Coggeshall Town came in to the match on the back of their third league win of the season, and looking to continue their climb up the Isthmian North league table after a solid start to the season. Graeme Smith made two changes from the last match with James Bransgrove being reintroduced to the starting line-up whilst Correy Davidson made his debut having recently signed from Bowers & Pitsea. There was also a welcome return from injury for Nnamdi Nwachuku as he took his place on the substitutes bench.
It was promotion favourites Canvey Island who started on the front foot and took the lead after nine minutes. A long ball from Goalkeeper, Harry Palmer resulted in confusion between Tyler Brampton and James Bransgrove. Brampton appeared to have the situation under control as he attempted to the head ball back to Bransgrove, however Bransgrove had already left his goal line to collect his opposition’s kick and Brampton’s header rolled past Bransgrove towards the goal line. Frankie Merrifeld was on hand to score his easiest goal of the season as he tapped the ball home from just a matter of yards.
As Coggeshall struggled to get started in the opening stages, it was Canvey who dominated possession without ever really testing the home sides defence. Davidson had the SeedGrowers’ first chance of the match after 25 minutes, however his effort sailed comfortable over Palmer’s crossbar. Things got worse for Coggeshall as the visitors scored their second goal of the game in the thirty second minute. A free-kick from Canvey striker, Martin Tuohy found it’s way through the defensive wall and landed in the corner of the net – the home side had it all to do in order to protect their unbeaten home record.
Whilst the game was approaching half-time, the SeedGrowers finally started to create chances. Defender, Jamie Shaw rattle the woodwork after the ball landed kindly for him in the Canvey box. Right on the stroke of the interval, Sam Bantick provided Coggeshall with a much needed lifeline. A quick pass from Bransgrove resulted in a collision between Palmer in the Island goal and one of his defenders, who had appealed for a free-kick after what he called a push from Bantick. The referee disagreed and allowed Bantick to volley the ball in to an empty net with virtually the last kick of the half.
Half Time: Coggeshall Town 1 – 2 Canvey Island
After a mixed first half, Graeme Smith decided a change was required at the interval as Connor Hubble was introduced for Aaron Condon. The change almost provided an immediate equaliser with Ross Wall and Davidson both having half chances to level the match however Palmer was able to deny Davidson whilst the Referee blew his whistle for an apparent foul to deny Wall. With fifteen minutes played in the second half, Coggeshall made their second and third change with Daniel Cunningham replacing Syrus Gordon, whilst Nnamdi Nwachuku made a welcome return from injury as Correy Davidson was brought off.
Nwachuku capped of his return within minutes, as his first shot of the afternoon reached the back of Palmer’s net to bring his side level. Some trickery on the edge of the box allowed Nwachuku the time and space to plant a left footed effort in to the corner of the net. The SeedGrowers had completed a come back – could they now go on to win the game? Well, Canvey Island who had a poor start to the second half had their midfielder Sam Collins to thank. Collins picked up the ball just inside the Coggeshall half and let rip a fierce left effort in to the top corner from thirty five yards past a helpless Bransgrove. Coggeshall were again behind with it all to do.
As the home pressed for another equaliser, the game began to come stretched as both sides had half chances to score the games sixth goal without capitalising. With ten minutes left, the SeedGrowers were saved by new boy Bantick. After a long pass from Cunningham, the ball fell to Bantick on the edge of Canvey’s box. The dangerous Bantick skipped past three defenders to create himself some space and with his left foot, powered a spectacular finish in to the back of the net for his second goal of the game! Coggeshall had equalised… again!
With either side looking capable for scoring with every attack, it was Coggeshall captain Dexter Peter who had the best chance to steal all three points. A corner from the left hand side was poorly dealt with by Palmer, the ball bounced towards Peter on the edge of the box, with Palmer laying on the floor the goal was empty. However, Peter was unable to keep his header below the cross bar as it sailed over much to the despair of the home supporters! The Seagulls finished the match with only ten men after Alex Stephenson was withdrawn from the field of play with a serious arm injury.
Full Time: Coggeshall Town 3 – 3 Canvey Island
James Bransgrove, Tyler Brampton, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Syrus Gordon, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Correy Davidson, Aaron Condon, Sam Bantick, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.
Khris Oti, Danniel Cunningham, Connor Hubble, Nnamdi Nwachuku, Joshua Pollard
Harry Palmer, Jake Jolliffe, Jordan Brown, James White, George Allen, Alex Stephenson, Jack Simmons, Sam Collins, Martin Tuohy, Frankie Merrfield, Ryan Melaugh.
Jose Figura, Elliot Warren, Jordon Cox, Josh Hutchinson, Marlon Agyakw