After finishing last season’s league fixtures at home to Sudbury, the SeedGrowers welcomed them back to West Street for the opening game of the 2019/20 season. Ashlee Jones was the only new starter in the starting line up for the home side, as he made his second debut for the club and took over the captains armband in the process. Other new signings, David Agboola and Tom Blackwell took their place on the substitutes bench whilst Toby Ajala missed out due to injury.
After three minutes, Coggeshall had a dream start to the season. After an exchange of passes and a wicked ball in to the box, Sudbury failed to clear their lines as the ball fell kindly to Mehki McLeod. McLeod took one touch, before the blasting the ball in to the roof of the net to give his side an early lead and their first goal of the season, with their first shot of the season.
Moments after the goal, Sudbury were fortunate to keep eleven men on the field – as the visiting Goalkeeper, Paul Walker appealed for a head injury and didn’t go down to the floor, the Referee allowed play to go on. Eventually, the match official stopped the game and received a man handling from defender, Adam Bailey-Dennis who was lucky to only receive a yellow card despite laying his hand on the Referee. After a break of 5 minutes whilst Walker received treatment for a nasty cut above his eye, the game continued.
As the visiting side dominated possession, the SeedGrowers continued to look dangerous on the counter attack and appeared likely to score every time they broke forward. Sudbury had a couple of chances to break even, however the dangerous Sean Marks was unable to capitalise on this efforts.
In the thirty seventh minute, Coggeshall extended their lead. A superb pass from defender, Josh Pollard was mid-read by a Sudbury defender. Striker, Nnamdi Nwachuku latched on to the ball and with this first touch, lobbed Goalkeeper Walker from around twenty five yards – a sublime finish. On the stroke of half-time, Nwachuku had another chance to score as he cut in from the left however put his curling effort wide of the far post.
HALF TIME: Coggeshall Town 2-0 AFC Sudbury
At the start of the second half, Sudbury had their bandaged Goalkeeper, Walker to thank for keeping the score at only two-nil. A cross from Nwachuku was met by a fierce volley from Ross Wall, however Walker somehow kept the effort out as he deflected the ball over the cross bar. Sudbury were then again fortunate to keep all eleven men on the pitch and it was again, defender, Bailey-Dennis who was lucky to stay on the pitch. As Hubble was sent clattering to the floor as a result of a late tackle, Bailey-Dennis received a stern talking to from the Referee and his last warning.
In the sixty first minute and against the run of play, the visitors pulled a goal back. After a ball in to the box and some superb goal saving blocks from Pollard and Dexter Peter, the ball fell kindly to Striker, Tom Maycock and he struck a left footed effort across Goalkeeper, Jones and in to the bottom corner of the net.
As their goal seemed to give them another lease of life, Sudbury started to grow in to the game and started to dominate the game for the following ten to fifteen minutes, without forcing Jones in to a save of any note. Coggeshall then made a double change, with Michael Gyasi replacing Nnamdi Nwachuku and Tom Blackwell making his SeedGrowers debut in place of Mehki McLeod. The introduction of Gyasi and Blackwell gave the home side the injection of life they needed, as they regained their electric pace on the counter attack, with Blackwell using his pace to his advantage as he won a smart free kick deep in to Sudbury’s half.
With the game drifting towards the final whistle, Peter and Pollard seemed strong in defence as Matt Lock was introduced in place of Ross Wall as Coggeshall looked to manage the game until the final whistle. The SeedGrowers continued to press high and were rewarded as they regained possession in high areas as Lock won the ball back just in side the Sudbury half. A smart pass from Lock found George Cocklin, who in turn fed Conor Hubble with an intelligent through ball. Hubble dribbled towards the Sudbury box, cut in side on to his right food and bent a curling effort in to the bottom corner past Walker, to seal all three points.
FULL TIME: Coggeshall Town 3-1 AFC Sudbury
Jones, Brampton, Haynes-Brown, Cocklin, Peter, Pollard, McLeod, Allen, Nwachuku, Wall, Hubble.
Agboola, Walker, Blackwell, Lock, Gyasi.
Walker, Bennett, Harris, Grimwood, Bailey-Dennis, Whight, Hunter, Holland, Marks, Maycock, Dettmar.
Mundawarara, Altintop, Critchley, King, Gould.