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1st team - Match centre

Grays Athletic
Witham Town
Full time
k coyle (66')
Sat 19 Jan 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - North Division Attendance 235

town first ever win at parkside earns win over grays


as One-goal wins and clean sheets are becoming a habit.

A 66th minute goal from Kevin Coyle signalled a return to winning ways for Witham Town against a Grays Athletic side who were sixth in the table when the teams kicked off..
The result was no more than Witham deserved. Their organised and hard-working team performance secured the club’s first ever victory at Parkside and the sixth win in the last eight games.
Following the defeat at Mildenhall in Witham’s previous outing, manager Mark Ashford shuffled the pack. New arrival Siju Odelusi made his first start at right back, as did Tyler Christian-Law in the mid field.
Grays were the first side to threaten in the early stages with Ryan Mahal putting in a dangerous cross from the right that flashed across the goalmouth and evaded everyone. Shortly afterwards Charlie Allen went close with a shot that was deflected for a Grays corner.
In a cautious opening, Witham’s main priority was to avoid conceding an early goal. They were happy to play a patient game and frustrate their opponents.
Neither goalkeeper was tested until Witham custodian Finlay Shorten was called upon to make a save from Kieran Bishop’s shot on the 20-minute mark.
A pass from Christian-Law led to a good run by Toby Aromolaran on the right but his shot did not have the pace to threaten goalkeeper Bogard. Shortly afterwards, Johnny Ashman chased a long ball that was kicked upfield by Bogard. At the other end a promising Grays move led to Shorten dropping a high ball in a dangerous position but a free-kick was awarded to Witham for a foul by Zak Henry on the goalkeeper.
Grays were seeing slightly more of the ball but their possession was not hurting the visitors, who were organised enough to counter any attacks comfortably. Neither side looked threatening in attack and by half-time it looked likely obvious that the first goal would decide the contest. The second half began in the same vein but Witham seemed to be pushing up more and defending higher. A looping header from Michael Toner that went over the bar on the hour mark was the only goal chance of note at either end until the deadlock was broken in the 66th minute.
A corner from Ashman on the left was steered home by Kevin Coyle for his first Witham Town goal. This prompted a reaction from Grays and their first spell of co-ordinated attacking but they lacked a cutting edge. They forced a succession of corners but a mixture of poor execution and determined defending from the visitors prevented any real chances.
Striker Kurt Smith in his second spell at Witham replaced Aromolaran in the 76th minute. Almost immediately he had an excellent chance to score but failed to steer the ball home. Within two minutes Grays missed their best chance of the match when a cross from the right found Toner in front of goal but he headed over when he should have hit the target.
In the latter stages Kurt Smith did enough to suggest that he will be a useful addition to the Witham attack. His aggression, pace and ball-holding ability look likely to threaten defences.
A visit to Grays Athletic is never an easy fixture. This was not an expansive performance by Witham but they took one of their few chances and deserved to beat Grays who lacked quality in the final third. It was a notable scalp for Witham and comes soon after victories at Canvey Island and Maldon. One-goal wins and clean sheets are becoming a habit.

Key moments

Goal kevin coyle scores for Witham Town


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90:00 Sub On
micheal osei saahene is substituted on for Witham Town
90:00 Sub Off
Johnny Ashman is substituted off for Witham Town
82:00 Sub On
John Watson is substituted on for Witham Town
82:00 Sub Off
tyler christian -law is substituted off for Witham Town
76:00 Sub On
kurt smith is substituted on for Witham Town
76:00 Sub Off
toby aromiaran is substituted off for Witham Town
66:00 Goal 0 - 1
kevin coyle scores for Witham Town
60:00 Yellow Card
toby aromiaran is yellow carded for Witham Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Grays Athletic
  • Witham Town
  • 0
  • toby aromiaran Yellow Card 60:00'
  • kevin coyle Goal 66:00'
  • kurt smith Sub On 76:00'
  • toby aromiaran Sub Off 76:00'
  • John Watson Sub On 82:00'
  • tyler christian -law Sub Off 82:00'
  • micheal osei saahene Sub On 90:00'
  • Johnny Ashman Sub Off 90:00'

Team selection

shorten, finley shorten, finley
odelusi, siju odelusi, siju
foster, luke foster, luke
Ashman, Johnny Ashman, Johnny
Ahern, Patrick Ahern, Patrick
coyle, kevin coyle, kevin
Owusu, Sam Owusu, Sam
christian -law, tyler christian -law, tyler
aromiaran, toby aromiaran, toby
Norton, Danny Norton, Danny
Witham Town
  • 1. finley shorten
  • 2. siju odelusi
  • 3. luke foster
  • 4. Patrick Ahern
  • 5. kevin coyle
  • 6. Sam Owusu
  • 7. Danny Norton
  • 8. tyler christian -law
  • 9. Johnny Ashman
  • 10. toby aromiaran
  • 12. alfie cerulli
  • 13. micheal osei saahene
  • 14. kurt smith
  • 15. luke mallett
  • 16. John Watson

League round up

Other North Division results

Brentwood Town
Bowers & Pitsea
Coggeshall Town
Dereham Town
Mildenhall Town
Heybridge Swifts


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
14. Dereham Town 38 44
15. Great Wakering Rovers 38 41
16. Soham Town Rangers 38 40
17. Basildon United 38 39
18. Witham Town 38 34
19. Romford 38 34
20. Mildenhall Town 38 27

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