Following on from last weeks dominant performance over Romford, Graeme Smith was enforced to make one change to his starting eleven. Captain, Dexter Peter was unavailable to start the game due to illness, therefore the ever reliable Jamie Shaw deputised in place with midfielder, Tevan Allen taking over the captain’s armband.
There was a cagey opening to the match, on an impressive surface both sides were determined to play their passing games. As Canvey looked nervous, the visitors dominated the opening stages of possession without testing Harry Palmer in the home goal. It was in fact the Seagulls who had the first shot in anger of the afternoon, as Adam Vyse sent an effort from twenty five yards wide of Danny Sambridge and his goal. At the other end, the SeedGrowers were beginning to create chances with both Ross Wall and Michael Gyasi having chances to opening the scoring, however both players were unable to keep their efforts on target as they drifted wide of Palmer in goal.
In the twenty seventh minute, Coggeshall were finally rewarded for their dominance. A through ball from Ross Wall was able to bypass a high defence line, as the defenders stood still and appealed for offside, Nnamdi Nwachuku ran through on goal and dispatched a calm finish in to the bottom corner, past Palmer. The game’s opening goal seemed to bring the affair to life, with Canvey Island having a chance from a free kick and after James White tried something clever, Ade Cole was unable to test Sambridge as he fluffed his lines and sliced his shot wide. As Canvey looked to bounce back, Coggeshall’s forward line of Gyasi, Wall and Nwachuku were causing the home defence all sorts of problems. Gyasi had another chance to double his sides lead, however Palmer was able to make a good save to keep his side in the game.
The home side were then awarded a lifeline and a great chance back in to the game, as Curtis Haynes-Brown was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the penalty box, Vyse stepped up hoping to bring his side level. However, goalkeeper Danny Sambridge had other ideas and pulled of a spectacular save with his right leg as he somehow kept out a rocket-penalty from Vyse. The penalty save was followed by Canvey trying desperately to bundle the ball home, however a combined effort from the Coggeshall defenders and Danny Sambridge eventually resulted in the Referee awarded a free-kick in the visitors favour. Just before the interval, Nwachuku had three opportunities to score his second of the game – his first chance was cleared off the line and Gyasi was unable to convert the rebound. Nwachuku then cut in from the left flank and sent a vicious effort wide, before hitting a tame effort straight at Palmer when really, he should have scored.
Half Time: Canvey Island 0 – 1 Coggeshall Town
At the start of the second half, Canvey Island introduced Ryan Melaugh to replace Kyle De Silva. The first action of the half was a foul from Haynes-Brown, who having already been booked was in reflection lucky to not have been shown a second yellow card. As the SeedGrowers continued their dominance, they then extended their lead. Again, the front three combined, with superb hold up play from Wall releasing Gyasi on the left wing. Gyasi chopped inside, beat his defender with a step-over and his shot took a deflection, but fell kindly at the back post for Nwachuku who arrived in good time to tap home for his second goal of the game.
With the hosts struggling to get going after the break, Wall had a chance to open his account for the afternoon which would have capped off an impressive performance. With time on his side, Wall could have planted his effort anywhere he liked however he appeared to have too much time as he smashed his effort straight at the grateful Palmer. As Coggeshall looked in control, both sides made several changes. Michael Gyasi was replaced by Ayrton Coley, whilst Nwachuku was denied his chance of a hat-trick having been replaced by the pacey, Ace Howell. As the game drifted towards the final whistle, the home side finally began to find their way and started to create chances. Sambridge was again on hand as he made a brilliant save from close range to deny Island’s substitute Martin Tuohy who was almost celebrating after his bullet header.
The home side then thought they had pulled a goal back as they bundled the ball in to the net following a dangerous corner routinue, however just to add to their frustrations, the referee had already blown his whistle for a foul on Sambridge. With the pressure appearing to be off the Seagulls, they appeared to have broken free from their shackles and began to put the SeedGrowers under pressure, however Coggeshall continued to throw their bodies on the line as they tried to achieve their third clean sheet in four games. After a leaders performance, Tevan Allen was replaced by Sam Bantick which saw Allen’s midfield partner, George Cocklin take over the captain duties.
After conceding a sloppy, late goal last week, the SeedGrowers appeared to have learnt their lesson and what followed was a real representation of the spirit and determination which has been shown in recent weeks. Another corner from the home side resulted in a goal mouth scramble, however Tyler Brampton was determined to save his side as he threw his body on to the goal-line to deny Canvey Island a consolation goal – Sambridge then assisted his team mate by collecting the loose ball and he was then awarded a free-kick for a blatant foul which would be the last kick of the match.
Full Time: Canvey Island 0 – 2 Coggeshall Town
Harry Palmer, Adetayo Osifuwa, Sam Collins, James White, Elliott Warren, Jordan Brow, Marlon Agyakwa, Ade Cole, Adam Vyse, Frankie Merrifield, Kyle De Silva.
Martin Tuohy, Kane Gilbert, Ryan Melaugh, Zack Littlejohn, Frankie Stone.
Danny Sambridge, Tyler Brampton, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Conor Hubble, Jamie Shaw, Tyler Corlett, Michael Gyasi, Tevan Allen, Nnmdi Nwachuku, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.
Aryton Coley, Ace Howell, Syrus Gordon, Dexter Peter, Sam Bantick.