Canvey Island 0-1 Witham Town
Dire Home Form Continues
Canvey Island slumped to their third consecutive home Bostik North defeat, losing 1-0 to bottom of the table side Witham Town at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.
In freezing cold and rainy conditions the Gulls were second best throughout and never looked up for the challenge.
It took until the 16th minute for the first real action of the match, and when it came it resulted in a penalty to Witham in bizarre circumstances.
A ball over the top was flicked on by the head of a Canvey defender towards forward Sam Ashford. The assistant referee thought the ball through was off a Witham head and raised his flag for offside, at which point Sam Collins picked up the ball inside the area in order to take the free kick.
However, the referee rightly over ruled his assistant and no choice but to point to the spot and award the visitors a penalty.
Sam Ashford stepped up but saw his spot kick well saved by Harry Palmer diving to his right.
Witham had another chance eight minutes later when Sam Owusu skipped the ball past James White running into the box from the right. He slotted past the on-rushing Harry Palmer but saw his shot cleared by Elliott Warren who had tracked back diligently.
Canvey failed to register a shot on target in the first half. The closest they came was on 39 minutes when a free kick on the right was delivered into the box by Kane Gilbert, but first Martin Tuohy and then Lanre Balogun failed to make contact at close range.
Adam Topley burst into the box from the left just before half time having been involved earlier in the move. However, as the on-loan midfielder was about to pull the trigger, Witham left back Kevin Coyle produced a fine last-ditch tackle to deny the midfielder a shot.
With the scores level at the break, Witham nearly broke the deadlock four minutes after the restart. Kevin Coyle clipped a great ball over from the left wing to the back post, but somehow nobody managed to get a touch and the ball whistled past the post for a goal kick.
Witham finally broke the deadlock on 62 minutes when they were awarded a free kick 30 yards from following a foul by substitute Adam Vyse. Johnny Ashman struck a low effort which skidding off the surface inside the box and beat Harry Palmer diving to his right.
It would have been good to write that Canvey lay siege to the Witham goal having fallen behind, but this was not the case. Goalkeeper Luca Collins only had one save to make, keeping out an Adam Vyse shot after the forward had cut infield from the left.
The final whistle sounded after four minutes of second half injury time to ensure that Canvey’s one step forwards, two steps back season continued.