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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Canvey Island 2
M. Tuohy (27), M. Tuohy (37p)
Hertford Town 1
R. Light (91)

Canvey Island picked up a valuable three points in the playoff race with a 2-1 win against Hertford Town at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.

The match was far from a classic, but the Gulls did enough to edge the contest and preserve their fifth place in the league table.

Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that were beaten 2-0 away to Haringey Borough a week earlier, bringing in Mitchell Gilbey and George Craddock in place of Sam Collins and Ryan Charles.

The Hertford Town line-up included a familiar face in the shape of Charlie Cole who made four appearances for the Gulls earlier in the season on loan from Billericay Town, scoring once on debut.

Canvey started the match lightening quick and were on the attack immediately, creating a chance inside the opening 15 seconds. Mitchell Gilbey threaded a pass through for Martin Tuohy to run onto whose shot was saved, although the referee failed to play the advantage and had already blown for a foul on Gilbey.

On eight minutes a chipped cross from George Sykes on the left found strike partner Martin Tuohy at the far post. The forward directed his header down into the ground, with the ball bouncing back up but going over the crossbar.

Up the other end Charlie Cole had two similar chances in the 11th minute having been played into the area down the left, but his first attempt went over the bar while his second was saved at his near post by the foot of Henry Newcombe.

Canvey were soon back on the attack and should have taken the lead two minutes later when Martin Tuohy set Ryan Melaugh in behind the Hertford defence. Melaugh’s shot was saved by Jayden Purdue, with Martin Tuohy scuffing his follow up attempt at a relatively open goal.

The deadlock was broken on 27 minutes when Canvey were awarded a penalty. Having just been warned against using his arms while marking Steve Sheehan from a corner, Hertford captain Ollie Sharman bundled the defender over inside the box and left the referee little choice but to point to the spot.

Martin Tuohy stepped up but saw his penalty saved by Jayden Purdue diving to his right. However, the ball rebounded straight back to Tuohy who was able to score at the second attempt.

The Gulls were awarded another penalty ten minutes later in similar circumstances, this time Jay Lovell hauling George Sykes over following a cross into the area from the right. Martin Tuohy placed the ball on the spot despite seeing his earlier effort saved, going the same way but succeeding at picking out the bottom corner.

Having performed well in the opening 45 minutes, Canvey seemed to go into their shell in the second half and didn’t really get going.

Both teams laboured without any real quality until five minutes from time when George Sykes played Ryan Melaugh through down the left. Melaugh sent a good low ball to the front post which found Mitchell Gilbey, but his attempted flick finish hit the side netting.

Just as it looked as though Canvey were cruising to an important yet unspectacular victory, Hertford pulled a goal back in the first of three additional minutes. The visitors maintained possession in the area as they worked to create a good opportunity for a shot, and when they did Ricky Light fired a shot across goal and into the bottom corner to set up a tense finale.

Hertford threw bodies forward and pumped a couple of crosses into the box, but the Canvey defence held firm to see them over the line.

Photo: KJA Sports Images

Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts