Canvey Island 3 Lowestoft Town 2
Lowestoft Town and Canvey Island put on a five goal thriller which the home side edged by the odd goal.
Lowestoft were without Dale Cockrill and Joe Francis both injured in the midweek cup victory over the same opponents.
Lowestoft made a bright start and inside 30 seconds were awarded a free kick 25 yards from which Scott Mitchell’s direct shot was only parried by James Russell and scrambled clear. Lowestoft continued to make the running and Lubo Guentchev was denied by a fine diving save by the home keeper. From the resultant corner Greg Crane’s header flashed inches too high.
Canvey Island suddenly broke into action with Bradley Woods-Garness breaking quickly down the left and crossing to the far post where Alex Rhodes volleyed past Andy Reynolds to give Canvey the lead.
Lowestoft responded with another Robert Eagle corner finding Sam Gaughran whose header was inches too high. A Reynolds long clearance sent Chris Henderson clear but his tame shot was collected by Russell. With play switching from end to end Canvey were next to threaten with Jay Curran’s surging run taking him clear and although he shot past Reynolds, Gaughran recovered to clear off the line.
Lowestoft levelled the scores in the 34th minute with Stuart Ainsley’s searching cross from the left seemingly going wide but Guentchev’s volley from an extremely acute angle scorching into the roof of the net.
A two goal burst in the space of 3 minutes just before the break put Canvey in the driving seat. In the 41st minute there seemed little danger as Jason Hallett’s cross from the right was met by a spectacular overhead kick by Woods-Garness from just outside the penalty area which flashed past Reynolds and in off the underside of the bar.
Three minutes later James Cumley cut in from the left and his driven cross was turned in by the near post by Curran
The second half continued in a similar vein and Lowestoft were close to reducing the arrears as another Eagle corner was headed goalwards by Guentchev but cleared off the line by Ashley Dumas. It was then Canvey’s turn to go close with Rob King’s 30 yard drive clipping the top of the crossbar.
Lowestoft pulled a goal back in the 66th minute with half time substitute Adrian Forbes racing down the right and from his cross Henderson powered a header past Russell. Lowestoft continued to press and Michael Frew’s header forced a fine diving save from Russell and Henderson screwed a clear chance well wide.
As Lowestoft pushed men forwards Canvey exploited the gaps at the back but Woods-Garness spurned 3 clear chances by firing wildly over the bar. One final chance fell to Lowestoft in added time but Henderson’s flicked header from Eagle’s cross clipped the Canvey bar.