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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 1
G. Sykes (67)
Haringey Borough 0

A second half George Sykes goal moments after a penalty save by Ashlee Jones saw Canvey Island beat high-flying Haringey Borough 1-0 at The Frost Hire Stadium on Tuesday night.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that were beaten by Barking on Saturday, bringing in Harry Norman and Teddy Nesbitt in place of Sam Collins and Ryan Charles who were both carrying knocks.

The first half was one of the quietest in recent memory, with very little action at either end.

The only time either goalkeeper was called into action came in the 18th minute when Anthony McDonald hit a powerful free kick from 25 yards for the visitors. The shot was straight at Ashlee Jones, but the venom with which the ball was struck meant that the keeper was unable to hold on. However, Jones did well to pounce on the rebound before forward Ralston Gabriel could tuck home the rebound from close range.

The action was up the other end a minute later, with Teddy Nesbitt sending over a decent low cross from the left wing. The ball was heading for Mitchell Gilbey at the near post but he lost his footing at the vital moment and allowed a defender to clear.

On 23 minutes an error from Steve Sheehan in the left back position gifted possession to Daniel Aristidou. He cut into the area and squared for Ralston Gabriel, but his goalbound shot was blocked by Jerrome Sobers who threw himself at the ball.

Gabriel had another chance in the one and only minute of first half injury time when first Steve Sheehan and then Jerrome Sobers failed to clear the ball on the edge of the area. The forward stole possession but fired his effort a couple of yards over with only Jones to beat.

After a thoroughly uneventful first half, the second 45 were a much more entertaining affair.

On 53 minutes George Sykes laid the ball off for strike partner Mitchell Gilbey on the edge of the area. Gilbey tried to create an angle for himself to shoot, but when he ran out of options he instead passed back to George Craddock who was 25 yards from goal. The midfielder took a touch before unleashing a superb left-footed shot which flew inches over the bar.

A minute later Haringey goalkeeper Ashley Harris dropped a corner after contact from one of his own defenders, although the ball was hooked behind for another corner before a yellow shirt could take advantage.

The subsequent corner was delivered to the far side where George Sykes was on hand to head back across goal, but Jerrome Sobers was unable to force the ball over the line attacking the post.

Canvey should have taken the lead on 56 minutes when an excellent cross from the right by Mitchell Gilbey got the better of Daniel Aristidou and found Teddy Nesbitt. However, with only the keeper to beat Nesbitt’s stretching effort went over the bar from six yards out.

It looked as though this miss was going to prove costly on 63 minutes when Steve Sheehan pulled Ralston Gabriel down inside the box as the striker was attempting to shoot. Gabriel picked himself up to take the penalty himself, but Ashlee Jones did brilliantly to keep the ball from nestling into the bottom corner diving full stretch to his right.

The ball fell loose and it looked inevitable that Gabriel would tuck away to rebound, but instead he blasted his follow up shot over via the top of the crossbar from close range.

Having avoided going a goal behind, Canvey then got their noses in front three minutes later. A raking cross field ball from the right by Jake Pitty found the run of George Sykes, and he shot back across goal and past Ashley Harris to score his 14th of the campaign.

The visitors had several chances to draw themselves level in the final 20 minutes, but forwards Ralston Gabriel and Joseph Benjamin were guilty of being wasteful in front of goal.

The Gulls stayed resilient in the dying moments to claim a confidence boosting win under the floodlights against another team occupying one of the playoff positions.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts