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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 7
G. Sykes (15), G. Sykes (30), G. Sykes (46), G. Sykes (49), S. Sheehan (58), R. Melaugh (82), S. Sheehan (85)
Cheshunt 1
J. Hallett (37)

Canvey Island put in a tremendous performance at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday, beating Cheshunt 7-1 in the Bostik North.

This was the first time the Gulls had scored seven goals in a league match in 16 years, the previous time being a 7-0 win away to Heybridge Swifts on the night of Tuesday 11 September 2001.

George Sykes also became the first Canvey player to score four goals in a competitive match in 13 years, coincidentally with the last man to do so being Cheshunt captain Jason Hallett who bagged four in a 6-1 Essex Senior Cup 3rd Round tie against Eton Manor on Wednesday 03 November 2004.

The last man to have achieved this feat in a league match meanwhile was Lee Boylan in a 6-1 home win against Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday 26 February 2002.

Manager Danny Heale made just the one change from the side that were surprisingly beaten 4-3 away to Norwich United, bringing in Frankie Merrifield in place of Harry Norman.

Jason Hallett nearly put Cheshunt ahead on seven minutes after a free kick was swung in from the right wing. Hallett was unmarked on the far side and steered a good header back across goal, but thankfully for the Gulls Ashley Dumas was on the line who was able to head the ball onto the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced down on the line but stayed out.

Canvey took the lead on 15 minutes after they were awarded a corner. Mitchell Gilbey played a short corner to Ryan Melaugh who was unmarked, who in turn played it back to Gilbey to deliver into the box from the right.

Gilbey picked out strike partner George Sykes with a low cross which he steered into the bottom corner with a crisp first time shot.

The Gulls doubled their advantage on the half hour mark with Sykes on target once again. A cross from the left found the forward inside the box and he powered a header down towards the same corner in which he had scored 15 minutes earlier.

Goalkeeper Montel Joseph got down to make the save diving to his left, but the only player from either side to react to the situation was Sykes. He kept the ball from going behind for a corner and slotted home from a seemingly impossible angle.

Canvey were in again a minute later when Ryan Charles was played through on goal, but his shot was well saved by Joseph before Mitchell Gilbey steered his follow up effort wide.

Cheshunt were handed a route back into the match on 37 minutes after some poor defending. A cross from the right to the back post found Adam Wallace, with both Jerrome Sobers and Steve Sheehan opting not to contest the header. Wallace had plenty of time to head across the face of goal for Jason Hallett who scored with an equally simple header of his own.

The turning point came two minutes later when the visitors were reduced to ten men. Right back Callum Ellersley dove in with a two-footed tackle on Sam Collins in the middle of the park. Referee Scott Rudd wasted no time in producing a red card to take the wind out of Cheshunt’s sails moments after getting back into the contest.

The two goal cushion was nearly restored before the break when Canvey were awarded a free kick in a central position 25 yards from goal following a foul by Tom Bruno which earned him a yellow card. Sam Collins ran up and struck on of his trademark free kicks which Joseph did well to save diving to his right. Mitchell Gilbey collected the loose ball and fired high towards goal, but Joseph produced an even better save to tip the ball over for a corner.

Ahead by a single goal at the break, Canvey added to their tally inside 60 seconds of the restart. George Sykes played the ball out to the left for Ryan Charles who skipped past half time substitute Ricky Brennan and squared for Ryan Melaugh. His shot was under hit but instead served as a pass to George Sykes who was able to slam home unmarked from close range for his hattrick.

The game was effectively over on 49 minutes when George Sykes scored his fourth of the match. Mitchell Gilbey’s shot was saved but not held by Montel Joseph, and George Sykes  ghosted in to smash home from six yards.

It was 5-1 on 58 minutes when Canvey were awarded a free kick on the left wing after Ricky Brennan had fouled Ryan Charles, with referee Scott Rudd doing well to try to play the advantage before bringing play back. Mitchell Gilbey sent the free kick to the back post where Steve Sheehan was on hand to force the ball home with his chest.

Ryan Charles was involved again on 75 minutes when he flashed a low ball across the face of goal, although it was slightly behind Mitchell Gilbey who would have had a tap into an empty net.

Canvey were awarded a penalty with nine minutes remaining when George Quarrington Carter was adjudged to have handled Mitchell Gilbey’s shot. The penalty was perhaps a little harsh with Quarrington Carter moving his arms into his chest. Gilbey stepped up but saw his spot kick turned behind by Montel Joseph diving high to his left.

The Gulls disappointment didn’t last long, as from the subsequent corner Ryan Melaugh beat everyone and sent the ball directly in for Canvey’s sixth goal.

The scoring was completed on 85 minutes in similar circumstances, with Ryan Melaugh sending over a corner to the back post. This time however the ball landed at the feet of Steve Sheehan who was able to bundle it home for his second of the afternoon.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts