Oikos Storage - Proud main sponsor of Canvey Island Football Club
Frost Financial Services - Sponsors of The Frost Financial Stadium

Canvey Island FC - The Official Website

Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 1
R. Melaugh (78p)
Mildenhall Town 2
C. Ofosu (5), T. Debenham (75)

Canvey Island fell to a 2-1 defeat against Mildenhall Town at a chilly Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.

The Gulls underperformed and conceded in either half to find themselves 2-0 down before scoring late on to set up a tense finale.

Manager Danny Heale made one change from the side that beat Aveley 3-0 on New Year’s Day, bringing in Jerrome Sobers in place of the suspended Steve Sheehan. Heale was only able to name three substitutes, with Ryan Charles and George Craddock both suffering from illness.

The first real action of the match on five minutes saw Mildenhall take the lead with a worrying simple goal. A ball in from the left was glanced on at the near post and found Claudio Ofosu in a central position. The winger was acres of space and calmly placed a low volley past Ashlee Jones who couldn’t keep it out diving to his left.

Canvey came close to drawing level on 16 minutes when Frankie Merrifield beat the offside trap and made his way in behind the Mildenhall defence on the left. The midfielder closed in on goal but his shot from a tight angle was well blocked by defender Joshua Curry.

On 25 minutes the Gulls were awarded a corner which Harry Norman stood over. Instead of putting a ball into the box he instead played a low ball into the path of Sam Collins to run onto from deep and strike. His shot hit the target from 20 yards but was turned behind for another corner by the man on the post, left back Jack Wilkinson.

As the half drew on Canvey started to spend long periods in the Mildenhall half, creating plenty of chances but still going into the break behind.

Frankie Merrifield had a powerful shot from the edge of the box sting the hands of Jacob Marsden on 33 minutes, with Sam Collins flashing a low effort a couple of yards wide from distance soon afterwards.

Then on 35 minutes George Sykes demonstrated some trademark skill driving in from the left, getting to the byline before cutting the ball back for Ryan Melaugh. His first time shot was well struck and heading in before hitting the back of a defender and deflecting over the crossbar.

The final action of the first half saw Sam Collins hit a low free kick from 30 yards which goalkeeper Jacob Marsden was able to save diving low to his left.

With Mildenhall leading 1-0 at half time, they came close to doubling their advantage eight minutes into the second half. A ball down the right wing found Hall captain Gareth Simpson onside, and he was able to advance down the pitch and cut infield towards goal. He played a low ball towards forward Thomas Debenham at the front post, but Jerrome Sobers recovered well to nick the ball off his toes and poke it behind.

Canvey were awarded a free kick on 64 minutes after George Sykes was tripped 20 yards from goal in a central position. Substitute Mitchell Gilbey and Ryan Melaugh stood over the ball, with the latter striking a low left-footed shot which clipped the wall and went a yard wide of the upright with the keeper rooted to the spot.

Up the other end an excellent cross from deep on the left by Claudio Ofosu took all of the Canvey defenders out of the game and was inches away from finding the head of Thomas Debenham.

The forward did manage to make contact with his head with 15 minutes to play, and in doing so doubled Mildenhall’s lead. Gareth Simpson sent a cross into the area from deep on the right and Debenham stooped low to help the ball on its way across goal and past Ashlee Jones.

Canvey pulled one back three minutes later when Jacob Brown was adjudged to have brought down George Sykes inside the box. The decision was perhaps a little soft, but Ryan Melaugh wasn’t worried about that as he sent Jacob Marsden the wrong way from the spot to reduce the arrears.

The Gulls had a far more convincing penalty shout turned down on 83 minutes when Gareth Simpson slid in on Ryan Melaugh, clattering the Canvey man for what looked like a stonewall penalty. However, having just pointed to the spot, referee James Hurst didn’t seem in the mood to award another and turned the appeals away.

Canvey flooded forward in search of an equaliser for the remainder of the match, but aside from another penalty appeal for handball being dismissed they failed to create the golden chance they needed.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts