Bowers & Pitsea 2-0 Canvey Island
Knight Double Checkmates Canvey
Canvey Island fell to their third consecutive defeat on Tuesday night, losing 1-0 to Bowers & Pitsea on the 3G surface of Aveley’s Parkside Stadium.
With heavy traffic in the area causing a 25-minute delay for one of the match officials to arrive, the game eventually kicked off at 20:10.
Manager Danny Heale made two changes from the side that were knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Cheshunt on Saturday, bringing in Sam Collins and Jordan Cox in place of Ryan Melaugh and Marlon Agyakwa.
Bowers dominated the first half and had the ball in the net after only three minutes when the pacey Quentin Monville burst past Jake Jolliffe coming in from the right. He slid the ball in for Lewis Manor to turn home, but fortunately for Canvey the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside against the forward.
This early chance was a sign of things to come, with Correy Davidson firing a shot narrowly wide of the bottom from 25 yards narrowly wide of the bottom corner on eight minutes.
They had another chance on 16 minutes when the ball fell for former-Canvey striker David Knight on the edge of the box. Knight unleashed a fantastic volley that went across goal from the left and a yard or so wide of the top corner.
A goalmouth scramble should have resulted in a goal three minutes later following a dangerous corner, but Bowers spurned two excellent chances to make the net bulge from close range before the ball trickled behind for a goal kick.
The speed of Quentin Monville on the right wing for Bowers was causing Canvey no end of problems and he had an excellent chance to score on 21 minutes. Having raced in behind Monville fired across goal but was denied by a brilliant save from Harry Palmer to force a corner.
Bowers were virtually camped in the Canvey half and had another great chance to score on 33 minutes. Ryan Sammons whipped in a cross from deep on the left with his right foot that curled away from goal and found the head of David Knight. The diminutive forward headed across goal but could only watch as the ball drifted wide with Harry Palmer rooted to the spot.
Having hardly had a kick in the opening 40 minutes Canvey should have taken the lead when Jordan Cox robbed Martyn Stokes of possession. Cox found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Andrew Wilton, but having been a spectator for most of the match up until this point he dived low to his left to turn the ball behind for a corner.
This miss turned out to be a big one, as a minute later Bowers got themselves deservedly in front. Mitchell Gilbey attempted to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick on the left but was dispossessed by Jamie Dicks. He looked up and squared for David Knight who tucked his shot away from six yards.
Trailing 1-0 at the break, Canvey kept themselves in the match for the opening 15 minutes, surviving another goalmouth scramble from a corner but aside from that looking slightly more assured.
They then had a good chance to equalise on 62 minutes when Frankie Merrifield gained possession on the half way line on the right wing and played a pass into the feet of Martin Tuohy 20 yards from goal. Tuohy took a touch and with his back to goal flicked a brilliant ball over the Bowers defence for Mitchell Gilbey to run onto. Gilbey shot first time but was denied by a tremendous save from Andrew Wilton diving high to his left.
Canvey had more opportunities a minute later when first Martin Tuohy and then Jordan Cox had shots blocked. The Gulls maintained possession and fed Ryan Melaugh, but his shot from the left hit the side netting.
Up the other end, Jordan Brown lost possession to Quentin Monville out on the right wing on 72 minutes. Monville burst down the channel and played a near-perfect ball across the face of goal which David Knight couldn’t manage to slide home from six yards.
Knight came even closer five minutes later when he was given too much time to shoot 20 yards from goal. Knight unleashed a superb right-footed effort which beat Harry Palmer but hit the underside of the crossbar, bouncing down but staying out. The ball bounced up perfectly for Lewis Manor to follow up with his head, but the tall striker was only able to nod over from close range.
He finally scored his and Bowers’ second with four minutes remaining with a goal that saw Canvey hit the self-destruct button. Steve Sheehan was attempting the shepherd the ball back to goalkeeper Harry Palmer, but a communication breakdown saw Palmer just about come away with the ball.
However, Palmer then proceeded to pass straight to David Knight, and from just outside the centre circle he was able to lob the ball into the unguarded goal to seal the three points for his side.
George Sykes and Ryan Melaugh both had opportunities in injury time, but Sykes' shot from a corner was saved before Ryan Melaugh's 20-yard drive went narrowly wide.