This may be one of the longest match reports I have ever written! I suggest you grab a cup of tea & biscuit before reading as this game had everything. It also had the best goal, in my opinion, I have seen at this level of football.
The Met travelled to Canvey minus several key players with Steve Sutherland, Tyron Smith, James Aldred & leading scorer Bradley Hudson-Odoi all missing through injury. Jim brought young striker Jack Knight into the squad after his hat trick for the reserves on Saturday & recalled Matt Pattison to the starting eleven after he started on the bench on Saturday. As early as the 9th minute a key decision came as Elliot Taylor was harshly cautioned for a foul in the middle of the pitch. Elliot raised his foot to control a bouncing ball & caught a Canvey player with his forward momentum. At first it seemed the referee was only going to speak to him with a long lecture & as this was the first `challenge` in the game, but the yellow card was brandished.
Canvey had a strong penalty appeal turned down after 15 minutes when a through ball found Ricardo Joseph on the wrong side of the Canvey forward as he broke into the penalty area. The players clashed & the Canvey player tumbled to the ground but the referee waved away the penalty appeals. Met manager Jim Cooper conceded post match that he thought it looked a penalty from what he could see.
Just a few minutes later the Met took the lead after a neat one – two between the outstanding Billy Crook & equally impressive Ryan James. Jamo was put through clear on goal & he made no mistake, smashing the ball so hard into the goal that it rebounded off the back hoarding & almost to the half way line. Ryan James almost added a second with a great header that flew just past the post from a Charlie Collins free kick, won after excellent hold up play by Matt Pattison.
Canvey then created two excellent chances that needed goal saving blocks by Will Salmon & Ricardo Joseph to maintain the lead. The action then switched back to the Canvey goal as Charlie Collins picked up the ball just inside the Canvey half. He looked up and lifted a well-timed pass over the Canvey defence for Michael Charles to run onto down the right wing. As the keeper came out Michael lobbed the ball high over his head & into the unguarded goal to double the lead.
Canvey were not out of this as they were awarded a free kick some 35 yards from the Met goal on their right flank. A long cross to the far post was headed back across goal where Jay Curran rose to head home from six yards out giving Stuart Searle no chance.
Half Time Canvey Island 1 Met Police 2
Jim Cooper decided he had to replace Elliot Taylor at half time as the right back was already on a yellow card & was faced with a very pacey wide player. Ed Adjei came on to play at right back. The Met had a great chance to increase their lead after 50 minutes when Reece Hall made a great run down the left & crossed into the penalty area. Ryan James smashed a left foot volley that looked a certain goal until the Canvey keeper leapt backwards to push the ball round the post with one hand. Michael Charles was then replaced by Jack Knight and just a few minutes later the highlight of the game from Matt Pattison. He picked the ball up just inside his own half on the left flank & beat one player on the touchline with the ball rolling agonisingly close to the touchline but just kept in by Patto. He then went on an astonishing run across the edge of the penalty area beating several players as he did before somehow stopping on the edge of the box, cutting back inside & then outside & smashing the ball past the goalkeeper. Watch the Canvey Island video as I cannot do justice to the quality of the goal. Allegedly Jim Cooper was reported to say he didn’t care what the result was now as he had just seen the best goal he had ever seen.
Canvey then had a great chance to pull a goal back but the goal bound shot was blocked by Will Salmon. Once again the action switched to the Canvey half as a long through ball found Jack Knight competing for the ball against the strong home centre half. Jack won the battle & ran the ball down to the goal line before squaring it across the six yard box for Matt Pattison to coolly slot home. The downside for the Met was that Matt Pattison immediately pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury & had to be replaced by Matt Males. A significant loss to the club as Patto had been in outstanding form & almost unplayable in this game.
So, 75 minutes gone & 4-1 up away from home…….time to put away the pen & get the sat nav ready for the trip home? No chance with Canvey, as they never stopped running & competing. Some defensive naivety by the Met assisted the comeback but what a thrilling last fifteen minutes & hopefully some of the home fans hadn’t left the ground!
In the 82nd minute a long ball was expertly controlled & a great shot by Marlon Agyakwa, a second half sub, flew past Stuart Searle into the far corner. Still, only ten minutes or so left and the Met still looked comfortable with a two goal lead. Canveys third goal was probably the pick of their four when a great diagonal pass looped over Ed Adjei at right back as he was caught slightly forward. A great first touch by Marlon Agyakwa yet again & another rifled finish across Stuart Searle into the corner of the net.
Edge of the seat time but it was the 89th minute so surely the Met could hold on for the four minutes added on by the referee? A very well-known wise football manger once said `it only takes a minute to score a goal`…..thanks Mr Clough…..hope you were watching this game! Into the 90th minute & somehow almost straight from the Met kick off the ball somehow was sent back down the Met right & crossed into the box for Jay Curran to score & equalise. I would love to describe the goal in more detail but I was still writing about the third as it happened that quickly!
Now I am running out of paper…….still not over though as the Met launch an attack into the Canvey half. Charlie Collins down the right wing & to the goal line before crossing to Reece Hall by the penalty spot who is brought down as he is about to shoot. You could hear the intake of breath around the ground as it looked a stonewall penalty & more so than the Canvey one at the same end in the first half. Inexplicably, the referee waved away the penalty appeals & explained to Jim Cooper later he felt Reece fell as opposed to being fouled. Who falls over 12 yards from goal in the last minute with only the keeper to beat!
4-4 and an exhilarating game and credit to both sides with some excellent goals but the real icing on the cake was the Matt Pattison finish. Some very impressive performances from the Met with Billy Crook outstanding once again & Ryan James continuing his excellent form.
I spoke with Jim Cooper after the game & he was somewhat surprisingly pleased with the game as a whole & there were several positives. Looking at the players we had missing, he felt before the game that a point would be a good result. Having been 4-1 up after 80 minutes we really should have taken all three but as a football fan, being involved in a game like that is what most are in the game for. Matt Pattison had been outstanding before he went off injured & Michael Charles showed his scoring ability and Jack Knight was very impressive when he was introduced, so Jim was happy with those aspects. Our thanks to Canvey for their hospitality & credit to their side for being part of an excellent game.
1. Stuart Searle 2. Elliott Taylor 3. Ryan Watts 4. Will Salmon © 5. Ricardo Joseph 6. Billy Crook 7. Matt Pattison 8. Reece Hall 9. Ryan James 10. Charlie Collins 11. Michael Charles
Subs: 12. Mitchell Gutteridge 14. Ed Adjei (replaced 2 - 45 mins) 15. Jack Knight (replaced 11 – 54 mins) 16. Matt Males (replaced 7 – 75 mins) 17. Dave Smalley
Additional match report from Sport in Essex on https://www.sportinessex.com/ryman-premier-canvey-island-4-met-police-4/