My Grounds

Friday, 17 November 2017

Cogenhoe United - Compton Park

Cogenhoe United FC
Compton Park
Brafield Road

Ground: 11
Date: 30th April 2016
Cogenhoe United 2-1 Yaxley
United Counties League Premier Division

Cogenhoe United FC - History

Cogenhoe United were founded in 1967, joining the Central Northamptonshire Combination League Division 2. They slowly moved up the leagues, reaching the Premier Division at the end of the 1977/78 season. They won the Premier Division title in 1980/81, 1982/83 and 1983/84 before earning promotion to Division 1 of the United Counties League at the end of the 1984/85 season.

Cogenhoe's first season at the higher level proved a struggle, finishing second from bottom and having to be re-elected into the league. However, in the following season (1986-87), the club finished 2nd in Division 1 to earn promotion to the United Counties League Premier Division, where they have remained ever since. Their highest finish in this league was when they won the title in the 2004/05 season.

In the FA Cup, Cogenhoe United's best run saw them reach the 3rd Qualifying Round in the 2005/06 season, beating Hanwell Town, Clapton and Staveley Miners Welfare before losing in a tight replay to Chasetown. As for the FA Vase, the club have gotten as far as the 4th Round on four occasions, most recently in the 2008/09 season when they beat Langford, Codicote, Boston Town and Arundel before losing to Bitton. However, there is the possibility they may at least equal that this season, having so far reached the 3rd Round.

My Visit

With the end of the 2015/16 season fast approaching, I decided I wanted to get in one more ground before the season's end, while also taking my dad along for a non-league groundhop; he had already seen a few Yaxley home games by this point, so he wasn't entirely unprepared, at least. 

Of course, it was then a matter of where to go, so I gave my dad a list of options (as he would be driving) and, while it wouldn't have been my first choice, he chose this game so I could combine groundhopping with another Yaxley game to bring the non-league season to an end (Norwich had at least one home game after this point, although with us having been all but relegated by then, it didn't exactly matter other than for pride).

Unsurprisingly, with this being an end-of-season game with nothing at stake for either side, the game was largely a damp squib, almost reminiscent of a pre-season friendly in terms of the intensity on display. Other than that, I don't remember much about the game other than Yaxley's goal came from the penalty spot, so here's a match report I dug up from the Yaxley website:

Yaxley ended their season with a first defeat under Brett Whaley (in this spell)

Cogenhoe have always been the bogey side for Yaxley and the news on the eve of the game that their manager Anton Sambrook was to step down after the match will have fuelled his sides ambition. 

They were rapid out of the traps with former Yaxley player Kieran Fitzgerald netting just after the quarter hour. Even Cuckoos regulars will have been forgiven for missing the wide man's brief time in a blue shirt, but he always looked bright and direct and he will have enjoyed getting a goal against us. 

A second strike before the hour mark should have been enough for United to see the match out, but on the last Saturday of the season Dan Cotton netted from the penalty spot to ensure he finished the division's top scorer and well done to him. 

There wasn't to be a second equalising goal though and a season that has had its ups and downs concluded in defeat.

The Ground

Compton Park is a typically functional Step 5 ground, with the only football furniture at the ground being a long 250-seater Atcost stand on the near side and a small covered terrace behind the near goal, which could probably hold around 100 people if necessary. 
The rest of the ground is open hard standing, contributing to the functional but uninspiring feeling of the place. However, you do get some pleasant views of the surrounding fields and a church (see the final photo in the "My Visit" section), so it isn't all bad. However, what is - or was, when I visited - poor to the point of being unacceptable was the clubhouse at the ground: it was absolutely filthy and disgusting when I visited, especially the toilets (which were probably a health and safety violation, such was the state they were in).
The ground has an overall capacity of around 2,000, while the record attendance was 1,000 for a charity game against an Eastenders XI in 1990.


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