Banston AFC lose in top of the table clash

FIFTH triumphed over sixth in a tightly contested affair during last Saturday’s Essex and Suffolk Border league division one clash.

Coggeshall are the top tip for promotion this season but Barnston put up a strong fight against a talented outfit at High Easter Road.

Level on points before the game, it was anyone’s guess as to who would win, but a solitary strike from Coggeshall proved to be the difference.

AFC manager Leighton William was forced to make a couple of changes with Halstead Town academy goalkeeper Chris Coyston coming in for Tommy Myers, while Dave Canning returned at centre back allowing Luke Nash to move back into the centre of midfield to replace the absent Justin Brown.

From kick off both teams were on the offensive and it was surprising that only one goal was scored in the entire 90 minutes.

The decisive strike came on the stroke of half time Coggeshall played the ball into the near post from their left wing.

One of the forwards won the header, and tried to cushion it down for himself to shoot at goal, but the ball bounced off and ran away across the goal.

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The AFC defence didn’t react quick enough, and the second forward drilled the ball home from six yards out.

The second half carried on the same as the first. Both sides created numerous chances but AFC failed to find an equaliser, it was blood and thunder in the middle of the park as well as tackles flew in.

On his return Dave Canning was particularly impressive in the AFC defence but his side would have thought that an equaliser was on the cards when Coggeshall had a man dismissed for a wild knee-high lunge.

Instead though the game threatened to descend into violence and was marred after the final whistle when players from both sides came together for a punch up.

After a few minutes of being separated and calming down, both sets of players retreated to the dressing rooms but the match had already been soured..

West Clacton Res 3

Barnston Res 3

Whilst Barnston’s first team were losing for the first time in five league games, the reserves managed an exciting three-all draw at West Clacton.

From the first whistle AFC created chances but suffered a sucker punch when Clacton took the lead with their first attack and a minute later doubled the advantage after a defensive lapse.

This set-back did little to deter the visitors and they were rewarded when Paul Layzell latched onto a loose ball to fire home to half the deficit.

On the stroke of half time Layzell again fired in to bring his team level.

The second half had the same pattern as the first with midfielders Connor Crabb and Adrian Martins creating good chances.

The introduction of Paul Cranfield bolstered the Barnston front line but with ten minutes left they a conceded another breakaway goal.

With time running out AFC poured men forward and got back on level terms when Neil Rivett hammered in a shot from outside of the area. Deep into injury time Barnston thought they had won it but Cranfield’s goal harshly ruled out for offside.

This coming Saturday Barnston first team are at home to Essex Olympian league second division side Forest Glade in the second round of the Essex County Saturday premier cup, kick off 1.30pm.