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Match Report
Bostik North - 2017/2018
Haringey Borough 2
R. Gabriel (36), D. Olufemi (75)
Canvey Island 0

Canvey Island’s terrible away form continued with a 2-0 defeat away to fellow-playoff hopefuls Haringey Borough at Coles Park on Saturday.

This was the Gulls second match in succession on 3G, and just like the 3-0 defeat to Aveley earlier in the week Canvey conceded cheap goals and failed to score themselves.

Manager Danny Heale made one change from the side that were beaten by Aveley on Easter Monday, bringing in Ryan Charles in place of George Craddock. Charles started the match operating on the right wing with Ryan Melaugh on the opposite flank.

The first shot on target came in the fifth minute after a long throw was nodded behind for a Haringey corner by Frankie Merrifield. The ball was partially cleared to the edge of the box but only as far as Lauran Luke, but the midfielder who played three times for Antigua in 2011 shot straight at Henry Newcombe to save.

Canvey created a flurry of chances starting as the match entered the 12th minute. First some quick one touch passing ended with Ryan Melaugh playing a ball through the home defence for George Sykes to run onto down the left. He got to the touchline and attempted to square for strike partner Martin Tuohy but left back Michael O’Donoghue nipped in just ahead to put the ball behind for a corner.

Moments later George Sykes ran across defender Scott Mitchell to get a foot to Ryan Charles’ low cross from the right, but Mitchell did enough to prevent Sykes from getting a clean shot off from the edge of the six-yard box. The danger wasn’t over, but Martin Tuohy’s sweetly struck long range effort was straight at Cameroonian goalkeeper Valery Pajetat.

The chances kept coming for both sides in what was a very open match. Chinedu McKenzie had a shot from the edge of the area saved by Henry Newcombe diving to his left on 16 minutes, and three minutes later George Allen had a goalbound header blocked by a defender after Steve Sheehan had nodded a deep corner back across goal.

Ralston Gabriel then had two great chances to give his side the lead. Firstly on 22 minutes he was played clean through on goal down the right, allowing Gabriel to run at Henry Newcombe one-on-one. The forward attempted to round the keeper but Newcombe kept his eye on the ball and was able to steal possession from his feet.

Three minutes later he saw a shot from close range to the right of goal blocked by George Allen. The loose ball sat up perfectly for Chinedu McKenzie to strike just inside the box in a central position, but Henry Newcombe did well to rush off his line and block the shot.

Up the other end, Sam Collins won the ball from Lauran Luke 15 yards inside the Haringey half, looking up to see the pitch open up for him. Collins advanced to the edge of the area before shooting, pulling a low shot across goal and a couple of yards wide of the bottom corner from the left.

Having failed to convert two good chances earlier in the half, Ralston Gabriel gave the hosts the lead in the 36th minute. Andre McCollin poked a ball through to Gabriel from the edge of the box, but Henry Newcombe was able to block at his near post. However, Canvey failed to clear the danger and the ball was played back across to Gabriel from the left to finally find the back of the net with a low finish.

Canvey had a couple of opportunities to hit back before the break. On 42 minutes Ryan Melaugh spotted the run of Ryan Charles and played a short corner to the winger on the corner of the penalty area. Charles drove into the box, skipping outside a defender but blazing a shot over the top corner when a ball across the face of goal would have been the better option.

A minute later George Sykes brought down a header from Martin Tuohy on the edge of the area, but his deflected shot was at a good height for Valery Pajetat to save diving to his right.

Things could have gotten worse ten minutes into the second half when the hosts set off on a counter attack from inside their own box that left Canvey outnumbered in defence. The through ball released Chinedu McKenzie, but having cut inside his eventual shot was brilliantly tipped over by Henry Newcombe.

Both teams then took turns in having near misses from headed chances, with George Sykes nodding over the top corner following a free kick on 64 minutes before Joe Staunton flicked the ball onto the roof of the net after connecting with a left wing cross by Andre McCollin.

Mitchell Gilbey had a good chance in the 70th minute, not long after coming on as a substitute in place of Martin Tuohy. After receiving possession from Sam Collins inside the centre circle, Gilbey was allowed to run until 25 yards from goal before pulling the trigger and shooting narrowly wide of the bottom corner.

The match was settled five minutes later when some poor Canvey defending allowed Lauran Luke to run across the edge of the area from the right to the left. Luke’s eventual shot was half-saved by Henry Newcombe but not enough to stop it continuing its way towards goal before being tapped home on the line by David Olufemi.

Canvey did come close on a couple of occasions but without success. On 79 minutes Frankie Merrifield’s cross from the right found Mitchell Gilbey unmarked, but his header was straight at Valery Pajetat who made a comfortable save.

Then, four minutes from time, Ryan Melaugh struck a powerful half volley following a corner that was heading in until striking Rakim Richards in the face and flying wide.

The hosts nearly added a third as the match ticked into injury time, but Ralston Gabriel was unable to convert Derek Asamoah’s ball across the face of goal from the right, sliding in at the back post but failing to make contact by a matter of inches.