After a quiet opening period of the match Canvey were awarded a penalty on 13 minutes when George Sykes was tripped inside the area by left back Joe Debayo. Sykes kept his footing and stayed on his feet, but referee Thomas Hancock recognised the foul and pointed to the spot.
Martin Tuohy stepped up to take the penalty but was denied by goalkeeper Jack Smith who dived to his right and deflected the ball onto the crossbar before claiming the rebound into his chest.
Dunstable’s first chance of the match came on 20 minutes when big striker Alex Cathline gained possession in a central position 20 yards from goal, shooting narrowly wide of the bottom corner with Conor Gough beaten diving full to his right.
The visitors took the lead on 32 minutes when a corner was delivered to the back post and not dealt with by the Canvey defence. The ball was knocked forward to David Keenleyside who was able to poke home from inside the six-yard box to put his side ahead in simple fashion.
Canvey pushed for an equaliser before the break, forcing several corners which Joey May whipped into the danger zone time and time again without any joy.
The Gulls came close to pulling a goal back twice in the space of a couple of minutes at the start of the second half, both through Harrison Chatting. Having drilled a first time shot wide of the upright on 49 minutes he then volleyed inches over a minute later after a beautiful turn on the edge of the box.
The equaliser did come in the 62nd minute when a ball down the left was headed on by George Sykes to Harrison Chatting inside the area. Chatting played a neat ball inside for Martin Tuohy who controlled it before slotting a low shot home.
It was nearly 2-1 eight minutes later when a Joey May corner found the head of Steve Sheehan, but his effort crashed against the crossbar before the follow up shot from Luis Morrison sailed over.
By this point Canvey were in total control of the match and came close to scoring again on 72 minutes. George Sykes turned expertly inside Dunstable captain Adam Pepera before hitting a powerful shot which caught a deflection and forced a superb reaction save from Jack Smith.
The chances kept on coming when on 76 minutes Jack Simmons sent over a superb cross from the left wing. The cross found Joey May unmarked inside the area, but his header across goal agonisingly sailed inches wide of the post.
The pressure finally told on 81 minutes when centre back John Sonuga handled inside the area to prevent George Sykes getting a shot on goal. Tony Stokes had only been on the pitch three minutes having come on for Martin Tuohy, but he wasted no time getting his name on the scoresheet by blasting a powerful spot kick straight down the middle to put Canvey in front for the first time in the tie.
It seemed inevitable that Dunstable would flood forward in search of a late equaliser, but in truth they failed to cause any real problems. The shot on target they did have came in the third minute of stoppage time when substitute Adam Moussi hit a right-footed shot from 20 yards which Conor Gough was able to save.
The final chance of the game came soon after when captain Lee O’Leary collected the ball on the half way line, looked up and hit a low shot from all of 40 yards. The ball was destined for the bottom corner, but goalkeeper Jack Smith was able to pull off another impressive save to leave his side in the match.
However, the referee’s whistle sounded as he cleared the ball forwards to see Canvey into the next round thanks to a commanding second half performance.
Photo: Holly Allison
Match Highlights by Andy Wilkins
Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts