Cup humiliation for Cooks.
Embarrassment as Division One side Rushden & Higham Utd hit Cogenhoe for six.
Wednesday 22nd August 2018
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-KITMANUK KNOCK OUT CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND
RUSHDEN & HIGHAM UNITED (4) 6 v COGENHOE UNITED (1) 1
Lankies; Townsend 12. Mann 32(pen), 38(pen), 41. Russell 65. Dench 89.
Cooks; Dove 36(pen)
We travelled to Division One side Rushden & Higham United with hopes of actually winning this tournament and as we were playing a team who had been stuffed 0-5 at home in the league on Saturday, we were odds on favourites with the bookies to win. And so it begins….
A strong side named for the Cooks with Luke Stone in for Liam Tuck in the centre of midfield the only change from Saturday and we were quickly on the attack, with Ryan Dove holding off a couple of orange shirts before whipping over a cross that flew across the six-yard box unscathed at a headable height. Luke Stone fired in a shot from twenty-yards that was handled inside the box by a defender and referee Lewis Smith pointed to the spot without hesitation. Dove stepped up in his usual style but he didn’t get the force behind he usually does and former Cooks youth team keeper Kyle Swailes dived to his right to save with just two minutes played.
Dan Smith sent over a looping cross that Dove met at the far post, but his header hit a defender and went behind for a corner. Ansell’s delivery was excellent and Dove almost got on to it at the back post. Ansell cushioned a header down to Montel Dore just outside the box and he turned to fire in a shot, but it wasn’t struck that well and went wide.
Rushden broke away through Jory Mann and he opted to shoot early but shanked it high and wide, but a worrying moment for Cogenhoe who had opened up on our right-side of defence. Ansell played a free-kick into the box and Matt Long got to it in front of his marker, but could only head the ball up in the air and Swailes did well to claim it above Dan Stevenson’s jump. With just ten minutes played things started to go wrong for the Cooks with Luke Stone going down in pain. It didn’t take too long to realise he couldn’t continue and Liam Tuck replaced him with just ten minutes gone. It got even worse two minutes later as a low ball into the box from the left saw Josh Melling allow the ball to go straight under his foot, thus leaving Dave Townsend unmarked in the box with the ball at his feet and he said thanks very much and placed his shot into the far corner.
Aaron Cormack went into the book after clattering into Matt Long by the corner flag, while another free-kick in a much better position saw Ansell’s low strike saved by the keeper and although Dore pounced on the ball as it ran loose, his angle was very tight and Ben Aidulis was able to get back and block his shot. Long won the ball and made good ground into the Rushden half before trying his luck from outside the box but it drifted wide. Tuck then swung in a corner that Séan McBride met with his head, but the ref had spotted a push and it went wide anyway.
Dore cut inside the box and saw his shot blocked and then Long delivered a good cross that McBride almost got his head to. George Barnell had to defend as Townsend threatened in the box but on 32 minutes the same player brought down Mann as he cut inside the box and the Rushden player picked himself up to fire his penalty straight down the middle and double the Lankies lead. Four minutes later we had another penalty as Dore cleverly waited for the defender to go for a tackle inside the box and touched the ball past him before being brought down. This time Dove made no mistake with a thumping spot-kick that beat Swailes. A lifeline for Cogenhoe but they couldn’t capitalise as Mann chased a high bounce into the box and Patching rushed out somewhat recklessly and took the Rushden player out. Only question about the decision was would it be given in or outside the box and on a crazy night like this it was almost inevitable that the assistant referee decided it was in. No complaints as he was looking across at the incident and I was down the other end, but the Cooks players in the vicinity were adamant the official had got it wrong. Either way Mann stepped up to place the penalty to the now yellow carded keeper’s left and Rushden were 3-1 up after 38 minutes.
Three minutes later and Rushden piled on the misery as they punished another howler at the back from Cogenhoe. The low ball in from the left was poor but the normally ultra-reliable Barnell allowed it to go under his foot and Jory Mann was the recipient, completely unmarked at the far post, and he calmly slotted the ball past the flat-footed keeper and into the far corner for his hat-trick.
What an astonishing first half, four penalties, some terrible defending from Cogenhoe and a mountain to climb in the second.
Half-time; Rushden & Higham United 4 Cogenhoe United 1.
The home side started the second half on the front foot and Patching will have been glad to have taken Townsend’s corner cleanly, while a Townsend cross wasn’t too far ahead of Jake Reynolds run into the far post. Ansell picked out the head of Dove with a free-kick but he couldn’t direct it wide of Swailes, then a long ball from Barnell was just a fraction too hard for Long to make use of. Dove beat his man before laying it off to Ansell who swapped feet to make space for a shot, but he placed it wide.
We were undone again on 65 minutes thanks to another defensive error. Barnell tried to pass the ball back to Patching and the young keeper was sold a bit short and tried to hammer the ball upfield, but all he did was smash it against the incoming Jamie Russell’s legs and the ball flew back into the net. Experience would have told the keeper to knock the ball to the side of the player and then clear. But I guess it is only through experience that we learn.
The changes started now as Rushden had a strangle hold on the game as Cogenhoe played balls up in the air too much with Ryan Kalla and Gavin Wills comfortable with this at the back. Melling was replaced by Harry Chipchase, Callum Dench came on for Aidulis and Smith gave way for Jamie Inwood.
It could have been six as a huge kick from Swailes has us chasing shadows as Mann got clear of the defence, but we were lucky in the fact that he put his shot just wide. Rushden were still looking the most likely to add to their tally and a lovely Russell free-kick was met by the head of Townsend and Patching dived to his left to make a decent save. Mann saw a shot blocked and Jordan Pendered blazed the loose ball over, the former Cooks triallists last action before being replaced by Bill Reece for the last nine minutes.
Patching took an Aaron Cormack cross really well, then a nice ball into the box from Barnell saw Long touch and turn, but his shot was blocked. With a minute left of the ninety, the self-destruct button was employed yet again as Stevenson woefully under hit a back pass and Dench latched on to it before running unchallenged into the box and with half the goal wide open, calmly rolled it wide of Patching. Before the restart we had the last sub as Othniel Lewis replaced Townsend and in stoppage time it probably should have been seven, but Dent couldn’t get any power into his shot.
A truly woeful night for Cogenhoe United and one of the most embarrassing scorelines in their history with the hosts thoroughly deserving of their place in the next round. Jake Stone looked distraught at the end of the game and the players shell-shocked, but these things happen in football. On off day all round but this team will know that and must now move onto the next game. It’s a free week for the Cooks now before they entertain Pinchbeck United a week on Saturday and to be honest their management team watching tonight won’t have picked up too much on Cogenhoe to work on. The defence really miss Lutter’s voice organising and keeping them on their toes, while the midfield didn’t get enough decent balls up to the front three tonight to exploit the possession they had and once they were chasing the game Rushden tied the things up superbly and punished us when they had the chance. Dove had two on him most of the time and was competing for the ball in the air too much, rather than getting it into his feet where he could hold it up. Matt Long gets MOTM tonight for us, never gave up tried to get us going, but from a neutral point of view the award would have to go one of several home players. Jory Mann got himself a hat-trick, although two were from the spot, but however good he is he will always be known as the son of Aidy. A shame for the lad, but when your dad is one of the best players to ever grace the UCL it’s a millstone around your neck in some ways. Other Lankies who impressed me tonight were Ben Aidulis, Kyle Swailes and Ryan Kalla, but their whole team can be proud of their performance from this game.
Rushden & Higham United; 1. Kyle Swailes 2. Jed Ainge 3. Aaron Cormack 4. Jamie Russell © 5. Ryan Kalla 6. Gavin Wills 7. Dave Townsend (sub. 17. Othniel Lewis 89) 8. Jordan Pendered (sub. 14. Bill Reece 81) 9. Jake Reynolds 10. Jory Mann 11. Ben Aidulis (sub. 16. Callum Dench 71). Sub not used; 12. Michael Duroe 15. Barry Deacon.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Callum Patching 2. Josh Melling (sub. 14. Harry Chipchase 66) 3. Dan Smith (sub. 12. Jamie Inwood 75) 4. Séan McBride 5. George Barnell 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Ryan Ansell 8. Luke Stone (sub. 15. Liam Tuck 10) 9. Matt Long 10. Ryan Dove © 11. Montel Dore. Sub not used. 16. Stuart Lutter.
Referee; Lewis Smith.