Herne Bay 2-1 Canvey Island
Seaside Clash Ends In Defeat
Canvey Island fell to a narrow defeat away to Bostik South East side Herne Bay at a swelteringly hot Altira Park Stadium on Saturday.
The hosts were given a golden opportunity to take the lead after only five minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Danny Leonard. Jake Embery stepped up but struck a tame spot kick straight down the middle which Conor Gough saved with ease.
On 14 minutes Martin Tuohy chipped the ball across for Jordan Cox to strike from 20 yards. Cox's shot was saved by Harry Earles but not held, but fortunately for the keeper a defender managed to clear the danger before Tuohy could tuck home the rebound.
Five minutes later an under hit pass from Josh Hutchinson towards Steve Sheehan allow Jake Embery a run towards goal, but Elliott Warren did well to be alert to the danger and get back to block Embery's goalbound shot.
The hosts scored the opening goal of the match on 31 minutes. Steve Sheehan committed the cardinal sin of attempting to play the ball across his own penalty area from the left towards Elliott Warren. Jake Embery intercepted the pass and broke into the box, firing across goal and into the bottom corner.
Canvey responded well, and two minutes later they came close to equalising. A cross from the right was headed back into the middle of the area by James White at the back post, finding Steve Sheehan on the penalty spot. Sheehan took a touch before laying it off to Jordan Cox who shot wide from 20 yards.
The Gulls had further chances to draw level before the break, with Jordan Cox flashing a ball across goal from the right on 37 minutes which was just behind Martin Tuohy. Four minutes later Tuohy attempted to set up Cox with a tremendous cross which was inches away from his strike partner's head inside the six yard box.
Trailing at the break, Canvey continued to push for an equaliser in the early stages of the second half.
On 49 minutes Jordan Brown delivered an excellent low ball into the box from the left which was poked behind by a defender to prevent Mitchell Gilbey from applying the finish.
Soon afterwards Josh Hutchinson did well to keep hold of possession, bringing it forwards before finding the feet of Marlon Agyakwa who in turn played it out to Mitchell Gilbey on the right wing. GIlbey drove infield and played a perfect ball into the box, but with the goal at his mercy Marlon Agyakwa failed to make contact with his attempted shot.
This miss was to prove costly, as seconds later the hosts were awarded a free kick out on the right wing. The ball was delivered into a good area and met with a free header from Nick Reeves to double his side's advantage.
Canvey pulled one back almost immediately when they were awarded a free kick of their own on the corner of the penalty area on the right. Mitchell Gilbey sent an excellent dead ball to the back post which found Martin Tuohy and allowed the striker to score his fourth goal in three pre-season friendlies.
The obligatory substitutions then began to take place which spoiled the fluidity of the match as they often do. Canvey were the better side for the remainder of the second half but were unable to force Harry Earles into another meaningful save.
The closest that either side came to scoring again came with three minutes to play when a Herne Bay substitute struck a long range effort which left goalkeeper Harry Palmer rooted to the spot before whistling past the post.
Listen: Danny Heale Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts