Isthmian League, North Division
Coggeshall Town 0 Heybridge Swifts 1 (att 358)
The New Year's Day fixture list seems to get slimmer each season, and I had just the single option for a new ground to begin 2019. But the weather was in a benign mood so I decided it was worth the long drive to Essex.
Coggeshall's West Street home had somehow evaded me over the years, and it was the final ground I needed to recomplete what I still call the Isthmian League (with sponsors it's now the Bostik League).
It's a nice ground, and it was good to see it populated by a large crowd for the visit of near neighbours and promotion rivals Heybridge. There's a long, low seated stand on one side, plenty of cover at the far end, where there's also a modern clubhouse and the changing rooms, and open standing at the end nearest the entrance.
The side opposite the stand, where the dugouts are, is out of bounds, but while it is a three-sided ground there's banking and raised pathways around the pitch which help accommodate a large crowd quite comfortably.
I expected a close and tight game and that's how it turned out. Heybridge's goal was well taken effort about 15 minutes from the end, and followed Coggeshall's best spell of the game. Once they were in front the visitors never looked like surrendering their advantage.