After last weeks nil-nil draw against basement boys, Dereham Town, manager Graeme Smith made a couple of changes with Tevan Allen and Michael Gyasi being reintroduced to the starting eleven with Syrus Gordon and Sam Bantick the unfortunate ones having to take their place on the substitutes bench. Just like the SeedGrowers, Grays came in to the game on the back of a dreadful run of results, which had seen them win only one of their last nine games.
After the artificial surface past a precautionary pitch inspection, it was the hosts who started on the front foot and were almost gifted an early goal. A misplaced clearance from Danny Sambridge landed at the feet of ex SeedGrower, Correy Davidson however he was unable to capitalise as no more than three Coggeshall players surrounded him to snuff out his half chance. After just fifteen minutes, Grays were fortunate not to have been reduced to ten men. A late and dangerous tackle from Adalberto Pinto saw Tyler Brampton in a heap on the floor however the Referee adjudged the foul only worthy of a yellow card. Just minutes later, Michael Gyasi was shown the second yellow card of the match after the assistance of some theatrics from Joao Carlos, the Referee thought the tackle was just as bad as the previous one from Pinto…
With the Town growing in to the game, they seemed to be sparked in to life by a brilliant, wholehearted challenge from defender, Tyler Corlett. As a result of the tackle, Coggeshall were able to create their first goal scoring opportunity of the match. Nnamdi Nwachuku dribbled at the defence and cut the ball back to Michael Gyasi who was waiting twelve yards out from the goal however Gyasi sent his curling effort wide of the post. Grays responded immediately, went straight down the other end of the pitch and ex Coggeshall front man, Kieran Bishop forced Sambridge in to his first save of the afternoon which he completed with ease. Defender, Corlett was then flattened inside the Grays penalty area however the Referee saw nothing wrong with the push in the back from Stanley Muguo and waved play on, to the amazement of the Coggeshall players and management team. As Coggeshall began to dominate, Gyasi had another chance to opening the scoring. After smart work from Nwachuku, Gyasi appeared to have bundled the ball home from close range however Goalkeeper, Clarke Bogard appeared from nowhere to make the save to ensure his clean sheet stayed in tact.
On the stroke of half-time, the SeedGrowers finally made their pressure count. As Nwachuku again got the better of his opposition with some expert trickery, he played the ball to Gyasi inside the penalty area. Gyasi took one touch before dragging the ball across the goal, in to the bottom corner of the net past Bogard who was unable to make the save this time – Coggeshall had a more than deserved lead. In stoppage time of the first half, Nwachuku had his own opportunity to open the scoring, as he cut in the from the left hand side however he was unable to direct his effort on goal as it curled wide of the far post.
Half Time: Grays Athletic 0 – 1 Coggeshall Town
The Town started the second half, like they finished the first – on the front foot, looking dangerous every time they attacked whilst Dexter Peter and Corlett, supported by their team mates looking solid in defence. The first chance of the second period fell to George Cocklin, from a direct free kick after a nasty challenge on Conor Hubble which went unpunished by the Referee, Cocklin was unable to capitalise as he blasted his free kick in to the defensive wall. Correy Davidson, who was looking the most dangerous for Grays had a chance shortly after however he was unable to control his effort as it ballooned over the bar.
Gyasi then had a brilliant chance to extend his sides lead. After a superb pass from Cocklin, Gyasi was able to beat the on-rushing Bogard to the ball, as he rounded the Goalkeeper he tried to score from a tight angle, which was blocked by the defender before Bogard collected the loose ball. If Gyasi had of lifted his head, he would have seen two of his team mates who were desperate for the ball and potentially were in a better position to score. As Grays continued to struggle in attack, the SeedGrowers continued to create chance after chance. This time, it was midfielder Hubble with the opportunity – Hubble who was probably having his best game of the season, drove at the Grays defence completely unchallenged and let fly a ferocious effort which went just wide of Bogard’s goal. As tensions began to grow, Coggeshall were unable to extend their lead. Curtis Haynes-Brown was the next SeedGrower to try his luck, however his left footed effort was drilled wide of the post after a mesmerising run from the solid full-back.
Manager, Smith then made this first change of the match with Gyasi having been booked in the first half, being replaced by Aryton Coley. Shortly after, Smith had to make his second change as Nwachuku had to be removed from the action after suffering an elbow to the head from Pinto, who was again lucky to remain on the pitch – Nwachuku was replaced by the electric, Sam Bantick. As the clock ticked towards the ninetieth minute, Grays almost snatched an equaliser through Davidson. As the Irish winger dribbled at his ex team mates, he unleashed a left footed effort which seemed destined for the bottom corner, however Danny Sambridge was on hand to make a smart diving save, which was his first action of the section half. Coggeshall then made their third and final change as Ace Howell was introduced for Ross Wall, who had worked tirelessly all afternoon. The SeedGrowers then had further chances to extend their lead, however Howell and Tevan Allen were both denied by some last ditch defending. The referee’s final whistle of the afternoon followed shortly after, with the Town recording their second win of 2019 and their second clean sheet in a row.
Full Time: Grays Athletic 0 – 1 Coggeshall Town
Clarkeg Bogard, Ryan Mahal, Charlie Allen, Zak Henry, Stanley Muguo, Geofrey Okonkwo, Correy Davidson, Adalberto Pinto, Kieran Bishop, Dennis Oli, Joao Carlos.
Callum Thompson, Michael Finneran, Mitchel Hahn, Aron Gordon, Thomas Wade.
Danny Sambridge, Tyler Brampton, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Conor Hubble, Dexter Peter, Tyler Corlett, Michael Gyasi, Tevan Allen, Nnmdi Nwachuku, Ross Wall, George Cocklin.