Bostik Div North
Grays Ath 0 v 1 Coggeshall Town
A Michael Gyasi goal was all that separated the teams, but in reality Coggeshall were sharper and more determined than Blues who seem to have lost their way since the turn of the year. They only had a returning Correy Davidson piledriver which brought a brilliant save from Danny Sambridge to show for their efforts over the 90 minutes. Frustratingly they only showed glimpses of what they are capable of against Coggeshall who went about the game with quite efficiency, albeit they were allowed too much time and space by a languid Blues.
Manager Jamie Stuart rang the changes after last Saturday’s poor showing against Canvey, Michael Finneran and Tommy Wade dropping to the bench and with Michael Toner suspended Joao Carlos dropped in at left back – a move that certainly blunted Blues attacking options – Stan Muguo slotting into the back four.
Coggeshall made an impressive start, spraying the ball around the park using either flank to good advantage, driven on by the impressive George Cocklin who popped up all over the park. Blues were finding it difficult to put together any cohesive passages of play. The movement and pace of Gyasi and Nnamdi Nwachuku caused real concern, turning the Blues defence with ease – Gyasi served notice of what was to follow with a clever turn inside the box, only the finish let him down when his effort drifted wide. He was to cause another stir when he was left unmarked in the box screwing a shot past the upright.
After these early scares Blues rallied and enjoyed time on the ball. Davidson using his blistering pace to break forward sliding the ball into Kieran Bishop, who unleashed a fierce drive which Sambridge did well to beat away. Davidson was again the architect playing a curling cross which just failed to reach the head of Charlie Allen.
With so much at stake the game became increasingly frenetic, two tribes going to war, resulting in a number of stoppages affecting the flow of the game. Blues were holding their own, but it was the visitors who looked the more threatening – only a tremendous save from Bogard kept the score level but on the stroke of half time that threat produced a goal.
Another teasing ball into the box found Gyasi – a clever turn gave him the space to pick his spot past Bogard to put the visitors in front.
The second period started in similar vein, Coggeshall showing slickness in possession their sorties swift and menacing, an early free kick high into the box was well claimed at full stretch by Bogard. Tevan Allen tried his luck from distance without success failing to hit the target.
The Seedmen should have put the game to bed when Nawachuku broke clear – Bogard made a hash of his attempted clearance, the striker fired goalwards only to see Carlos on the line, chest the ball down into the arms of a relieved Bogard.
A lack of urgency and physical presence in Blues play saw them resort to hopeful long high balls, which were bread and butter for the imposing Tyler Corlett and Dexter Peter easily snuffing out the danger.
Stuart made a double change – Bishop who once again had a quiet game was replaced by Mitch Hahn, Zak Henry who appeared to take a knock was replaced by Aron Gordon, who made an immediate impact drawing a smart save from Sambridge. The changes heralded a brief period of Blues pressure, Dennis Oli improvised, flicking on a Gordon cross it looked a certain goal, until Sambridge produced a stunning save turning the ball onto the bar.
Reprieved Coggeshall quickly replied Cocklin bludgeoned forward hitting a rasping effort that whistled just over, Blues replied Davidson racing to the edge of the visitors box rifling a fierce drive that Sambridge did well to turn behind. It was to be Blues last opportunity to salvage a point in a game where they again failed to play to their full potential.
Bogard, Mahal, Okonkwo,Muguo, Carlos, Allen, Henry(Gordon 68),Pinto, Davidson, Bishop (Hahn 68),Oli ),Wade 75)
Subs not used: Thompson,Finneran