County cup glory as Cooks win at Kettering.
Ryan Dove hits late winner as Cogenhoe come form behind to beat the Poppies on their own patch.
Tuesday 18th September 2018
NORTHANTS F.A SENIOR HILLIER CUP-FIRST ROUND
KETTERING TOWN (0) 1 v COGENHOE UNITED (0) 2
Poppies; Milne 49
Cooks; Lowery 54 Dove 89
In the past Kettering Town away in the county cup was always something to get excited about and a chance to play at Rockingham Road with its huge cantilever stand and terracing, but somehow it isn’t the same now they are tenants at Burton Park Wanderers Latimer Park! They have done a lot of work on the ground to bring it up to a level where it is suitable to host Southern League Premier Division football but sadly the pitch is probably worse than any I have seen in the UCL Premier.
Jake Stone made one change to his starting line-up from Saturday’s trip to Holbeach with Stuart Lutter returning between the sticks, while Ben Drinkwater was fit enough to return to the bench tonight on a blustery and somewhat chilly night in Burton Latimer.
Early exchanges were mainly in the midfield with both sides showing attacking intent without breaking through. Dan Stevenson picked up a very early booking for a foul on the edge of the box, but Dion Kelly-Evans blazed the free kick several yards over the top as it sailed towards the Alumasc factory. Séan McBride slipped a good ball into the path of Montel Dore’s rub down the left and he whipped over a cross that Lewis Elsom took comfortably. Tom Iaciofano won the ball in the centre and fed Matt Long who went past his man to play the ball across the box, but Durrell Berry cut it out. Elsom caught a Josh Melling cross above his head and then proceeded to kick the ball straight at Berry in bizarre fashion. The Poppies skipper got his foot to the ball and it sailed back towards the keeper who took it as a back pass and tried to head it away, but he didn’t meet it cleanly and Ryan Dove put pressure on him but the keeper just managed to get to the ball first and scramble it away.
A good run by Long saw him go past the left-back and cut inside the box but he was very quickly closed down by two defenders and his under-pressure cross went straight behind for a goal-kick. Jack O’Connor made ground through the midfield and found Javanni Davidson-Miller who got himself into the box only for Melling to get across and make a challenge before he could get his shot away. The ensuing corner was headed back across the goal and for the first time in the game the Cooks looked vulnerable, but they were lucky in the fact that Etse Hottor’s low shot hit the post when he probably should have scored.
Cogenhoe hit back after their scare and Inwood delivered a good ball into Dove who used his strength to hold it up before laying it back to Dore on the edge of the box, but he pulled his first time shot wide of the near post. George Barnell became the second Cook to be shown the yellow card for a foul out wide on the left which seemed harsh from where I stood. Moments later Richard Lavery got away with a lecture after using his elbow which didn’t do Jake Stone’s blood-pressure much good. Iaciofano played the free-kick towards the back post where Stevenson got up amidst the crowd to head, but he was always underneath it and it went out for a goal-kick. Alex Lowery played a great ball wide to Long who got past his man and crossed, but a defender got there first at the expense of a corner. Iaciofano’s flag kick was cleared and Shaun Barry blew his whistle to bring an end to a scrappy half of football.
Half-time; Kettering Town 0 Cogenhoe United 0.
The home side made a double change at the break with skipper Durrell Berry and Andrea Borg making way for Sam Thompson and Arjun Hundall while Cogenhoe remained unchanged.
Cooks were first to attack with Long winning a corner. Iaciofano swung it in and although a Poppies player got his head to it, Dore seized on the loose ball and fired in a shot that hit a defender before being cleared. On 49 minutes the deadlock was broken, but it was down the other end. Cogenhoe should have cleared their lines but instead ended up facing a second successive corner which they failed to deal with and it fell nicely to Callum Milne who drilled a first time shot home for around twelve yards out.
Ben Toseland went for goal from distance, but the left-backs effort was well off target, while Stuart Lutter kept the Cooks in the game with a good save as he dived to get his hand to Davidson-Miller’s low drive at his near post.
The reaction from Cogenhoe was superb and they were pushing their step four hosts back and almost levelled through skipper Dove who got up to head Melling’s free-kick on target, but Elsom stretched to touch his effort over the bar. They didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough though as Iacioano swung the corner in and Alex Lowery turned it home from inside the six-yard box and level the scoring on 54 minutes.
Long played a good ball in towards Iaciofano, but Lavery got his body in front to clear and then we saw two quick subs, one for either team. Tom Iaciofano made way for Matt Johnson and shortly afterwards Joe Massaro replaced Lindon Miekle.
A Long corner was blocked by Thompson, but his second attempt was a well-executed chip that Lowery flicked on, but Elsom got above Dove at the far post at the expense of a corner a corner on the other side. Long won the ball on the right and turned to deliver a great ball across the box that was just ahead of Dove and Johnson as Cogenhoe turned the screw. This was Matt Long’s last action as he came off for Ben Drinkwater’s return for the final five minutes.
The sub was soon in the action as Lowery picked him out with a great ball and he outpaced his marker before unleashing a powerful shot that flew the wrong side of the near post. It was looking like penalties as time ticked away, but cometh the hour cometh the man and captain fantastic Ryan Dove capped a hard night’s work with the deciding goal with 89 minutes played. Johnson battled to win the ball and he slipped it inside to Drinkwater who steered it back to Dove and he fired a in a low shot that Elsom dived to his right to get his hands to, but the young keeper couldn’t keep it out. The last thing of note was a yellow card for Richard Lavery, assumedly for something he said, then seconds later Shaun Barry brought proceedings to a very happy end for Cogenhoe.
There were a lot of smiling faces from the boy in blue (and your reporter) after the lads really put in a shift on a very tough night in Burton Latimer. The wind was gusty so you couldn’t play it in the air, but the pitch is so poor it was very difficult to play it on the floor either so all-in-all it was a fairly scrappy game. Ryan Dove was the match-winner at the death and also his contribution and effort were superb as he lead from the front, so he is my Man-of-the-match today, but everyone deserves credit throughout the team. Kettering had a few spells where they put pressure on our defence, but we largely kept them at bay, although a very good save from Stuart Lutter and the width of the post helped us through as well.
Kettering Town; 1. Lewis Elsom 2. Durrell Berry © (sub 6. Arjun Hundall ht) 3. Ben Toseland 4. Callum Milne 5. Jack O’Connor 7. Lindon Meikle (sub 11. Joe Massaro 73) 9. Etse Hottor 12. Dion Kelly-Evans 17. Andrea Borg (sub 15. Sam Thompson ht) 16. Richard Lavery 20. Javanni Davidson-Miller. Subs not used; 13. Jacob Wood 14. Fred Amankwa.
Cogenhoe United; 1. Stuart Lutter 2. Josh Melling 3. Jamie Inwood 4. Alex Lowery 5. George Barnell 6. Dan Stevenson 7. Tom Iaciofano (sub 15. Matt Johnson 71) 8. Séan McBride 9. Matt Long (sub 17. Ben Drinkwater 85) 10. Ryan Dove © 11. Montel Dore. Subs not used; 12. Patryk Cichosz 14. Liam Stone 17. Luke Stone.
Referee; Shaun Barry.