Following Saturday’s impressive performance against Grays Athletic, boss Graeme Smith made several changes in an attempt to freshen things up. Joshua Pollard and Tevan Allen were introduced to the starting line-up, whilst there was also a debut in between the sticks for Danny Sambridge. Aaron Condon made a welcome return to the substitutes bench following his break away.
On the artificial surface, it was the hosts who looked to dominate the possession stats with their slick passing from side to side, whilst the SeedGrowers looked to soak up the pressure. After just a few minutes, it was Coggeshall who had the first chance of the evening. A direct pass from debutant, Sambridge released Correy Davidson in behind the home defence however Davidson was only able to put his effort wide of the far post. Throughout the opening twenty minutes, Sudbury continued to have success in wide areas without ever really testing Sambridge in the away goal. It was Allen who collected the first yellow card of the evening after nineteen minutes for a foul on the half-way line as he attempted to break up a counter attack.
Arguably, against the run of play it was the SeedGrowers who struck first to take the lead. A corner kick from the left hand side was delivered in to the box by Sam Bantick, Joshua Pollard found himself unmarked on the edge of the six yard area and was able to head home past the on rushing Paul Walker in the twenty fifth minute. The opening goal seemed to spring Coggeshall in to life as they began to create a whole host of chances and in reflection, should have been more than one goal ahead. Tevan Allen had a chance from the edge of the box as he found himself in acres of space, however his vicious effort went wide of the post. Midfield maestro, George Cocklin then saw his effort go over the cross bar whilst a dangerous cross from Bantick just escaped the outstretched leg of Ross Wall – Sudbury were clinging on.
The dangerous Bantick then had two chances of his own, the first was blocked by a defender as it headed goal wards whilst his second effort in quick succession went over the bar! Sambridge was then called in to action as a dangerous cross appeared to present Phil Kelly with a goal scoring opportunity however Sambridge was alert in order to punch the ball away from danger before Kelly was able to capitalise.
Half Time: AFC Sudbury 0-1 Coggeshall Town
Just like the opening stages of the first half, it was AFC Sudbury who continued to dominate possession whilst the SeedGrowers looked to use their dangerous counter attack at every opportunity. Despite their possession, Sudbury began to become frustrated as they were unable to break down the defensive line. A double change at the break for Coggeshall saw Connor Hubble and Daniel Cunningham replace Tevan Allen and Syrus Gordon, which then resulted in a slight change of formation for Smith’s side.
Dexter Peter was shown a yellow card for a foul wide on the right hand side, much to the assistance of the appeals from four Sudbury players. Yet to score a home league goal from open play this season, Sudbury began to win several set pieces in and around the Coggeshall eighteen yard box. Despite many crosses in to the box, they were unable to breakdown a resolute Coggeshall back line led by captain, Peter. Danny Sambridge was called in to action with around twenty five minutes left on the clock, as a fierce effort from Billy Holland needed Sambridge to be at full stretch in order to tip it around the post for a corner, which Davidson then cleared from danger for the away side.
Via the counter attack, the SeedGrowers had more chances to extend their lead. Wall forced Walker in to a save after a long distance effort, whilst Hubble saw his header deflected for a corner. Hubble then went close again as his curling effort from the edge of the box went just over the cross bar – it was extremely close to nestling in to the top corner as Walker was only able to watch on as the ball went over his cross bar. Walker was then in the action again, as he made a smart save after an effort from close range by striker, Ross Wall who thought he had scored to seal the game.
Apart from one save in the second half, Sudbury had failed to test Sambridge who was having a quiet debut in some respects. As Sudbury continued to launch the ball in to the box, the SeedGrowers defence continued to stand tall and were determined to keep their second clean sheet in as many games to extend their unbeaten run in the Bostik League to eight games, having not lost in the league since the defeat to Dereham. A super away performance from the SeedGrowers!
Full Time: AFC Sudbury 0-1 Coggeshall Town
Paul Walker, Baris Altintop, Darryl Coakley, Billy Holland, Tyler French, Joe Whight, Jordan Blackwell, Tom Dettmar, Phil Kelly, Reece Harris.
Paul Hayes, Mekhi McKenzie, Ben Hunter, Joe Grimwood, Bradley Sayer.
Danny Sambridge, Tyler Brampton, Joshua Pollard, Syrus Gordon, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Correy Davidson, Tevan Allen, Sam Bantick, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.
Aaron Condon, Connor Hubble, Curtis-Haynes-Brown, Tom Monk, Daniel Cunningham.