In manager Danny Heale's absence, assistant manager Joe Keith made several changes from the side that were knocked out of The Emirates FA Cup away to Potters Bar Town on Tuesday night.
A debut was given to goalkeeper Lewis Moore following him joining from Dagenham & Redbridge earlier in the week. Starts were also given to defender Jack Lampe at right back and Sheldon Sellears on the right wing who were both beginning a second spell with the club. Joey May was also handed a start in central midfield.
The visitors started the sharper of the two sides and created two chances in the opening five minutes, both through Aaron Lamont. First the midfielder saw a low shot from 20 yards go wide of the target after only three minutes, and soon after hit a curling effort with his right foot across goal from the corner of the area which narrowly missed creeping in at the far post with Lewis Moore diving full to his left.
They came even closer to breaking the deadlock on 19 minutes when Ryan Moss chipped the ball over Lewis Moore from the left wing after the keeper had been forced to close down the forward. The ball was heading into the goal but was kept out by Steve Sheehan who raced back to clear off of the line at the expense of a corner.
A disappointing sight came on 23 minutes when Sheldon Sellears went down injured following a tackle. The winger has been suffering from injury since last season and this latest setback was a huge shame.
Lewis Moore had to come off of his line once again on 27 minutes when Ryan O’Rawe played an under hit back pass back in his direction. The keeper made an instant decision and did well to get to the ball and deflect if off of Pelayo Pico-Gomez for a goal kick.
Kingstonian finally took the lead on 29 minutes when Aaron Lamont was allowed too much space to run into having cut in from the left wing. Lamont waltzed his way into the area before firing home with the help of a deflection.
Canvey had an immediate chance to respond when a free kick was awarded on the edge of an area for a foul by former-Canvey midfielder Sean Bonnett-Johnson on Jack Simmons. Tony Stokes’ free kick was smashed into the wall and the rebound from Jack Simmons was also blocked.
George Sykes created a good opportunity for himself on 34 minutes when he collected the ball on the edge of the area. Sykes sidestepped his marker, driving a right-footed shot over the bar from a tight angle.
Kingstonian nearly doubled their lead just before half time when Lewis Moore saved well from Ryan Moss from the edge of the box, turning the ball behind for a corner. The set piece was whipped in to the back post where Sam Page rose highest to head at goal for the visitors, although his effort was a couple of yards wide of the bottom corner.
The second half slowly and took until the 18th minute for any action of note to take place when Jack Lampe sent over a cross from deep on the right wing. The cross was sneaking in at the back post and forced goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey to tip the ball over for a corner.
Assistant manager Joe Keith turned up the pressure on 64 minutes when he brought on striker Martin Tuohy in place of winger Jack Simmons.
Tuohy nearly created a goal on 73 minutes when his cross from the right was brilliantly headed behind for a corner by Aaron Goode to prevent George Sykes from nodding home.
The forward was involved again a minute later when a good passing move saw Kojo Awotwi dribble into the area from the right and play the ball into George Sykes, who in turn laid it off for Tuohy to shoot over from 20 yards with his left foot.
The pressure told on 77 minutes when Canvey drew level. Harrison Chatting sent over an excellent cross from the left wing which found Tony Stokes at the back post to head home his seventh goal of the season and ensure that he has scored in each of his four games for the Gulls.
Canvey piled forwards immediately from the restart and nearly scored within sixty seconds, with only another superb defensive header from Aaron Goode preventing the ball from hitting the back of the net.
Having equalised and thoughts now turning to winning the match, it was therefore a massive blow when Kingstonian re-took the lead with three minutes of normal time remaining. A counter attack saw Sean Bonnett-Johnson get to the byline on the right before selling Ryan O’Rawe a dummy and chipping the ball over for Pelayo Pico Gomez to score with a delightful overhead kick.
The K’s had further chances to add to the scoring as Canvey committed men forwards in search for an equaliser, but goalkeeper Lewis Moore produced two fantastic saves to keep out first Youssef Bamba and then Sean Bonnett-Johnson.
Joe Keith Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts