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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 0
Gillingham 1
J. Hessenthaler (86)

Canvey Island put in an excellent performance on Saturday, conceding with four minutes remaining to lose 1-0 against League One side Gillingham at The Frost Financial Stadium.

The Gulls were short on numbers with only three substitutes on the bench. One player who did feature was striker James Walker who played five league matches for Gillingham back in 2010.

The first half chance of the match came after ten minutes when Bradley Garmston ran at Jake Pitty down the left wing, sending over a good cross which Josh Wright rose high to head across goal and wide.

New signing Liam Nash had the ball in the net for the Gills on 20 after he ran onto a clever through ball, but the former-Hullbridge Sports forward was denied a goal by the assistant referee’s flag.

On 24 minutes a skilful turn from Ben Chapman allowed him to leave two Canvey players for dead before feeding Finn O’Mara down the left wing. O’Mara crossed left footed and onto the head of Jake Hessenthaler, but his effort went a couple of yards over the bar.

As the half drew on Canvey started to get a foothold in the match and looked increasingly likely to score.

On 32 minutes James Walker flicked a long ball into the area on with his head for strike partner Callum Ibe, but with only Stuart Nelson to beat he smashed his first time shot high over the crossbar from close range.

Ibe was involved again five minutes later when he latched onto a through ball down the middle, rounding the keeper before sending a low shot goalwards. However, defender Ryan Huckle was alert to the danger and managed to clear Ibe’s shot off the line.

Three minutes before the break Sam Collins struck a well hit shot from the edge of the area across goal which went inches wide of Stuart Nelson’s left goalpost.

The Gulls came out of the traps quickly in the second half and created a chance inside the opening sixty seconds. Mitchell Gilbey advanced down the right flank, sending a low ball into the box which found the run of James Walker. However, rather than connect with a fully-fledged shot the ball came off of Walker’s foot mid run and was saved by Stuart Nelson.

Up the other end Josh Wright offered Gillingham’s best chance of a goal, shooting over on 50 minutes before having a shot cleared off the line by Albert Levett five minutes later.

On 70 minutes substitute David Knight did very well to turn on the edge of the area and fire a shot towards goal which was deflected behind for a corner. Sam Collins whipped the ball in which went through Stuart Nelson’s hands but just behind Knight who was attacking the back post.

Soon afterwards Bradley Stevenson intercepted a pass from Sam Collins back to Ashley Dumas on the half way line, beating the defender and having a free run at goal. However, Conor Gough did brilliantly to keep out Stevenson’s shot towards the bottom corner with his outstretched right boot.

Gough’s footwork was called into action again on 79 minutes when Jake Hessenthaler squared a ball across goal from the right, this time Gough poking out his foot to block at the near post.

With ten minutes to play Teddy Nesbitt showed good desire to keep the ball in play on the left wing by the half way line, looking up and playing an excellent ball into the area which was brought under control by David Knight. The striker bore down on goal but was denied by a good save from Stuart Nelson at the expense of a corner.

Canvey were denied a draw on 86 minutes when a smart one-two between Josh Wright and Jake Hessenthaler saw the latter slot home from close range to win it for the visitors.

Photo: Kieran Argent / KJA Sports Images

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts