Canvey Island 1 Romford 0
Report by Gary Redwin
Romford were robbed of the chance to earn a deserved point when a blatant penalty was ignored by the referee deep into injury time.
Canvey, who are tipped for a return straight back to the Premier Division started the game well and Sam Mvemba was on hand to head the ball over the bar when a cross nearly sneaked inside the far post. Another cross, this time from the right wing found it’s way across the goal but Sam Collins fizzed his shot just over. Michael Gooch produced a great save, tipping a shot onto the crossbar before another shot was hit just over. George Sykes’ neat control and turn forced Gooch into another good save before Romford were forced into an early reshuffle when Mvemba limped off.
However they finally got a grip on the game and suddenly it was Canvey who were up against it. Connor Hammond fired a shot that was pushed wide and from the resulting corner Hammond and Michael Finneran were just unable to turn home a loose ball in the penalty area. Jamie Dicks’ powerful effort was well saved before Hammond raced onto a through ball but his shot was blocked when one on one with the keeper. The final chance of the half came when Craig Jeakins won the ball and played a one two with Greg Akpele. The winger raced clean through but poked his shot just the wrong side of the post.
Canvey got an early break in the second half when the referee awarded them a soft penalty despite no appeals from the home team. Gooch got a hand to Sykes’ strike but was just unable to keep it out. Neither team really created much more for most of the second half with both cancelling each other out. Chris Taylor came on for the last ten minutes and caused lots of problems for the hosts, firing a shot wide after good work from Jeakins. Jeakins hit another shot towards goal that was well saved before Romford were left infuriated when they should have been awarded a penalty in the ninety-sixth minute. Gooch belted a ball long, straight down the middle and a misjudgment from the defender allowed Taylor to race through but he was fouled when just about to shoot. Unbelievably the referee ignored Romford’s protests and booked an outraged Taylor before bringing the game to an end.
Canvey Island: Ashlee Jones, Jake Pitty, Ashley Dumas, George Craddock (Charlie Cole 61’), Steve Sheehan, Elliott Warren, Frankie Merrifield, Sam Collins (Harry Norman 61’), George Sykes, Mitchell Gilbey, Ryan Charles (Teddy Nesbitt 77’).
Scorer – Ryan Charles (50’p)
Romford: Michael Gooch, Ayo Olukogo, Same Mvemba (Ryan Burt-Allen 36’), Hugo Atkinson, Michael Finneran, Jamie Dicks, James Ishmail, Jonathan Adebayo (Chris Taylor 80’), Greg Akpele, Craig Jeakins, Connor Hammond (Jonathan Nzengo 69’)