pass from Dove sent Long down the right and he got past his man to send over a low ball into the box, but Ansell couldn’t get on the end of it and that was that for the first half. Chances at both ends in a fairly even half, but Oadby had created the better chances I feel.
Half-time; Oadby Town 0 Cogenhoe United 0.
No personnel changes at the break as Cogenhoe attacked the clubhouse end. Ash Varnham became the third Poacher to be booked for a kick-out on Séan McBride after the Cooks midfielder had beaten him to the ball. Good battling from Dove allowed McBride to play the ball into the box where Dore met it on the volley, but a defender blocked it before it could cause any problems. Ansell took the corner and again found Stevenson at the far post, but he couldn’t get a clean header and the ball eventually rolled wide for a goal-kick.
Tuck became the first Cooks player to go into the book after he caught Joe Hopewell late just before the hour. Dove steered a good ball into the path of Long inside the box, but Peden read it and well and got back to concede another corner. Ansell’s delivery was only half-cleared and Tuck fired it low towards the far corner where Long turned it home from inside the six-yard box. The celebrations were curtailed quickly though by the assistant referee’s flag and after a brief chat the goal was ruled out. Frustrating for the lads but the officials were spot on.
We had the first changes on 65 minutes with Luke Stone coming on for the cautioned Tuck, while Oadby mad a double swap with James Ireland and Caleb Finlow coming on. The powerful Ireland was quickly in the action and he sent a well-struck thirty-yarder just over the top. McBride slid a dangerous ball into the box, but Sam Preston made a great tackle to rob Ansell and left the Cooks man on the deck. Dove won the ball back and broke into the left side of the box before laying across to the unmarked but struggling Ansell twelve yards out with just the keeper to beat, but he scuffed the ball tamely wide. The best chance of the game so far and with Ansell still struggling, it would probably have been one-nil if he’d left to Long just behind him.
Ansell sent over a low cross that was cut-out for yet another corner by Varnham but again we couldn’t capitalise on it. Long went off to be replaced by Ben Drinkwater with thirteen minutes left. McBride won possession and Inwood sent over a cross, but another corner is all we managed.
A decent through ball saw Ireland giving chase, but Patching was out to edge of his box to dive on the ball before he could do any damage. We were caught wide open down the left-back slot and Hollis was allowed to run through in acres of space, but thankfully Barnell read it a and covered superbly to win the ball inside the box with a well-timed challenged. Tom Iaciofano came on for the limping Ansell with six minutes left and again looked lively from the word go.
Cogenhoe went close after good work from Drinkwater and Iaciofano down the left allowed Inwood to cross. Dove rose well and got his header on target, but McMillan watched it well and was able to touch the ball over with his fingertips. Drinkwater caused problems again for the home side but Peden made another good challenge with the result being another corner.
We were in the final minute when Dove got goalside of Varnham and tried to break. The Oadby centre-half pulled him back and there can be no arguments about the second yellow card from Mr Hughes, apart from the club loudmouth who never managed to get beyond the clubhouse steps that is. Varnham is still showing as suspended on full-time so this must be his first game back so not a great start to his season and another one-game ban to look forward too.
Not a classic and I’m guessing both managers will be rueing the chances that weren’t taken today, feeling they should have won it. Neither keeper had much to do as far as saving shots, but Callum Patching will be pleased to have kept a clean-sheet today. Going forward we didn’t get the balls into the front lads they are used to receiving and we didn’t get around the full-backs very often today, but Oadby have two very good players at the back in Kane Peden and Sam Preston. Man of the match for me has to George Barnell again. Cool in defence, speedy when needed and worked his socks off in covering for the lack of pace across the rest of the back-four today.
It’s Wednesday night action for the first team this week as they travel to Rushden & Higham United in the newly sponsored KitmanUK Knock-Out Cup. The day before the Reserves are at home to O.N Chenecks Reserves in their equivalent league cup competition.
Oadby Town; 1. Taylor McMillan 2. Curtis Hartley 3. Kane Peden 4. Sam Preston © 5. Ash Varnham (Sent-off 90) 6. Mason Hirst (sub 16. Dean Hopewell 74) 7. Joe Hopewell (sub 12. James Ireland 65) 8. Tom Mangan 9. Mason Brown (sub 14. Caleb Finlow 65) 10. Sam Hollis 11. Jack Samples. Subs not used; 15. Jordi Reynolds 17. Ellis Preston.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Callum Patching 2. Josh Melling 3. Jamie Inwood 4. Séan McBride 5. George Barnell 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Ryan Ansell (sub 12. Tom Iaciofano 84) 8. Liam Tuck (sub 14. Luke Stone 65) 9. Matt Long (sub 16. Ben Drinkwater 74) 10. Ryan Dove © 11. Montel Dore. Sub not used 15. Harry Chipchase.
Referee; Tom Hughes.