Title favourites Coggeshall start season by beating Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
BetVictor Isthmian North Coggeshall Town 3 AFC Sudbury 1 The Seed Growers won this the opening match of the season at the Crops with some clinical finishing to give the league favourites an excellent start to the campaign, writes John Campany.
Last season ended disappointingly for Graeme Smith's side losing in the play offs, but have invested well to strengthen the squad and should be comfortably amongst the early pacemakers.
As for Sudbury manager Mark Morsley, he will largely depend on his youngsters, but on the evidence here some experience may need to be added to the side if real progress is to be achieved.
On the splendid playing surface the home side took a third minute lead when Curtis Haynes-Brown's cross into the box was partially cleared, but only to Mekhi McLeod who had time and space before driving home high into the net.
The speedy McLeod then raced clear and set up Tevan Allen whose effort was blocked, but moments later the visitors should have equalised when Liam Bennett's cross was headed just over Ashley Jones upright by Sean Marks.
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The home side were speedy going forward using the pace of McLeod and Nnamdi Nwachuku and the visiting defence was at times hard-pressed.
Although Sudbury had regained their composure they fell further behind on 36 minutes.
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A brilliant defence splitting ball over the last defender culminated with Nwachuku moving forward and sending a measured lob beyond the exposed keeper Paul Walker.
Walker then made a terrific save at full length to deny Nwachuku a second goal.
After the break he again saved his side. Haynes-Brown released Nwachuku who sent a fierce cross into the box and Ross Wall powerfully volleyed, but the keeper produced a magnificent save.
It was a strong restart from the home side whilst the visitors' offensive play was laboured and often lacking in penetration.
Nevertheless the lead was reduced in the 61st minute when, following two blocked shots, from Sean Marks Tom Maycock drove home from inside the box.
Coggeshall made the game safe deep into injury time when Conor Hubble superbly steered his curling shot beyond Walker.