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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Dereham Town 2
M. Castellan (10), D. Hinton (52)
Canvey Island 2
G. Sykes (40), G. Craddock (61)

Canvey Island came away from Norfolk with a well-earned point following an exciting 2-2 draw against Dereham Town in the Bostik North on Tuesday night.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Barking on Saturday. Elliott Warren returned to the starting XI having recovered from injury, with fellow central defender Nathan Fox dropping to the bench. Harry Norman also made way for Saturday’s goalscorer Frankie Merrifield.

After a delayed kick off due to some Canvey players being held up en route, the first chance of the match came in the fifth minute when a powerful shot from George Craddock was turned over the crossbar by Dereham goalkeeper Jake Cox.

The home side then took the lead five minutes later when defender Matthew Castellan rose well to head in from a corner.

A corner up the other end nearly resulted in a Canvey equaliser on 18 minutes when George Craddock delivered an inswinging ball into the box. The flight of the ball deceived the keeper but hit the crossbar, bouncing down on the line before being cleared to safety.

Canvey did draw level on 38 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey did well to turn a defender and find space for a shot. Jake Cox was able to keep Gilbey’s effort out but in doing so parried the ball straight to George Sykes who was on hand to tuck home his 26th goal of the season.

Dereham got themselves back in front seven minutes into the second half following a swift counter attack after possession was given away by Ashley Dumas. The ball was worked to David Hinton who was gifted too much time and fired a low shot past Jack Giddens and into the bottom corner.

Having come close twice earlier in the match, George Craddock finally got his name on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute when he was on hand to smash home following a goalmouth scramble.

This goal gave Canvey the impetus to go looking for another, something they came close to achieving on more than one occasion.

On 69 minutes Mitchell Gilbey did well to get his shot off from a tight angle, although unfortunately for the striker his effort hit the post. Soon afterwards Steve Sheehan headed inches wide from a free kick as the Gulls piled on the pressure.

The closing stages saw the match really open up with both teams going in search of a winner. Dereham had a one-on-one chance go over the crossbar after some poor Canvey defending, while up the other end Steve Sheehan leapt high to head a corner towards goal which hit the post – the third time of the evening that Canvey had struck the woodwork.

The final chance came as the match approached its conclusion following another goalmouth scramble. The ball rattled around before eventually being forced goalwards courtesy of a diving header from George Sykes, but Jake Cox did brilliantly to produce the save.