On Saturday afternoon Thurlow Nunn league leaders Coggeshall Town rolled into Trafford Park, writes Darren Wiseman. Their intention was to get three points and leave with the League championship wrapped up. There were more people than usual around the away dug out. Those crowded around would find it the right place right time to see Olly Murs. In case you didn’t know, Coggeshall Town is his home club and he is a big backer of the Seedgrowers. He was not going to be disappointed by what he saw, despite a hard working Wroxham performance.
The Yachtsmen took to a sun-drenched Trafford Park with George Macrae in goal and Fullbacks Tom Matthews and Joe Manning. Centre Halfs Mark Shadrack and Adam Plumstead completed the defence. In midfield were Harley Black and Adam Smith in the centre, with Mark Wilkinson and Craig Bussens out wide. Cruise Nyadzayo played advance of the midfield trying to support Pete Wiltshire up front.
The boys in blue got us underway attacking the Kenny Cooke stand. Coggeshall were straight on the front foot and forced an early back pass out of midfield from Tom Matthews to be over hit and go out for a corner. The resulting corner kick was also over hit, but the Yachtsmen were already feeling the pressure in a fast paced and combative midfield.
Wroxham were disciplined in their set up early on, but the table toppers were still forcing half chances. Good build up from the visitors down the left saw a cross go over to the right for Aaron Cosgrove to meet on the volley, but it was well over.
Cosgrove was a troublemaker all afternoon, and he was in behind Plumstead a couple of minutes later, and he attempted to finish his good work with a lob over keeper Macrae, but the Yachtsmen number 1 was able to stretch and gather the effort. Cosgrove was in the action shortly after, as he ran the right wing but his cross was well blocked by the hard working Plumstead. This block looked to have stopped his day, with clear concern over his knee, but after some treatment he was able to carry on.
A crazy couple of minutes followed the first 15 minutes. Firstly, the referee didn’t give an obvious back pass by a Seedgrowers defender, but the resulting keeper’s clearance led to a quick break. It was fortunate the visitor’s effort was wide. This incident seemed to fire up the home team and they started to get a foothold in the game.
Coggeshall’s skipper Luke Wilson fouled Wiltshire on 20 mins, to give a freekick away in midfield. The resulting delivery from Harley Black was played into a very dangerous area and James Bransgrove between the sticks tried to punch clear, but it landed in the area at the feet of Craig Bussens. He pulled the trigger quickly, but his goal bound effort was deflected behind. Black took the next set piece and Plumstead challenged and won an aerial challenge for Nyadzayo to collect the second ball, but his effort was blocked and cleared for visitors to break. Connor Hubble collected the ball in the left hand channel and started to dribble across the box to play the ball across to Ashgrove again, but his effort flashed across goal and wide.
There was a high pace being played out in the sunshine, and the league leaders were having the best of it. Daniel Cunningham played the ball out to the right to Ashgrove, who was able to cut the ball inside to on rushing full back Tyler Brampton to hit a rising shot wide of the post.
Ashgrove and Brampton were starting to attack at will down the right, and they linked again on 25 mins to get a dangerous ball in to the penalty area. Jamie Shaw gobbled up the cross with a strong header but Macrae was able to dive full stretch to tip the ball onto the bar.
On 39 minutes Macrae nearly let down all his good work. His clearance tried to set Wilkinson away, but Brampton was able to intercept and Ashgrove set off towards goal again. His effort from 8 yards leaning back was way over the bar. It was a big let off for the home side, but they were only to be level for a few more minutes.
On 42 minutes Coggeshall Town forced a corner, which Cunningham delivered right under the crossbar where Macrae had to punch away from a bunch of players. His punch ballooned to the edge of the area where Curtis Haynes-Brown met the ball on the volley, to side-foot into the bottom right corner. It was a deserved goal for the visitors after Wroxham had rode their luck on too many occasions.
With the half coming to a close, Wroxham created one last moment before having a deserved break. Nyadzayo broke well and crossed only for Jack Hayes to block. Wroxham appealed loudly for a hand ball, but referee Morrison was not interested. Moments later he brought the first half to a close.
The Seedgrowers were out early for the second half in glorious sunshine, obviously keen to get the promotion party started. The half took the same pattern as the first as the visitors seamlessly carried on their control. George Cocklin was played in down the right and crossed for Jamie Shaw, but as he went to shoot he was blocked by Mark Shadrack who had tracked him very well.
On 60 minutes you sensed that the visitors really cranked up the noise and the effort as they went after a second. Ashgrove was again at the hub of everything they did, and his break down the right was topped off with a pull back for the on-rushing Cocklin whose effort was smartly tipped over by Macrae. Moments later Nnamdi Nwachuku attacked Manning at full back and got into the area. The space he had created started to disappear as other Yachtsmen went to cover and he went to ground. The referee gave nothing for the striker and instead deemed it simulation. The pacey striker earned himself a yellow card for his troubles.
Then the clinching goal came. Plumstead fouled Cocklin on the right hand side. Cocklin got up to deliver a great ball into the box where Shaw won a towering header, which looped up and down towards the right hand post. Jack Hayes was lurking but bundled the ball into the back of the net to make sure, colliding with the post for his efforts.
The game was over, and in the heat the remaining subs were used as time slipped away. Jordan Bond and Ryan Miles entering the fray for the Yachtsmen. Wroxham were committed and battling, but just lacked enough quality to worry the high flying visitors. It was in the 90th minute that they created their best moment of the afternoon. Harley Black and sub Jordan Bond combined to create space on the Wroxham right. The ball was played back to Manning to deliver a sumptuous ball into the box. The tall Wiltshire met it, but his effort was straight into the arms of the visitor’s keeper.
The referee blew the final whistle to loud cheers from the visitors as they sensed finishing on top of the league. They cannot drop out of the top two now, and they have a 4 game shoot out with Felixstowe and Walton United to decide the destination of the title. They are 4 points ahead, so they have the advantage, and it is their title to lose. The Yachtsmen meanwhile have 3 games left, and will look to consolidate their league place starting with Hadleigh United away on Saturday.