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1st team - Match centre

Canvey Island
Witham Town
Full time
J Ashman (62')
Sat 15 Dec 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - North Division Attendance 121

town fine form stuns canvey winning 1.0


and move off the bottom of table

Witham Town’s December improvement continued with a well-deserved win at Canvey Island where Johnny Ashman scored the only goal with a free-kick in the 62nd minute. In bitterly cold conditions and driving rain, it was an impressive all-round team performance from the visitors, who outfought and outplayed the hosts to secure a third consecutive win and clean sheet.
Canvey had the stronger opening with Witham having to face a number of attacks, but Witham gradually found their feet with John Watson influential in midfield and Johnny Ashman dangerous in the attack. Watson’s clever pass found Sam Owusu in space on the right and a menacing run resulted in a corner after a good save by Harry Palmer in goal for Canvey. Another through ball from Watson released Ashman whose shot was parried by Palmer.
At the other end a dangerous cross from the left was headed away by Andrew Tirivanhu and Kane Gilbert shot high and wide for Canvey when well-placed.
A penalty was awarded to Witham following a bizarre incident when the ball was handled by a Canvey defender who thought that the referee had stopped play. Sam Ashford took the kick but it was saved by ex-Witham custodian Palmer.
A good first half for Witham ended after Palmer was on hand again to frustrate Luke Mallett after a dangerous run on the right.
Canvey looked the more energetic outfit in the early stages of the second half and showed greater physicality but Witham found their rhythm with Watson and Danny Norton looking more influential. The strong wind and driving rain were in Canvey’s faces in the second half and they found it harder to move the ball forward with accuracy.
Norton was narrowly wide with a header and the defining moment of the match came in the 62nd minute when Luke Mallet was body-checked after good work by Luke Foster. Ashman’s free kick from distance seemed to be covered by Palmer but the ball evaded his grasp to put the visitors a goal up.
The pattern of the game changed as Canvey pushed forward more in search of an equaliser, but they were frustrated by the quality of Witham’s work off the ball. Canvey’s attacks down the flanks were strongly resisted by the aggression and pace of Mallett on the right and the calm assurance of the outstanding Kevin Coyle on the left, who displayed his quality under pressure. Pat Ahern and Tirivanhu were in no mood to concede and despite the frequency of Canvey’s attacks, Luca Collins in the Witham goal was seldom troubled. The physical approach of Canvey’s substitutes Adam Vyse and Sam Dulieu was causing problems for the visitors in the latter stages of the game, but too many of the Islanders were trying to win the game on their own and there was a lack of controlled possession.
Witham looked dangerous on the break throughout the second half and the pace of Ashman and Foster repeatedly put the pressure back on the Canvey defence who were playing a high line. Ashman was replaced by Toby Aromolaran, who proved effective towards the end.
This was a strong and disciplined team performance by Witham in very difficult conditions at a venue where away wins have to be earned. The Witham side now picks itself and the squad looks well-balanced with a good blend of youth and experience. The recent additions have strengthened the squad and the team is showing increasing confidence, spirit and resilience.

Key moments

Goal Johnny Ashman scores for Witham Town


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88:00 Sub Off
luke foster is substituted off for Witham Town
88:00 Sub On
alfie cerulli is substituted on for Witham Town
87:00 Sub On
micheal osei saahene is substituted on for Witham Town
87:00 Sub Off
Danny Norton is substituted off for Witham Town
74:00 Sub Off
Johnny Ashman is substituted off for Witham Town
74:00 Sub On
toby aromiaran is substituted on for Witham Town
70:00 Yellow Card
Andrew Tirivanhu is yellow carded for Witham Town
62:00 Goal 0 - 1
Johnny Ashman scores for Witham Town
55:00 Yellow Card
kevin coyle is yellow carded for Witham Town
End of period 1
17:00 Missed Penalty
Sam Ashford misses a penalty for Witham Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Canvey Island
  • Witham Town
  • 0
  • Sam Ashford Missed Penalty 17:00'
  • kevin coyle Yellow Card 55:00'
  • Johnny Ashman Goal 62:00'
  • Andrew Tirivanhu Yellow Card 70:00'
  • Johnny Ashman Sub Off 74:00'
  • toby aromiaran Sub On 74:00'
  • Danny Norton Sub Off 87:00'
  • micheal osei saahene Sub On 87:00'
  • alfie cerulli Sub On 88:00'
  • luke foster Sub Off 88:00'

Team selection

Collins, Luca Collins, Luca
mallett, luke mallett, luke
coyle, kevin coyle, kevin
Ashman, Johnny Ashman, Johnny
Ahern, Patrick Ahern, Patrick
Tirivanhu, Andrew Tirivanhu, Andrew
Norton, Danny Norton, Danny
Watson, John Watson, John
foster, luke foster, luke
Owusu, Sam Owusu, Sam
Ashford, Sam Ashford, Sam
Witham Town
  • 1. Luca Collins
  • 2. luke mallett
  • 3. kevin coyle
  • 4. Patrick Ahern
  • 5. Andrew Tirivanhu
  • 6. Danny Norton
  • 7. Sam Owusu
  • 8. John Watson
  • 9. Johnny Ashman
  • 10. luke foster
  • 11. Sam Ashford
  • 12. toby aromiaran
  • 13. micheal osei saahene
  • 14. liam whipps
  • 15. jack kemsley
  • 16. alfie cerulli

League round up

Other North Division results

Dereham Town
Bowers & Pitsea
Coggeshall Town
Mildenhall Town
Brentwood Town
Heybridge Swifts


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
14. Dereham Town 38 44
15. Great Wakering Rovers 38 41
16. Soham Town Rangers 38 40
17. Basildon United 38 39
18. Witham Town 38 34
19. Romford 38 34
20. Mildenhall Town 38 27

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