Canvey Island 1-2 Aveley
By Club Admin
Unbeaten Run Comes To An End
Canvey Island suffered their first defeat in six matches at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday, losing 2-1 to title-chasing Aveley in the Bostik North.
Manager Mark Bentley made one change from the side that beat Grays Athletic a week earlier, bringing in midfielder Jose Figura in place of Adam Topley.
Canvey started brightly and took the lead with only six minutes on the clock. The Gulls were awarded a corner when goalkeeper David Hughes turned Martin Tuohy’s shot behind. Sam Collins whipped the dead ball into the box which Adam Vyse poked goalwards for James White to turn home inside the six-yard box.
It was nearly 2-0 soon after from another Sam Collins corner. This time Martin Tuohy headed the ball down for strike partner Adam Vyse, but his shot from close range was saved by Hughes.
Collins and Tuohy combined once again on 15 minutes when the left back sprayed a superb cross-field ball to the back post. Tuohy brought the ball down out of the air with his right boot, with his eventual shot blocked by a defender.
Seven minutes later Frankie Merrifield set off on a purposeful run through the heart of the Aveley defence. Having squeezed in between two players he managed to get his shot off from the left, but his low effort was saved and held by the keeper.
Canvey were given a massive let off on 22 minutes when Tom Richardson played fellow forward Alex Akrofi clean through in behind the Gulls’ defence. Akrofi rounded goalkeeper Harry Palmer, but with an open goal to aim for the forward drilled his low shot into the side netting.
The visitors did draw level three minutes later in with an almost identical passage of play. Richardson dissected the Canvey defence with a through ball for Akrofi to run onto, and this time he slotted the ball past Palmer and into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Aveley went on to have the better of the rest of the first half and got their noses in front on 37 minutes when they were awarded a free kick on the right wing. A good ball into the box found defender Harry Gibbs six yards from goal, but his instinctive header lacked power and was saved by Harry Palmer.
The Millers started the second half as they had finished the first, putting plenty of pressure on the Canvey goal but failing to capitalise on a couple of goalmouth scrambles.
The first time Canvey managed to get out of their own half nearly resulted in a goal when Jose Figura squared the ball from the right to find the run of Sam Collins. The left back struck a superb shot from 25 yards which was arrowing across goal and towards the top corner, thumping off the crossbar to deny what would have been a spectacular goal.
Collins had another opportunity on 65 minutes when the ball was played to him on the egde of box, but his first time shot went a couple of yards wide of the top corner.
Up the other end Tom Richardson was causing a constant threat, having a shot from a tight angle cleared off the line on 68 minutes before having a header chalked off for offside soon afterwards.
The two sides continued to take turns having shots on goal. On 75 minutes Harry Palmer did well to keep out Alex Akrofi’s free kick diving to his right, and a minute later Adam Vyse saw a shot from a corner brilliantly tipped over by David Hughes.
With the match looking as though it was heading for a draw, Aveley won the match with three minutes remaining. Alex Akrofi turned James White out on the left, bursting into the box and finishing across goal and into the bottom corner from a tight angle.
The visitors could have extended their lead in injury time through Marcus Milner, but his shot from the left whistled past the far post with Harry Palmer beaten.