The Gulls made it four wins in a row with a 3-1 victory away to Hullbridge Sports at a hot and sunny Ryan’s Heating Stadium on the BetVictor Isthmian League North on Bank Holiday Monday.
Manager made two changes from the side that beat Stotfold in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, both enforced through injury. Sammy Knott came in at left back in place of Alex Stephenson who was suffering from a dead leg, while Albert Levett replaced James White who picked up an ankle injury.
Canvey opened the scoring on 15 minutes when Ade Osifuwa showed good awareness to intercept a pass down the right wing, winning possession and then playing an excellent ball in behind the Hullbridge defence.
George Purcell slid in but couldn’t make contact with the ball, but his movement caused goalkeeper Rob Budd to come off his line and he also failed to get a touch. The ball continue across the area where it was collected by Josh Hutchinson who managed to squeeze his shot home from a tight angle.
Four minutes later a similar pass found Jason Hallett inside the area to the left of goal. He shot first time which went low across goal and missed the bottom corner by a couple of yards.
Hullbridge’s best chance of the first half came on 28 minutes when Sammy Knott fouled Timothy Monsheju down the right wing. Monsheju stayed on his feet which allowed the referee to play the advantage, with the winger driving into the area and shooting low across goal. However, Lamar Johnson did well to save to his right and make a one-handed save, collecting the loose ball before an attacker could capitalise from close range.
Canvey were straight back on the attack, creating two good chances in as many minutes.
First Jason Hallett cut in from the left wing, beating a defender on the touchline and shooting from a tight angle. The shot deflected off a defender and looped up into the air, continuing across goal and hitting the top of the crossbar before going out for a corner.
Soon afterwards Josh Hutchinson shot from just outside the area having swapped wings with Tobi Joseph and finding himself on the right. The shot was struck well but Rob Budd was equal to it, diving to his left and parrying the ball away from goal.
Canvey went into the break with their noses in front and extended their lead 11 minutes into the second half with a well-worked goal from front to back.
Lamar Johnson threw the ball out to Ade Osifuwa on the right, who in turn chipped it down the wing to be controlled by Jason Hallett. The forward flicked the ball over the head of Jamal Allen, finding the run of Tobi Joseph who had run in behind.
He squared for George Purcell who was unmarked in the middle of the penalty area 10 yards from goal, and he shot low past the keeper to notch his fourth goal of the campaign.
Hullbridge made an impactful substitution on 61 minutes, bringing on Matthew Baxter in place of Gregory Frederick.
Baxter had a glorious chance to score less than two minutes after coming on when he was played through on goal down the middle of the pitch. He shot low but straight at Lamar Johnson who saved diving to his right.
He had an equally good opportunity three minutes later after Elliott Warren missed an attempted clearance on the edge of the box. The ball made its way across to Baxter to the left of goal, but once again his shot was at Johnson who saved. The ball sprang loose and caused confusion between the keeper and Ade Osifuwa, with the latter’s header back towards his own goal claimed by the keeper.
Having survived two major scares, Canvey made the points safe on 79 minutes with substitute and debutant Samrai Gebrai making an instant impression. Having collected the ball on the left, Gebrai played a pass into the feet of Tobi Joseph inside the box who turned a defender before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner for his third of the season.
The hosts had a chance soon after the restart when substitute Yemi Odelani raced through on the counter attack, shooting from just inside the box and forcing Lamar Johnson into a smart save diving low to his left.
It was nearly 4-0 on 84 minutes when a ball across the edge of the box from the left found George Purcell. His first time shot was instinctive and was going in before goalkeeper Rob Budd leapt to save underneath his crossbar.
Hullbridge grabbed a 90th minute consolation when Ade Osifuwa was adjudged to have fouled Luke Hornsley inside the box. Yemi Adelani stepped up and sent Lamar Johnson the wrong way from the spot to reduce the arrears.