Canvey Island
Sat 20 Apr 2024  ·  Premier
N Orafu (76')
Canvey Island FC
Canvey Island
S Higgins (17'), (24'), R Girdlestone (86')
Cheshunt 1-3 Canvey Island

Cheshunt 1-3 Canvey Island

Jonathan Andrews21 Apr - 20:44
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Gulls win third game in five days.

Match Report by Jonathan Andrews
Photo Credit - KJA Sports Images

Canvey Island continued their fine end of season form on Saturday as they recorded a comfortable 3-1 win away at Cheshunt in the Isthmian League Premier.

It was Canvey's first consecutive run of three victories this season, and it rarely looked in doubt as they put in a composed and confident performance against their struggling opponents, despite it being their third game in five days.

They came out of the traps with a thirst for more points after their late winner on Thursday evening, and almost went ahead after just 4 minutes after a Conor Hubble delivery from a corner deceived the hosts defence as it drifted to the back post, but Bradley Sach was just short in applying the touch to knock it in.

Their pressure would continue to build, with a front three of Sach, Smith-Kouassi and Higgins causing havoc to the opposition defence. It was the later of the trio who would open the scoring in fine fashion on 17 minutes.

A lofted pass into danger from Sach was only half dealt with by a Cheshunt defender, and the bounce fell kindly to Higgins, who showed great vision from just outside the area to lob an effort over the backtracking Woody Williamson as it nestled kindly in the back of the net to record goal number 401 of his career.

It was 402 on 23 minutes as he again extended the Gulls lead.
Sach was on hand to provide again, holding off his marker well in the box as he fed a pass to Higgins on the other side. Unmarked, the experienced marksman was never going to miss as he drilled home his and Canvey's second of the game.

The hosts - still caught in a relegation points tango between themselves and Margate - were woken up by the early startle and began to drive forward in search of a response. They should have halved the deficit on 26 minutes as they began to work a succession of balls into the area, but nobody could apply the touch needed to strike at Sam Jackson's goal, allowing the Canvey defence to clear. Further efforts in the half from Nmandi Nwachuku and Sam Kuffour were either scooped up by Jackson or well blocked.

Despite their turnover in possession, they still had to be alert to the Gulls counter attack, with Sach and Smith-Kouassi consistently asking questions of the hosts back four. Sach nearly got in on the scoring act himself on 44 minutes, finding space to shoot from just outside the box, only for his strike to be turned well onto the post by Williamson.

The last chance of the half went to the hosts, with Nathaniel Orafu finding space to strike an effort on target, with the shot requiring a good save from Jackson to keep his clean sheet at the break.

Into the second half and the Gulls looked to pick up where they left off as they sought out a third goal to kill the contest.

It very nearly arrived on 59 minutes as good work from Elliott Ronto fed in Reon Smith-Kouassi, the young striker doing well to slide past his marker and into the box. He fired a fierce shot that had Williamson beaten, but saw his effort crash agonisingly off the post, denying him his first goal for the club.

Brad Wellmen was forced into a change on 62 minutes, with Louie Arrowsmith taken off as a precaution to be replaced by Joe Paxman. The change seemed to stunt the Gulls rhythm somewhat as they readjusted their formation, gifting the hosts the chance take a hold back into the game.

On 68 minutes, Jackson was forced into a great stop to deny a one on one opportunity for Nwachuku, stretching out a leg to prevent the striker from halving the deficit.
They'd find their way back into the game on 76 minutes however as the pressure told. Orafu had been the hosts dangerman for much of the game and got the goal his performance warranted as he was gifted space on the edge of the box, driving a low effort into the bottom corner as Jackson was rooted to his line.

Suddenly, the momentum was with the hosts, and it took a combination of good defending and good goalkeeping to keep them from levelling the game.
Perhaps their best chance to level on 84 minutes, and it was Orafu threatening a goal again as he struck an effort into the ground, needing Jackson to brilliantly tip it over the bar to keep Canvey's lead in tact.

It proved to be the respite the Gulls needed however as two minutes later, they put the result beyond doubt.
A corner whipped into the box was met by Rob Girdlestone, with the defenders first strike being blocked, but he made no mistake with the second as he fired the ball home to restore Canvey's two goal cushion.

It left the hosts with little time to respond as the game fizzled out, and the last meaningful chance of the contest fell Canvey's way, with Evans Kouassi breaking through on goal, only to see his effort drift just wide of Williamson's post.

The full time whistle sounded shortly afterwards, meaning the Gulls had taken maximum points from a busy week, ending a tough campaign on the road with a victory.
They now have a week to get a well earned rest and recuperate, before they finish the 23/24 season at home to Hastings United next Saturday.

Match details

Match date

Sat 20 Apr 2024







League position

Canvey Island
Team overview
Further reading