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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 3
S. Sheehan (26), G. Sykes (38), S. Sheehan (45)
Aveley 0

Canvey Island cruised to a straight forward 3-0 win against Aveley at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.

The points were wrapped up before half time, with Canvey scoring all three goals before the interval.

Danny Heale made three changes from the side that were beaten by Bowers & Pitsea on Boxing Day, with Jerrome Sobers injured while Mitchell Gilbey and Ryan Charles were suffering with illness. In came Elliott Warren, James Walker and Harry Norman.

There was also a place on the bench for former-Bowers & Pitsea and Southend Manor midfielder Jamie Brown.

The Aveley squad included two-former Gulls, with Alex Stephenson in central defence having played once for Canvey last season on loan from Billericay Town, picking up a nasty head injury on debut away to Bognor Regis Town and not featuring again. There was also a place on the bench for forward Jake Gordon who made four substitute appearances during 2016/17 campaign.

Canvey nearly got off to the perfect start in the second minute when they were awarded a corner. Ryan Melaugh sent the ball in to the near post where Elliott Warren brought it under control before laying it off for George Sykes to poke goalwards first time. Sykes’ effort was heading in but a fantastic stop from goalkeeper Rhys Madden with his right hand forced the ball over the crossbar.

They created a similarly good opportunity 10 minutes later when Sykes did well down the left before squaring for Frankie Merrifield. The midfielder steered a right-footed shot low towards the bottom corner at the front post but put the ball a yard wide from close range.

The Gulls finally took the lead on 26 minutes when Aveley left back George Woodward fouled Jake Pitty out on the right wing. Ryan Melaugh delivered an inswinging free kick which found the head of Steve Sheehan who scored with a flick on header.

It was 2-0 on 38 minutes when Sam Collins played a through ball for Frankie Merrifield to run onto down the right. The Aveley defence stepped up on Merrifield, all except for centre back Myles Keizer-Burrows who stayed deep and played him onside. The midfielder squared low into the centre of the area and found the run of George Sykes who tucked away his 21st of the campaign.

Canvey extended their advantage further with the last action of the first half with Melaugh and Merrifield involved once again. Ryan Melaugh swung over a deep free kick which found Merrifield at the back post, and he nodded back across goal for Steve Sheehan to head in his second of the match and fourth in his last two home games.

Aveley created their first chance of the match eight minutes into the second half when they were awarded a free kick out on the left wing. A good ball into the area presented Alex Stephenson a free header lurking around the penalty spot, but he directed his effort straight at Ashlee Jones who made a comfortable save.

The Gulls were soon back on the attack two minutes later, with George Sykes setting off on a strong run from the left and making his way into the box. Sykes shot low towards the bottom corner, trying to beat Rhys Madden at his near post. However, the keeper did well to keep the shot out with his outstretched right foot.

On 62 minutes a superb cross from the left by Ryan Melaugh found Frankie Merrifield on the far side. Merrifield brought the ball down before fizzing a shot towards goal. However, Rhys Madden did fantastically to turn the shot over the bar, flinging his right hand skywards.

As the half progressed the visitors started to compete and if anything had the better of the final 25 minutes.

Alex Teniola and substitute Jake Gordon both had low shots from distance saved by Ashlee Jones diving to his left, with Teniola then seeing a diving header saved by Jones down by his post following a decent cross from Robbie Rees.

They should have pulled one back on 79 minutes when play was switched from the left to the opposite side of the pitch for Robbie Rees to dribble into the area. Rees shot back across goal aiming for the bottom corner, but Ashlee Jones did well to close the shot down and save with his feet.

If Rees’ opportunity was good, then Teniola’s three minutes later was even better. The striker did well to spin off his marker inside the area and leave himself with only Ashlee Jones to beat from close range, but the Canvey shot stopper managed to keep the ball out with his chest low down.

Photo: KJA Sports Images

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts