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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 2
OG (26), R. Charles (39)
Tilbury 3
K. Smith (3), A. Vyse (77), K. Smith (85)

Canvey Island were beaten 3-2 by Tilbury in the Bostik North at The Frost Hire Stadium on Tuesday night.

The visitors exposed Canvey's defensive frailities which appear to be unresolved following relegation from the Premier Division last season.

Tilbury took the lead after only three minutes when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area. The dead ball was rolled short to Kurt Smith who hit a first time shot which deflected off a defender and despite Conor Gough getting a hand to the ball diving to his right, he was unable to prevent it from nestling into the bottom corner.

It was very nearly 2-0 soon afterwards when Adam Vyse got to the touchline on the left wing and squared the ball to the near post where it found the run of Emiel Aiken. However, the winger poked his shot wide of the post from close range to spurn a golden opportunity.

Canvey put this early setback behind them and soon started to dominate proceedings. It took until the 17th minute however for them to have their first shot on target. James Walker hit a right-footed shot from 20 yards with the outside of his boot which was turned behind for a corner by goalkeeper Clarke Bogard diving high to his left.

Up the other end Adam Vyse had a chance when he took the ball infield from the right wing, pulling the trigger but having his shot turned wide by Conor Gough. Vyse had played well against Canvey during pre-season for Great Wakering Rovers and was already causing similar problems for the Dockers.

On 22 minutes George Sykes was played through on goal down the middle of the pitch and attempted to lob Clarke Bogard from the edge of the box. However, the keeper read the situation well and stood up to make a comfortable save.

The scores were level four minutes later when some great work from George Sykes saw him square the ball across the face of goal from the left which deflected off Tilbury’s Kurt Smith and into his own net to see him score at both ends.

The Gulls got their noses in front six minutes before half time when Ryan Charles collected possession 30 yards from goal in a central position. He ran the ball into the area, shooting high across goal from the left and finding the top corner.

George Sykes had two chances to extend the lead before half time, firstly having a shot from close range blocked by a defender before hitting the top of the post with a header across goal from a corner.

Having gotten themselves in front, Canvey had a chance to push home their advantage in the second half but failed to take it.

On 56 minutes a Frankie Merrifield shot from 20 yards was half saved by Clarke Bogard diving to his right. Mitchell Gilbey got to the loose ball but some committed defending ensured that he was unable to turn home the rebound.

Five minutes later Gilbey unleased an excellent first time shot from 25 yards which thumped to top corner of the goal frame before being cleared.

The longer the game went on at 2-1, the more it looked as though Tilbury fancied their chances. On 69 minutes a cross from the left was turned towards goal by Adam Vyse, and although his effort was saved by Conor Gough the ball remained active. Vyse nearly poked the loose ball home from close range but the keeper recovered to snuff out the danger.

Vyse had another chance soon afterwards when he got his head to a Ryan Melaugh corner at the near post, nodding high and wide with a free header.

The pressure finally told on 77 minutes when Vyse charged down an attempted clearance from Conor Gough, winning the ball and leaving himself with an open goal which he rolled the ball into to draw his side level and get the goal his performance had warranted.

There had never been a competitive draw between these two sides in 16 previous meetings, and having gotten themselves back on level terms Tilbury smelt blood. They won the game with five minutes of normal time remaining when Emiel Aiken’s cross from the right to the back post found Kurt Smith who turned the ball home just inside the post to claim all three points for his side.

Goalkeeper Conor Gough, who had injured himself earlier in the half, came off immediately after the goal and was replaced by Callum Ibe. This encouraged Tilbury to go in search for a fourth, a goal they nearly scored in the first minute of injury time when Adam Vyse shot inches wide from just inside the box with a shot across goal.

The Gulls threw bodies forward in search of a late equaliser but never really threatened Clarke Bogard’s goal.

Photo: Kieran Argent / KJA Sports Images

Joe Keith Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts