Dove double too much for The Swans.
Ryan Dove missed a penalty, but still took his tally to 11 with another captain's performance today.
Saturday 22nd September 2018
FUTURE LIONS UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED (1) 2 v NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN (1) 1
Cooks; Dove 2, 53 (pen)
Swans; Inwood (og) 29
I guess this could be described as the first match of Autumn as the steady rain welcomed us to Compton Park for the visit of Newport Pagnell Town on a slightly chilly Saturday afternoon. One change to the starting line-up, but a revamped formation for the Cooks as Liam Tuck returned from injury to play on the left of midfield with Tom Iaciofano dropping to the bench. Jake Stone went with Matt Long and Ryan Dove up front and Montel Dore playing in a straight-forward left midfield position. Stuart Lutter remained in goal with the back four of Josh Melling, Jamie Inwood, Dan Stevenson and George Barnell and the central midfield pairing of Alex Lowery and birthday boy (yesterday) Séan McBride also keeping the roles they fulfilled in the win at Kettering Town on Tuesday night.
Cogenhoe starting with intent as they attacked the clubhouse end and good work from Dore down the left found Long inside the box and his attempted chip-shot went off a defender for an early corner. Tuck delivered a beauty and Ryan Dove jumped ahead of Yaw Ofosu to head downwards and it beat the keeper and the defender on the line to give the Cooks the lead with just two minutes on the clock. Dove, the man who hit thirty goals last season, now has an impressive ten already to his name this time around.
McBride dinked a ball over the top and Long ran on before trying to pull it back for Dove on the edge of the box, but Ofosu managed to cut it out before it could reach the Cooks hit-man. Ofosu fouled Dove wide on the left and Tuck lifted the free-kick into the box where Dove climbed high in-between two defenders to get his head to it. The ball looped up towards the goal where keeper Mark Osborn managed to punch it away under pressure. A Melling free-kick from the other flank saw Lowery get a header in, but he didn’t quite get to the meat of the ball and it went wide.
Harry Stratton dinked a ball into the box towards Dom Lawless, but it went out for Newport’s first corner off a defender. Ofosu got his head to the flag-kick and Tom Liversedge steered a header towards the far corner, but Lutter dived to his left to save it at the base of the post. A good whipped cross from former Cook Damon Herbert saw another ex-Cogenhoe player Fazel Koriya stoop to head, but it went wide of the post. Yet another ex-Cook in Oli Wilkinson sent a dangerous ball right across the box and out of play on the far side as Newport enjoyed some good attacking possession.
Lawless slipped the ball inside to Koriya on the edge of the box and he stepped to the left to create space for a shot, but his low-curling effort was well saved by Lutter who got his body behind it well. A great move followed from Cogenhoe as Dore, Long and Melling combining to find Dove twenty-five yards out and the skipper turned square to make himself a yard before curling a beauty beyond the dive of Osborn, but he was desperately unlucky to see his shot smack the face of the post. Long almost got on the rebound but he was jus beaten to it by a yellow shirt.
It all went wrong for the Cooks moments later as Herbert drove a ball into the box and it skidded on the wet surface before smacking against the unfortunate Inwood and wrong footing Lutter to go into his own net just inside the post. Very unlucky on the left-back and a freak own goal with 29 minutes played.
A Wilkinson free-kick gave Stratton the chance to cross, but Liversedge’s diving header was wide of the near post, then Lawless beat Stevenson and pulled the ball back to Liversedge on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked by the covering Melling. A good old fashioned up and under clearance from Ofosu was judged superbly in the air by Barnell as Newport looked to give chase.
A great flick on by Dove saw Long wriggle past Ofosu and Dave Baker before slipping on the edge of the box just as he got himself through. More great defending from the impressive Barnell saw him work across to cover on our right as the Swans broke quickly. Long was fouled a couple of yards outside the box in a central position giving Dove a chance at goal. He got his free-kick past the wall, but Osborn got his body behind it but could only parry and as Long looked to pounce on the rebound, he was just beaten to it by a defender. Dore played a lovely ball into Long inside the box and he went down under the challenge. My immediate thoughts were that it was a soft penalty, but Martin Potton sitting in the stand was sure the referee had got it right. Wilkinson went into the book for his complaints, but a penalty it was and Dove went for power, but Osborn made a good diving save. Tuck raced onto the loose ball and fired a low shot that seemed to have goal written all over it, but Osborn recovered to make a fantastic save and keep his side level into the break.
Half-time; Cogenhoe United 1 Newport Pagnell Town 1.
Newport were quickest out of the blocks in the second half as they took the game to Cogenhoe and Stratton hooked a shot on target from beyond the far post but Lutter took it easily, then Wilkinson floated in a cross that was ahead of his teammates, but only just beyond the far top corner. Cogenhoe were sitting very deep for the first few minutes and inviting Pagnell to play in our half, but a superb sixty-yard ball from Lowery saw Long break down the right, but his cross was cut out at the expense of a corner. Tuck played it in and Newport pressed the self-destruct button as they gave away a totally needless penalty with a foul on Inwood on the edge of the six-yard box. I didn’t catch the assailant, but I’m assuming it was Herbert who was taken aside by Mr Wade and showed the yellow card, but it may have been for something he said. Dove, having already seen Osborn save one of his spot-kicks, was cool as a cucumber and he stepped up and placed a low penalty just inside the keeper’s left-hand post and restore Cogenhoe’s lead with 53 minutes gone.
A good run and low cross from Koriya was cleared after a bit of a scare in the box, then McBride went into the book for a foul and he could have no arguments about this one. Dove won the ball in midfield and played it wide to Tuck who found Long who turned it wide for Dore to run on to and play a low ball towards Dove at the near post, but Baker got a foot to it before the Cooks man could get there. A lovely touch by Lawless gave Koriya a chance to break, but his first touch wasn’t good enough and Cogenhoe cleared. Dore played a great ball wide for Tuck who had loads of space and time, but he badly misjudged the weight of his cross and went way over everyone’s head and out on the far side.
Lutter got down at his near post to claim a low Lawless ball across from the left, but it was routine for the Cooks number one. Long found Dove inside the corner of the box, but his shot hit Wilkinson and went behind for a corner. End-to-end as Lutter climbed to claw out a Stratton corner and we were fortunate to see Koriya blaze a shot over from a great position.
A fantastic ball from Tuck saw Dove break for goal, but a great tackle from Baker won the ball back for Newport. Ofosu had been struggling since being tackled by Dove on the half-way and he made way for Adam Pryke in a straight swap in the back four. The sub was straight in the action and seemed unlucky as he was penalised for a foul on Long when I felt he had taken the ball. It was only a few yards outside the box and on the right, the perfect spot for a Tuck special and we so nearly got one. His free-kick was over the wall and dipping but it came down a fraction too late and hit the top of the bar before going over for a goal-kick.
Koriya got away from Stevenson with the centre-back wide on Newport’s right and he had space to deliver a decent cross, but Melling read it well and came across to head away. Koriya took the corner himself and Herbert met it with a powerful header, but it was a couple of yards the wrong side of the near post. A good chest down and turn from Dove gave Long a run down the right, but he had no support and settled for a corner. This was Tuck’s side again and he swung it in where Inwood got up to flick across the face of goal, but we couldn’t make it pay.
Lowery played a ball into the near post where Dove looked to get a vital touch, but it came off the keeper and Newport managed to clear. Dore got away from Michael Lyon who tripped him with the Swans player lucky to get away with just a lecture on this occasion rather than a yellow card. A couple of subs followed with Darryl Smith replacing Wilkinson and then Tom Iaciofano coming on in place of Long up front.
Newport were running out of time as they pushed up for an equaliser, but both Barnell and Inwood made good tackles to stop Koriya getting in a telling cross. Melling picked up a stoppage time booking for a blatant body check to stop a break down the flank, but the Swans couldn’t make the breakthrough and this was Cogenhoe’s day.
This was our first league win since Harborough Town back in early August, but it’s two on the trot and three unbeaten as we are starting to look like the team we know we are. We now need to kick-on as the confidence comes back and at our best we can more than match anyone in this league. Ryan Dove took his tally to eleven for the season and was again superb out there and his partnership with the also impressive Matt Long is one of the best in this division. Dove could easily have been man-of-the-match for the second week running, but today I’m giving it to George Barnell for his sheer hard work in covering at the back and for being the man to end so many Newport attacks. Josh Mellling and Jamie Inwood both put in very good performances against pacey wide-men, while Séan McBride and Alex Lowery both performed well in the centre. A special mention to Liam Tuck who came back from injury to re-claim his place and he repaid Jake Stone’s faith with a great performance today that also made him a contender for the MOTM today. The gaffer doesn’t always get the praise he deserves as I concentrate on those on the park in my reports, but his formation and the way he set his side out today was spot-on so thanks and well-done for that. Newport have a lot of good players and a great management team so I’m sure they will turn around this indifferent start to the season and the results will soon come, but maybe a couple of their players are now past their best if I’m brutally honest. They do have one of the best keepers in the league still though in Mark Osborn, as do we in Stuart Lutter. Keeper’s definitely improve with age as these two have proved.
We have seven days before our next game, but that won’t be an easy one as Deeping Rangers pay us a visit smarting from a 0-3 home defeat to Eynesbury today.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Josh Melling 3. Jamie Inwood 4. Alex Lowery 5. Geoge Barnell 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Montel Dore 8. Séan McBride 9. Matt Long (sub 14. Tom Iaciofano 84) 10. Ryan Dove © 11. Liam Tuck. Subs not used; 12. Patryk Cichosz 15. Ben Drinkwater 16. Luke Bartley.
Newport Pagnell Town; 1. Mark Osborn © 2. Oli Wilkinson (sub 14. Darryl Smith 80) 3. Damon Herbert 4. Liam Smyth 5. Yaw Ofosu (sub 12. Adam Pryke 68) 6. Dave Baker 7. Dom Lawless 8. Michael Lyon 9. Tom Liversedge 10. Fazel Koriya 11. Harry Stratton. Sub not used; 15. Jake Stronge.
Referee; Stuart Wade.