Boss Carlin proud despite defeat as Cogenhoe come off second best at Sixfields
United Counties League side Cooks were big underdogs for the Sixfields showdown, as they play several divisions below Sports, but they gave as good as they got for two-thirds of the game before a flurry of late goals saw them suffer a 6-0 defeat.
The match was evenly poised at 1-0 at the break, and Sports' second goal didn't arrive until the 63rd minute, but fitness and quality eventually told as the Peterborough side retained the cup.
It was a harsh result on a young Cogenhoe side, but manager Scott Carlin was still proud of his players' performance, and the fact they reached the final in the first place.
They had to get past Southern League side AFC Rushden & Diamonds and another National League North side in Kettering Town to get to the Sixfields showpiece, which is no mean feat for a team playing in step five of the non-league pyramid.
"Forget the result, this young squad should feel proud to get to final of senior cup," Carlin wrote on social media. "Mixing it with step two and three sides along the route to final.
"This will stand them well in the future and should make them want to push onto bigger and better things."
A crowd of just under 500 turned out for the match, and Carlin added: "A massive thank you to the support that was given on the night, and a massive thanks for the 100s of personal messages I received wishing myself, my staff, the club and the players all the best."
Speaking before the game, he had said: "It is a great achievement for the club, to reach a senior cup final.
"The competition has the likes of Corby, Kettering, Diamonds and Daventry Town in it, and for a UCL side to get this far, I think is a really big achievement."
Sports’ goals were scored by Maniche Sani, who netted twice, skipper Richard Jones, Jordan Nicholson, an own goal and Josh McCammon.
Cogenhoe return to UCL Premier Division South action on Saturday when they play their final game of the season, hosting Rothwell Corinthians at Compton Park (kick-off 3pm).
A full report on the cup final can be found at cogenhoeunitedfc.co.uk