Canvey Island and Waltham Abbey will try again on Tuesday night following an entertaining 2-2 draw at Capershotts in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round on Saturday.
The Gulls played nearly half of the match with ten men but battled well to earn a replay.
There was a return to the starting XI for captain and central midfielder James White who picked up an ankle injury in the previous round a fortnight ago.
Canvey played the first half with a strong wind in their favour.
The home side were denied twice in the 8th minute following a low cross from the right by winger Junior Appiah. Michael Finneran’s attempted clearance lacked power and set the ball up perfectly for forward Aron Gordon to run onto and strike. Gordon got his shot off but Finneran did well to close it down and make an important block.
The danger wasn’t over as Leonne McKenzie retained possession for the Abbotts, but this time it was former-Waltham Abbey man Sammy Knott who charged down the shot to block.
Canvey took the lead on 17 minutes when Tobi Joseph picked up possession on the right. Joseph cut infield, beating a defender before playing the ball into Josh Hutchinson inside the box. Hutchinson backheeled the ball for Joseph who had continued his run, and he rifled the ball home from 10 yards.
The hosts levelled five minutes later when a good ball down the right wing released Junior Appiah who had stayed onside. In behind the Canvey defence, he headed towards goal before squaring across the six-yard box for Leonne McKenzie to tap home at the back post.
Tobi Joseph had a couple of opportunities to restore the advantage. On the half hour mark his header from a Josh Hutchinson corner went through a crowd of players but a yard wide of the upright.
Seven minutes later he cut in from the right as he had for the first goal, this time going along and shooting towards the bottom corner which goalkeeper Anthony Page did well to save diving low to his left.
Five minutes before the break Nathan Koranteng set off on a positive run down the left wing for Waltham Abbey. He crossed low to the near post where Leonne McKenzie was on hand to meet it with a flicked shot with the outside of his right boot which looked to be going in. However, a tremendous last-ditch intervention from Alex Stephenson kept the ball out at the expense of a corner.
Canvey nearly went into half time with the lead with the last touch of the first half. Sammy Knott delivered an excellent in-swinging which was heading for Jason Hallett. Goalkeeper Anthony Page came out to clear the ball but miscued his punch and sent it back onto his own crossbar. The loose ball could have fallen to a couple of Canvey players in close proximity, but instead landed straight in the hands of Page who was now on the floor.
The Abbotts scored two minutes into the second half when they were awarded a corner which Charles Edwards took with his right foot. The corner was a good one and was headed across goal by Jason Hallett who was on defensive duty, finding central defender Ryan Dear at the back post who shot across goal and in via the inside of the post.
Edwards nearly claimed his second assist soon afterwards when his ball from the right found the feet of Leonne McKenzie. The forward shot first time but straight at Lamar Johnson who saved.
Things went from bad to worse for Canvey on 50 minutes when they were reduced to ten men. Having been booked after only four minutes for dissent and then given a final warning following a foul on 32 minutes, George Purcell fouled Charles Edwards attempting to get a shot off.
Edwards nipped in just before to clear and was brought down, leaving referee Michael Robertson-Tant with little choice but to produce a second yellow card followed by a red.
Despite the man deficit, Canvey got themselves back on level terms on 61 minutes when a long ball over the home defence released Jason Hallett in behind. Goalkeeper Anthony Page came off his line to close down the shot, but Hallett calmly lifted it over him and into the goal to equalise.
They nearly scored again eight minutes later when Josh Hutchinson burst into the box on the left before laying it off for Albert Levett. The midfielder shot high across goal with only the keeper to beat, rattling the apex of the goal frame.
Both teams made a number of substitutions in the final 20 minutes in an attempt to find a winner.
It was two of these substitutes that nearly combined to win the tie for Canvey in the fourth of six minutes stoppage time. Some good hold up play from Tobi Joseph saw the ball played out wide to Dan Humphreys on the right, and having got to the touchline we crossed to the back post.
The cross found Kane Gilbert unmarked, but his diving header from six yards went agonisingly wide of the target.