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Match Report
Ryman Premier League - 2016/2017
Potters Bar Town 3
E. Casey (13), R. Forde (38), M. Murray (64)
Canvey Island 2
T. Stokes (36), G. Sykes (80)

A thrilling cup tie at The Pakex Stadium Parkfield saw Canvey Island exit The Emirates FA Cup at the 2nd Qualifying Round stage, losing 3-2 to Evo-Stik Division One Central outfit Potters Bar Town.

Manager Danny Heale suffered a blow before the match when he learned that goalkeeper Conor Gough had a serious injury to his hand at work and mean that he will spend a considerable period on the sidelines.

With our other goalkeeper Lewis Greene also out injured, the club needed to receive special permission from the FA to sign former-Great Wakering Rovers keeper Louis Godwin-Green as emergency cover.

Heale made three other changes to the side that drew 2-2 at The Frost Financial Stadium on Saturday, with Mitchell Gilbey, Tony Stokes and Omarr Lawson coming in for Jack Simmons, Joey May and Lee O’Leary.

The first chance of the evening came in the second minute when George Sykes showed good footwork to beat the Scholars’ right back and cut in from the left wing. Sykes took a shot from a tight angle which goalkeeper Ben Goode was well placed to beat away at his near post.

Potters Bar soon had their first site of goal when Saturday’s man of the match, defender Carl McCluskey, connected with a volley from 18 yards following a corner which went a couple of yards wide of Louis Godwin-Green’s goal.

George Sykes was involved again for Canvey on eight minutes when he ran the ball out of midfield until 20 yards from goal, seeing his shot deflect off of Scholars’ captain Gary Jones for a corner. Mitchell Gilbey delivered a good ball into the area which found the head of Tony Stokes, although his effort across goal went narrowly wide.

The home side took the lead on 13 minutes when an excellent cross from the right wing from fullback Billy Baird found striker Eion Casey at the back post, and in similar fashion to his goal on Saturday he managed to head back across goal and into the side netting to give Potters Bar an early advantage.

Potters Bar looked particularly dangerous when attacking down the left wing, using the skilful Ashley Nathaniel-George to good impact. The winger put a series of balls either into the area to be attacked aerially or back to the edge of the box where the home midfielders were lurking but failing to test Godwin-Green.

Having weathered the storm Canvey came close to equalising on the half hour mark when a ball into the box was flicked goalwards by Martin Tuohy with an outstretched right foot, although he was only able to scoop the ball over the crossbar.

The Gulls drew level six minutes later when a ball into the area from the left wing by Mitchell Gilbey was beautifully played into the path of Tony Stokea by George Sykes, with Stokes firing a tremendous shot into the top corner leaving Ben Goode with no chance.

Canvey were only on level terms for two minutes as the hosts set off on a swift counter attack having won a defensive header. Ryan Forde burst out of his own half to the edge of the Canvey area, at which point Ryan O’Rawe was able to put in a sliding tackle. However, the tackle caused the ball to deflect back up off of Forde and loop over Louis Godwin-Green and high into the back of the net.

George Sykes had a couple of chances to bring parity to the scores going into half time, first heading narrowly over from an Ashley Dumas free kick and then missing out on a close range goal from a corner as Ben Goode pounced on a loose ball moments before the striker was about to finish.

Far from resting on their laurels, Potters Bar started the second half brightly and created some good opportunities to add to their tally.

Eion Casey was inches away from heading home his second of the night on 59 minutes from a free kick which the Canvey defence had assumed was going out of play.

Casey had another chance two minutes later when Ashley Nathaniel-George the striker in from the left, but Casey’s first time effort from the edge of the area went over the crossbar.

The pressure continued to build with Michael Murray curling a free kick towards the bottom corner from 25 yards which Louis Godwin-Green saved brilliantly diving down to his right.

The goal finally came on 64 minutes when another counter attack ended with Ryan Forde cutting back from the right wing to the edge of the area when Michael Murray was on hand to drill home into the bottom corner.

Danny Heale made a double substitution with 25 minutes, introducing pacey wingers Kojo Awotwi and Jack Simmons in place of Tony Stokes and Mitchell Gilbey, both of whom were struggling with slight groin injuries.

Awotwi was involved on 75 minutes when he was played in down the right channel, putting in a good cross which was ever so slightly too high for Martin Tuohy who rose unmarked to head it over the crossbar.

The tie was set up for a thrilling finale when Canvey pulled a goal back with ten minutes to play. Joey May played a good ball for Awotwi on the right who beat his man and drilled the ball low across goal for George Sykes to thump home.

The remainder of the match was one-way traffic with Canvey camped in the Potters Bar half in search of an equaliser.

It looked as though the home side had survived a major scare until the third minute of stoppage time when the Gulls were awarded a corner. The ball was cleared but only as far as Harrison Chatting who struck a shot from 25 yards which Martin Tuohy flicked on target with his head.

However, just as it looked as though the net was about to bulge, goalkeeper Ben Goode produced a stunning save high above his head with his left hand to keep the ball out and send his side deservedly into the next round.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview

Match Highlights by Dan Wilson

Potters Bar Town 1-0 Canvey Island - Eion Casey (13')

Potters Bar Town 1-1 Canvey Island - Tony Stokes (36')

Potters Bar Town 2-1 Canvey Island - Ryan Forde (38')

Potters Bar Town 3-1 Canvey Island - Michael Murray (64')

Potters Bar Town 3-2 Canvey Island - George Sykes (80')