Canvey Island 0-1 Brightlingsea Regent
Late Penalty Knocks Out Gulls
Canvey Island were knocked out of the Buildbase FA Trophy at the 1st Qualifying Round stage, losing 1-0 against Bostik Premier side Brightlingsea Regent at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.
Manager Mark Bentley made two changes from the side that drew 3-3 away to Coggeshall Town a week earlier, bringing in Josh Hutchinson in place of Ryan Melaugh and Elliott Warren for the injured Alex Stephenson.
The first time either goalkeeper was tested came in the 12th minute when some slack defending from Canvey allowed Billy Hunt to break into the area down the left. He shot hard and low but straight at Harry Palmer who was able to keep the ball out with his left hand before George Allen cleared the danger.
Four minutes later Canvey had their first attempt when a ball in from the left hit a Brightlingsea defender and sat up for Frankie Merrifield to strike. Merrifield shifted the ball onto his left foot and hit a power strike across goal which goalkeeper James Bradbrook did well to turn wide for a corner.
The visitors were presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead on 21 minutes when a lapse in concentration from Harry Palmer saw the Canvey keeper pick up a blatant back pass on the corner of his six-yard box. The ball was touched to Billy Hunt, but his goalbound shot was blocked by a defender and eventually forced behind.
As the match approached half time Canvey started to dominate proceedings, controlling the midfield and finding space in the channels.
On 43 minutes Jordan Brown played a pass into the feet of Martin Tuohy with his back to goal on the edge of the area. Tuohy did well to shift the ball to one side before pulling the trigger with his right forward, drawing a fine save from James Bradbrook diving low to his right.
Soon afterwards a ball down the left allowed Josh Hutchinson to demonstrate his acceleration, driving a shot across goal which Bradbrook appeared to tip wide despite a goal kick being awarded.
Former-Canvey midfielder Harry Morgan nearly put his new employers in front five minutes into the second half, shooting on the turn from 18 yards following a corner and forcing Harry Palmer into a smart save diving low to his right.
Martin Tuohy curled a free kick narrowly over on 63 minutes, but this was to be his final involvement as he and Jack Simmons were replaced by Jordan Cox and Jose Figura.
After Frankie Merrifield had had a shot well saved by James Bradbrook on 66 minutes, Brightlingsea came close to taking the lead three minutes later. Matthew Baxter slid a ball across from the left touchline to the near post which found Harvey Hodd, but having managed to prod a shot towards goal he was denied by the chest of Harry Palmer.
The best chance that Canvey had came on 72 minutes when Frankie Merrifield sent over a fantastic cross from the right which Jordan Cox met with a diving header. However, he sent his effort from ten yards the wrong side of the post.
Canvey’s exit from the competition came with nine minutes remaining in a hugely avoidable fashion. Having given possession away on the left, George Allen raced into the box to atone for his error but in doing so bundled over substitute Jack Clowsley to concede a penalty.
Billy Hunt stepped up and sent a low spot kick straight down the middle to score.
Canvey exerted some late pressure in search of an equaliser but were unable to find the goal they needed to force a replay.
Photo: KJA Sports Images