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Match Report
Ryman Premier League - 2016/2017
Bognor Regis Town 4
J. Fraser (14), J. Fraser (37p), J. Muitt (65), J. Fraser (89)
Canvey Island 0

Canvey Island’s five match winning streak was brought to an end away to league leaders Bognor Regis Town on Saturday.

Manager Danny Heale made one change from the side that won 3-0 away to Merstham a week earlier, giving a debut to loan signing Alex Stephenson in the place of the injured Steve Sheehan in central defence.

Gulls captain Ryan Blackman won the toss and chose to swap ends meaning his side would play with a strong wind in their favour in the first half.

Both sides showed plenty of attacking intent in the opening exchanges, with Bognor having two near misses before Frankie Merrifield struck the woodwork for Canvey in the fifth minute.

The in-form midfielder chested down a throw from Ashley Dumas on the left wing, dropping his shoulder and getting around his marker before hitting a low shot from 25 yards which beat goalkeeper Dan Lincoln diving to his right but hit the inside of the post. The ball hit a defender before bouncing fortuitously straight into the arms on Lincoln.

The home side took the lead in the 14th minute when George Allen conceded a free kick out on the left wing for which he was booked. The initial ball into area was under hit, but at the second time of asking they delivered a lofted ball to the back post which was headed back across goal.

Conor Gough managed to produce a fantastic save to deny what looked like an almost certain goal, but he could do nothing to prevent James Fraser from poking home the rebound from close range.

Canvey had a chance to equalise six minutes later when a perfectly weighted ball over the top of the Rocks defence from Ryan Blackman found the run of Frankie Merrifield in behind. Merrifield bore down on goal but had the ball nicked off him at the vital moment by a defender for a corner.

Bognor doubled their advantage on 37 minutes after Gabby Adelowo had tripped James Wild inside the area as he cut in from the left. James Fraser stepped up and sent Conor Gough the wrong way to score his second of the afternoon.

Leading 2-0 at half time, the hosts had a golden opportunity to add to their tally four minutes into the second half. A rare mistake from George Allen allowed Ollie Pearce a run at goal, but he was denied a goal thanks to a superb save from Conor Gough who had come off his line.

Proceedings came to a halt a minute later when Canvey debutant Alex Stephenson and Bognor’s Gary Charman clashed heads with the hosts attacking a corner. Both players were forced to leave the action, with Jake Pitty coming on for Stephenson and Calvin Davies in place of Charman.

The result was put beyond doubt on 65 minutes when winger Jimmy Muitt got the better of Ashley Dumas 20 yards from goal and drilled an accurate shot into the bottom corner, beating Conor Gough’s dive to his left.

Bognor had the ball in the net again two minutes later when Ollie Pearce followed up on a save from Conor Gough, but this time the goal was ruled out for offside.

The home side had further chances in the closing stages, one of the best of which coming on 75 minutes when Calvin Davies launched a powerful, wind-assisted shot from 30 yards which Conor Gough did well to tip over the bar and prevent the ball from nestling in the top corner of his goal.

The scoring was rounded off in the 89th minute when James Fraser completed his hattrick. The ball was played through for James Wild to run onto down the left wing, and he delivered a low ball across goal which Fraser was able to slide home at the back post.