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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 1
G. Sykes (50p)
Romford 0

A second half penalty from George Sykes was enough to earn Canvey Island a 1-0 win against Romford at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.

Canvey made two changes from the side that beat Dereham Town 4-1 on Tuesday night. In came defender Elliott Warren for the injured Jerrome Sobers, while goalkeeper Ashlee Jones replaced the suspended Henry Newcombe. The Gulls also included former-Cambridge City and Southend United midfielder Harry Norman on the bench.

On eight minutes George Sykes sent over a looping cross from the left towards Ryan Charles at the back post. However, Romford left back Sam Mvemba rose well to head over the bar before Charles could finish from close range.

Another good defensive header occurred on 13 minutes when a similar cross from the left went towards George Sykes and Frankie Merrifield, but James Ishmail did very well to head the ball behind for a corner in between the two Canvey men.

Canvey’s best chance of the first half came three minutes later when the ball was played in from the left to Mitchell Gilbey. The midfielder ran the ball to the just outside the area and unleashed a superb shot which thumped against the corner of the goal frame.

On 38 minutes George Sykes collected the ball inside the area and hit a stinging shot across goal which goalkeeper Michael Gooch did brilliantly to turn over the bar for a corner.

Having been on the back foot for the vast majority of the first half, Romford could well have scored several times in the final six minutes.

On 39 minutes an error from Ashley Dumas allowed winger Connor Hammond through on goal, but Ashlee Jones produced a tremendous save diving to his left to force a corner.

Soon afterwards Jamie Dicks struck a decent shot from long range which found the target but was straight at Ashlee Jones who was able to save and hold.

On the stroke of half time Ryan Charles slid in with a tackle 25 yards from his own goal, but in doing so played the ball into the path of Ayodeji Olukoga. The defender shot first time on the turn which went across goal and wide of the top corner.

The final action of the half saw Ashley Dumas and Steve Sheehan fail to clear the ball in defence, gifting the opportunity for Craig Jeakins to race clean through on goal. However, with only Ashlee Jones to beat the Romford man put his low shot the wrong side of the upright.

Having survived the pressure at the end of the first half, Canvey took the lead five minutes into the second half after Ryan Burt Allen fouled Ryan Charles inside the box. George Sykes stepped up and aimed for the bottom corner, but goalkeeper Michael Gooch correctly and dived to his left. However, despite getting two hands to the ball Gooch was unable to keep it out.

Canvey had further chances to add to the scoring, with Ryan Charles and Mitchell Gilbey having shots saved in the 53rd and 57th minute respectively.

However, Canvey were unable to extend their lead and in doing so gave Romford the impetus to push for an equaliser in the final ten minutes.

On 82 minutes Craig Jeakins’ run towards goal was halted thanks to a well-timed tackle from Ashley Dumas, but the danger wasn’t over as the ball sat up nicely for substitute Chris Taylor to strike from 20 yards which went wide.

Five minutes later Craig Jeakins had a decent shot from the right which was straight at Ashlee Jones who held.

Just as it looked as though the job was done, referee Andy Lee added on nearly nine minutes of stoppage time. However, despite plenty of Romford they were unable to find an equaliser.