Reserves start pre-season with a win.
Four unanswered goals give Craig Hayward a winning start, but Lutter must take credit for the clean sheet.
Saturday 14th July 2018
COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (1) 4 v BIGGLESWADE F.C Reserves (0) 0
Shakespeare 62, 67(pen)
New Reserve team manager Craig Hayward saw his first action as his youthful side kicked off their warm-up campaign with a 4-0 win over Bedfordshire League opponents Biggleswade Reserves on a very hot and sapping day at Compton Park. With six of the squad being this season’s Under 18 players, it bodes well for an exciting time ahead for the club, whilst they had the experienced head of Stuart Lutter behind them to keep them on their toes. Of last season’s squad, just Liam Stone, Curtis Avery, Elliott Bartley, Harry Southgate, Joe Shanley and Ali Duncan started the game, with Jonny Shakespeare and Reece Sweeney on the bench. Ash Fuller started having played for the first team last weekend, while youngsters Doyle Standishay, Tom O’Neil and Tom Iacifano also started, Jack Mullery was soon called into action in the first half, while Jessi Obeng and Dylan Weston both played the second half. The more experienced Ben Drinkwater came on at half time and made an immediate impact, as did Connor Bailey, while Luke Telford made a late appearance after running the line for the majority of the match.
Biggleswade started quite brightly and Stuart Lutter had to be quick off his line to dive at a forward’s feet and then he made a great stop with his outstretched boot to keep out a well struck low effort. Duncan almost got on the end of a Southgate cross and the following corner just wouldn’t drop for Bartley to despatch. Bartley was forced to limp off just before the half-hour mark holding his thigh, with Jack Mullery taking his place in the centre of the back four. Shortly afterwards we lost skipper Liam Stone with a nasty foot injury after he caught a Biggleswade player’s boot as he went to clear and came off worse. This time it was Reece Sweeney who got into the game earlier than originally planned.
Joe Shanley latched onto a long ball and knocked it down towards Duncan on the edge of the box and although he didn’t get the perfect connection on his volley, it looped over the keeper’s head and landed on the top of the bar before going over. It was Ali Duncan who opened the scoring though five minutes before the break. Tom Iaciofano dinked a beauty of a free-kick towards the far post and Duncan rose unchallenged to steer his header over the keeper and into the far corner. There was still time for the visitors to go close from a corner, but the headed effort went narrowly wide.
Half-time; Cooks 1 Biggleswade 0.
Craig Hayward made a number of changes at the break with Jessi Obeng, Dylan Weston, Ben Drinkwater, Jonny Shakespeare and Connor Bailey all getting the second 45 minutes under their belts. It took just three minutes for one of these players to make their mark as Drinkwater made himself space around the edge of the box and fired a superb shot beyond the keeper and high into the far corner. Biggleswade almost hit straight back, but again Lutter came to the rescue when he stretched to his left to make a fine one handed save from a well struck effort from just inside the box.
Impressive left back Tom O’Neil sent over a great cross that Shakespeare met with his head but couldn’t keep on target, but last season’s leading scorer was soon in the goals again as he brought the ball down in the box before turning and steering a low shot in off the far post from fifteen yards out. Bailey made a good run and cross to the far post where Drinkwater headed it back and a defender handled. The referee pointed to the spot without needing VAR and Shakespeare calmly slotted the penalty kick to the keeper’s left and it was 4-0 after 67 minutes.
Jessi Obeng made a fantastic run from his own half and worked deep into the Biggleswade box before cutting inside and trying a shot, but it didn’t match the run was too close to the keeper. Bailey won back possession and broke down the right flank before pulling it back to Shakespeare on the edge of the box, but this time the striker placed his first time shot just wide of the far post.
Drinkwater just beat his man to a loose ball and poked it inside to Shakespeare before being clattered for his trouble. The ref played a good advantage as Shakespeare slipped a great ball through to Obeng to run into the box, but this time his touch was a tad heavy and the keeper dived on it before he could get in a shooting position. Drinkwater is certainly made of tough stuff though as got up and finished the match.
So a win for Hayward in his first game and some very encouraging performances from both old and new players. Great to see the Under 18s given a chance and all of them showed they could play their part in the Reserves too over the course of the season.
Cooks; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Doyle Standishay 3. Tom O’Neil 4. Liam Stone © 5. Curtis Avery 6. Elliott Bartley 7. Harry Southgate 8. Tom Iaciofano 9. Joe Shanley 10. Ali Duncan 11. Ash Fuller. Subs all used. 12. Luke Telford 14. Jack Mullery 15. Jessi Obeng 16. Dylan Weston 17. Reece Sweeney 18. Ben Drinkwater 19. Jonny Shakespeare 20. Connor Bailey.