Graeme Smith took his side to Basildon to face a team who have undergone major changes in recent weeks and without a win since their change of Management. After the recent injury problems, Smith was able to reintroduce George Cocklin and Curtis Haynes-Brown to his starting eleven, as Coggeshall attempted to return to winning ways after their unbeaten run was ended by Maldon & Tiptree last weekend.
On a grey and miserable afternoon, the SeedGrowers started on the front foot and looked to dominate proceedings from the first whistle. On a wet and heavy surface, both sides struggle to maintain possession, with both sets of players guilty of conceding possession of the football throughout the opening stages. It was the home side who had the first appeals of the afternoon, after a sliding challenge from Haynes-Brown, Basildon were adamant they were entitled to a penalty kick, however the Referee disagreed and was in agreement that it was a superb tackle from the Coggeshall defender. After fourteen minutes the visitors created their first chance of the afternoon, an exchange of passes between Conor Hubble and Sam Bantick resulted in Bantick shooting from the edge of the box, however his effort went over the cross bar. Just moments later, Bantick had another chance however as he lost his footing, mainly due to the surface Basildon’s Goalkeeper collected the loose ball.
As Coggeshall continued to take charge of the game, goal scoring opportunities continued to arrive. Ross Wall had a deflected shot cleared off the line by a home defender, before Hubble tried his luck from distance but sadly, the ball evaded the cross bar again. With thirty two minutes on the Referee’s watch, the SeedGrowers were finally rewarded for their dominance. Correy Davidson collected a pass from Tevan Allen, played a one-two with Bantick before looping the ball over an on rushing Goalkeeper and in to the back of the net, in what was a classy finish from the Irishman. As conditions worsened with the rain continuing to fall, Basildon struggled to retain the ball or break down a Coggeshall defence which looked much tighter than in previous weeks.
Half Time: Basildon United 0-1 Coggeshall Town
Manager Smith made a tactical change at the break, with midfielder Syrus Gordon being replaced by Emmanuel Foralin. Coggeshall started the second half how they played throughout the first half, on the front foot and dominating the majority of possession however were unable to test Olajide in the home goal. Allen then collected the first yellow card of the afternoon, after committing a cynical foul on the half-way line to break up what could have been a dangerous counter attack. Allen was then in the action again, however this time ended up on the floor after a dangerous tackle from Basildon defender, Fahad Nyanja – the Referee didn’t see much wrong with the challenge and decided not to punish Nyanja for his reckless lunge.
As the SeedGrowers looked for their second goal, Nnamdi Nwachuku was introduced to proceedings in the place of Bantick. Coggeshall were struggling to create the goal scoring opportunities like they did in the first half, with the home side dangerously growing in confidence, the longer the game went on. Coggeshall then had appeals for a penalty waved away in what looked like a blatant handball inside the eighteen yard box, however the Referee was obstructed by several players and the Assistant Referee was unable to view the incident clearly, in what was a real life line for Basildon. Goalscorer, Davidson then collected a yellow card for a foul on the edge of his own box, which looked like being Basildon’s first opportunity of the second half. However the free-kick went past an outstretched James Bransgrove and over the cross bar to delight of Bransgrove and his defenders.
With the SeedGrowers looking to hold on to their delicate lead, they then had a chance of their own to seal the affair. Nwachuku created an opportunity for Wall, however the striker was unable to keep his shot under control as it ballooned over the cross bar and in to the trees behind the goal. Bransgrove was then called in to action at the other end as he made his first save of the afternoon, to deny Basildon captain, Conor Mead who was found free at the far post but Bransgrove was on hand to make a smart save. Basildon did have one final chance to find an equaliser from another free kick, however the set piece was over hit, eventually going out for a goal-kick to ensure Coggeshall returned to winning ways after last weeks defeat.
Full Time: Basildon 0-1 Coggeshall Town
Emmanuel Olajide, Conor Mead, Fahad Nyanja, Daniel Okah, Olu Quandri, Joseph Turpin, Jeffrey Cobblah, Jonathan Adebayo, Ayrton Coley, Aundre Wholas-Spencer, Ryan Reed.
Luke Stanley, Callum Taylor, Lewis Brown, Grant Webb, Jay Morris.
James Bransgrove, Tevan Allen, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Tevan Allen, Syrus Gordon, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Correy Davidson, Conor Hubble, Sam Bantick, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.
Lewis Soraf, Emmanuel Foralin, Nnamdi Nwachuku, Joshua Pollard, Michael Gyasi