Canvey Island progressed into the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a narrow 2-1 win against Chipstead at a chilly Park Lane on Tuesday night.
The Gulls were below par but showed good determination to grind out a result against their BetVictor Isthmian League South Central opposition.
Manager Mark Bentley made three changes from the side that drew 3-3 in the original tie on Saturday. James White missed out due to the head injury he sustained on Saturday, with Matt Lock taking his place and also the captain’s armband.
Josh Hutchinson and Kane Gilbert dropped to the bench, with Ryan Melaugh and Albert Levett being recalled to the starting XI.
Canvey made a bright start and forced visiting goalkeeper Julian Schwarzer, the son of former-Premier League shot-stopper Mark Schwarzer who was in attendace, into action with only 20 seconds on the clock. A ball across from the left found Tobi Joseph inside the box, and after struggling to get the ball out from under his feet he managed to get a low shot off which Schwarzer kept out.
They worked the keeper again on 12 minutes when a free kick out to the left was brought under control thanks to a deft touch by Max Kent. He played the ball back for Alex Stephenson who whipped in an equally impressive cross, finding Tobi Joseph at the front post. He connected with a diving header which Schwarzer turned behind diving low to his right.
The Gulls took the lead four minutes later when a cross from the left is palmed down by the keeper attempted to clear the danger. However, the ball landed straight at the feet of Dan Humphreys, and after taking a touch he steered the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards.
Chipstead were level on 20 minutes when Sam Bell beat Matt Lock coming in from the right wing. Bell got his head down and made his way towards goal, placing a low shot which beat Lamar Johnson at his front post to equalise.
Alex Stephenson should have put Canvey back in front on 28 minutes when he rose to get his head to a corner inside the six-yard box. It looked as though the goal would be a formality, but the defender got his angles wrong and ended up heading the ball away from goal rather than on target.
The Chips nearly scored a second in a similar fashion to their first on 35 minutes when Stephenson slipped while in the left back position. This time it was Daniel Moody who ran towards goal, but rather than shoot he opted to cut the ball back for a teammate. However, Michael Finneran was on hand to produce a tremendous last-ditch sliding tackle to put the ball behind for a corner.
Canvey were living a charmed life as the match approached half time, treating possession cheaply and rewarding Chipstead’s patience who simply had to wait for the error.
On 41 minutes Rob Lacey gave away possession and allowed Chipstead to attack, with the ball being played into the box for Sam Bell to run onto. However, Lamar Johnson did well to spot the danger early, racing off his line and stealing possession at the feet of the attacker.
Then, with the final kick of the half, a deep cross from the right beat everyone and missed sneaking in at the back post by a matter of inches.
Ten minutes into the second half, Chipstead captain Christopher Boulter left the pitch with a dislocated finger, with Canvey playing against ten men for five minutes before Boulter’s return without being able to capitalise.
However, they did regain the lead shortly afterwards when Josh Gallagher was booked for a foul on Rob Lacey by the corner of the penalty area on the left. Max Kent delivered a dangerous free kick to the back post which Tobi Joseph managed to force home from close range.
Referee James Hurst had a positive impact on the match as it entered the final quarter of an hour, resisting the temptation to blow his whistle and instead playing two excellent advantages.
First, on 75 minutes, Kane Gilbert played the ball into the feet of Tobi Joseph just inside the Chipstead half on the right. Joseph was being fouled and the assistant referee flagged to indicate so, but he managed to play the ball back for Gilbert to break clean through on goal. The substitute made his way to the edge of the box, but his shot was kept out by the right boot of Julian Schwarzer.
Four minutes later the man in black kept his composure once again, allowing play to continue after a pull back by Albert Levett on the left. The ball was played across the edge of the area to former-Canvey striker Allan Tait, but his goalbound shot was superbly tipped over the bar by Lamar Johnson.
A controversial moment occurred with three minutes of normal remaining when Sam Bell was sent in behind the Canvey defence. Michael Finneran lunged in with a desperate challenge that he had to make, fouling his man just outside the box. It looked as though a red card would follow, but the referee determined that there was a defender covering and that a yellow card would suffice.
The free kick hit the wall, with Canvey seeing out the remainder of the 90 minutes along with five additional minutes to secure a trip to Haringey Borough in the next round.