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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Potters Bar Town 1
G. Nicholas (49)
Canvey Island 1
J. Walker (21)

Canvey Island came away from The Pakex Stadium Parkfield with a point following a controversy-packed 1-1 draw against Potters Bar Town on Saturday.

The Gulls played against ten men for over an hour but were unable to press home their numerical advantage.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that had beaten Maldon & Tiptree a week earlier, bringing in George Allen and Frankie Merrifield in for Ryan Melaugh and Ryan Charles.

The Gulls could have taken the lead after only two minutes when George Sykes cut infield from the left and headed towards goal, but his shot hit the near post.

They did open the scoring on 21 minutes when Mitchell Gilbey swung over a right-footed corner to the back post where central defenders Steve Sheehan and George Allen were lurking. Sheehan rose highest and nodded back across goal for James Walker who finished with an acrobatic volley.

Potters Bar had a chance to equalise less than sixty seconds later when an attacker raced through on goal. Henry Newcombe came off his line and slid to claim the ball, but in doing so slid out of the area to concede a free kick. The home support were calling for a red card, but with defenders in close proximity this was not deemed to be an obvious goalscoring opportunity and as a result Newcombe was shown a yellow.

There was a red card in the 31st minute when Scholars’ midfielder Billy Adcock lunged in with a dangerous challenge on Jake Pitty for which he received his marching orders.

Canvey could had doubled their advantage in the dying moments of the first half after James Walker did well to turn his marker inside the area. Walker chipped a cross from the left to the back post which Frankie Merrifield struck on the volley, but his effort was kept out by the man on the post.

Potters Bar equalised four minutes into the second half when Eoin Casey sent over an excellent cross from the left which found the run of George Nicholas at the back post. Nicholas rose well and thumped home a powerful header to level the scores.

It looked as though Canvey had regained the lead on 52 minutes when Sam Collins put a low ball into the area from 30 yards. The ball went through everyone and deceived goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin, sneaking inside the post.

With the two sides and the officials ready for the restart, referee Stu Kyle noticed two Potters Bar players remonstrating with the assistant referee about the goal. This seemed to prompt the man in black to speak with his assistant having shown no previous inclination to do so, with the end result being that the goal was ruled out for an offside against Mitchell Gilbey who was adjudged to have obstructed the goalkeeper’s line of vision.

The Gulls continued knocking on the door, but the hosts were defending well and putting bodies behind the ball which they did to good effect. However, as the match entered the final ten minutes of normal time, Canvey switched up a gear and started to create chances to grab a late winner.

On 85 minutes George Sykes squared a ball across goal from the left which found substitute Ryan Charles. He was able to turn and get his shot off, but Berkley Laurencin managed to pull off a fine save to prevent the ball from creeping inside the upright.

Charles returned the favour for Sykes four minutes later, taking the ball into the area from the right before finding the striker. Sykes took a second to get the ball out from underneath his feet, eventually poking the ball towards goal and striking the post for the second time.

The final chance came deep into stoppage time when play was switched from right to left and eventually to Ashley Dumas on the edge of the area. The left back pulled the trigger with a decent effort which went narrowly over the crossbar for a goal kick.

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts