First Team Manager, Graeme Smith made several changes from the last Bostik North fixture with Danny Sambridge being reintroduced to the starting eleven, whilst George Allen made his SeedGrowers debut having recently arrived at West Street from league rivals, Canvey Island. Tyler Brampton continued his comeback from injury as he made his first appearance in the league since Saturday 3 November.
Aveley who prior to this match had won all of their home league games, started on the back foot as the SeedGrowers took control from the outset. Without creating a clear cut chance in the opening stages of the game, Coggeshall were first to every ball and over ran an Aveley midfield who gave the ball the away on a consistent basis. In the eleventh minute, Coggeshall were rewarded for their bright start as they scored the encounters opening goal. A corner from Correy Davidson reached Dexter Peter who was alone at the far post, Peter headed the ball across the face of the goal to Jamie Shaw who used his ‘strikers instinct’ to the volley the ball in to the back of the net from around eight yards.
Their opening goal seemed to move the away side in to a different gear, as Coggeshall started to create chance after chance as Aveley looked shell-shocked. Sam Bantick saw his shot go wide of the goal, as Ross Wall looked on who was potentially in a better position had Bantick of seen him to his right hand side. Midfielder, Conor Hubble then created another chance for the dangerous Bantick, however his effort went well wide of the goal. After twenty two minutes, the home side had their first half-chance of the afternoon after Peter fouled Tom Richardson, but to the delight of the Coggeshall defence Aveley wasted their opportunity as their set piece drifted out for a goal kick. Coggeshall continue to press forward and next up to waste a good chance was midfielder, Davidson as David Hughes in the home goal made a smart save to keep the scoreline at one-nil.
With both sides seeming to struggle with the artificial surface, George Cocklin tried his luck from distance after some desperate defending from the league leaders, but Cocklin’s effort went just wide of the post. Aveley then had their best chance of the game, however Alex Akorfi lost his footing which allowed debutant, George Allen to clear the ball away from danger. As the game approached half-time, the returning Brampton almost doubled his sides lead, however his effort which appeared destined for the top corner went over the bar by a matter of millimetres.
Half Time: Aveley 0 – 1 Coggeshall Town
Just like the start of the first half, Coggeshall started the brighter of the two teams and should’ve extended their lead. Davidson was in on goal, however Goalkeeper Hughes was on hand to give his side a lifeline as he made a good save to deny Davidson who based on his recent form, would’ve been disappointed not to score his fourth goal in as many games. With their managers half-time words still ringing in their ears, Aveley seemed to be coming in to the game as the dangerous Akrofi sent a curling effort just wide of Sambridge’s post. The home side then were almost gifted an equaliser out of nothing, as a miss-hit shot took a wicked deflection off of the face of Cocklin, however the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the goal.
As the game began to become stretched both sides had chances to score more goals. Sam Cross for Aveley had a free-header from a corner however he sent his effort wide when he really should have tested Sambridge, before Sam Bantick saw his effort blocked by a defender to win his side a corner – the resulting corner bounced around in the eighteen yard box for what seemed an age before an Aveley defender eventually cleared the danger. Full back, Brampton was replaced by Emmanuel Folarin as Brampton’s impressive return from injury continued. Moments after the substitution, the home side were awarded a penalty by Referee, Paul Johnson who was having an impressive afternoon. Captain, Dexter Peter was adjudged to have fouled Alex Akorfi and it appeared the SeedGrowers defender could have no complaints. Akrofi picked himself up off of the floor to take the penalty, however Danny Sambridge was on hand to make a fantastic diving save to his left to ensure he kept the ball out of the net.
Much to his disappointment, Sambridge was not able to keep the ball out of his net for long as Akorfi made amends just moments after his penalty miss as he scored an equaliser for his side. Shortly after the penalty, from the next phase of play Aveley delivered a cross in to box which was headed on to the post by Andy Freeman, the ball fell kindly for Akorfi who headed the ball past a helpless Sambridge from just a matter of yards. In response to conceding, Coggeshall almost retook the lead from another corner however captain, Peter was unable to keep his headed effort below the cross bar. As Aveley manager James Webster made a few changes in personal, his side began to attack the SeedGrowers defence in numbers. Andy Freeman had a great chance to test Sambridge however he was wasteful as he blasted his effort from the edge of the box over the bar.
As Coggeshall looked for a winner, the skills of Nnamdi Nwachuku were introduced. Akrofi then went close for what would have been his second goal of the afternoon, however his chipped effort rebounded off of the post for a Coggeshall goal kick. With conditions worsening, chances started to become hard to come by and Graeme Smith replaced Ross Wall with Daniel Cunningham as the SeedGrowers looked destined to be the first visiting side to collect a point at Parkside this season. Aveley had the last chance of the afternoon after Folarin gave away a sloppy free kick but again Aveley were wasteful as Coggeshall cleared their lines to ensure they travelled back to West Street with a share of the points.
Full Time: Aveley 1 – 1 Coggeshall Town
David Hughes, Danny Humphreys, Sam Mvemba, James Love, Connor Witherspoon, Sam Cross, Marcus Milner, Shad Ngandu, Tom Richardson, Andy Freeman, Alex Akrofi.
George Doyle, Tony Martin, Jason Raad, Harry Gibbs, Wyan Reid.
Danny Sambridge, George Allen, Tyler Brampton, Tevan Allen, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Correy Davidson, Conor Hubble, Sam Bantick, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.
Emmanuel Folarin, Nnamdi Nwachuku, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Daniel Cunningham, James Bransgrove.