Canvey Island 1-4 Dereham Town
By Club Admin
Gulls Beaten Yet Again
Canvey Island’s abysmal run of form continued with a 4-1 defeat against Dereham Town at The Frost Hire Stadium on Saturday.
Manager Mark Bentley made five changes from the side that were comprehensively beaten 3-0 away to AFC Sudbury a week earlier.
Injuries to Jordan Brown and Adetayo Osifuwa meant that there were two changes in the full back positions, with Sam Dulieu at right back and Frankie Stone at left back both making their full debuts.
James White returned to the heart of the Canvey defence alongside Zack Littlejohn, with the defensive reshuffle allowing Sam Collins to venture forwards to play on the left wing.
Adam Vyse started up front in place of the departed Martin Tuohy, while Marlon Agyakwa came in for Kane Gilbert on the right flank.
Canvey captain James White won the toss and elected to switch ends, playing with a strong wind blowing towards The Danny Green Community Stand in the first half. However, the Gulls failed to use the conditions to their advantage as is so often the case, over-hitting balls time after time.
The home side were perhaps a little fortunate on seven minutes when defender Zack Littlejohn pulled back striker Joe Gatting as the last man, with the attacker trying to get in behind the Canvey defence. Gatting, still being held, shot from 30 yards which went harmlessly wide, but rather than award the free kick and possibly produce a card, the referee indicated that he played the advantage.
The first chance of the match came on 17 minutes when James White conceded possession on the Dereham left wing and set Ryan Crisp off on a run towards goal. Crisp made his way to the edge of the box and cut inside Zack Littlejohn, although his eventual shot was tame and straight at Harry Palmer who saved.
Canvey’s only shot on target in the first half came on 24 minutes when Frankie Merrifield showed good determination to get on the end of a ball through the Dereham defence. Merrifield poked a shot goalwards with an outstretched leg but goalkeeper Elliot Pride had come off his line and blocked the shot at close range.
Dereham took the lead on 39 minutes when Rhys Logan was able to collect a throw and run in from the right wing virtually unopposed. He squared a pass to Ryan Crisp at the front post whose initial shot was saved by Harry Palmer. However, the ball remained in the danger area and Crisp was able to pick himself up and score at the second time of asking.
Adam Smith had a low shot straight at Harry Palmer saved as the match about enter first half injury time, and it looked as though Canvey would go into the break trailing only by the solitary goal.
However, this wasn’t to be the case as soon afterwards when Rhys Logan sent over from a cross the right wing to the back post. The cross was accurate and found striker Joe Gatting unmarked, and he was able to double the Magpies’ lead with a downwards header.
The Gulls had an early chance to pull a goal back four minutes into the restart when they were awarded a free kick just outside the area. Marlon Agyakwa managed to get it over the wall but his missed the top corner by a yard with the keeper rooted to the spot.
Dereham extended their advantage further on 55 minutes when Zack Littlejohn conceded possession inside the centre circle. A first time ball found Joe Gatting who advanced towards goal, getting past James White and calmly stroking the ball into the bottom corner for his second of the afternoon.
Canvey scored a consolation on 64 minutes when Adam Vyse showed a good turn of pace to keep the ball in play on the left, looking up and squaring for James White who scored with a simple left-footed finish.
The visitors restored their three-goal cushion in the 90th minute when Rhys Logan was released on the counter attack down the right. Logan drove past Zack Littlejohn but saw his shot saved by Harry Palmer, but fortunately for the winger he was able to slot the rebound into an empty net to score a goal to go with his two earlier assists.