|Canvey Island 1|
|G. Sykes (4)|
|Enfield Town 5|
|S. Bihmoutine (42), R. Gabriel (53), B. Crook (66p), D. Wynter (81), D. Wynter (82)|
The Gulls had taken an early lead but were forced to play over an hour with a man less, making a series of avoidable errors to gift the visitors a comprehensive victory.
Manager Danny Heale made several changes to the starting XI, moving Jack Lampe into central defence to partner Steve Sheehan and giving Jake Pitty his first league start since early September after recovering from injury.
Harry Morgan and Tayshan Hayden-Smith made their league debuts while Harrison Chatting made his 200th appearance for the club.
Canvey open the scoring after only four minutes when Tayshan Hayden-Smith played a superb ball from inside the centre circle to George Sykes making ground on the left. Sykes held off a challenge from a defender, staying on his feet to get into the box and score with an excellent finish across goal and into the top corner.
The visitors had a good chance to equalise in the eighth minute when Samir Bihmoutine got past Jack Lampe on the left wing. The midfielder played a low ball to the near post which found striker Kier Dickson, but the ball was put behind for a corner thanks to a well-timed sliding tackle from Steve Sheehan.
Enfield Town had another opportunity on 17 minutes when left back Ricky Gabriel was allowed to much time and space to run into approaching the edge of the box. Gabriel’s eyes lit up and hit a well struck shot from 25 yards which went narrowly over the bar while always rising.
Having nearly scored up one end, Ricky Gabriel was then involved in his more familiar defensive role six minutes later when he made a crucial interception to prevent George Sykes’ pass from finding Omarr Lawson inside the area. Had the ball gotten through Lawson he would have had a golden opportunity to score with only Nathan McDonald to beat from 12 yards.
The Gulls were reduced to ten men on 27 minutes when Enfield Town right back Jonathan Muleba had the ball on the half way line in front of the dugouts. Tayshan Hayden-Smith raced over to try and block Muleba’s imminent ball forwards but mistimed his tackle and caught the defender.
Referee Tom Bishop made his mind up instantly, reaching for his back pocket and showing Hayden-Smith a straight red card against his former- employers. While the tackle was undeniably late, a red card seemed harsh considering Hayden-Smith’s challenge appeared to be low, although admittedly this view point was from the other side of the pitch.
Lewis Moore was called into action for the first time in the 40th minute when Samir Bihmoutine shot from the left, with Moore diving low to his right to beat the ball away at his near post.
Canvey broke straight up the other end through George Sykes who set off on a determined run which took him from midfield to inside the area where his shot was eventually blocked by McDonald.
The Towners drew level on 42 minutes after some good build up play allowed Samir Bihmoutine the chance to shoot from a similar position as a couple of minutes earlier. This time Bihmoutine low across goal and picked out the bottom corner to equalise.
Enfield got themselves in front eight minutes into the second half when a cross from deep on the right wing found Ricky Gabriel unmarked inside the box. Gabriel headed across goal from the left, finding the top corner despite a valiant effort from Lewis Moore which saw him get a hand to the ball but not enough to keep it out.
Canvey could have drawn level on 63 minutes when a low cross from the left found George Sykes 10 yards from goal. Sykes struck a shot first time which was heading in if not for an excellent block tackle by Jonathan Muleba.
It was 3-1 on 66 minutes after a suicidal pass from Ashley Dumas on the half way line played striker Dernell Wynter in behind the Canvey defence. Central defender Steve Sheehan had little choice but to put in a tackle, fouling Wynter and conceding a penalty although only seeing yellow with the forward running slightly away from goal. Billy Crook stepped up and sent Lewis Moore the wrong way, tucking his spot kick just inside the post to extend the advantage.
As the match entered the final ten minutes Canvey lost their discipline defensively, conceding twice more.
On 81 minutes a slip on the half way line allowed Enfield Town to break through three on two, with substitute Tyler Campbell playing in Dernell Wynter who coolly slotted past Lewis Moore.
From the restart Harrison Chatting played a poorly executed pass which Wynter capitalised on, bursting through to score his second goal in as many minutes.
The closest that Canvey came to rounding off the scoring came on 88 minutes when Martin Tuohy had a half volley blocked by a defender having come off the bench in place of George Sykes.
Photo: Holly Allison
Danny Heale Post-Match Interview