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Match Report
Ryman Premier League - 2016/2017
Canvey Island 3
R. Blackman (3), F. Merrifield (47), G. Sykes (79)
Harrow Borough 0

Canvey Island recorded their sixth win in seven matches at The Frost Financial Stadium on Saturday, beating Harrow Borough 2-0.

Manager Danny Heale made three changes from the side that were beaten by league leaders Bognor Regis Town a week earlier. In came Jake Pitty at right back in place of Gabby Adelowo, Marlon Agyakwa for Omarr Lawson and central defender John Mbamarah who replaced the injured Alex Stephenson.

Canvey got themselves off to the perfect start when Ryan Blackman gave his side the lead after only three minutes. The Gulls captain picked up the ball 20 yards from goal and placed his shot into the bottom corner, beating Luke Williams diving to his left.

The match then entered a quiet period in which neither side were able to register a meaningful shot on goal.

This changed on 27 minutes when Frankie Merrifield had an effort from a tight angle to the left of goal. However, goalkeeper Luke Williams was able to palm the ball into the side netting for a corner.

The only other real action of the half came on 35 minutes when Marc Charles-Smith turned George Allen on the edge of the centre circle and played a good through ball for strike partner Lheureux Menga to run onto. However, John Mbamarah did very well to catch up with Menga and put in a crucial block as the former-Grays man pulled the trigger from just inside the area.

After a fairly uneventful first half Canvey scored soon after the kick off as they had in the first half. This time an excellent corner from Ryan Blackman to the back post found the head of Frankie Merrifield who stretched to nod home his fourth goal of the season.

The visitors came close to pulling a goal back on 49 minutes when they were awarded a free kick out on the left wing. The ball was whipped in to the near post where it was flicked over goalkeeper Conor Gough on by captain Marc Charles-Smith but onto the roof of the net.

As the half drew on Harrow started the exert increasing pressure on the Canvey goal. On 68 minutes a well struck effort from distance by Michael Bryan was saved by Conor Gough diving to his right, and soon after Marc Charles-Smith came close once again as his header from a free kick went inches over the bar.

Canvey sealed the points on 79 minutes when Callum Ibe brought the ball away on the counter attack, getting to the half way line before playing a pass through the Harrow rearguard which released both Jay Curran and George Sykes who had held their runs and stayed onside.

Sykes took command of the situation, driving to the edge of the area before slotting underneath Luke Williams for his 19th goal of an impressive campaign.

That wasn’t however the striker’s last contribution of the afternoon, clearing the ball off the goalline in the final of four additional minutes to ensure that the Gulls’ clean sheet remained intact.

Photo: David Ayling

Joe Keith Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts