Canvey Island suffered their first defeat of pre-season on Tuesday night, losing 1-0 away to Essex Senior League side Walthamstow at Wadham Lodge.
The first chance of the evening came on 11 minutes when Walthamstow’s #11 got past Zack Littlejohn cutting in from the left. He squared for #10 who was unmarked on the penalty spot, but leaning back his first time shot went over the bar.
They had another good chance on 19 minutes when #10 slid a ball through the Canvey defence for #7 to run onto. His one-on-one shot was well saved by the left boot of Lamar Johnson, with the goalkeeper recovering to then deflect #9’s follow-up effort over the crossbar for a corner.
Walthamstow’s #8 had an equally good chance three minutes later when he controlled the ball following a deep corner. His shot from the left beat Lamar Johnson, but thankfully Zack Littlejohn had retreated back onto the line and was able to produce a goal-saving clearance.
Canvey’s first attempt came on 23 minutes when David Manu got to the touchline on the right. Manu headed infield towards goal and sent a ball across the face of goal which might have gone in had it not been for the foot of the home goalkeeper.
It was #4’s turn to come close for the hosts ten minutes later when #9 played a low ball to him on the edge of the box from the left. Stretching, #4 hit a first time shot which sailed a couple of inches over the crossbar, although Lamar Johnson would have had the shot covered had it been on target.
The Gulls started to create some half chances as the half drew towards its conclusion.
On 35 minutes Josh Hutchinson cut possession back from the right to the edge of the area for George Purcell, but he got too much elevation on his first time shot which went over.
David Manu saw a shot from the left palmed wide three minutes later, while Ryan Melaugh hit a free kick from the same flank saved by the keeper.
Walthamstow hit the crossbar less than two minutes into the second half when #15 hit a cross from the left. Lamar Johnson seemed unconcerned by the ball, but the danger was greater than he had perceived and struck the woodwork.
The hit the bar again on 57 minutes when #7 struck an excellent shot from distance. The ball bounced down and found a Walthamstow player in an offside position on the edge of the six-yard box, but Lamar Johnson did brilliantly to close down the shot which went over for a corner.
Both teams had chances in the 65th minute, with Walthamstow’s #15 shooting high into the side netting when through on goal before Michael Pindy had a low shot saved for Canvey from a similar position on the right.
The hosts finally took the lead on 69 minutes when a free kick from the right found a Walthamstow player unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box. He managed to flick a shot goalwards which hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.
Canvey’s best chance to equalise came with three minutes remaining when a good move ended with the ball being squared from the right for Michael Pindy. His low shot hit the target but was brilliantly kept out by the goalkeeper, diverting the ball behind for a corner.
LISTEN: Mark Bentley Post-Match Interview