Cockfield United

Cockfield United

Two difficult weeks to catch you up on for the Saturday sides. Firstly two weeks ago we welcomed Shotley to the Green looking to make an amends for the previous weeks capitulation. With 9 missing from the 1st team squad it was always going to be a tough ask but in all honesty we never got going until too late to give ourselves a chance; a combination of wayward passing, a lack of cohesion and intensity doing for us.

The game itself was largely forgettable with neither team creating too much despite the 3-2 scoreline. Shotley had an early chance to go ahead well saved by Brinkley when their striker went through one on one and had another just wide as their striker failed to adjust quickly when Brinkley parried a long range effort. For ourselves Lampshire probably should have done better when the ball dropped to him at the far post after good work by Glasswell but his volley flashed wide meaning a forgettable first half came in at 0-0.

Shotley took the lead in the second half when we coughed up cheap possession at the back and with players committed we were exposed and a good through ball saw Shotley release their forward to round Brinkley and prod home for 1-0 just after the hour. One soon became two when the Shotley striker seemingly offside - being the only player in our half other than our goalie in my opinion but our honest linesman felt that was wasn’t the case – was released allowing the Shotley striker to race clear to finish well for 2-0. An afternoon where nothing seemed to go right was compounded further when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box and a Shotley player tried to shoot towards goal only to completely scuff it and see his attempted effort fall at the feet of a Shotley player on the corner of the 6 yard box and with everyone wrongfooted prodded home at a time when we had begun to exert some pressure. To our credit we kept going and from a Nicholson corner Ennis headed back across goal and Hudson-Hill forced the ball over the line to reduce the arrears with 10 to go. We had further chances as we finally started to exert some pressure with Bowyer causing problems, impressive on debut, with his ability to go passed people. Lampshire had the best of these as he volleyed over from 8 yards. At the other end Shotley went close as they rattled the bar with a good header on the break but we reduced the arrears further when a long ball over the Shotley defence saw Lampshire race clear and finish well from 20 yards to make it 3-2. Sadly it was too little too late as time ran out shortly after as Shotley recorded a 3-2 win in a game low on quality. MOM on the day was Francis who deputised superbly in a very unfamiliar left back role.

The weekend just gone we travelled to Southwold Town who have been going well in their debut season in the SIL. Once again unavailability decimated our squad with 10 missing meaning it was again a real challenge just to get a squad together. We succumbed 3-0 in a game of few chances but where Southwold took theirs.

Southwold had some early pressure as we got accustomed to all our now regular changes, forcing Brinkley into one early save but we grew into the game with ourselves twice going close from set pieces both cleared off the line. A competitive first half swung the way of Southwold when an excellent long range effort crashed off the bar but the rebound was picked up by a Southwold attacker only to clatter off the post to another Southwold player who smashed home this time unerringly for 1-0. Both sides continued to play out a competitive first half seeing Southwold come in 1-0 up.

We stressed the importance of starting well in the second half and sadly we did the opposite giving away a needless corner and then not attacking it as Southwold doubled their lead in the opening minutes of the half. It was soon three when a lax ball in midfield sold our defence short and Southwold were able to break through and finish well to make it 3-0. We had chances to reduce the arrears with Hughes, Downey and Garrad all going through on goal but unable to convert their opportunities into meaningful efforts as the game petered out and finished 3-0. MOM on the day was Hughes for an industrious display.

It has been a tough few weeks for the 1sts with 3 losses on the bounce after looking good in the race for promotion. We have been badly affected with unavailability for a variety of reasons since Christmas, perhaps highlighted best by the fact we have used 7 different centre halves in the 9 games since Christmas. In fact since Christmas only one player has played in every game till now and ironically he is now out for the next few games because of injury. If it had only been 2 or 3 changes each week we might have been okay but it has consistently been a minimum of 6 changes a game for the past 6 or 7 weeks with a number of players playing out of position and that has completely killed any momentum that we previously had. I’m hopeful we can finish the season strongly and see where that takes us as we start to get a few players back and we can minimise the changes from here on in as our season threatens to peter out. I’ll be looking for a response this week!

Two weeks ago the Reserves travelled to unbeaten Claydon looking to be the first side to take some points off of them this season. Sadly a slow start saw Claydon capitalise on this and take the lead on 15 minutes when we gave away a sloppy goal. We were struggling to threaten as we repeatedly gave the ball away cheaply, fortunately we were defending well restricting them to long range efforts. We eventually got going and applied some pressure which resulted in Allen winning a free kick 25 yards out and Brinkley for the second time this season against Claydon curled home the resulting free kick to bring us level at 1-1 which is how it stayed till half time.

We were in the game at the start of a tight half and Mannell should have done better when put through but the scoreline remained undisturbed. In the end though Claydon showed why they are where they are with 2 well taken goals in the last 20 minutes which deflated us.
Overall it was felt we could have played better but held our own well in the second half against what is comfortably the best side in that division. Results also went against us meaning it’s a tough ask for promotion now but the fact we aren’t far off is very pleasing. MOM was Connor Harrod who made a number of excellent saves to keep us in the game in the second half.

The Reserves had no game this weekend just gone as they embark on a strange period with just 4 games left but not finishing till the last week in April. Hopefully when they do play, they can keep up their recent fine form.

Gladly, over the last two weeks the Vets have faired far better now that they have actually had a few games. Firstly they travelled to Ipswich Phoenix for their first game of 2019 and after a rusty first half saw them come in 4-2 up they eased clear in the second half to win 8-2. The goals coming from Bird (3), Chaplin, Hunt, Keymer, Whight and Drury.

The weekend just gone we welcomed fellow promotion hopefuls Trimley Sports & Social Club Reserves to the Green in a top of the table clash. Unsurprisingly it proved a tight affair with Trimley coming in at the break 1-0 up and whilst we huffed and puffed it wasn’t until very late in the day that Whight strode forward from defence and saw his cross fortuitously fly straight in at the far post for what could be a vital point in the promotion chase which is still in our hands.

This week sees both Saturday sides back in action and looking to get back to winning ways. The 1sts travel to Tacket whilst the Reserves play host to Capel Plough Reserves in their only game of March. The Vets return to action at the end of the month.

Up The Cocks!

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Posted: Friday, March 8 2019 by Tom O'Leary

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

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