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Match Report
Ryman Premier League - 2016/2017
Canvey Island 1
R. Halle (38)
Southend United 2
L. O'Neill (8), A. Trialist (12)

Canvey Island put in a good display at a wet Frost Financial Stadium on Tuesday night, losing 2-1 to a strong Southend United side.

Both managers took the opportunity to give minutes to plenty of players under the floodlights in front of a healthy crowd.

Southend created the first chance of the match following a good advantage from referee Lloyd Wood. The ball found its way to a trialist (no. 9) inside the area but his driven shot was parried behind for a corner by Conor Gough.

The Shrimpers took the lead in the eighth minute when a ball was played down the right wing for Luke O’Neill to run onto. O’Neill turned back inside and shot low across goal and nearly into the bottom corner.

It was 2-0 soon on 12 minutes when one of Southend’s on-trial strikers (no. 10) jinked his way into the area but was denied by a save from Conor Gough. The rebound however fell straight to his fellow centre forward (no. 9) to slot into an empty net from 12 yards.

The visitors pushed for a third and had two chances in the 20th minute to extend their advantage. Firstly Southend left-back trialist (no. 12) broke into the area and pulled the trigger but saw his goalbound effort chested behind by Richard Halle.

Soon afterwards a cross from the right by Luke O’Neill found no. 9 inside the area who connected with a flick on header which beat Conor Gough but hit the top of the crossbar before being cleared.

As the match approached the half hour mark heavy rain started to fall, and with it the Gulls started to come back into the match.

On 30 minutes new signing Lee O’Leary met a right wing corner with his head but directed the ball the wrong side of the upright.

Five minutes later former-Southend youngster Marlon Agyakwa played a superb ball which cut through the Blues defence and released striker George Sykes. However, his shot was put behind thanks to a tremendous save from England Under-20 goalkeeper Ted Smith.

Canvey pulled a goal back on 38 minutes after Joey May had had a long range effort deflect behind for a corner. The ball was whipped in and seemed to slip through the hands of Smith and straight onto the head of Richard Halle who nodded home from close range.

Both teams made mass changes at half time, with Phil Brown changing his entire XI and Danny Heale replacing all of his outfield players.

Southend had the first chance of the second period when a corner was deflected towards his own goal by Steve Sheehan. However, Conor Gough’s final action of the match before being replaced by Lewis Green was to pull off a superb save to spare Sheehan’s blushes.

The heavy rain had caused a few areas of lying water in the half that Southend were attacking in the second half which proved problematic for both teams.

On 59 minutes a good cross from the right by Jack Simmons found Dee Okojie at the back post, but the former-Tonbridge man was only able to head wide with Josh Bexon to beat.

The rest of the second half by contrast was a quiet affair with the best chance falling to the visitors.

With eleven minutes to play a cross from the right from Jordan Williams found the head of his namesake Jason inside the area, but his header went over the crossbar when well placed.

Overall the Gulls put in a solid display, especially in their first pre-season friendly against a professional outfit.

Canvey’s pre-season continues on Saturday when Greenwich Borough are the visitors.

Photo: Holly Allison

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview