Barking 1-3 Canvey Island
Impressive Away Form Continues
Canvey Island produced a very impressive performance on Saturday, beating Barking 3-0 at Mayesbrook Park in the Bostik North.
On a very bobbly playing surface that made controlling the football difficult for both sides, Canvey worked hard and stuck to their task well to run out worthy winners.
Manager Mark Bentley named the same side that drew with Bury Town a week earlier. On the bench there was a return for winger Kane Gilbert who returned after a holiday to New Zealand.
The home side meanwhile included two former-Canvey players; goalkeeper Tim Brown and midfielder Jack Edwards.
Canvey started brightly and created a couple of good chances inside the opening quarter of an hour, both of which involved the industrious Marlon Agyakwa.
On five minutes the winger unleashed a half volley from 25 yards which looked destined for the back of the net until former-Canvey keeper Tim Brown leapt high to his right to turn the shot wide for a corner.
Seven minutes later Agyakwa was involved again, sending over a dangerous cross from the right wing which found Adam Vyse at the back post. Vyse shot first time from close range, but this time Brown shut down the shot and was able to make an important block.
Kemo Darboe hit the crossbar for the hosts with a diving header on 19 minutes following a right-wing cross from ex-Gull Jack Edwards. However, unbeknown to Darboe the flag had already been raised for offside against the attacker.
Canvey opened the scoring three minutes later when the ball was worked across to Adam Vyse on the edge of the box. Vyse shot left-footed across goal and saw his accurate shot nestle into the bottom corner.
The home side had a good chance to equalise on 26 minutes when a mistake from James White gifted possession to Abs Seymour on the edge of the centre circle inside the Canvey half. Seymour released Kemo Darboe who went through on goal, but Harry Palmer did well to come off his line and save the shot with his legs just inside the area.
They were made to rue this missed opportunity just three minutes later when Canvey doubled their advantage. A pinpoint cross from the left by Martin Tuohy found Frankie Merrifield unmarked at the back post, and he did well to steer his header into the top corner with Tim Brown rooted to the spot.
Barking forward Darrelle Russell saw a shot tipped over the bar by Harry Palmer on 32 minutes, but shortly afterwards Blues’ manager Justin Gardner decided that he had seen enough. Off came Ross Elsom and Kemo Darboe and into the action came Tobi Joseph and the pacy Sahr Kabba.
Canvey nearly had a third with five minutes of the first half remaining when Frankie Merrifield connected with a glancing header from a Marlon Agyakwa corner. The ball was headed onto the underside of the crossbar by Jack Edwards, bouncing down on the line but staying out. James White collected the loose ball, but his follow up effort from the corner of the six yard box was blocked.
The Gulls started the second half as positively as they had ended the first. On 53 minutes a through ball released Martin Tuohy, although he had a defender in close proximity. Tuohy flicked the ball back over the head of the defender and lobbed a shot goalwards which landed on the roof of the net.
Less than a minute later Marlon Agyakwa slid the ball down the right wing for Jordan Brown to collect on the overlap. Brown sent a low ball across the face of goal which Frankie Merrifield was inches away from turning home sliding in.
Barking nearly found a way back into the game in fortuitous circumstances on 64 minutes as goalkeeper Harry Palmer attempted a routine clearance. The ball caught a huge bobble and caused Palmer to scuff the ball straight at Sahr Kabba, but luckily it rebounded straight back to the keeper who gratefully pounced on it.
The points were sealed on 66 minutes when Adam Vyse received possession out on the right wing, level with the edge of the area. Vyse waited and played an excellent ball to find the run of Martin Tuohy who had made his way to the penalty spot. The forward’s first touch allowed him to turn the defender before finishing expertly.
Canvey had chances to further extend their lead. On 73 minutes Adam Vyse’s shot from the left went across goal and hit the base of the post. The ball rebounded straight to Frankie Merrifield who was onside, but unfortunately for him the ball ricocheted up and over the bar.
Three minutes later Martin Tuohy was released in behind the Barking rearguard, but having turned inside a defender he attempted to chip the keeper which didn’t come off.
The final goal of the match however went to the hosts when possession was given away to Tobi Joseph on 87 minutes. Joseph dribbled until 20 yards from goal before unleashing a rocket of a shot that flew across goal and into the top corner, leaving Harry Palmer with no chance.
They had another chance with the last kick of the ball after Jordan Brown bundled over an opponent inside the box. Substitute Sahr Kabba stepped up but hit his low penalty straight at Harry Palmer who made the save.
LISTEN: Mark Bentley Post-Match Interview with Simon Pitts