Cockfield United

Cockfield United

A disappointing weekend for both our sides saw us garner just one point from our two games. The 1sts welcomed Ipswich Athletic to the Green and were forced into one change with Wardrop unavailable, so club stalwart Whight dusted off his boots to come in at centre half. We made one other change bringing in Glasswell for Snape in a bid to add a bit of pace to our front line.

Athletic started well dominating possession and switching play well to try and get their lively wingers into the game. Despite this they weren’t creating a lot and the opening 15 minutes didn’t have a lot to report in the way of chances with both sides having headers from corners go well wide the best of the lot. We struggled to keep possession as time and again we looked to play the killer ball far too soon, meaning more often than not the ball came straight back. We did have the first meaningful chance of the game when a good move down the left saw Hughes roll his man and drive into the box standing up a cross to the far post for the onrushing Garrad who couldn’t sort his feet out with the goal at his mercy only managing to steer wide. This seemed to stimulate us into action for the next 15 minutes as we started to keep possession better and forcing Athletic back. This was rewarded on the half hour when a perfectly flighted corner from Hudson-Hill was powered home from 8 yards out by Hughes for his 1st goal of the season and 1-0; which on the balance of chances we just about deserved. The game became more even now with both teams threatening but not really creating much until the 40th minute when a good cross was headed goalward by the Athletic forward only for Brinkley to get down and produce an excellent save. As the half drew to a close a long ball into the Cockfield box was competed for by the Athletic forward and Ennis resulting in a nasty clash of heads which saw Ennis cut his head open and the Athletic forward with a nasty cut above his eye. Sadly this meant the withdrawal of the Athletic forward and we hope he recovers quickly whilst Ennis was patched/vaselined up as the half was brought to a close.
The message at half time was that we needed to up our game. For vast swathes of the first half we had been too indecisive in our decision making; reacting rather than anticipating the situation both in and out of possession which had allowed Athletic to dominate the possession if not the chances. We needed to try and get ourselves on the front foot by being more proactive if we were to have a more controlled half.

From the start of the second half the message seemed to sink in as it was now our turn to have the lions share of the possession, unfortunately we just seemed to be having on of those days where our passing just wasn’t there. Time and again in the first 20 minutes of the second half we broke into the final third with numbers and space and time and again we produced poor quality of pass to squander the situation. We did though have the ball in the net when a good move on the edge of the box fell to Nicholson to roll the ball through for Spivey to race onto and slide home but rather incredibly the goal was given offside by the Athletic linesman despite Spivey being yards onside and having to run past the defender to get to the ball (the less said about the Athletics linesmans antics throughout the game the better and the refs explanation of the incident after the game left us very unsatisfied). This was to prove costly as Athletic threatened for the first real time in the second half when the Athletic right winger was given too much time and space to swing in a cross which the unfortunate Garrad went to clear only to thump the ball into the midriff of Ennis allowing the ball to fall kindly for the Athletic midfielder to poke home from 6 yards for 1-1 just after 65 minutes. This invigorated the Athletic efforts and an even finish played out with both sides creating chances in the last 20 minutes. For ourselves Spivey lobbed wide when well placed and Whight had a chance well blocked in the box and for Athletic Brinkley tipped over a good effort from the edge of the box. Finally, at the death Spivey raced towards goal from halfway outpacing the Athletic centre back but a slightly heavy touch meant he could only slide under the keeper and into the side netting meaning the game finished 1-1.

A frustrating game for ourselves against a good Ipswich Athletic side who passed the ball well at times and had good threat from their wide players. We never really got going properly for the entirety of the game with our passing just not up to scratch. Pleasingly despite our possession-based travails we offered up very little to Athletic defensively reducing them to half chances with the goal conceded being unlucky with how it transpired. Undoubtedly the turning point of the game centred on the controversial disallowed goal as that would have been game over at 2-0 but quite honestly we probably didn’t offer enough to deserve the win and a draw was a fair result. Individually I thought Brinkley was solid between the sticks making a couple of good saves when needed and up top Glasswell offered glimpses of the threat he poses with his quick feet and if we could have got him into the game more the result might have been different. At centre half Ennis and Whight rekindled their partnership of previous seasons and were excellent throughout rarely losing a battle and making timely interceptions. MOM went to Whight who on his return to the 1st team was in imperious form and looked like he had never been away.

The Reserves made the trip to AFC Kesgrave Reserves knowing a win would allow them to close right up on their opponents near the top of the table. We started pretty well giving as good as we got handling Kesgraves lively front two really well. Both teams created a few openings with the best of those falling to Mannell who probably should have headed towards goal rather than volley when clear at the back post. Other than that it was a half of few chances in an even game despite the pleasing on the eye football played meaning the sides came in level at half time at 0-0.

The message at half time was to try and produce a better final ball and to up the tempo with the game there for the taking. Initially this did the trick as 4 minutes into the second half a quick free kick by Aldous was played over the top for Gay to run onto; controlling with his left and finishing well with his right for 1-0. The lead didn’t last long as 3 minutes later we gave away a soft penalty for their striker to dispatch emphatically into the top corner in an explosive start to the half. We were soon 2-1 behind as our play became sloppy and disjointed meaning we got punished again through some very poor defending for their striker to smash home off keeper Harrod. After the setback we seemed to settle again but much like the 1sts we struggled to find the final ball. It became 3-1 when a Kesgrave midfielder broke through and volleyed a stunning goal for 3-1 and things went from bad to worse when the Kesgrave striker completed his hattrick after a bad tackle from Aldous saw him strike home a great free kick for 4-1. With 20 minutes to go we were given a chance when the Kesgrave right back fouled Baird and then kicked him resulting in him receiving his marching orders. From the resulting free kick Francis crossed for Aldous to reduce the arrears to 4-2. We were on top for the remainder missing a few decent chances but our attempted comeback was too little to late as the scoreline remained 4-2 in a good game. MOM on the day was Si Gay.

This weekend all 3 of our sides are in action (weather permitting) as the 1sts travel to basement club IVR needing to get back on track with a good performance, the Reserves entertain Benhall St Mary Reserves looking to maintain their gap to those below them and the Vets finally return to action for the 1st time in 2019 as they travel to Ipswich Phoenix

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Posted: Friday, February 1 2019 by Tom O'Leary

The views expressed in club/league notes are not necessarily those of Archant Suffolk

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