Coggeshall Town v Grays Athletic. 8th February 2020
It was a clear bright afternoon with a moderate breeze. Manager Graeme Smith made two changes to the starting eleven and one on the subs bench from the side that drew at Felixstowe on the previous Tuesday night. New signing Jake Jessup started in goal replacing the suspended Ashlee Jones, Nnamdi Nwachuku looking to keep his goal a game record going started up front and Toby Barlow come in on the subs bench.
The match started with Town defending the Clubhouse end. Grays made a lively start with the Town doing some early defending. On four minutes, Lewis Dark hit a thirty-yard shot and with Jake Jessup off his line it looked a certain goal but fortunately for Town, the ball cannoned off the bar and was cleared. Both side were getting forward at every opportunity but with the defences in control, clear-cut chances were rare. For Grays Reuben Soares Jr was keeping the Coggeshall defence on their toes and Aryton Coley was doing the same to Grays. On thirty minutes, Nnmadi Nwachuku beat the on rushing Danny Sambridge with a great lob from the edge of the box only to see his effort land the wrong side of the bar. Town were beginning to look the better side and having their best spell of the game, as halftime approached, but the game was all square as the referee blew the half-time whistle.
HALF TIME: Coggeshall Town 0 v 0 Grays Athletic
The second half started where the first left off, with Coggeshall looking the better side but without creating any clear-cut chances. Play still swung from end-to-end as Grays were still trying to get forward, when they had possession. The Town defence were playing well though and never allowed them any goal scoring opportunities. On fifty-eight minutes, Toby Barlow made his Town debut when he replaced Marc Gorbell who had pulled up with a reoccurring injury. The breakthrough for Town came soon after on sixty three minutes, when, after a smart one-two with Joshua Pollard, Nnamdi controlled the ball well and drove his shot past Danny Sambridge to give Town the lead.
As the half progressed, just as he did the first half Aryton Coley was giving the Grays defence a troubled time with his persistent strong running and his ability to hold on to the ball under pressure. Aryton was having his best game in a Town shirt. Town’s next chance came on seventy-five minutes when Captain Tevan Allen fired into the side netting with a cross shot from the edge of the box. Town were working well as a unit now with every man giving one hundred percent. Toby Barlow slotted into the back four and giving a good account of himself. With the clock, ticking away Grays did muster a couple of chances as they strived to get something from the game. First Jake made a good save from shot from the edge of the six-yard box then Tyler Brampton intercepted a dangerous cross with a powerful header past the post for a Grays corner which they failed to capitalise on.
The Town players and fans celebrated a hard fought win on the final whistle, to make it seven points from the last three games.
FULL TIME: Coggeshall Town 1 v 0 Grays Athletic