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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Hertford Town 1
M. Toner (20)
Canvey Island 0

An inspired performance from home goalkeeper Charlie Mann and his defence saw Canvey Island fall to their first ever defeat to Hertford Town at Hertingfordbury Park on Saturday.

Manager Danny Heale made one change from the side that beat AFC Sudbury in their last competitive match a fortnight earlier, bringing in goalkeeper Ashlee Jones in place of the injured Henry Newcombe.

The first action of note came in the 12th minute when the assistant referee raised his flag to indicate that Canvey keeper Ashlee Jones had carried the ball outside of his area attempting a fly kick. This gave the hosts a free kick right on the edge of the box, but this was a little too close to get the ball over the wall and back down as Matthew Thomson discovered, curling the dead ball over the bar.

Hertford Town took the lead after 20 minutes when they were awarded a corner. The first ball into the area was headed by George Sykes, but possession was sent back out wide for Ricky Light to send in once again. This time Light’s cross found the head of Michael Toner who directed his effort just inside the post past a despairing dive from Ashlee Jones.

Canvey’s first genuine chance came on 28 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey delivered a right-footed in-swinging corner to the near post. George Sykes rose well to connect with his head, sending the ball across goal and narrowly wide of the target.

The Gulls increased the pressure in the final ten minutes of the first half, creating several chances without being able to find an equaliser.

On 37 minutes a weighted through ball from Sam Collins released Frankie Merrifield in behind the Hertford defence, but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Charlie Mann.

Merrifield had another opportunity three minutes later when he chested down a chip into the area from deep by Elliott Warren. Merrifield opted to try and turn and shoot first time, scuffing his shot into the keeper’s grateful arms.

The best chance however came on 42 minutes when George Sykes jinked his way past a defender on the edge of the area, bursting into the box from the left before standing the ball up for Ryan Charles. However, his instinctive header from six yards hit the crossbar, with George Craddock’s follow up effort saved by Mann.

Trailing at the break, Canvey came out of the traps well in the second half and dominated the early proceedings.

On 54 minutes an excellent ball through the home defence from Ryan Charles set George Craddock free, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Charlie Mann diving to his right to concede a corner.

Soon afterwards a cross from the right from Steve Sheehan was headed goalwards by George Sykes, but Mann was in inspired form and managed to tip the ball over the crossbar for another Canvey corner.

The Gulls continued to create chances, with Frankie Merrifield, George Sykes and Ryan Charles all being denied by the impressive keeper.

With six minutes to play George Sykes chested the ball down on the half way line and played a good cross field pass to release Mitchell Gilbey down the right. Gilbey turned inside his marker and pulled the trigger from just inside the box, but once again Mann was equal to the effort.

Canvey struck the woodwork twice inside a matter of seconds as the match entered injury time following a corner. First Jake Pitty saw his header come back off the crossbar, and straight afterwards George Craddock's low shot from 20 yards hit the upright.

The Gulls camped inside the Hertford half but were unable to find the all important goal and left empty handed.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts