Pinchbeck United 2
Cogenhoe United 1
First-half goals from Liam Adams and Lee Beeson fired Pinchbeck United to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over rivals Cogenhoe United on Saturday.
Adams netted a neat near-post finish on eight minutes, before Beeson buried a 27th-minute penalty to give the Knights a 2-0 lead in the Future Lions UCL Premier Division clash.
Lee Ansell’s low free-kick from fully 25-yards gave Cogenhoe – just one place below the Knights ahead of the clash – hope before the break, but Ian Dunn’s side held firm to secure a big three points and extend their unbeaten run to nine games.
Pinchbeck handed a debut to Lincoln City youth talent Charlie West and Peterborough United youngster Ollie Shackleton jumped off the bench to play the second half – and Dunn felt both played a role in his side’s victory.
“I’m really, really pleased with that result,” said the player/boss. “We didn’t have any mishaps or wobble under pressure, it was a good, solid win.
“I thought that we managed the game well in the second half and I thought that Liam (Adams) was going to make it 3-1 at one point.
“But I thought that we were full value for the points and I’m very pleased.
“I thought that Charlie (West) came in and did really well in midfield, he seemed to play really well with Andrew Tidswell in there and I was very pleased with his performance.
“Ollie (Shackleton) worked very hard without much reward, but worked his socks off to be fair.
“I thought that, to a man, we worked very hard from one to 11 and deserved the victory.
“They have a dangerous front three, so for us it was a feather in the cap of the defence to stop them in the way they did – including one of the top scorers in the league.
“They’ll be a bit annoyed at not keeping a clean sheet – and it’s a shame they scored in the way they did – but it didn’t matter in the end.
“To be honest, Ricky Lovelace didn’t have much to do in the second half. They had a good chance at the end, but apart from that I thought the sides were very even in the second half.
“It’s also pleasing that we weren’t opened up by them at any time, their goal came from a mistake by us.
“All in all, it’s a massive win. With Holbeach not playing, it puts us above them.”
After a quiet opening five minutes at the Sir Halley, Pinchbeck seized the advantage from the first real attack of the game on eight minutes.
Lee Beeson got in on the right and delivered a cross that eventually found its way to Adams, who smashed home clinically at the near post.
The Knights almost doubled their lead on 20 minutes when, after a neat pass from Adams, Beeson curled wide of the near post when well-placed.
Another strike went off target when Andrew Tidswell lashed over from just outside the box, with Pinchbeck enjoying the better of the early chances.
At the other end, Cogenhoe went close from their first genuine attack when Liam Tuck burst through. He went in for a tackle on keeper Ricky Lovelace, who seemed to have two hands on the ball, then saw his strike cleared off the line by Jason Field.
From the resulting corner, Ryan Dove saw his close-range header clear the bar as the visitors began to apply their first period of pressure.
However, seconds later it was Pinchbeck who were doubling their lead from the penalty spot.
Harry Limb was brought down in the box, allowing Beeson the chance to step up and slam the ball into the top left corner of the net.
Cogenhoe did hit back within five minutes when Ansell picked out the bottom corner of the net direct from a 25-yard free-kick. The striker didn’t hit his effort with much power, but it rolled into the corner of the net.
The early stages of the second half saw the two teams cancel each other out, with neither able to take control of the contest or break the other down.
Indeed, it took until the 73rd minute for a chance to arrive. Midfielder Charlie West slipped in Adams, who saw his shot saved by Lea Baxter before the resulting clearance cannoned off the and just cleared the bar.
With three minutes left it was very nearly 2-2, but sub Matt Long fired inches wide after the home side failed to deal with a high ball into the box.
Sub Ollie Shackleton had a late chance to wrap up the points for Pinchbeck, but fired over after a flick on from Dunn.
The final whistle sounded moments later, with the Knights leapfrogging above Holbeach United in fourth place as a result.
Meanwhile, striker Jack Smith wasn’t involved in the game and is set to return to former club Holbeach.
Dunn admitted that he’s waved the need for a seven-day approach from the Tigers and expects him to return to Carter’s Park.
He said: “I don’t think Jack enjoyed it here. He came in and did really well, but I don’t think he really settled with us.
“Maybe Seb (Hayes) leaving Holbeach had an impact on him. Think their boys have probably got into him and he’s decided to go back.
“Fair play to him. They put seven days in on Friday but I waived it – if he wants to go, he can go.”
Knights: Lovelace, Wilson, Field, Tidswell, Jackson, West, Beeson, Cartwright, Maltby, Limb (Shackleton 46), Adams (Edwards 83).