Canvey Island 1-0 Cray Wanderers
Tuohy Strikes Again
Canvey Island recorded their third consecutive pre-season victory with a 1-0 success against Bostik South East side Cray Wanderers at The Frost Hire Stadium on Tuesday night.
Canvey should have scored as early as the second minute when they were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal on the right. Mitchell Gilbey dinked the ball to the back post and found George Sykes who stabbed goalwards.
Sykes’ effort was kept out by goalkeeper Nick Blue diving to his left, but he was unable to keep hold of the ball and it ran on to Frankie Merrifield at the back post. Merrifield’s first attempt was saved, with his follow up effort headed off the line by a defender.
The Gulls did open the score on 11 minutes when George Sykes set off on one of his trademark runs in from the left. Sykes squared the ball across goal which eluded Martin Tuohy but instead found Frankie Merrifield just inside the area.
He dragged his shot but in doing so managed to find Tuohy inside the six-yard, and after his initial effort was saved the striker was able to poke home at the second attempt.
Harry Palmer was called into action for the first time on 20 minutes when Karl Dent hit a well struck shot across goal from the corner of the area on the left. The shot was a powerful one and Palmer elected to parry away with both arms.
Martin Tuohy came close to a brilliant second on 28 minutes when he spotted the keeper of his line and attempted to lob him from 25 yards. However, the ball landed on the roof of the net to deny the forward what would have been a superb goal.
The visitors pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages of the first half and came close on a couple of occasions.
On 34 minutes a ball into the box caught Harry Palmer in two minds whether to come or not, and this hesitancy allowed Sean Roberts to steal in and tee up a shot. However, an excellent piece of defending from Alex Stephenson deflected Roberts’ goalbound effort behind for a corner.
A minute later a through ball down the left released forward Freddie Parker onside. This time Palmer was decisive, racing out of his box and slide tackling Parker to win possession. Palmer picked up a slight injury in the process but was able to continue.
Both sides had chances in the early exchanges of the second half with headers from corners. First Jordan Cox headed a looping effort headed off the line by Cray’s assistant manager Joe Vines, and soon after Marcus Evans had a bullet header blocked by a Canvey defender.
On 56 minutes a good header from Jordan Cox gave Martin Tuohy something for challenge for on the edge of the area, and he got the better of Barney Williams to earn himself a chance. He initially tried to lob Nick Blue with a header that the keeper kept out, but in doing so presented the forward with another opportunity.
This time Tuohy struck a right-footed effort from a tight angle on the right which defender Marcus Evans did very well to block on the line by the front post and put behind for a corner.
In the 64th minute a ball down the left found George Sykes, and he drove infield running towards defender Mitchell Nelson. Sykes played a pass inside to Mitchell Gilbey who pulled the trigger from 20 yards with a shot that was heading for the bottom corner before being turned behind thanks to a brilliant save from Nick Blue diving low down to his right.
As with the first half, Cray had lots of pressure in the final 15 minutes to try and force an equaliser, assisted by several free kicks inside the Canvey half.
On 81 minutes when a cross from the right caught a deflection which made life difficult for Harry Palmer. He claimed the cross low down but the ball squirmed through his arms and then legs and continued on it’s way to goal, but thankfully Steve Sheehan was on hand to clear the danger from inside the six yards box.
The closest they came was in the second minute of injury time when Karl Dent’s cross from the right was heading in but was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Palmer.
Photo: KJA Sports Images
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