The SeedGrowers took on their local rivals Witham Town for the fifth and final time this season, in what was their last game of 2018 without a game on Boxing Day this year. Nnamdi Nwachuku made his first start for Coggeshall after a period of injury as he took the place of Conor Hubble in the starting eleven, resulting in a slight change of formation for Graeme Smith’s side.
To date this season, Coggeshall have held the upper hand over their neighbours, with the only defeat coming in the FA Trophy. This affair continued in the same fashion as the SeedGrowers made their early dominance count with a goal in the fourteenth minute. A slight mix-up in the Witham defence allowed Ross Wall to release Sam Bantick in on goal, who made no mistake as he struck a fierce effort in to the bottom corner past Luca Collins, the Witham Goalkeeper. Bantick’s goal was the first goal Witham had conceded in over three games! As Witham looked for a response, Danny Sambridge, formly of Witham Town made a smart diving save after a free kick from a wide position took a wicked deflection and almost sneaked in to the net.
As Coggeshall dominated the opening thirty minutes, they were guilty of wasting chances as Nwachuku, Wall and Davidson all had chances to extend their sides lead but were unable to find a way past the impressive, Collins. In the thirty second minute and against the run of play, Witham were awarded a penalty for an apparent push inside the penalty area. Up stepped fullback, Luke Mallet who slotted his penalty in to the back of the net passed Sambridge – Coggeshall had been made to pay for their wasted opportunities. Right before half-time, Nwachuku almost restored the away sides lead after a good bit of skill allowed him to have a strike on goal but his left footed effort went wide of the goal.
Half Time: Witham Town 1-1 Coggeshall Town
Coggeshall started the second half like they did the first, creating good goal scoring opportunities. This time, it was midfielder George Cocklin who created a brilliant chance for Bantick who should have scored his second goal of the evening but instead his effort sailed over the cross bar. Bantick then had another opportunity from a direct free kick, however his effort was blocked by several Witham defenders as they look to put their bodies on the line to keep the scores level. As the SeedGrowers looked for a spark, they introduced a fresh pair of legs as Conor Hubble replaced Nwachuku in the sixty second minute.
Correy Davidson then had a fantastic opportunity to score against his old side, but sadly his effort from the edge of the eighteen yard box went wide of the home side’s goal. As Coggeshall continued to push for a winning goal, Aryton Coley replaced goalscorer Sam Bantick. As the rain and wind began to set in for the evening, the conditions began to worsen on what was an already very heavy pitch. Ross Wall almost scored a goal of the season contender, however his acrobatic overhead was unsuccessful, before Tevan Allen drove a powerful effort over the cross bar. As the home looked to cling on to a point to continue their unbeaten run, Coggeshall pushed for an equaliser but were unable to make a succession of chances count, the last one being a long range effort from Davidson which went over the bar.
Full Time: Witham Town 1-1 Coggeshall Town
Luca Collins, Luke Mallet, Kevin Coyle, John Watson, Pat Ahern, Andrew Tirivanhu, Johnny Ashman, Sam Owusu, Toby Armolaran, Michael Osei, Luke Foster.
Sam Ashford, Alfie Cerrulli, Jack Kemsley, Liam Whipps, Odukoya Ayo.
Danny Sambridge, George Allen, Tyler Brampton, Tevan Allen, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Correy Davidson, Nnamdi Nwachuku, Sam Bantick, Ross Wall. George Cocklin.
Curtis Haynes-Brown, Daniel Cunningham, Conor Hubble, Aryton Coley, James Bransgrove.