|Great Wakering Rovers 2|
|B. Johnson (3), A. Pinto (62)|
|Canvey Island 5|
|J. Gordon (15), L. O'Leary (29), J. Gordon (30), L. O'Leary (50), J. Simmons (59)|
Both teams featured one of their oppositions former players in attack, with ex-Wakering forward Jake Gordon lining up for Canvey and his namesake Leon wearing the number nine for the Rovers.
The home side took the lead after only three minutes when a long ball forwards down the right wing released the Billy Johnson in behind Jake Pitty who was the last man just inside his own half. Having survived an appeal for offside the striker took the ball infield before shooting over Conor Gough from 20 yards to score.
It was nearly 2-0 eight minutes later when the ball was played down the left wing for Leon Gordon to run onto. Gordon did well to jink his was past Luis Morrison, advancing into the area before playing a low pass back to Kris Newby just inside the area unmarked. Newby made a good connection with his shot but hit the outside of the post when aiming for the top corner.
Canvey levelled on 15 minutes when George Sykes played a dangerous ball into the box for strike partner Jake Gordon to collect. Gordon was under pressure from a defender but did extremely well to turn his man before rolling his shot calmly underneath goalkeeper Billy Johnson from close range.
Defender Luis Morrison was involved at both ends of the pitch in the 20th minute. After having a header from a Joey May free kick saved, moments later he made his way back to put in a crucial tackle on Leon Gordon on the edge of the six-yard box to deny the former-Gull an almost certain goal from six yards.
Danny Heale’s side got their noses in front on 29 minutes when Joey May whipped in a corner from right. Lee O’Leary rose well and headed home unchallenged into the top corner.
The lead was stretched to two goals less than 60 seconds with Jake Gordon notched his second of the evening. Unlike his first which was from close range, this time to diminutive striker thumped a rocket of a shot into the net from 25 yards to display the range of goalscoring ability he possesses.
The home side could well have been reduced to ten men on 33 minutes when midfielder Kris Newby flew in with a two-footed tackle on Lee O’Leary. Referee Steve Parmenter produced a yellow card which in the context of the match was a sensible decision.
Having remained on the pitch Newby came close to reducing the arrears three minutes later when he found himself in possession 18 yards from goal in a central position following a free kick. Newby struck an instinctive first time shot which goalkeeper Conor Gough did well to keep out with his feet.
The final chance of the first half came with five minutes remaining when the Wakering keeper kept out a long range shot. The loose ball fell to George Sykes who turned back inside and placing a shot past the keeper but not past defender Alex Vause who was on the goal line.
Having remained unchanged at the break Canvey extended their advantage to three goals five minutes after the restart. Joey May whipped in a good ball from the half way line on the right wing towards George Sykes, with the tall striker doing extremely well to bring the ball under control with his chest and bear down on goal.
In the end Sykes failed to make the most of his opportunity and attempted to round the goalkeeper, but maintained possession and showed good vision to cut the ball back for Lee O’Leary to slot home for his second goal of the evening.
It was 5-1 on 59 minutes when Lee O’Leary turned from goalscorer to provider, playing a delightful chipped ball through to Jack Simmons who did exceptionally well to bring the ball under control and shoot across goal and into the bottom corner with two defenders in close quarters.
Danny Heale made six changes just after the hour mark, and less than a minute later the home side pulled a goal back. Adalberto Pinto struck a speculative effort from distance which caught a wicked deflection and sailed tamely into the back of the net with Conor Gough wrong-footed.
Jay Curran had an opportunity to add to the scoring on 67 minutes after a lovely spell of passing from Canvey. Harrison Chatting embarked on a determined run out of midfield, sliding the ball through to George Sykes to his left who in turn sent over an excellent cross which missed the head of Curran by a matter of millimetres.
Canvey had further chances to add to the scoring through George Sykes and Jay Curran, but in the end saw out the victory with ten men after Lee O’Leary left the field with no substitutes left to replace him.
Lee O'Leary First Goal
Danny Heale Post-Match Interview