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Match Report
Ryman Premier League - 2016/2017
Canvey Island 0
Tonbridge Angels 1
A. Akrofi (4)

Canvey Island fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against promotion chasing Tonbridge Angels at The Frost Financial Stadium.

The Gulls failed to impose themselves on the game as they would have liked and were beaten by a solitary goal to increase the threat of relegation.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 against Leatherhead a week earlier. Out went central defender Jahmal Howlett-Mundle following the expiration of his loan deal and Frankie Merrifield who was injured in the warm up. In their place came John Mbamarah and Ryan Blackman, the latter returning from a three-match suspension.

Tonbridge opened the scoring after only four minutes when a ball through the middle of the pitch into the area was poked home by Alex Akrofi who got to the ball before either defender John Mbamarah or goalkeeper Conor Gough.

Canvey responded reasonably well to going a goal down early in the match and came close to equalising four minutes later through Jay Curran. The winger collected the ball 20 yards from goal and missed the bottom corner by a matter of inches with goalkeeper Anthony Di Bernardo rooted to the spot.

The match then went through a quiet period before the visitors hit the woodwork on 26 minutes. A cross from left back Jack Parter went across goal and found forward Luke Blewden, but his shot from the corner of the six yard box struck the upright.

The Angels created further chances in the final ten minutes of the half without being add to their tally.

On 37 minutes left winger Nick Wheeler connected with a sweetly struck shot from inside the area which was destined for the back of the net before it was blocked by George Sykes and deflected behind for a corner.

Wheeler was involved again three minute later when his corner found the head of defender Mitchell Nelson at the back post, but Conor Gough did well to turn the effort behind diving low to his right.

Trailing 1-0 at the break, Canvey started the second half brightly and should have drawn level five minutes into the restart.

An Ashley Dumas corner fell straight to the feet of John Mbamarah six yards from goal, but instead of powering the ball home the defender scuffed it back to Dumas down by the corner flag on the right wing.

Dumas delivered the ball back into the area and found George Sykes at the near post, but his glancing header went across goal and narrowly wide of the bottom corner.

Canvey should have been awarded a penalty on 66 minutes when a cross from the right was handled inside the area by substitute right back Damien Scannell. However, neither referee Daniel Richardson or his assistant saw the contact and play was allowed to continue.

Former-Billericay Town defender George Beavan had a golden opportunity to double Tonbridge’s advantage with 20 minutes to play when a corner was headed down to him inside the area. Beavan had all the time in the world to turn and thump a half volley towards goal, but a tremendous goal line clearance from Ashley Dumas denied the Angels.

Tonbridge were dominating the aerial battle, something that was particularly evident with corners at either end. On 72 minutes Mitchell Nelson rose unchallenged six yards from goal but could only direct his header over the crossbar.

Canvey pushed for an equaliser in the final 15 minutes without avail. The closest they came was on 81 minutes when George Sykes got to the touchline on the right before chipping a cross to the back post. Harrison Chatting managed to get a header on target but his effort lacked power and was pounced on by Anthony Di Bernardo.

The final chance of the match came with two minutes to play when a cross from deep on the right wing by Luke Blewden found Nathan Elder at the back post, but the experienced striker saw his powerful header tipped over by Conor Gough.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts