Canvey Island 3 Enfield Town 0
Report by Andrew Warshaw
Canvey Island was the birthplace of Dr. Feelgood, one of Britain’s best-loved rhythm and blues bands.
But there was precious little of the feelgood factor to take away from Town’s visit to that particular corner of Essex on Saturday.
With skipper Scott Thomas’ three-match ban overturned two days previously, there was every reason to be optimistic of a positive result at The Movie Starr Stadium.
Instead we came away well beaten after one of our most disappointing displays of the season.
Make no mistake, this is one of the toughest grounds to get a result – as both Hornchurch and Bishop’s Stortford have discovered this season.
But after an even first half of few clearcut chances in windy conditions, there was little indication we would come unstuck so badly.
Chez Isaac had arguably the best chance of the opening 45 minutes with a speculative 25-yard drive that was brilliantly tipped over by Bobby Mason while at the other end, Conor Hubble flashed a shot inches over our bar.
The first goal was all important and unfortunately it went to the Gulls on 56 minutes.
Straight from a set-piece of our own, Evans Kouassi – who troubled us all afternoon just as he done in our 5-1 FA Cup defeat on the same ground earlier in the season – got the better of Wilson-Braithwaite and slid the ball into the area for the on-rushing Joe Paxman to fire home.
Canvey’s lead was doubled four minutes later, again following a move down our right. Somehow we didn’t deal with Kouassi’s driving run and when he cut the ball inside, Bradley Sach swept it home.
Had we pulled a goal back, who knows what might have happened and we so nearly did, Mason pulling off a world-class save to keep out a Sam Youngs header (pictured)
Sadly with seven minutes remaining, it went from bad to worse for Town as we lost concentration at a Hubble freekick and allowed Rob Girdlestone to convert at the near post.
There was still time for the referee to brandish a red card to Lewis Knight for two bookable offences, only to realise his mistake and change his mind.
Even then, it wasn’t clear whether he had booked James Richmond instead or had in fact yellow-carded Canvey’s number six Elliott Johnson though in the end it hardly mattered.
All teams lose games though the manner of the defeat was clearly not what we wanted.
On the plus side we are still in fourth spot and handily placed. The challenge now is to pick ourselves up for Tuesday’s long trip to Folkestone.
Town: McDonald, Wilson-Braithwaite, Knight, Richmond, Payne; Youngs, Thomas, Isaac; Della-Verde (Taaffe, 76), Cass, Coker (Cunnington 68)