Cockfield United

Cockfield United

A far more pleasing weekend for both of our sides as both sides were able to pick up wins. The 1sts travelled to bottom club Ipswich Valley Rangers needing a win to keep up the pace in the league after two consecutive draws - which I suppose were due after none in the league to that point and only one in the entirety of last season! We made three changes as Harrod, Crowe and Wardrop came in for the skiing Brinkley, injured Ennis and the absent Hudson-Hill also changing our shape to a 433 to give ourselves a more attacking outlook.

This paid dividends almost straight away when a good passing move saw Nicholson slide in Hughes down the left and his low cross was controlled and then calmly turned home by Glasswell for the lead inside 3 minutes. We didn’t have to wait long for our 2nd as another good move down the left saw Banks beat his man and then put in a low cross which was helped over the line by the hapless IVR left back – rather dubiously perhaps we awarded the goal to Banks after his fine work. Two soon became three on 14 minutes as we raced out of the blocks when Banks curled home a freekick from 25 yards to perfection leaving the home team keeper with no chance. Unsurprisingly with the game seemingly done and dusted we took our foot off the gas meaning more of a midfield battle ensued. Any moments of quality that did occur however came from us as we squandered a number of opportunities to add to our tally. It wasn’t until 4 minutes before half time that we made it 4 when Banks corner was headed towards goal by Wardrop and was well saved by the keeper but Hughes was able to stab home at the second attempt and put the game truly to bed before half time.

The second half took a while to get going as IVR to their immense credit came out with renewed vigour to try and claim a consolation. We still held the upper hand and were dominating the chances and was only a matter of time before we added another. We added the 5th shortly after the hour mark when Nicholsons in swinging corner was headed home by Garrad low into the corner. A 6th came soon after when a good through ball by Snape saw Nicholson race clear to calmly slot home when one on one with the keeper. We continued to create chances with regularity, but we were unable to add to our tally further and IVR were unlucky not to get a consolation when a defensive mistake released the IVR striker to produce some good skill to cut inside but saw his curled effort rattle the bar and away to safety leaving the final score at 6-0.

A good win with some good performances in a game where we always had control. In terms of the scoreline it would have been nice to add a few more especially with the amount and quality of chances created but it was pleasing to see the way in which we constructed the play at times with some excellent passing football – a vast improvement on recent weeks. Defensively; it was good to see us keep our discipline only giving away one half chance (that hit the bar) and any game where you come off and the keeper hasn’t made one save deserves mention even if in the conditions Harrod was made to feel very cold. Individually I thought Wardrop and Garrad were very assured at the back, working well as a pair and passing the ball out well. Cox at right back got forward well to good effect in the second half and in midfield Hughes had a good game getting us on the front foot with his ability to win the ball on the floor and in the air and also attacked the box well to help us overload the IVR defence. Whilst out wide Banks had an excellent game full of threat and trickery, being a creative and goalscoring influence in his best game in recent times. MOM though went to Nicholson who continues to go from strength to strength in recent games his assured manner on the ball and eye for an incisive pass allied to his quick feet gives us a real creative edge from midfield.

Credit must also go to IVR who are having a difficult season but despite this keep going every week with a good attitude and bags of effort. Particularly nice was the fact that a player who made his way to the changing rooms after being subbed made the point of coming into our changing room to shake hands with everyone and have a bit of a laugh after the game, I really can’t commend that enough it was fantastic sportsmanship! Hopefully they can stay together and rebuild next season!

The Reserves welcomed Benhall St Mary Reserves to the Green in need of a victory to keep the gap on those behind them of which Benhall were one of those sides and to keep on the heels of those above them. With R Brinkley away skiing and Harrod called up to the 1sts it was J Brinkley who stepped up to take the gloves between the sticks. An inauspicious start saw us go a goal down within 2 minutes as a mix up between Dawson and Brinkley allowed the ball to go into the corner from the Benhall forwards bicycle kick. After a shaky first 10 minutes we began to settle as the central midfield trio of Francis, Gay and Little assumed control playing some excellent stuff in the middle of the park. We equalised when the midfield combined before working it right and Mannells squared ball was rifled home by Flack for his 1st goal for the club and 1-1. We were well on top now and could have gone ahead with Mannell, Gay and Flack all missing good chances but took the lead when Mannell was felled for a free kick which when taken promptly fell for him to volley home from the edge of the box off the post. Mannell continued to cause problems with his pace including being cynically taken out when clean through for a challenge that somehow avoided any punishment meaning we came in 2-1 up at half time.

The message at half time was to keep the work rate as Benhall had shown they had a few dangerous players who could affect the game. Seemingly this message was heeded as 3 minutes into the second half we made it 3-1 as Mannell was released down the right hand side and cooly slotted home for 3-1. We continued to control the game playing some good football which was pleasing on the eye for onlookers on the sidelines and we were rewarded with a 4th when Mannell crossed for Weal to acrobatically volley home and make the points safe. Weal could have doubled his tally minutes later but was unable to finish as we missed further chances to put some gloss on the scoreline. Late on Brinkley made a great save to keep the score at 4-1 but the resulting corner was only half cleared for their defender to slot home to leave the final score at 4-2. A good win after a difficult result the week before. MOM on the day was Mannell just edging the excellent midfield trio of Francis, Gay and Little.

Sadly for the Vets their game was called off early doors against Ipswich Phoenix Vets meaning their wait for a game in 2019 continues with their next game pencilled in for the 24th of February! Hopefully they get a game before the Alzheimer’s kicks in!!

This Saturday sees the 1sts play host to a rejuvenated Stonham Aspal whilst the Reserves have a massive game as 4th plays 5th when we travel to Wickham Market Reserves.

Up The Cocks!

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Posted: Tuesday, February 5 2019 by Tom O'Leary

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

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