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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 3
S. Collins (16), D. Knight (36), M. Gilbey (83)
Bowers & Pitsea 0

Canvey Island picked up their first win of the season with a convincing 3-0 victory at home to Bowers & Pitsea on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Bowers lineup featured former-Gulls John Easterford and Tony Stokes, while David Knight lined up against the team he played for last season.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Cheshunt two days earlier, bringing in Frankie Merrifield and Sam Collins in place of Mitchell Gilbey and George Craddock.

After a quite opening quarter of an hour Sam Collins gave Canvey the lead in spectacular circumstances. The Gulls captain picked up possession 30 yards from goal and unleashed a left-footed shot towards the top corner. Goalkeeper Callum Chafer got his hand to the ball diving high to his right but was unable to prevent it from going in.

Soon afterwards a cross from the left wing by Teddy Nesbitt found George Sykes on the far side of the area, but his volley was blocked by a defender and went behind for a corner.

It was nearly 2-0 on 29 minutes when a long clearance up field from Jerrome Sobers found David Knight in acres of space in the middle of the pitch. The forward chipped the ball over a defender before heading over the keeper, but the ball hit the inside of the post before being cleared off the line.

A minute later a cross from the left found George Sykes at the back post once again. This time the striker steered a header towards the bottom corner which Chafer did well to turn around the post diving low to his left.

The second goal came on 36 minutes when a low ball in from the left found George Sykes in space inside the area. Sykes’ shot was well blocked but the loose fell perfectly for David Knight to slot home from close range against his former employers.

Bowers had failed to create any real chances in the first half. The closest they came was just before the break when Tony Stokes sent over a cross from the left which Ashley Dumas cleared from close range. Any miscue would have resulted in an own goal, but Dumas connected perfectly to clear the danger.

Opposition manager Rob Small made a double substitution at half time, replacing Callum Leahy and Ben Sartain with Ryan Mallett and Jamie Brown.

It was Brown who nearly reduced the arrears immediately in the second half, but Henry Newcombe did brilliantly to save at his feet following a low left wing cross.

Newcombe was called into action again on 61 minutes when a loose ball inside the area following a set piece was thumped towards goal by John Easterford. However, the keeper made himself big and pulled off another superb stop.

On 63 minutes some nice build up play down the left wing involving Teddy Nesbitt, Frankie Merrifield and George Sykes saw the latter square for David Knight. He connected with a sweet shot which Callum Chafer did well to tip over the crossbar.

There was a scare for Canvey with 20 minutes to play when Ryan Mallett’s cross from deep on the right wing caught Jerrome Sobers flat footed on the edge of the six yard box. The ball struck him on the shin pad and diverted towards his own goal, but Henry Newcombe was alert to the danger and saved low down to his left.

The points were sealed on 83 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey timed his run to perfection to latch onto a through ball from the left wing. Gilbey, who had only come on as a substitute two minutes earlier, raced towards goal before curling a right-footed shot past Chafer and inside the post.

Bowers had a couple of chances late on to grab a consolation, but Ryan Mallett’s powerful shot was straight at Henry Newcombe before Ashley Dumas headed Jamie Brown’s goalbound shot clear from danger.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts