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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Tilbury 2
R. Melaugh (35), A. Vyse (42)
Canvey Island 6
S. Collins (13), M. Gilbey (37), M. Gilbey (51), E. Warren (59), R. Charles (68), S. Collins (88)

Canvey Island climbed to the top of the Bostik North table with a thrilling 6-2 win away to Tilbury on Tuesday night.

This was the second consecutive away match in which the Gulls have scored six goales, produceing some stunning attacking football to blow away their local rivals in the second half.

Danny Heale made one change from the side that beat Bury Town on Saturday, reintroducing goalkeeper Henry Newcombe following suspension.

The home side hit the woodwork on nine minutes when a speculative long range effort from the left by Aaron Waters flew towards goal. Henry Newcombe seemed unconcerned but the ball ended up skimming the top of the crossbar on its way out for a goal kick.

Canvey took the lead in the 13th minute when Sam Collins scored his third goal of the campaign. The Gulls captain collected the ball 20 yards from goal and unleashed a superb low shot into the bottom corner, beating goalkeeper Clarke Bogard who was diving full to his left.

The Gulls had chances to extend their lead as the half wore on. On 27 minutes George Sykes flicked a perfectly weighted ball over the Tilbury defence and found the run of Mitchell Gilbey who had stayed onside. The ball was sat up perfectly to be struck with his left foot, but instead Gilbey opted to cut back onto his right which allowed defenders to gain ground and force the in-form striker to shoot over.

Six minutes later an excellent run down the left from George Sykes saw him get past Siju Odelusi and drive into the box. Sykes looked up and picked out Frankie Merrifield on the far side of the area, but with the goal at his mercy the midfielder hit his first time shot wide of the target.

Tilbury equalised on 35 minutes when a mistake from Merrifield gifted possession to forward Ryan Melaugh who set off on a determined run to the edge of the area before finding the back of the net via the inside of Henry Newcombe’s left hand goalpost.

The hosts weren’t on level terms for long, as two minutes later Canvey were back in front. An under hit backpass from George Pullen in the right back position towards his goalkeeper was seized upon by Mitchell Gilbey who got to the ball first and rounded the keeper. Siju Odelusi managed to get back on the line to make life difficult, but rather than snatch at the shot Gilbey kept his composure to slot calmly home.

The goals kept coming, and on 42 minutes Tilbury drew level once again. This time the dangerous Adam Vyse set off on a similar run to the one that Melaugh had embarked on earlier in the half, although unlike his strike partner Vyse picked out the opposite bottom corner to score with a classy finish.

Canvey took the lead for the third time six minutes into the second half thanks to an excellent goal. Elliott Warren played a good cross field ball from the half way line on the right wing to Teddy Nesbitt who was in an advanced position on the opposite flank.

Nesbitt played the ball infield for George Sykes who attempted to fashion a chance for himself, but when this was unsuccessful played a tremendous chip over the defence to find the run of Mitchell Gilbey. Having chosen not to use his left foot in a similar area in the first half, this time Gilbey smashed an unstoppable left-footed effort across goal and into the bottom corner.

The pattern of the game until this point would suggest that Tilbury would score next, and this was very nearly the case on 56 minutes as Luke Hornsley waltzed his way through the Canvey defence from the right. The winger hit a thunderous shot which thumped against Henry Newcombe’s crossbar.

It was 4-2 on 59 minutes when Canvey were awarded a free kick just inside the Tilbury half on the right. George Craddock delivered the dead ball into a good area which was headed clear, but only as far as Mitchell Gilbey on the edge of the area. Gilbey’s shot caught a deflection and set up perfectly for Elliott Warren to slam home his first goal for the club.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes before the restart, bringing on James Walker and Ryan Charles in place of George Craddock and Teddy Nesbitt. Walker slotted in alongside George Sykes in attack, with Mitchell Gilbey dropping back into midfield.

The two goal advantage was kept intact thanks to an excellent save from Henry Newcombe on 65 minutes. Toby Aromolaran used his pace to get to the edge of the area, placing a powerful shot towards the bottom corner which Newcombe diverted inches wide when a goal looked certain.

The points were effectively sealed three minutes later when a through ball released Mitchell Gilbey in behind the Tilbury defence. Gilbey rounded goalkeeper Clarke Bogard, but in doing so was forced wide. However, rather than chance a shot he instead played the ball across goal for Ryan Charles who scored with a neat low finish from 18 yards.

Canvey hit the woodwork on 77 minutes when Ryan Charles headed the ball down for James Walker 30 yards from goal. Walker struck a dipping half volley which crashed against the bar with the keeper stranded.

Two minutes later a cross from the right by Sam Collins picked out Frankie Merrifield unmarked in the box, but he miscued his shot and failed to make contact in a good position.

The Gulls seemed to switch off in the last ten minutes, allowing the Dockers to apply plenty of pressure. Luke Hornsley had two excellent chances having cut in from the left, but on both occasions he was denied by excellent saves from Henry Newcombe.

The last action of the match saw Canvey round off the scoring in spectacular circumstances. Sam Collins spotted Clarke Bogard off his line and decided to pull the trigger from five yards inside his own half. Bogard backpedalled frantically and got his left hand to the ball but was unable to prevent it from crossing the line.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts