After a run of three games without a win, boss Graeme Smith rang the changes with Ace Howell making his first start for the Town, Michael Gyasi made a welcome return to the starting eleven following his serious elbow injury whilst Emmanual Foralin and Syrus Gordon were also re-introduced.
Just minutes in to the match, it was halted for a considerable amount of time after a collision between Conor Hubble and Kiran Khinda-John. With a serious looking injury to the Chelmsford midfielder, the medical teams took their time and eventually, Khinda-John was able to leave the pitch on his feet receiving a round of applause from everybody in the ground. The Conference South outfit dominated possession throughout the first half, however it was the SeedGrowers who had the first chance of the evening and really, should have taken the lead. A cross in to the box from the right hand side found Ace Howell on the edge of the six yard area, however Nathan McDonald was able to make a save to deny Howell his first Coggeshall goal.
Just moments after Howell’s miss, Chelmsford punished Smith’s side. Sure enough, it was their new signing and ex Coggeshall man, Aaron Cosgrave who opened the scoring. As the Coggeshall defence stood still and appealed for offside, Cosgrave carried on running in on goal, took one touch before bending his effort past Sambridge and in to the bottom corner. The Clarets had a further chance to extend their lead just before the half time interval, however midfielder Max Porter saw his effort scrape the cross bar and sail over Sambridge’s goal.
Half Time: Chelmsford City 1-0 Coggeshall Town
After a decent first half, Graeme Smith handed a debut to new recruit, Josh Moore who has arrived at West Street on loan from Leiston – Curtis Haynes-Brown was the man to make way. The second half was fairly quiet in terms of goal scoring opportunities, with both sides intent on playing eye-catching, attacking football. Despite the two division difference between the two sides, the SeedGrowers did not look out of their depth and were giving Chelmsford a run for their money. Chelmsford did have the first shot of the half and Cosgrave was the again the man at the heart of it as he forced Sambridge in to a top, top save.
As Chelmsford began to make their own changes, they introduced ex-professional, Chris Whelpdale. Whelpdale made an immediate impact and sadly for the SeedGrowers, scored with what was almost his first touch of the game. A corner from the right, found Whelpdale at the front post who jumped highest to head a powerful effort past Sambridge – 2-0 to the Clarets. Looking to force a way back in to the game, manager Smith introduced Sam Bantick And Tyler Brampton in place of Foralin and Gordon. The two changes had an immediate affect, with Coggeshall pulling a goal back within minutes of going behind. Nnamdi Nwachuku provided the lifeline for the visitors, as his chipped effort from the edge of box looped over McDonald in the Chelmsford goal and in to the far corner of the net.
Coggeshall looked to have sent the game to a penalty shoot-out as Nwachuku had the ball in the net again, however it was ruled out for offside – much to his amazement. Coggeshall applied lots of pressure as the game drifted towards the final whistle, but sadly were unable to find an equaliser as Chelmsford City progressed to the semi-final of the competition.
Full Time: Chelmsford City 2-1 Coggeshall Town
Nathan McDonald, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Max Porter, Kiran Khinda-John, Jonny Giles, Tom Wraight, Mikhail Kennedy, Aaron Cosgrave, Adrian Cascaval, Amos Nasha, Matthew Young.
Michael Spillane, Chez Isac, Chris Gregan, Chris Whelpdale
Danny Sambridge, Emmanual Foralin, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Syrus Gordon, Dexter Peter, Jamie Shaw, Michael Gyasi, Conor Hubble, Nnamdi Nwachuku, Ace Howell, Tevan Allen.
Josh Moore, Tyler Brampton, Ross Wall, Sam Bantick