Tight affair at Compton Park, but Athletic sneak the win.
Saturday 21st July 2018 PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY
COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (0) 0 v BUCKINGHAM ATHLETIC Development (0) 1
Paris-Smith (OG) 80
It was a much changed starting line-up from Wednesday evening with just Joe Evans, Patrik Cichosz, Reece Sweeney, Ali Duncan and Joe Shanley from that starting line-up starting this afternoon.
Joe Shanley got into the box and created a half-chance, while Harry Darnell headed over in the early stages, but the game struggled to get going on another very hot day at Compton Park. A great piece of skill from Matt Johnson on the edge of the box saw him lose his man and steer the ball wide of the keeper with the outside of his boot, but his effort went just wide of the far post too.
Buckingham had a great chance when the ball fell kindly to their striker, but Evans dived to make a very decent save. Cichosz reacted quickly to make it difficult on the rebound and Evans was able to save again and hold on to the ball. A very tidy piece of defending from Tyrese Paris-Smith kept the game goalless as the visitors threatened again with a sweeping move into the left side of our box. Curtis Avery delivered a superb free-kick into the box from the half-way line and Johnson had peeled off his marker, but he couldn’t keep his volley under bar height. Tom O’Neil did well to craft a crossing chance and although his delivery was good, the keeper read it well and claimed the ball in front of his goal and the score remained 0-0 as we went into the break.
Craig Hayward made six changes at the as we kicked-off the second half and while we were settling in again, Athletic had a good spell of attacking possession. Evans was again the saviour as he dived at full stretch to keep out a low shot and recovered quickly enough to push the ball away from another attacker whilst still on the deck. Ben Alibone dinked a ball into the box and a defender headed it out for a corner, although it did look for a brief moment that he may have inadvertently opened the scoring at the wrong end.
Ash Hewitt cut inside and tried to curl one into the far post from twenty yards, but he didn’t get round it enough. With about ten minutes remaining we finally got the goal that was looking less and less likely as the minutes ticked by and it fell to Athletic. A good break and pass to the left side of our box saw a shot swept past Evans as he tried to narrow the angle and it looked like it was already heading for the goal when Paris-Smith threw himself at it to try and block, but could only help it into his own net.
Evans had to be brave as he dived at a forwards feet, while the last chance of the game fell to Hewitt with a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal, but his effort was too high and Cogenhoe’s winning run came to an end.
Not a game that will live on in the memory, but pre-season is about fitness and getting everybody a chance. I think that a draw might have been a fairer reflection of the game as a whole, but Joe Evans was the busier of the keepers over the full course of the game.
Biggleswade United send their U23 team to Compton Park next Saturday for what will be the Reserves last friendly before the real stuff starts in early August.