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03 Aug 2019


Canvey Island suffered their first home defeat in pre-season on Saturday, losing 2-0 to Cheshunt at Park Lane.
Manager Mark Bentley was without a host of players including George Purcell, Sammy Knott, Mike Finneran and Josh Hutchinson.
The Cheshunt squad included two former-Gulls in the shape of forward Jason Hallett who was named in the starting XI and midfielder Sam Collins on the bench.
The first chance of the match came after only four minutes when the ball was played down the right for Jason Hallett to run onto. Hallett turned inside Alex Stephenson and shot low towards the bottom corner which Lamar Johnson did well to save diving to his left.
It took until the 21st minute for Canvey to create a chance of their own, with an element of confusion contributing to the passage of play. The assistant raised his flag to indicate to the referee that a Canvey player had sustained a head injury, although with Canvey in possession the referee opted to keep playing.
The visiting defence were statuesque as Tobi Joseph was played through down the right and squared for Kane Gilbert in a central position, but just as he pulled the trigger a superb block tackle from Mo Kamara deflected the ball behind for a corner.
The Gulls had a similar chance on 33 minutes when Kane Gilbert ran onto a through ball down the right. His cross was missed by a diving header from Tobi Joseph but did find the feet of Rob Lacey, although his well struck shot was straight at Harry Girling who saved.
Cheshunt took the lead five minutes later when a ball down the middle of the pitch allowed Jason Hallett to keep himself onside and breach the Canvey rearguard. Lamar Johnson stayed on his line and gave Jason Hallett the simple task of finishing from 12 yards.
Hallett could have had another soon afterwards when Brian Moses found him six yards from goal with a cross from the right, but this time the forward volleyed over the bar under pressure from Zack Littlejohn.
Having scored one and nearly scoring another, it was Hallett’s turn to try and provide a goal for a teammate on 41 minutes when his flick around the corner found the run of Brian Moses down the left. This time Johnson did come off his line and put pressure on the shot which Moses blasted over the bar from just outside the box.
Canvey should have levelled just before the break when Albert Levett clipped a cross over from the right and found Rob Lacey in a central position. Lacey connected with his head but didn’t get enough on the ball, glancing it across goal and wide.
Cheshunt doubled their lead within sixty seconds of the restart with Jason Hallett the goalscorer once again. With Canvey lacking concentration, Ola Williams got to the touchline on the right and sent over a good cross to the back post which Hallett was on hand to volley home from close range.
The visitors could have added to the scoring on a couple of occasions, but Lamar Johnson was on hand to make two acrobatic saves in quick succession to deny Mo Kamara’s shot and Brian Moses’ header, both from corners.
The closest that Canvey came to scoring in the second half was when Dan Humphreys collected a through ball down the left with 15 minutes remaining, but goalkeeper Harry Girling stood up and beat away his shot from a tight angle.

(With thanks to the CIFC website for the report).

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