AFC Sudbury 3-0 Canvey Island
By Club Admin
Wasteful Gulls Heavily Beaten
Canvey Island were comprehensively beaten by AFC Sudbury on Saturday, losing 3-0 at The MEL Group Stadium in the Bostik North.
With captain James White injured, Jordan Brown took over the responsibility of wearing the armband. Jose Figura returned from an injury of his own to take White’s place in central midfield, with Kane Gilbert and Josh Hutchinson also coming for Adam Vyse and Marlon Agyakwa.
Canvey were playing against a strong wind in the first half and fell behind after only 11 minutes. Defender Ross Crane shot from just inside the box on the left, dragging a low shot across goal which was heading wide. However, while the Canvey defence were static, forward Reece Harris sensed an opportunity and sole in at the back post to fire high into the net from close range.
On 25 minutes a ball in from the right released diminutive forward Callum Harrison in behind the Canvey defence. However, just as the pacey attacker was about to enter the area, Adetayo Osifuwa got back and used his body to see the ball roll through to Harry Palmer. The home support were calling for a foul which would have resulted in a red card for Osifuwa, but the referee deemed the challenge to be a fair one.
The hosts had two great chances to extend their lead in the 28th minute, both involving Tom Maycock. Firstly the winger played a delightful back heel to Isaac Skubich inside the area, but his goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked by Jordan Brown.
The danger wasn’t over as Sudbury retained possession and Maycock delivered a low cross from the left which found Ross Crane unmarked, but the left back leant back and sent his first time shot well over the bar.
The lead was doubled six minutes before half time when right back Liam Bennett got forwards following a free kick. Bennett received possession just inside the box, advancing towards goal before placing an accurate low shot across goal and into the bottom corner.
It was 3-0 12 minutes into the second half when a simple through ball released Reece Harris in behind the Canvey defence who were very high up the pitch. Harris had acres of space to run into, making his way to the edge of the box unopposed before curling a low effort past Harry Palmer which kissed the post on its way in.
Canvey started to create some chances of their own, but it was very much too little too late from the Gulls.
On 58 minutes Martin Tuohy chipped a ball from the touchline back for Kane Gilbert to strike on the volley, but his shot took a deflection and went behind for a corner. Martin Tuohy got his head to the subsequent corner and forced a superb save from goalkeeper Paul Walker, but the goal wouldn’t have counted as Tuohy had pushed his marker.
Two minutes later Tuohy sent over an excellent cross from the right which found Josh Hutchinson unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, but with the goal at his mercy the winger glanced his stooping header across goal and wide of the upright.
The through ball caused Canvey problems once again on 68 minutes when Ross Crane found the gap and played Tom Maycock in on goal. However, Maycock’s low shot was straight at Harry Palmer who saved having spotted the danger and come off his line.
The Gulls proceeded to create a string of excellent chances in the final 20 minutes, none of which they were able to convert.
On 73 minutes Kane Gilbert laid possession off to Sam Dulieu who had overlapped him on the right wing. Dulieu chipped a cross into the middle of the area and found Josh Hutchinson who rose and sent a downwards header towards goal, although Paul Walker did well to drop down and produce a good save.
The came even closer three minutes from time when Sam Collins struck a long-range effort with his left foot. The shot took a deflection and looked destined for the bottom corner, but Paul Walker preserved his clean sheet with an excellent low save diving low to his left.
Martin Tuohy then had a great chance as the match entered the 90th minute after substitute Frankie Stone found him with a cross from the left, but his shot from close range was saved by the legs of Walker.
Canvey’s misery was compounded in injury time when Frankie Merrifield was played clean through on goal in injury time, but his shot from 20 yards was straight at Walker who produced yet another save.