The SeedGrowers came in to this game on the back of six straight league wins, having only conceded two goals in the process. With that in mind, manager Graeme Smith named the same starting eleven and substitutes which dispatched Bury by three goals to one, last week. The home side came in to the match with one of the best home records in the league, sitting second in the league as they try to keep pace with Bowers & Pitsea who appear to be running away with the title.
In extremely blustery conditions, it was the away side who appeared to get to grips with conditions the quickest with full-back and ex Maldon man, Curtis Haynes-Brown having the first shot on goal of the afternoon. After a smart pass from George Cocklin, Haynes-Brown drove at the Maldon defence before sending his drilled effort wide of Ben McNamara in the Maldon net. With Maldon struggling to get going, the SeedGrowers had the ball in the net thanks to the inform, Nnamdi Nwachuku however it was chalked off as the Assistant Referee adjudged Nwachuku to be in an offside position prior to receiving the ball. Up the other end of the pitch, the Jammers then created their first chance of the afternoon. As Coggeshall conceded a set piece around twenty-five yards away from their goal, Laste Dombaxe stepped up to take his free kick and was inches away from giving his side the lead as the ball rebounded off the cross bar and fell kindly for a Tyler Brampton who cleared the danger away from his goal.
In the twenty seventh minute, the Town took a more than deserved lead. Fresh from his spectacular free-kick last week, Conor Hubble was again the man who provided the goal from yet another set piece. Hubble, whipped a curling effort in to the box from wide on the left hand side, as Joshua Pollard was unable to head the ball home, it avoided everyone else and reached the corner of the net for Hubble’s third goal in as many games, much to the disappointment of McNamara in the Maldon goal who appeared all at sea as the ball drifted in to his penalty area. Just six minutes later and goalscorer, Hubble found himself in a similar position – wide on the left hand side, looking to cross the ball in to the box from his free kick. However, Hubble had another ideas thought, as he bent a curling effort in to the far post, for it to rebound in to the back of the net for his second goal of the match and his fourth goal in three games – all from direct free kicks.
Whilst Maldon were attempting to control possession, Coggeshall continued to look extremely dangerous on the counter attack. Nwachuku then almost made it three-nil, having switched flanks with Tyler Brampton, he cut in from the right hand side and his left footed effort went just over the cross bar. Goalscorer, Hubble was then the first player to enter the Referee’s note-book as he pictured up a yellow card, after winning a fifty challenge in the centre of the park – as both sets of players confronted each other, Dombaxe somehow escaped punishment after some questionable behaviour.
HALF TIME: Maldon & Tiptree 0 – 2 Coggeshall Town
With the words of their manager, Wayne Brown, ringing in their ears, Maldon started the second half on the attack. As Jorome Slew broke in to the Coggeshall box, he somehow ended up on the floor and the referee, awarded Maldon a questionable penalty. Up stepped the Maldon skipper, Jack Cawley as he came face-to-face with ex Heybridge team mate, Danny Sambridge. Prior to this penalty, Sambridge had faced two and saved two since signing for the SeedGrowers and this one was to be no different. As Cawley let rip a powerful effort, Sambridge sprung to his left to pull off another remarkable penalty save however was unable to deny Cawley’s rebound which scrapped the top of the bar before finishing up in the back of the net – two-one and all of a sudden, there appeared to be a game on.
As the wind somehow became worse, it made it increasingly difficult for both sides however it was the SeedGrowers who looked the most likely of the two sides to score. Tevan Allen had the next best chance, after a through ball allowed him to bare down on goal with only McNamara to beat, but his effort was saved comfortable by the Maldon shot-stopper. Coggeshall continued to come forward, after smart work from Nwachuku presented Brampton with a great opportunity but McNamara made a good save from close range to keep his side in the game. That was to be Brampton’s last involvement in what was a fine afternoon for him as he was replaced by Michael Gyasi.
Not long after their first change of the afternoon and the Town restored their two goal lead. As Nwachuku chased down a flick on from Wall, he used his trickery to beat the defence and pull the ball back to Gyasi who from around twelve yards saw his shot blocked from ex professional, Matthew Briggs. After the deflection, the ball well kindly for Wall who was on hand to smash the ball home with his right foot – his first goal for a while, but what an important goal at a vital time in the match. With Maldon trying everything to get back in to the game, Sambridge was required to make his first save from open play of the afternoon after a swift move saw Slew free inside the penalty box and he look destined to score – however Sambridge arrived in the nick of time to make a remarkable save from close range and what a save it was! As manager Smith, tried to assist his side in managing the game towards the final whistle, striker and goalscorer, Wall was replaced by midfielder Syrus Gordon.
As it often happens in football, Coggeshall punished Maldon for the fourth and final time just moments after Sambridge’s expert save. After Gordon won the ball back in his own half, Nnamdi Nwachuku picked up the loose ball inside his own half and began to drive at a tired Maldon defence. As the tricks of Nwachuku had the defenders at sixes and sevens, he broke in to the penalty area, cut inside on to his left foot and bent a delicious effort in to the bottom corner of the goal, beyond McNamara to cap off what was a fine afternoon for the SeedGrowers and arguably, their best performance of the season to date!
FULL TIME: Maldon & Tiptree 1 – 4 Coggeshall Town
Maldon & Tiptree:
Ben McNamara, Rob Girdlestone, Matthew Briggs, Lewis Dark, Jack Cawley, Billy Roast, Stephane Ngamvoulou, Laste Dombaxe, Liam Hope, Jorome Slew, Eddie-Louise Dsane.
James Shepherd, Oluwatobi Coker, Callum Anderson Kojo Awotwi.
Danny Sambridge, Joshua Pollard, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Conor Hubble, Dexter Peter, Tyler Corlett, Tyler Brampton, Tevan Allen, Nnamdi Nwachuku, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.
Ace Howell, Aryton Coley, Michael Gyasi, Jamie Shaw, Syrus Gordon.