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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Witham Town 1
U. Adeniji (27)
Canvey Island 3
G. Sykes (8), G. Sykes (20), G. Sykes (69)

A George Sykes hattrick helped the Gulls record their sixth straight Bostik North victory with a 3-1 success away to Witham Town on Saturday.

Manager Danny Heale made one change from the side that were beaten at Walton Casuals a week earlier, bringing in Ryan Charles on the left wing in place of Teddy Nesbitt.

Canvey opened the scoring after only eight minutes when Ryan Charles played the ball out to Jake Pitty on the right wing. Pitty played a low cross into the area which found Mitchell Gilbey who connected well with a first time shot. Lewis Moore made the save but couldn’t hold onto the ball, with George Sykes on hand to tuck home the rebound from close range.

It was nearly 2-0 inside sixty seconds of the restart when Mitchell Gilbey was played in behind Tyler Corlett. This time Lewis Moore did well to come off his line and save Gilbey’s shot just inside the area. The loose bell fell to George Sykes on the edge of the D, but under pressure he sliced his effort skywards for Moore to save.

The second goal did come in the 20th minute when Jake Pitty played a low ball into the area from the right for George Sykes. The forward produced a superb turn to leave his marker for dead before coolly slotting home.

Witham pulled a goal back on 27 minutes when a counter attack saw the ball played across the face of goal from the left and slid home by former-Canvey winger Ozzy Adeniji.

The closest that Canvey came to restoring their two goal cushion in the first half came on 41 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey was fouled 25 yards from goal by Lewis Payne, with the defender picking up a yellow card for his troubles. Gilbey picked himself up to take the free kick, smashing a right-footed effort narrowly wide of the top corner.

Canvey started the second half well, forcing a number of corners in the opening ten minutes. One of these corners in the 54th minute was headed away from goal by a defender, but only as far as George Sykes inside the box. Sykes struck a sweet half volley which was destined for the back of the net before being blocked by a white shirt.

The home side had a similar opportunity on 66 minutes when the ball was played into right back Pat Ahern inside the area after a left wing corner and been played to the opposite flank. Ahern struck his shot equally well as Sykes had 12 minutes earlier, but Henry Newcombe did brilliantly to fling himself to his left and turn the ball around the post for another corner.

This save was to prove even more crucial three minutes later, as having nearly thrown away their lead Canvey scored to make it 3-1. A long ball forwards found the run of George Sykes who chipped Lewis Moore from just inside the box to complete his hattrick.

He came close again on 81 minutes when he hit a cracking shot from 25 yards which clipped the back off a defender before flying inches over the crossbar.

Sykes' final chance of the match came on 88 minutes when the Gulls launched a counter attack following a Witham corner. George Sykes ran the ball from his own half into the penalty area, but his eventual shot was saved by Lewis Moore when perhaps a cut back to James Walker would have been the better option.

Witham nearly pulled a goal back in injury time, but Pat Ahern's downards header from a corner was blocked inside the six yard box.

Photo: Rhianna Chadwick (Full Set)