town sucked into relegation battle
after a dramatic last-minute winning goal
MATCH REPORT - Witham Town 0 Canvey Island 1
Witham Town slumped to their eighth defeat in the last ten games after Canvey Island snatched a dramatic last-minute winning goal. It was a disappointing result and performance against another side in poor form.
The Gulls looked the livelier side in the early stages. The muscular Adam Vyse almost drew first blood for the visitors when his shot flashed across the goalmouth. Canvey Island’s physical approach was making it difficult for Witham. Pat Ahern was felled by a hefty challenge from Kane Gilbert that resulted in a long stoppage period and a yellow card to the errant visitor.
It was largely a battle of attrition in the first half-hour with little quality on offer. jack kemsley
shot wide from the edge of the penalty area and Johnny Ashman
went on two promising runs, but these were isolated highlights for the home side. Both teams were careless with possession. Canvey’s muscular style continued and Ahern had to be substituted following an elbow to the cheekbone.
As half-time approached, the visitors came closest to scoring with a dangerous run down the right by the menacing Vyse. Only an outstanding diving save by Luca Collins
prevented Canvey going in a goal up at the break.
The send half proved more eventful that the first. Vyse was a real handful and after he released Ryan Melaugh with a good pass. His goalbound header from the subsequent cross was blocked on the goal line by jack Lelliott
. At the other end, luke foster
exchanged passes with Lelliott and his shot on target for Witham was saved by Harry Palmer.
Canvey gradually took control of the game and began to find space in possession. Witham were defending deep and finding it difficult to build an attack due to an increasing gap between midfield and the forwards. The game was played largely in Witham’s half as the visitors pressed forward. Too often the home side lacked composure under pressure and wasted possession. Clearances from defence continually gave the ball back to Canvey and invited another attack.
Canvey went close when Collins pushed the ball over the bar and saved a header from Zack Littlejohn from the subsequent corner.
The best chance so far for either side fell to chinedu vine
for Witham. A clever pass by substitute jayke welch
found Vine in space in the penalty area. The striker’s lob beat Palmer but hit the crossbar and the ball was cleared.
Welch in his first Witham appearance was showing impressive touches and Lelliott was having probably his best game for Witham but the home side were looking increasingly static as they struggled to contain the Gulls’ passing and movement. Canvey’s Frankie Merrifield twice missed the target from good positions and Sam Dulieu missed a glorious chance when he headed over from close range. At the other end louie hunt
headed over the bar from an excellent Ashman pass.
With the final whistle fast approaching, an unconvincing victory for Witham suddenly looked almost certain when they were awarded a penalty after a cross from Ashman was handled. Ashman took the kick himself, but ex-Witham stalwart Palmer dived to his right to push the ball away.
There was still time for more drama and within three minutes, Witham captain Sam Owusu
headed off the goal line at the other end. Witham’s relief was short-lived however, as two minutes later, a low header from Littlejohn entered the net inside the left post to win the game for Canvey. The final whistle sounded almost immediately afterwards to leave the Witham side in shock as they face a crucial encounter away to Romford.