Late goals secure Maunsell Cup for Cobblers as Corby are beaten

DOUBLE CELEBRATION - JJ Hooper followed up signing a one-year Cobblers contract with a goal in his new club's 3-1 Maunsell Cup win over Corby Town (Picture: Jefferson Lake)
DOUBLE CELEBRATION - JJ Hooper followed up signing a one-year Cobblers contract with a goal in his new club's 3-1 Maunsell Cup win over Corby Town (Picture: Jefferson Lake)

Goals from JJ Hooper, Ivan Toney and trialist Kieron Cadogan guided the Cobblers to a 3-1 win over Corby Town in the Maunsell Cup final at Steel Park.

Hooper put Town in front at the break and although Shariff pulled the home side level, two late goals settled a decent contest on a warm evening.

A Cobblers side containing four trialists, three first-year professionals and two players still in the youth system gave a good account of themselves in the early stages.

The ‘new faces’ manager Aidy Boothroyd spoke about in the build-up to the game were both wingers - Danny Emerton, formerly of Hull City, and ex-Crystal Palace wide man Kieron Cadogan.

Hooper, who signed a one-year contract before the match, was a lively runner up front with David Moyo and saw a shot well blocked after 16 minutes.

He went one better a moment later, collecting a pass 10 yards inside the Corby half and running at defender Mark Arber before striking left-footed across former Town goalkeeper Paul Walker and into the far corner.

Seconds afterwards, Hooper rattled Walker’s bar with a firm header after finding space in the box to get the attempt away.

Tom Berwick almost pulled Corby level after a good attack down the left but Tyler Reeve managed to scramble the effort onto the roof of the net.

In the closing stages of the first half, Hooper drew a good save from Walker with a skimming free-kick after Cadogan had been fouled 25 yards out.

The second half was a quieter affair, although David Moyo found space down the right wing and sent in an excellent cross that narrowly evaded Hooper and Cadogan.

The same could not be said of the ball provided by Josh Moreman, who beat Darren Purse down the left before playing a perfect pass for Nabil Shariff to convert from 15 yards.

Corby finished the game the stronger side, and Shariff came close to doubling the hosts’ advantage when he connected well with another Moreman cross that hit the foot of the post via Dean Snedker’s hand.

Which made Toney’s winning goal all the more surprising. An innocuous-looking attack led to a corner on the left wing that was curled into the danger zone by Cadogan and glanced into the bottom corner by Toney.

Ishmel Demontagnac almost made it three with a piercing run and shot that Walker did well to save but in the final stages Cadogan did find the net.

Toney embarked on a counter-attack that saw him through on goal but he unselfishly passed to the on-trial winger, who converted with ease to ensure the silverware headed south.

Corby: Walker, Cray, Jelleyman, Carruthers, Malone, Arber, Shariff, McGowan, Berwick, Ives, Moreman

Subs: Bannister (for Arber 73), Thurlbourne (for Moreman 81)

Not used: Mattock, Vieira, Soetan, Johnson-Lamb, Farrell

Cobblers: Snedker, Amankwaah, Reeve, Purse, Artell, Cadogan, Dias, Roberts, Hooper, Moyo, Emerton

Subs: Deegan (for Dias 67), Demontagnac (for Hooper 67), Toney (for Moyo 67), Morris (for Amankwaah 67)

Not used: McNamara, Demontagnac, Deegan, Morris, Toney

Attendance: 339