Frustrating night for Jake and the boys.
Cogenhoe lost second spot tonight as The Nurserymen hold them to a draw at Compton Park.
Tuesday 18th April 2017
CHROMASPORT & TROPHIES UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-RESERVE DIVISION
COGENHOE UNITED Reserves (0) 1 v OLNEY TOWN Reserves (1) 1
Cooks; Galpin 61
Olney; Lindop 45
It barely seems possible, but this was the Reserves final home game of the season, although the weather was far from spring-like with the temperature dropping rapidly with a real bite to the wind giving a wintry feel to the evening. I suppose this would be classed as a must win game for the Cooks in their bid to claim the runners-up spot, but against opponents who had thumped them 5-1 in the away fixture, this would certainly be no walk-over.
Joe Shanley made a good run and cross down the flank that Ian Lindop headed behind for an early corner. Lee Haines had a free-kick punched clear by Jack Taylor then Lewis Galpin broke down the right and tried to weave his way into a shooting chance, but was crowded out as he reached the box. Reece Sweeney tried a thirty-yarder that bounced in the box, but was easy for Taylor to take. Shanley got on the end of a Galpin cross, but his header looped well over. Down at the other end, George Barnell headed away after Jamie Clarke had lofted a ball into the Cogenhoe box, but it soon back down the clubhouse end as Sweeney went on a jinking run that saw him get inside the penalty area before the ball bobbled away from his control and Olney were able to clear their lines. A nice cross from Haines saw Galpin get in a header, but he was under pressure from two green shirts and couldn’t keep it on target. Jordan Spruce played what would have been a dangerous ball through the centre had Barnell not read it well and cut it out, then Cogenhoe had some pressure in the visitor’s box but Taylor got down to take Sweeney’s low ball across the six-yard box. Josh Melling used his experience to win a corner which Lee Haines lofted into the box. Dan Stevenson headed it down and Galpin hit a first time shot that forced Taylor to make a good save with his outstretched boot. Moments later another good break from Cogenhoe ended when Nathan Burrows beat the keeper with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box, but the ball smacked against the crossbar and Olney had a lucky escape. Dean Torto took the ball into the Cooks half and played a great ball wide to Micky O’Farrell and he whipped in a cross that Liam Stone did well to clear, but as the game went into first-half stoppage time, Olney broke the deadlock. Cogenhoe had failed to clear their lines and allowed Olney to keep the pressure on and Ian Lindop hit an unstoppable drive into the far corner from the left-hand side of the box. Just what Cogenhoe didn’t need as they went into the break.
Half-time; Cogenhoe United Res. 0 Olney Town Res. 1
Both sides made a change at the break with Harry Chipchase replacing Liam Stone for the Cooks, while Olney brought on Jamie Cox for Clarke. Olney were first to show and Lutter came out well to punch away a corner, but Cogenhoe should have levelled early in the half as they opened up the visitor’s defence for the first time. Joe Shanley found himself in a one-on-one situation with the keeper and although he was quick off his line, Shanley had more time than he thought and he tried to shoot early and put it straight at the keeper. The ball rolled loose and Burrows was straight on it with the keeper stranded, but he didn’t get hold of his shot at all and a defender was able to get back and tidy up nicely. It was looking like Cogenhoe needed something a bit special to get back into this and that’s exactly what they got just after the hour. A lovely cross from Melling found Galpin and he hooked a volley into the top corner from about twelve yards out. A great finish and at a time when Cogenhoe really needed to get back into the game.
Haines threw long into the box for Stevenson to head on, but Jacob Cox sliced his volley and it went well wide of the far post. A great ball from Chipchase gave Galpin the chance to whip in a cross, but Grant Burrows was back covering and intercepted well. Joe Shanley had needed treatment with some of the Cooks players claiming he had been the victim of a late challenge and he was forced off a minute or two later with Elliott O’Reilly taking his place on the left, while Olney soon replaced Chris Pendry with Lewis Smith, forcing a bit of a reshuffle. Spruce turned nicely on the edge of the box and fired in a shot that Lutter took well and the keeper was called into action soon after with a great stop from Tintadenda Muchawaya’s low drive. Barnell had to be at his best after Cox had found O’Farrell in the box, then the Olney striker tried a shot from a difficult angle despite Lutter covering his near post and only hit the side-netting. Olney were piecing together some good moves now with O’Farrell and Spruce setting up a chance for Steve Blood, but his drive was wide of the far post. It was The Nurserymen who looked like snatching a winner now, although Galpin played in a good cross for Burrows, but it bounced awkwardly in front of the striker. O’Farrell saw a shot blocked after good work from Blood and they perhaps should have taken the points late on when Muchawaya blazed a shot wide from an angle when he had three teammates well positioned in the box.
That was that and with Desborough winning 5-3 at Newport Pagnell, the Cooks slip down to third with just one game remaining. Desborough have one game left too and have a better goal difference,while Saturday’s opponents Rothwell Corinthians have two in hand, so even if we are victorious in that game, we are reliant on the other two slipping up in their final games.
A draw is probably a fair reflection of tonight’s game. Both sides had good spells and can look back on chances that could have sealed this game. It was a bit of a nervy performance from the Cooks, but there were quite a few young lads out there and for once the pressure was on them. Stuart Lutter takes my man-of-the-match today. No chance with the goal, couple of good saves and kept the defence on their toes all game. George Barnell also impressed me and must be close to knocking on the first team door. Reece Sweeney looks an exciting player, while Lewis Galpin, Joe Shanley and Nathan Burrows all worked hard and showed real potential at times. Lee Haines was solid and useful when coming forward and his, Josh Melling and Dan Stevenson’s experience helped keep Olney at bay during their hot spell towards the end of the game. Liam Stone and Jordan Cox worked hard in the centre, although I would have liked to see a bit more of the creativity I have witnessed in the past. Harry Chipchase impressed me after coming on at the break, but Elliott O’Reilly didn’t see enough of the ball affect the game today. Whatever happens on Saturday and with the other teams battling for second spot, this has been a fantastic season for Jake Stone and his assistant Curtis Avery in their first season in management. I’m sure they would both love to still be playing and may well be again in the future, especially Curtis, but they have shown that they could have a future in the dugout should they wish.
Cogenhoe; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Josh Melling 3. Lee Haines 4. Liam Stone (sub 15. Harry Chipchase ht) 5. George Barnell 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Reece Sweeney (sub 14. Ben Avery 80) 8. Jacob Cox 9. Nathan Burrows 10. Joe Shanley (sub 16. Elliott O’Reilly 69) 11. Lewis Galpin. Subs not used; 12. Elliott Bartley 17. Sean Nicholson.
Olney Tn; 1. Jack Taylor 2. Ryan Howell 3. Chris Pendry (sub 14. Lewis Smith 72) 4. Jamie Clarke (sub 12. Jamie Cox ht) 5. Grant Burrows 6. Ian Lindop 7. Tintadenda Muchawaya 8. Steve Blood 9. Micky O’Farrell 10 Jordan Spruce 11. Dean Torto. Subs not used; 15. Sam Cox 16. Bogani Moya 17. Jamie Lands.
Referee; Peter Wilson.