Cockfield United

Cockfield United

The 1sts travelled to Tacket Street BBOB looking to return to winning ways after a dire few weeks had seen us lose 3 on the spin. We were again heavily depleted in numbers with 10 unavailable but we had players back in key positions giving us a more balanced 11.

With the wind gusting around Greshams it was an untidy start, Tacket settling better as we struggled with judging the wind at our backs and the numerous changes to the side. Tacket took the lead just after 20 minutes when some slack defending allowed their forward to race clear from a ball helped on from midfield and finished well to give them what must have seemed like an invaluable goal against the wind. Tacket had another chance shortly after when a free kick from halfway was hoisted into our box as we failed to track our men allowing an effort on goal which flew passed the post. On half hour we brought about parity when from a throw in Hughes was able to play across the box and find Nicholson who twisted and turned to roll a finish in to the corner leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. From the sideline it was obvious to see the lift this gave the players and we went on to dominate the remainder as Spivey was unable to find the target when released in the right-hand channel; blazing high and wide and Glasswell headed over a gilt-edged chance when a pinpoint cross from Nicholson found him 8 yards out meaning 1-1 at half time.

Despite having the wind and coming in level we felt if we could get the ball down, keep it simple and dominate the loose balls we could push on from here as having the wind at our backs had proved more of a hindrance for us. We knew there would be periods where we got penned in just because of the sheer strength of the wind but if we dug in and did our jobs we could get the result we wanted.

Credit to the lads because they took all that was said at half time on board and we were excellent in the second half, dominating from the 1st minute and creating chance after chance whilst Tacket created very little. Just after 55 minutes we got our reward when Spivey broke clear down the right-hand side of the box before cutting back and being tripped by a dangling leg for a clear penalty which Spivey comfortably dispatched for a deserved 2-1 lead. We continued to dominate the midfield exchanges with Hughes, Downey and Nicholson picking up numerous loose balls and winning the majority of their battles to keep us on the front foot. We extended our lead further when a Nicholson corner was well finished on the volley by Garrad at the near post. Tacket tried to force their way back into the game and had a good effort well saved by Brinkley but the back four of Cox, Ennis, Garrad and Francis were defending resolutely giving away very little allowing us to stay on the front foot. The majority of the football was being played in the Tacket half and we added a 4th when an excellent passing move saw a succession of passes come to Nicholson who slid in Hughes and his left footed cross was tapped home by the onrushing Spivey for a superb team goal with just over 10 minutes remaining. We could have added a 5th when Spivey wriggled free in the box but with thoughts of a hattrick on his mind he went for goal rather than square it for players awaiting a tap in and we should have had a penalty when Hughes was unceremoniously hauled to the floor but the referee (who was seemingly more interested in the Achilles-Cranes game on the adjacent pitch) appeared not to see it meaning the game finished 4-1 to ourselves.

A welcome win after a difficult few weeks; after an even first half hour we went on to dominate the game, playing particularly well in the second half. It was evident in that first half hour that we lacked a little bit of confidence with uncertainty ruling our game but as they say goals change games and once we got one the belief that instilled in the lads transformed what had been a cagey afternoon into a comfortable and pleasing performance. Tacket plugged away gamely but they lacked a bit of threat and drive to stay with us on this occasion. Second half we played some excellent passing football in difficult conditions and we were able to do this because we went out there with the intention of winning every ball and every battle and we earned the right to play which was very pleasing to see. The whole back four were excellent in the second half mopping up just about everything then showing composure to play out from the back. The midfield of Downey, Hughes, Nicholson and Broom were energetic and proactive causing the Tacket midfield problems controlling the game. Up front Glasswell worked hard not giving the Tacket defence a moments peace and got in some good positions linking up the play. Spivey grew into the game the further it went on causing problems with his movement and deserved his brace. Mom was tough as second half all the lads put in a good performance but it went to Hughes for an industrious performance in breaking up play and offensively giving us drive and power to get us up the pitch and causing problems in the box as evidenced with 2 assists. Hopefully we can build on this to finish the season strongly as we look forward to 5 home games in a row!!

Back at the Green in extremely windswept conditions the Reserves played host to Capel Plough Reserves looking to keep their faint promotion hopes alive. Kicking against the wind first half we tried to keep it tight by compacting the midfield to keep them out…a plan that lasted 7 minutes as a good ball over the top allowed the Capel striker to gather and slot passed Harrod. On 15 minutes things got worse as we struggled to clear the ball allowing it to arrive at their strikers feet to finish well into the corner for 2-0. We were finding the conditions very difficult to adjust to, unable to get any sort of rhythm going with the ball until the latter part of the half where we created some chances. Vitally we found a way back into the game when Weal released Mannell through on goal to race clear and slot home to reduce the arrears. We were in the game now and Baird had a shot tipped onto the bar and Gay was denied by a good save from the Capel keeper which meant the score remained at 2-1 coming in at half time.

A few adjustments at half time to try and give us more of an attacking impetus saw us create a number of chances before we eventually scored a controversial equaliser when Pirvulescu was fouled 35 yards out and Brinkley dispatched a free kick into the bottom corner from distance with Capel calling for a retake as they felt the ball was moving. The ref though was unmoved, and the goal was allowed. With 10 minutes to go Mannell squared for Weal whose effort was somehow deflected over the bar by a Capel defender as we pushed for a winner and just when it seemed the sides would be sharing the spoils Pirvulescu was again fouled high up the pitch in the 91st minute meaning the Capel sub received his marching orders for a second yellow card inside 10 minutes. From the resulting free kick Baird spotted the keeper off his line and curled the ball straight into the top corner from out wide to secure a late, late win and a superb comeback to win 3-2. MOM for the Reserves was Pirvulescu for a dynamic and gritty performance in the conditions.

This week it is just the 1sts in action as they welcome Southwold for the second time this season after the previous encounters abandonment for a serious injury. Hopefully we can fare better and have a few more available than a couple of weeks ago.

Up The Cocks!

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Posted: Wednesday, March 13 2019 by Tom O'Leary

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

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