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Match Report
Ryman Premier League - 2016/2017
Canvey Island 6
J. May (5), T. Stokes (10), T. Stokes (19), O. Lawson (43), K. Awotwi (72), T. Stokes (87)
Great Wakering Rovers 1
J. Cleaver (33)

Canvey Island romped to an impressive 6-1 win against Ryman North outfit Great Wakering Rovers in the Alan Turvey Trophy sponsored by Robert Dyas 1st Round at The Frost Financial Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Both managers made changes to their starting lineups, with Gulls boss Danny Heale handing a full debut to winger Kojo Awotwi.

Great Wakering manager Gary Ansell meanwhile named three former-Gulls in his starting XI in Josh Banton, Charlie Barlow and Jay Nash with a further three on the bench in Leon Gordon, John Easterford and Kyle Asante.

Canvey opened the scoring after only five minutes when Tony Stokes played a perfectly weighted through ball for Joey May to run onto. May ran the ball into the area, rounded goalkeeper Matt Belcher before coolly slotting home into an unguarded net.

It was 2-0 five minutes later when Joey May found himself with acres of space in front of him through the middle which he duly ran into and hit a well struck shot from 20 yards. Matt Belcher pulled off a save diving to his left but couldn’t prevent Tony Stokes from tucking home the rebound from close range.

The lead was extended further on 19 minutes as Martin Tuohy played in his strike partner Tony Stokes who scored with a classy finish from the edge of the area to the left of goal.

Stokes came close to completing an eleven minute hattrick soon after when he shot from a tight angle on the left, hitting the target but being denied by Belcher who got down well to make the save.

Mitchell Gilbey nearly added his name to the scoresheet on 23 minutes when he got his head to a left wing cross just inside the area but put the ball inches wide of the post.

Wakering pulled a goal back on 33 minutes when a ball into the box was knocked goalwards by Jay Nash forcing Conor Gough to dive to his right to keep the shot out. The loose ball however was collected by Jacob Cleaver who was able to take his chance to put his side back into the contest.

As the match approached half time Canvey started to pile the pressure on their Ryman North opponents as they went in search of a goal to restore their three goal cushion.

Ex-Rovers striker Martin Tuohy came very close to finding the net on 40 minutes following a cross from the right. With his back to goal Tuohy swivelled on the ball, striking a volley towards the bottom corner which hit the inside of the post before rolling across the line and behind for a goal kick on the far side.

A minute later Omarr Lawson showed some impressive footwork as he beat two Wakering players to burst to trick his way into the area, but when the time came to pull the trigger he opted to place a shot towards the bottom corner which Belcher was able to keep out with an outstretched foot.

Canvey’s persistence paid off on 43 minutes when Joey May’s corner was kept alive and nodded back for Omarr Lawson to score his second goal of the season with a looping header into the back of the net.

The Gulls began the second half in the dominant fashion they finished the first. On 53 minutes excellent cross from the Joey May on the right found Martin Tuohy at the back post whose goalbound header was cleared off of the line by a defender.

They did however have to wait until the 72nd minute to find the net again when debutant Kojo Awotwi managed to get the edge of the box thanks to some skilful footwork. Awotwi shot towards to the bottom corner which Matt Belcher got to diving low to his left but allowed the ball to sneak underneath him and into the bottom corner.

George Sykes stung the hands of Belcher with a long range shot on 75 minutes before Tony Stokes struck the post with a low driven effort from 25 yards.

Wakering’s best chance of the half came with nine minutes to play when Charlie Barlow curled a free kick from the edge of the box towards the top corner. Conor Gough did well to fling himself high to his left to keep the ball out, and then did even better to spread himself to block the rebound.

The visitors retained possession and delivered a cross from the right wing which was headed goalwards but cleared off of the line by the head of substitute Rob Lacey.

Canvey rattled the woodwork for the third time on 86 minutes when Kojo Awotwi burst out of midfield and played in Tony Stokes just inside the 18-yard box. Stokes struck a powerful shot which hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced clear.

Just when it looked as though the hattrick that Stokes’ man of the match performance had deserved would elude him, Omarr Lawson took a shot from the right which Belcher saved but in doing so presented Stokes with the simple task of rolling home into an empty net from six yards.

The Gulls will now host another Ryman North side in Ware in the 2nd round of the competition after they won 2-1 away to Brentwood Town thanks to a late goal from Gareth Price.

Match Highlights by Andy Wilkins

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts