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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 4
M. Gilbey (28), R. Charles (36), M. Tuohy (85), R. Melaugh (89)
Witham Town 1
C. Osadebe (89)

Canvey Island returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory against Witham Town at The Frost Hire Stadium in the Bostik North on Saturday.

Manager Danny Heale named the same side that had been beaten by Bury Town a week earlier, with former-Witham man Ryan Charles starting on the wing. The visitors meanwhile included ex-Canvey striker Jake Gordon up front.

Witham started the better of the two sides and forced Henry Newcombe into action twice in the opening ten minutes.

Firstly, Lewis Payne took a low shot from 25 yards in the sixth minute which made its way through a crowd of players. However, his effort was straight at the keeper who made a comfortable save in the sixth minute.

Four minutes later Elliott Ronto let fly with a speculative effort 30 yards from goal on the left wing. The ball was heading across goal and heading into the top corner, but thankfully Newcombe was alert to the danger and was able to tip it over for a corner.

Canvey had to wait until the 18th minute to have a chance of their own when George Sykes successfully closed down an attempted clearance by goalkeeper Bobby Mason. Sykes retained possession despite being driven wide, wrapping his left foot around a shot that went across goal and narrowly wide.

Soon afterwards a lofted ball into the area from deep on the left wing was well controlled by the chest of Ryan Charles bursting into the box, but his subsequent shot looped onto the roof of the net.

The Gulls took the lead on 28 minutes after George Sykes cut inside from the left and advanced towards goal. His ball into the danger area was half cleared at the front post, but only as far as Mitchell Gilbey who was able to smash home his 16th goal of the campaign.

Witham responded well and could have equalised immediately when they were awarded a free kick out on the right wing 20 yards from goal. A good ball into the area found the head of centre back Tyler Corlett, but his glancing effort missed the top corner by a couple of yards.

Canvey doubled their lead on 36 minutes when George Sykes skipped the ball past Tyler Corlett and drove into the area from the left. This time nobody could stop his ball across the face of goal and Ryan Charles was on hand to tap home from close range against his former-employers.

Comfortably ahead at the break, Canvey took their foot off the pedal in the second half and invited Witham back into the match.

On 58 minutes right back Sam Owusu sent a good ball across goal from inside the box and found Correy Davidson sliding in. However, the Irishman could only steer his shot into the side netting under pressure from Jake Pitty.

Seven minutes later Shamido Pedulu was played in down the right and was able to advance into the box. He attempted to slide in Davidson, but he was unable to get the touch that would have been necessary to divert the ball past Henry Newcombe.

Having underperformed for the opening 25 minutes of the second half, Canvey started to click back into gear.

On 72 minutes a great cross from the right by Ryan Charles was poked goalwards by George Sykes, but goalkeeper Bobby Mason did brilliantly to fling out his left hand and turn the shot around the post for a corner.

Mason was called into action once again four minutes later after Frankie Merrifield had brought the ball forwards for Canvey down the left. He looked up and saw substitute Martin Tuohy in space on the opposite flank and picked him out.

The forward turned inside Jack Kemsley leaving him on the floor, but his shot across goal towards the top corner was pushed wide by Mason diving high to his right. The keeper’s attempted clearance from the corner wasn’t the best, but he redeemed himself seconds later when he saved and held Tuohy’s half volley.

The points were sealed on 85 minutes when Ryan Charles unleashed a superb left-footed shot from the edge of the box which Mason did very well to keep out. However, he could do nothing about the follow up as Martin Tuohy kept himself onside and tucked home the rebound.

Witham did pull a goal back with one minute of normal time remaining when substitute Chinedu Osadebe was played in behind the Canvey defence down the left, firing a crisp shot across goal and into the bottom corner.

However, the Gulls restored their three goal cushion less than 60 seconds later. George Sykes flicked the ball over the top of the Witham defence for Martin Tuohy, who in turn fired it across the face of goal from the right. Bobby Mason got his foot to the ball to send it away from goal, but only as far as Ryan Melaugh to fire home his seventh goal of the season.

Photo: KJA Sports Images

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts