Reserves end pre-season on a high.
Cooks young reserve side came from behind to defeat Biggleswade United U23 at a very windy Compton Park.
Saturday 28th July 2018
COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (1) 4 v BIGGLESWADE UNITED U23 (1) 1
Craig Hayward’s team brought their pre-season schedule to a close with a 4-1 victory at home to Biggleswade United U23 with another squad containing plenty of youth squad players. Biggleswade won the toss and opted to use the strong, blustery wind to their advantage for the first forty-five minutes but despite taking the lead, they had been pegged back before the interval.
When you are playing into a strong wind taking short goal-kicks is often the best way, but it didn’t work out for the Cooks on 17 minutes when the ball broke to the unmarked no.4 outside the box in a central position and he fired his well-struck shot past the stranded Callum Patching and into the back of the net.
Despite the wind Cogenhoe were having plenty of attacks with both left-back Tom Iaciofano and Joe Shanley delivering decent balls into the box from the left flank. Matt Johnson controlled the ball well and found Jonny Shakespeare who turned and went square before trying a thirty-yarder that went up in the wind and was well over the top. The visitors had three efforts in one attack with Patching saving the first with legs before a blocked shot and an effort sent high over the top kept the score at nil-one.
Johnson again found Shakespeare who beat his man and played it to Jacob Cox in the middle. He held the ball up and found Harry Darnell just outside the box, striking a first-time shot with conviction, but the youngster couldn’t beat the keeper. It was 1-1 on 36 minutes though as Jacob Cox turned inside the box and fired a low shot into the far corner after good build up play from Johnson and Shakespeare. It could easily have been two a few minutes later after Johnson had found Jessi Obeng wide right and he cut inside to deliver a lovely ball into Shakespeare at the near post, but he got under his shot and put it over the bar.
Just one change for Hayward at the break with Jake Walpole replacing Tyrese Paris-Smith at centre-back. With the wind now behind them Cogenhoe were pushing on and it took just two minutes to take the lead. A lovely move saw Obeng get to the by-line inside the penalty area and pull it across the six-yard box where Iaciofano had ghosted in to turn the ball into the empty net from very close range.
Johnson connected with an effort from outside the box, but it went straight at the keeper, before the Cooks netted twice inside sixty seconds to secure the win. Cox found his strike partner Shakespeare just inside the box and he was cool as a cucumber in playing the ball out of his feet and calmly picking his spot inside the far post with a beautifully placed shot. Joe Shanley then broke clear on the left side and took it into the box, drawing the keeper, before slotting it to his left and just inside the far post to make it 4-1 on 55 minutes.
Cooks gave everybody a run-out over the next few minutes and one of those subs, Harry Southgate, almost scored direct from a corner, but the keeper just managed to turn it over his crossbar. Iaciofano forced a great save out of the keeper and saw his follow-up blocked, while Southgate used the wind to try and curl a lofted shot home from the edge of the box on the left, but it was a foot or so wide. Reece Sweeney went for glory with a thirty yarder, but it sailed a few yards over the top.
A good pre-season for new boss Craig Hayward and with plenty of youngsters proving their worth, he now has the headache of deciding who he picks when the real stuff starts against Rothwell Corinthians next Saturday. Tom Iaciofano was impressive coming forward in the left-back birth, but wasn’t really tested defensively, while Tom O’Neil found himself coming on after just two minutes at right-back and looked solid once more. Another youngster Harry Darnell really looked the part in the centre of midfield and could have a bright future at the club. The more experienced campaigners all look ready for the season and it was great to see Jacob Cox back in action and he deserved his goal today. Matt Johnson looked class at times, while Jonny Shakespeare was involved in a lot of our attacks and took his goal superbly.
Cooks; 1. Callum Patching 2. Patryk Cichosz 3. Tom Iaciofano 4. Jack Riley 5. Tyrese Paris-Smith 6. Harry Darnell 7. Jessi Obeng 8. Matt Johnson 9. Jonny Shakespeare 10. Jacob Cox © 11. Joe Shanley. Subs all used; 12. Harry Southgate 14. Reece Sweeney 15. Ben Alibone 16. Jake Walpole 17. Tom O’Neil 2. Harry Freeman.