Canvey Island knocked higher division out of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in 18 years on Tuesday night, beating BetVictor Southern League Premier Central side St Ives Town 3-2 after extra time at Park Lane.
The Gulls will now entertain Bowers & Pitsea in 3rd Qualifying Round, setting up a mouth-watering local derby in the process.
Manager Mark Bentley made one change from the side that drew 0-0 in the original tie, bringing in Kane Gilbert to take the place of Tobi Joseph on the right wing.
St Ives started the brighter of the two sides, passing the ball well on the slick playing surface that had been well-watered by rainfall throughout the day.
They created their first chance of the evening after only two minutes when the ball was worked across the edge of the box from the right for Dylan Wilson. He hit a sweetly struck left-footed shot which not only beat the dive of Lamar Johnson but also the post.
Canvey took the lead very much against the run of play with their first attack of the match. Josh Hutchinson sent over a good cross from the left which found Jason Hallett at the near post. Hallett was unmarked and rose to head home from close range.
Hallett nearly turned from scorer to provider five minutes later when some neat footwork allowed him to play a pass through the St Ives defence and find the run of George Purcell. The forward advanced until 20 yards from goal, but his eventual shot was off target to spurn a good opportunity.
The ball was back up the other end soon afterwards, with Lamar Johnson on hand to save a shot from a similar distance by Jack Snelus for the visitors.
St Ives were level on 24 minutes thanks to a mixture of poor communication and indecisive defending, moments after Lamar Johnson had done brilliantly to save a shot from the right by Tom Wood.
A cross from the left was headed skywards by Albert Levett, leaving the ball in the danger area. Jeff Woodward collected possession on the edge of the D, making his way through several half-hearted challenges before curling a right-footed shot past Lamar Johnson and in at the far post.
Right back Aaron Phillips then had a great chance to give St Ives the lead on 35 minutes when he was on the end of a nice passing move. The ball was played round the corner for Phillips to run onto, but his low shot was well saved by Johnson who had come off his line to close down the distance.
The visitors had a penalty appeal turned down on the stroke of half time when an attempted cross from the left struck the hand of Elliott Warren inside the area. Referee Kirsty Dowle turned down the appeals with little that Warren could do to get out of the way of the ball, although it could have been argued that his arm was away from his body.
St Ives were as dominant in the second half as they had been in the first, attacking straight from the kick off and capitalising on Canvey’s poor use of the football.
On 53 minutes a low ball into the area was held up by Ollie Snaith with his back to goal and laid off for Aaron Phillips on the right. Unlike his earlier effort, this time Lamar Johnson was back on his line, but Phillips smashed his shot across goal and wide.
Phillips had another opportunity just after the hour mark, but his shot from 18 yards was saved by Johnson diving low to his left. On another evening Phillips could have netted a hattrick, but this wasn’t to be his night in front of goal.
Canvey had a golden chance to regain the lead on 61 minutes when Dan Humphreys delivered a good free kick into the area from the right. Jason Hallett timed his run well and met the ball on the edge of the six-yard box, but his shot was tame and well saved by Finley Iron.
The miss proved to be costly as four minutes later St Ives took the lead. A cross from the right zipped up off the surface which Lamar Johnson was unable to hold onto, with forward Dylan Wilson on hand to hammer home the rebound from close range high into the back of the net.
Visiting goalkeeper Finley Iron produced two good saves in the space of few seconds on 76 minutes, first saving at the feet of Jason Hallett before robbing possession from George Purcell in similar fashion after he had collected the loose ball.
Canvey equalised in fortuitous circumstances on 83 minutes after a period of pressure inside the St Ives box had resulted in a corner. Josh Hutchinson delivered a deep corner which evaded everyone and sailed in at the far post.
Both teams had great chances to prevent extra time, with Aaron Phillips shooting wide once again for St Ives before Josh Hutchinson’s shot while on the floor missed the top corner by a matter of inches.
Forward Dylan Wilson had a couple of early chances in extra time to add to his earlier goal for the visitors, but on both occasions Lamar Johnson was on hand to save Wilson’s low shot on goal.
Canvey were then denied by a world class save from on-loan Cambridge United goalkeeper Finley Iron. A ball into the box was chested down by Jason Hallett for Rob Lacey who took a touch before curling a shot towards the top corner from 20 yards. It looked like a certain goal, but Iron somehow managed to tip the ball onto the crossbar with an outstanding save diving high to his left.
It looked as though the tie would be settled by the dreaded penalty shootout, but Jason Hallett had other ideas. A good corner was sent over which Hallett met with a perfect header from 12 yards, directing the ball across goal and in at the far post to spark wild celebrations.
St Ives tried to find a way back into the match, but Canvey worked extremely hard and defended resolutely to seal what looked at one stage like a highly unlikely victory.