Aveley 2-0 Canvey Island
Gulls Slump To Third Straight Defeat
Canvey Island fell to their third consecutive Bostik North defeat on Monday night, going down 2-0 to Aveley on a cold and wet evening at Parkside.
Manager Mark Bentley made three changes to the side that were disappointingly beaten by AFC Sudbury two days earlier.
Jake Jolliffe dropped out of the squad through injury, with his place at right back taken by new signing Ashley Miller who signed earlier in the day for a second spell with the Gulls having last played for the club in the 2012/13 season.
Jack Simmons and Jose Figura also came into the side in place of Marlon Agyakwa and Jaedon Phillips.
Lining up against Canvey for the first time in a competitive match was right back Jake Pitty who left the Gulls to join Aveley earlier in the season.
Canvey started brightly and nearly opened the scoring inside sixty seconds. Jordan Brown delivered a cross from deep on the left which found Adam Vyse, with his left-footed volley whistling past the base of the post.
They had another chance in the fifth minute when a Josh Hutchinson shot was turned behind by goalkeeper David Hughes for a corner. The ball was whipped in and saw Frankie Merrifield rise to win a header ahead of the keeper, with the loose ball falling to Jack Simmons. A goalmouth scramble ensued which the home side survived thanks to defenders back in the six-yard box denying Simmons.
The Gulls had the lion share of the opening 15 minutes, but having failed to take advantage the hosts started to get a foothold in the match. A period of pressure on the quarter of an hour mark saw the ball played into Alex Akrofi on the corner of the six yard box, but under pressure from Harry Palmer the forward poked his shot wide.
A golden chance then fell to the hosts on 29 minutes when Aveley left back Sam Mvemba sent over a superb cross from the wing which found striker Tom Richardson unmarked inside the box. The normally lethal Richardson rose well but directed his header across goal and wide with only Harry Palmer to beat.
Despite Aveley starting to have more of the ball, Canvey remained dangerous on the counter attack. On 33 minutes a low cross from the left by Frankie Merrifield found Adam Vyse 12 yards out, but his left-footed half volley went over the crossbar.
A minute later however the home side were back on the attack, with the ball being worked across the edge of the box from the right and find Marcus Milner. He struck a first-time shot which Harry Palmer did very well to turn behind for a corner diving low to his left.
The Millers took the lead on 38 minutes with an avoidable goal of Canvey’s own doing. In the right back position, George Allen elected to play a pass across his own area and in doing so picked out striker Alex Akrofi.
With Canvey unprepared, Akrofi passed to strike partner Tom Richardson who in turn set up Marcus Milner to find the bottom corner from 20 yards with a low, skidding shot that beat Harry Palmer diving desperately to his right.
Both sides created chances in the opening stages of the second half. First Ashley Miller had a low shot from 20 yards saved by Aveley keeper David Hughes, and soon after Tom Richardson sent a strike from inside the area over the bar for the hosts.
If Aveley’s first goal had been gifted to them, their second was completely of their own making with an excellent team goal of real quality.
Having won possession deep in their own half down by the corner flag, a clearance found Alex Akrofi who released teammate Shad Ngandu with a perfectly weighted flick pass around the corner.
Ngandu advanced up the pitch on the counter attack, spreading the play out the left where full back Sam Mvemba was on hand to lash home a superb finish across goal and into the bottom corner.
Canvey did have opportunities to pull a goal back but without avail. On 76 minutes Sam Collins played the ball into the feet of Marlon Agyakwa from the left. Agyakwa turned and curled a right-footed shot towards the far top corner from just outside the box which missed the target by a yard.
Six minutes later Agyakwa sent a low cross over from the right which found fellow-substitute Martin Tuohy inside the box. Tuohy flicked a first time shot across goal which narrowly missed the bottom corner.
The final chance of the evening fell to Aveley forward Alex Akrofi as the match approached the 90th minute, but having turned well on the edge of the box he blazed his shot over the bar.
LISTEN: Mark Bentley Post-Match Interview