Romford 0-1 Canvey Island
By Club Admin
Late Merrifield Strike Secures Overdue Victory
A late goal from Frankie Merrifield saw Canvey Island return to winning ways on Sunday, beating Bostik North basement side Romford 1-0 at a sunny Rookery Hill.
The Gulls were lucky not to be trailing at half time but were rewarded for the pressure they exerted in the final 15 minutes of the match.
Manager Mark Bentley made three changes from the side that were beaten by Coggeshall Town just over a week earlier. Martin Tuohy replaced Adam Vyse in attack, Ryan Melaugh came in for the injured Kyle De Silva on the left wing and Zack Littlejohn returned to the defence in place of Sam Collins.
Canvey created the first chance of the match on 11 minutes when Adetayo Osifuwa delivered a low cross into the area from deep on the right wing. Romford goalkeeper Harry Aldridge failed to hold the ball which presented a chance for Martin Tuohy, although the keeper recovered to smother the shot and force it behind for a corner.
Aldridge then proceeded to drop the subsequent corner which landed at the feet of Zack Littlejohn, but he failed to make a clean connection with his shot which failed to hit the target when well placed.
Romford had two good chances of their own soon afterwards. Firstly, Malaki Toussaint unleashed a powerful effort from 25 yards which Harry Palmer did well to turn over the bar for a corner.
The corner was delivered to the back post and found the head of Romford captain Danny Cossington at the back post, but Palmer pulled off another good save to beat away Cossington’s bullet header.
Frankie Merrifield drove a shot into the side netting for Canvey on 27 minutes before the hosts created a series of excellent goalscoring chances.
On the half hour mark a ball into the box from the left was poked goalwards first time by Reece Hewitt, forcing Harry Palmer into an excellent stop diving low to his left.
Hewitt was involved again three minutes later when he chipped a deep free kick into the area and found the run of Danny Cossington, but he directed his unmarked header across goal and wide of the upright.
Their best chance came on 38 minutes when a through ball dissected the Canvey defence and released Khadean Campbell clean through on goal. The striker ran into the box but Harry Palmer demonstrated good decision making, rushing off his line and stealing possession from Campbell’s feet.
The Gulls created a couple of chances of their own as the match approached half time. Frankie Merrifield set Ade Cole away on a counter attack which saw the midfielder get to 20 yards from goal before sliding the ball to Martin Tuohy to his left. Tuohy shot first time which Harry Aldridge was able to turn wide for a corner with his outstretched right hand.
The subsequent corner was met by Zack Littlejohn who managed to chest the ball goalwards, but a Romford defender inside the six-yard box was able to prevent it from crossing the line.
The second half by comparison was a non-event, with both teams cancelling each other out for long periods.
It took until the 77th minute for either team to create a genuine chance when a Canvey corner was pushed out by goalkeeper Harry Aldridge, but only as far as James White just inside the box. The captain struck a low shot which beat the keeper but was kept out on the line by a defender.
Susbtitute Adam Vyse got his head to a couple of corners in the latter stages, but on both occasions he missed the target when well placed.
Vyse was however involved in Canvey winning the game when Adetayo Osifuwa laid the ball off to him on the right wing. The forward swung over an excellent cross which Frankie Merrifield flicked across goal and inside the far post to earn what had been an unlikely three points.