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First Team - Match centre

Grays Athletic
Canvey Island
M Hahn (35')
Full time
F Merrifield (52')
Sat 18 Aug 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - North Division Attendance 221

Grays Athletic 1-1 Canvey Island


Gulls Fight Back For Point

Canvey Island and Grays Athletic played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at Parkside on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing at the break, Canvey pulled a goal back early in the second half before injuries forced them to play the final 15 minutes with ten men.

Assistant manager Brad Wellmen made three changes from the side that beat Barking on the opening day of the season. In came Jordan Brown at left back, Marlon Agyakwa into midfield and George Sykes up front, with Jake Jolliffe, Ryan Melaugh and Martin Tuohy the players to make way.

Grays Athletic v Canvey Island - Saturday 18th August 2018
9 photos

The first serious threat to either goal came on the quarter of an hour mark when Grays forward Aron Gordon chipped a weighted ball over the Canvey defence for Adeyinka Cole to run onto, bursting into the area from the right. Cole got his head down and headed towards goal, but Harry Palmer did well to make himself big and save at the near post.

Two minutes later a cross from the right was flicked on by the head of George Sykes for strike partner Jordan Cox. The pair exchanged passes before Cox pulled the trigger, seeing his effort deflected behind for a corner. This was delivered to the back post and found Marlon Agyakwa, but his shot from a tight angle hit the side netting.

The home side had two excellent chances to the take lead in the 19th minute. Firstly Shomari Barnwell shot through the legs of Alex Stephenson from the right, forcing Harry Palmer into a save diving low to his right. He pushed the ball out straight to Usman Adeniji who was unmarked eight-yards from goal, but it came to him quickly and he was unable to react quick enough to turn it home.

Grays maintained possession and worked it out to the left wing where it was swung into the danger area by Adeyinka Cole. The ball found Adeniji unmarked once again, but this time the former-Canvey winger didn’t get enough contact on his header and it went across goal for a goal kick.

Harry Palmer was called into action again on the half hour mark to pull off a fantastic double save. Firstly he parried a powerful effort from Aron Gordon on the edge of the box, and he followed this up seconds later by keeping out Shomari Barnwell’s follow-up shot from close range.

Grays had been by far the better side and deservedly took the lead on 35 minutes in spectacular circumstances. The ball was played infield from the left and found midfielder Mitch Hahn 25 yards from goal in a central position. Hahn was in acres of space and used this to line up an unstoppable shot which nestled into the top corner.

Having been off the pace in the first half, Canvey got themselves back on terms seven minutes into the restart. Mitchell Gilbey delivered a good corner which found Frankie Merrifield in space, and the midfielder was able to thump home a free header from eight yards.

On the hour mark Jordan Cox flicked a ball over the Grays defence for Marlon Agaykwa to run onto, but having collected it the other side he was unable to get it out from underneath his feet and found himself with his back to goal. The midfielder managed to eventually turn but his shot was blocked at close range by a defender.

Up the other end a throw from the left on 64 minutes was worked across the edge of the area and found Adeyinka Cole in a central position. Cole’s shot looked goalbound but a deflection sent it inches wide with Harry Palmer diving desperately to his right.

A minute later Shomari Barnwell got the better of Jake Pitty cutting in from the left wing and squaring for Usman Adeniji 18 yards from goal. His shot was off target but instead headed straight for Adeyinka Cole, but he failed to make contact with his attempted back heel from close range.

Canvey made a double substitution on 66 minutes, introducing Martin Tuohy and Sam Collins in place of Jordan Cox and Marlon Agyakwa. This inadvertently caused assistant manager Brad Wellmen a problem, as soon afterwards both Jose Figura and Alex Stephenson went down with bad injuries that meant they were unable to continue.

Alex Stephenson left the field on a stretcher and was replaced by Jake Jolliffe, and while Jose Figura came back on he was unable to move freely and soon also exited the action leaving the Gulls to finish the match with ten men.

On 86 minutes Mitchell Gilbey and Jake Pitty exchanged passes on the right wing which created space for the attacker to run into. Gilbey pulled the trigger with a low left-footed shot from just inside the box which he dragged inches wide.

Grays came even closer in the second minute of injury time when Canvey failed to clear their lines and gave away possession out on the left wing. The ball was played infield for Shomari Barnwell who struck a curling first-time shot with his left foot which hit the top of the post, clipping the outside and going out for a goal kick.

The final kick of the match saw Joao Carlos pull the trigger from 25 yards, but his low shot was straight at Harry Palmer who made a simple save.

Listen: Brad Wellmen Post-Match Interview

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Harry Palmer

Player of the Match

Harry Palmer

Key moments

Goal Mitch Hahn scores for Grays Athletic
Goal Frankie Merrifield scores for Canvey Island

Videos and photos


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90:00 +1:00 Sub Off
Adeyinka Cole is substituted off for Grays Athletic
90:00 +1:00 Sub Off
Aron Gordon is substituted off for Grays Athletic
90:00 +1:00 Sub On
Dennis Oli is substituted on for Grays Athletic
90:00 +1:00 Sub On
Michael Mignot is substituted on for Grays Athletic
90:00 Player of the Match
Harry Palmer is awarded player of the match for Canvey Island
88:00 Yellow Card
Steve Sheehan is yellow carded for Canvey Island
78:00 Sub On
Jake Jolliffe is substituted on for Canvey Island
78:00 Sub Off
Alex Stephenson is substituted off for Canvey Island
66:00 Sub Off
Jordan Cox is substituted off for Canvey Island
66:00 Sub Off
Marlon Agyakwa is substituted off for Canvey Island
66:00 Sub On
Martin Tuohy is substituted on for Canvey Island
66:00 Sub On
Sam Collins is substituted on for Canvey Island
66:00 Sub Off
Usman Adeniji is substituted off for Grays Athletic
66:00 Sub On
Joao Carlos is substituted on for Grays Athletic
52:00 Goal 1 - 1
Frankie Merrifield scores for Canvey Island
End of period 1
35:00 Goal 1 - 0
Mitch Hahn scores for Grays Athletic
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Grays Athletic
  • Canvey Island
  • 0
  • Mitch Hahn Goal 35:00'
  • Frankie Merrifield Goal 52:00'
  • Jordan Cox Sub Off 66:00'
  • Marlon Agyakwa Sub Off 66:00'
  • Martin Tuohy Sub On 66:00'
  • Sam Collins Sub On 66:00'
  • Usman Adeniji Sub Off 66:00'
  • Joao Carlos Sub On 66:00'
  • Alex Stephenson Sub Off 78:00'
  • Jake Jolliffe Sub On 78:00'
  • Steve Sheehan Yellow Card 88:00'
  • Aron Gordon Sub Off 90:00 +1:00'
  • Adeyinka Cole Sub Off 90:00 +1:00'
  • Dennis Oli Sub On 90:00 +1:00'
  • Michael Mignot Sub On 90:00 +1:00'

Team selection

Grays Athletic
  • 1. Clarke Bogard
  • 2. Ryan Mahal
  • 3. Callum Thompson
  • 4. Perry Dunn
  • 5. Geofrey Okonkwo
  • 6. Stanley Muguo
  • 7. Mitch Hahn
  • 8. Adeyinka Cole
  • 9. Shomari Barnwell
  • 10. Aron Gordon
  • 11. Usman Adeniji
  • 12. Dennis Oli
  • 13. Michael Mignot
  • 14. Billy Jones
  • 15. Jack Curtis
  • 16. Joao Carlos

League round up

Other North Division results

Heybridge Swifts
Mildenhall Town
Dereham Town
Coggeshall Town
Brentwood Town

League table

# Team Pl Pts
7. Grays Athletic 38 53
8. AFC Sudbury 38 52
9. Canvey Island 38 51
10. Felixstowe & Walton United 38 50
11. Tilbury 38 49
12. Barking 38 47
13. Brentwood Town 38 45


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