Walthamstow ended their pre-season with a draw and an unbeaten run as Coggeshall Town travelled to Wadham Lodge. It was a highly competitive and physical game which saw neither side break the deadlock in a game where either side could’ve won it.
It was Walthamstow who started off the quickest when Samrai Gebrai got down the right and crossed the ball but it was just missed by Prince Madu who tried to attack the ball.
Despite the quick start from Stow, Coggeshall dominated early possession as they controlled the tempo but couldn’t find a way through the Walthamstow defence.
The earliest chance went Walthamstow’s way when Jack Folan tried his luck from distance but it was a comfortable save for the goalkeeper. Coggeshall had a chance a minute later but Bransgrove kept the game level with a save at his near post before a shot was hit way over from distance.
The away side continued to dominate when a deflected shot went just wide. Not long after, Coggeshall were awarded a penalty when Charlie Yexley tangled with a forward on the corner of the penalty area. The initial kick was saved by Bransgrove before the follow-up was scored but ruled out by the referee for encroachment.
Neither side could find the breakthrough despite a number of chances. Dwade James saw his effort saved by the legs of the goalkeeper before Samrai Gebrai has a shot saved at the near post whilst an effort from the visitors was curled just wide of the target. The first half ended goalless.
Coggeshall began the second half on the front foot and had an opportunity whilst in the first couple of minutes when their number had a shot but it was a comfortable save for Bransgrove before their number 9 headed the ball across the face of goal as he ran in on a cross.
Walthamstow started to dominate the possession and chance; a pull back by Aiken was just behind James before Folan dragged a shot just wide and Aiken had Stow’s best chance when his shot was narrowly over the bar.
The teams became sloppy in possession and neither side controlled for a period of the second half but it was Coggeshall who came closest to scoring. A header from their number 18 was wide of the target before number 12’s effort from outside the box was just over. Ollie Fortune had a chance towards the end of the game when he had a dig from outside the area but the ball was just over the bar and the game ended 0-0.
Speaking after the game, manager Ryan Maxwell said “It was our last pre-season game so I was looking for the team to be strong. There was a good shape to the team and I gave them slightly different instructions but they understood exactly what I wanted. Overall it was a good day.”
[When asked about the unbeaten run during pre-season] “When you take the opposition into account, we played 4 teams in divisions about us with Heybridge, FC Romania, Canvey Island and Coggeshall so you’ve got to be pleased. This time last year, it would’ve been a tough pre-season but the boys have come back fitter and with the right attitude.”
[When asked about first league game] “The first game is right around the corner and we’ve got a few training sessions before then. We need to work on a few things but other than that, preparations will be normal.”