Canvey Island 0-1 Great Wakering Rovers
Below Par Gulls Falter Again
Canvey Island turned out an abject performance at The Frost Hire Stadium on Tuesday night, losing 1-0 to Great Wakering Rovers in the Bostik North.
With manager Danny Heale away, assistant manager Brad Wellmen made three changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Brentwood Town on Saturday. In came Martin Tuohy, Sam Collins and Elliott Warren, while dropping to the bench were Jake Pitty, Josh Hutchinson and Marlon Agyakwa.
Canvey created the first chance of the evening after only 30 seconds when Mitchell Gilbey was played into the area from the right, but his shot from point blank range was kept out thanks to a superb save from goalkeeper Coey Turipa to force a corner.
Gilbey tested Turipa again five minutes later, curling a free kick over the wall from 25 yards which the keeper saved with a full stretch dive to his right.
The Rovers had their first sight of goal on 11 minutes when defender Ollie Woodhouse nodded wide from a corner.
They then took the lead on 16 minutes when a ball across the edge of the area from the right found Billy Johnson in space. He fired a well-struck shot through a crowd of Canvey defenders which unsighted goalkeeper Harry Palmer, causing him to react late and be unable to keep the shot out after getting a hand to the ball.
Both sides came close in the 22nd minute from the edge of the box, with first Steve Butterworth shooting narrowly wide for the visitors before Mitchell Gilbey did the same for Canvey.
Harry Palmer pulled off a good save on the half hour mark to deny Billy Johnson from a tight angle. The ball fell loose in the middle of the penalty area, but in attempting to score the follow up Aaron Russell committed a foul for which he was booked.
Wakering should have doubled their lead on 37 minutes when Jose Figura lost possession in midfield. The ball was played up to Adam Vyse who got the better of Elliott Warren to leave himself one-on-one with Harry Palmer, but he steered his shot from the edge of the area wide of the upright.
Canvey managed to fashion one chance to go into the break level, but Steve Sheehan’s back post header from a corner went wide.
The Rovers had another golden opportunity to add to their tally four minutes into the second half when the ball was played back from the touchline to Steve Butterworth all on his own inside the area. The midfielder aimed for the top corner but failed to hit the target with all of the goal to aim for.
Frankie Merrifield then spurned an even better chance less than sixty seconds later when the ball fell to him six yards from goal. Merrifield lashed at his shot and sent the ball high over the bar before holding his head in his hands in disbelief that he hadn’t scored.
The Gulls cranked up the pressure in the final half hour, but never really enough to force the visitors to panic.
On the hour mark Martin Tuohy clipped the ball across goal from the right towards Mitchell Gilbey. However, at the vital moment ex-Canvey central defender John Mbamarah intercepted the pass and left the ball for goalkeeper Coey Turipa to collect.
Seven minutes later a cross from the left from Jordan Brown found Sam Collins sliding in at the back post, but it was a difficult chance which he was only able to direct over the crossbar.
Steve Sheehan had the ball in the net with a header on 79 minutes following a rehearsed corner routine, but the goal was ruled out by the assistant referee’s flag.
Mitchell Gilbey then had a chance in the third minute of stoppage time, but some heroic defending from Ollie Woodhouse prevented the forward from getting his shot off from inside the box.