Canvey Island’s Emirates FA Cup run was ended in cruel fashion on Tuesday night, losing on penalties away to Bowers & Pitsea after a 1-1 draw after extra time.
Manager Mark Bentley made one change to the side that drew 1-1 in the original tie three days earlier, with Jason Hallett returning to replace the departed George Purcell who has joined Grays Athletic.
Bowers had three excellent chances to take the lead in the fifth minute. First, Brad Warner hit a low shot straight at Lamar Johnson who saved, with the keeper picking himself up to also keep out Joe Gardner’s follow up from close range.
Ade Osifuwa’s attempted clearance was poor and went straight to Lewis Manor who was lurking on the edge of the box, but his powerfully struck shot caught a deflection before whistling past the post for a corner.
Having survived this early scare, Canvey then took the lead on the 15-minute mark thanks to a well worked goal. Elliott Warren’s pass to Dan Humphreys in the right back put him in a spot of bother, but his first touch was good and took him past the player closing him down.
Humphreys advanced into the Bowers half before passing accurately into the feet of Jason Hallett 25 yards from goal. His first touch was equally as impressive and took him in behind the Bowers defence and into the box. Goalkeeper Callum Chafer came off his line and successfully blocked Hallett’s shot at his feet, but Tobi Joseph was on hand to smash home the loose ball to put the Gulls ahead.
Canvey came close again on 28 minutes with Tobi Joseph involved once again. This time the forward raced onto a ball down the left, winning possession off Callum Leahy and driving into the box. He cut the ball back for strike partner Jason Hallett, but missed making contact with the ball by the smallest of margins sliding in by the penalty spot, with the ball instead being blasted over the crossbar by a defender for a corner.
The hosts started to get on top of the match as it passed the half hour mark, having several shots from distance and generally causing a threat in and around the Canvey area.
On 36 minutes a ball over the top released former-Canvey striker David Knight. Elliott Warren did well to keep with him, getting a touch on the eventual shot but not being able to prevent it from hitting the target. However, Lamar Johnson did well to save the shot before the loose ball was cleared.
The pressure kept building and nearly told with the final action of the first half. A ball into the box from the right found the Brad Warner six yards out, but his header across goal struck the upright. The ball rebounded straight to Lewis Manor who looked a certainty to tap home the rebound, but some miraculous defending saw the ball poked behind for a corner.
The second half started as the first had finished, with Bowers very much on the front foot as they tried to find an equaliser.
On 52 minutes a David Knight corner to the back post found the head of captain Kenzer Lee. His header was on target but brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Lamar Johnson.
Two minutes later Knight nearly turned provide once more, this time playing a low through ball past Ade Osifuwa to find the run of Quentin Monville. He found himself with only Lamar Johnson to beat, but the keeper did well once more, this time closing the shot down at the front post.
Soon afterwards Lewis Manor breached the offside trap and made himself clean through on goal one-on-one with Johnson. This time the keeper came racing off his line, charging the shot down just inside the box.
Canvey them came close to doubling their advantage in a rare venture into the attacking third of the pitch. Kane Gilbert sent over an excellent from the right to the front post where Jason Hallett had positioned himself, but his diving header was beaten away by Callum Chafer in the Bowers goal.
The equaliser finally came on 67 minutes, but not in the manner that the flow of the match had suggested. A cross from deep on the left from Brad Warner evaded everybody in the box and crept inside the far post to add to the goal that he scored in the original tie.
The goal didn’t change the course of the match, with Bowers still pressing forwards but this time in search of a winner.
On 73 minutes a counter attack down the right saw Quentin Monville drive to the touchline and send over a cross which Lamar Johnson managed to push away from his goal. Johnson followed the ball out as it went to Ben Sartain 15 yards from goal, but the keeper did enough to force the substitute to shoot wide.
Tobi Joseph had an opportunity five minutes later when Kane Gilbert’s free kick from the right took a couple of deflections before trickling across to Joseph who shot first time, lobbing the ball goalwards and onto the roof of the net.
It always felt that Canvey would have one more chance to snatch a winner, and that chance came in the second of five additional minutes at the end of the second half. James White’s free kick from the right found Jason Hallett at the back post, but unlike in the previous two rounds his downwards header went agonisingly wide of the upright.
Both sides had chances in the first half of extra time, with Ben Sartain shooting wide from 20 yards for Bowers before Josh Hutchinson scuffed a shot straight at Callum Chafer after Jason Hallett had played him in behind.
The hosts had further opportunities late in the half, with Quentin Monville shooting narrowly wide and Brad Warner drilling a shot from the left into the side netting.
Canvey had a chance straight after the kick off of the second half when Tobi Joseph received possession on the edge of the box. After assessing his options Joseph opted to shoot, hitting a low effort across goal which Callum Chafer did well to turn behind diving low to his right.
Up the other end, David Knight found himself clean through on goal but was denied by Johnson who raced off his line to win an important tackle.
The match went to a penalty shootout, and after David Knight put Bowers ahead Tobi Joseph saw his low spot kick down the middle of the goal saved by Callum Chafer.
Ryan Melaugh, Ade Osifuwa and Dan Humphreys all converted their spot kicks for the Gulls, but Brad Warner, Lewis Manor, James Thomas and Callum Leahy also did for Bowers to see them through to the next round.