This weekend’s foray into Non-League was a first visit to West Street as Coggeshall Town took Athletic Newham in the Essex Senior League Premier on a very hot second Saturday in September. Rob Moore’s Coggeshall side have gone down the direction of supporting young players coming up through the tiers of the pyramid, while adjusting to the demands of a tightly-contested ESL division this term. Athletic Newham were seeking to gain another win away from home to remain in the top eight. Both sides were missing key forwards here, Jack Zielinski for Town and Richard Kone for Newham.
Given the energy-sapping heat this week, you’d have understood if the weather had an effect on the tempo of proceedings throughout. Whilst it would fair to say both teams were cautious in the early stages, that does not mean we didn’t have chances for both teams. In the first minute, Coggeshall centre-back Manny Olagunju sent a header over the woodwork, while visiting skipper Joel Appiah fired off-target moments later. Town were certainly promising in their build-up play, as forward Reggie Gregory ended a neat move by firing a strike which was denied by a good save by visiting goalkeeper Wilkinson Boateng. Unfortunately for Coggeshall, they were caught out as Newham took the lead on 13 minutes. A dangerous set-piece by skilful playmaker Anderson Baro evaded the home defence and found defender Derek O’Halem who guided his header well, past home custodian Aaron Cassie & into the net.
To their credit, this setback didn’t deter Coggeshall from pushing forward, as on twenty minutes a good pass by forward Leandro Sain found quick winger Leon Boyeja but his strike on goal narrowly went wide of the far post after a good run. Soon afterward, Baro had a strike himself but it was straight at Cassie from 20 yards. Coggeshall’s composure in front of goal was stifling them somewhat as first, Sain was denied by Boateng with the goalkeeper gathering well under pressure. Then, Boateng again did well to deny Finn Wilkes in another promising position. Forward Daniel Izekor was also finding space in front of the home backline & fired narrowly over the bar after a neat turn in the penalty area. Town could really have been level by this stage as Wilkes’ rising drive was well-saved again by Boateng. Just as you thought Newham would have kept their lead at the interval, Coggeshall did get a leveller on the 45 minute mark. A good pass by Gregory found the run of enterprising winger Boyeja and his finish was calm and found the net, much to the delight of the home fans.
HT: Coggeshall 1 – 1 Athletic Newham
Newham responded almost immediately after the restart as another fine corner from the right side by Baro again tracked the run of O’Halem who again powered a good header into the net. The home side responded to this frustrating moment with some guts to be fair, but again their finishing deserted them. Newham’s defence did not find it easy to rebuff the pressure of several good neat moves by the hosts, but Boateng again did well to deny efforts by Wilkes and Sain. Boyeja was continuing to pose a threat on the left flank, turning inside from the channel well. Newham defender Chris Nguidjol did well to block Boyeja’s first effort before Boateng also was well-positioned to make the save.
As we got into the latter stages of this contest, Chris Davis’ side had a good spell as they sought to make the points safe. On 74 minutes, a good pass by Izekor found Appiah but his resulting effort was just wide of the left-side post. With five minutes left, substitute Michael Olatunji’s decent curling effort requited the intervention of Town stopper Aaron Cassie. With the minutes ebbing away, Coggeshall full-back Reggie Pegrum sent in a good curling effort which again required Boateng to be alert to deny him. The final whistle went after five minutes of added time and Newham will be happy with the points but Coggeshall certainly made it tough for them and their neat forward play was a real positive in this game and added to the good tempo that this game was played in.
FT: Coggeshall Town 1 – 2 Athletic Newham
To summarise this game, Newham took their chances and played some neat football as well, really testing the positional awareness of a young Coggeshall side. However, Town did create the chances and really tested the Newham backline in the second half. Unfortunately for them, poor finishing & a lack of composure cost them here, but in some ways this was a morale-boosting performance for Rob Moore’s side, in difficult, sweltering conditions.
For winners Newham, their stand-outs begin with a very good effort by playmaker Anderson Baro who impressed with his movement and range of passing once again. Baro’s influence really assisted the counter-attacking visitors, particularly in the first-half. Defender Derek O’Halem put in a really good performance too, getting both goals, defending well and got forward as well at times to aid his team. Midfielder Andy Greenslade made it tough for the hosts to maintain momentum through his good positioning & a mention also for stalwart goalkeeper Wilkinson Boateng who made several good saves as well to keep his team in the game.
For Coggeshall, the mentions start with a good, co posed performance for centre-back Manny Olagunju who made important interceptions & was up fir the challenge here. Full-back Enock Soganile also defended well, as well as making some good passes to support his midfield. Winger Leon Boyeja was a consistent threat for the hosts here utilising his pace, passing and movement to good effect. Lastly, a word for forward Reggie Gregory who led the line well and tested the Newham defence, being unfortunate to not score here.
Coggeshall Town | Manager: Rob Moore | Assistant: Gareth Cleverly
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Aaron Cassie (GK), 2 Reggie Pegrum, 3 Enock Soganile, 5 Conor Tyrrell (Capt), 6 Manny Olagunju, 4 Jude Spearing (14 Cameron James 68’), 7 Finn Wilkes (16 Alfie Gilbey 70’), 8 Ellis Lawson, 9 Leandro Sain, 10 Reggie Gregory, 11 Leon Boyeja
Goal-scorer: Leon Boyeja [45’]
Booked: Spearing | Subs Not Used: Pugsley & Lloyd
Athletic Newham | Manager: Chris Davis | Assistants: Timothy Tejuoso & Ray Bartlett
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Starting XI (Subs): 1 Wilkinson Boateng (GK), 2 Derek O’Halem, 4 Christopher Nguidjol, 3 Louis Hiobi, 15 Anderson Baro, 8 Andy Greenslade, 16 Abdul Shobowale, 7 Jacques Leurs (6 Kwesi Botchey 45’), 12 Ibrahim Kamara, 10 Joel Appiah (Capt) (19 Dayaan Salifou 89’), 14 Daniel Izekor (9 Michael Olatunji 83’)
Goal-scorers: Derek O’Halem [14’ & 46’]
Booked: Appiah | Subs Not Used: Ssonko, Whitney
Referee: Matthew Pointer
Assistants: Ray Parmenter & Olabisi Omotosho