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Bishop’s Stortford 2-2 Canvey Island Match Report

Bishop’s Stortford 2-2 Canvey Island Match Report 7/3/23

Hamish Arnold

Bishop’s Stortford came from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw at home to Canvey Island on Tuesday in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division. The Blues recovered from two goals in four first half minutes from the Essex outfit, to claim a point with an equaliser in the fifth minute of injury time at the end of the game. Stortford remain top of the table by one point, while Hornchurch sit second with two games in hand.

Ollie Peters’ volley was marginally high of the goal from Jonny Giles’ cleared free kick, and Chris Harris – making his 50th Blues appearance – won the header from Matt Johnson’s long throw and flicked the ball towards Ryan Charles making the run towards goal, but a defender blocked on the line for a corner. Three corners in a row for the Blues piled on the pressure for the visitors, but Bobby Mason ultimately saved a low shot by Anthony Church with Mark Haines – captaining the side on his 100th appearance for the club – waiting for a tap in. Giles kept the ball against two Canvey defenders near the corner flag, he received the ball back from Peters but his shot was saved. A deep free kick from the visitors went all the way through and wide of the far post, but took a flick off a Blues player for a corner. The first cross was cleared, but Conor Hubble sent it back in and Bradley Sach rose highest to head in at the far post. The goal came against the run of play, but the Blues could have equalised instantly, with Harris heading on target from a long throw by Johnson, but Mason saved. But instead of drawing level, Stortford found themselves further behind in the 25th minute, when Evans Kouassi’s low cross from the right wasn’t dealt with, Joe Paxman took a touch and rifled the ball into the bottom right corner from inside the box. The Blues were shell shocked and could have conceded a third, Johnson cleared off the line from a right wing corner, and from three yards out Elliott Ronto hit the crossbar when it looked easier to score, Hubble tried to put in the rebound but was flagged for offside.

HT 0-2

Darren Foxley and Frankie Merrifield were introduced at half time, with Steve Smith reverting to a three in defence, with Foxley and Charles as wing backs. Kouassi ghosted in behind Charles and dispossessed Johnson, he squared to Sach but he couldn’t hit the target. Jack Giddens saved Hubble’s long range free kick, before Merrifield headed narrowly wide from Johnson’s deep cross. Sam Deering fired wide from Merrifield’s lay-off, and another Merrifield header went wide, from Johnson’s cross from the right. Foxley headed over the bar from Peters’ cross, and Mason recovered from a previous save to deny Deering’s close range header from a free kick, and Blues fans behind the goal were claiming for a penalty when Harris was robustly tackled in the box, but an emphatic dismissive wave from referee Stuart Kyle made his opinion clear. Merrifield then volleyed over the bar when the ball was crossed back in. Charles cut open the defence with a through ball to Foxley making a run into the box, his low cross was only cleared as far as Merrifield, who controlled the ball and lashed it into the back of the net. With 17 minutes to play, the Blues’ persistence had given them a breakthrough, and a way back into the game. Harris headed over the bar from Peters’ cross, and despite spending the remainder of the game camped in the Canvey half, the Blues couldn’t fashion an equaliser, until a deep free kick was headed by Haines, and Ronto blocked the ball with his arm inside the box. Johnson stepped up, sent Mason the wrong way and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom corner, to snatch a point with the last kick of the game.

FT 2-2

TEAMS

Bishop’s Stortford XI

1 Jack Giddens

2 Jay Porter

3 Sam Deering

4 Anthony Church (Yellow card 68’) (Marlow 81’)

7 Jonny Giles (Foxley 46’)

8 Matt Johnson (Goal 90+5’ p)

12 Lordon Akolbire (Merrifield 46’)

15 Ryan Charles

17 Mark Haines (c)

18 Ollie Peters (Yellow card 60’)

20 Chris Harris

Subs

9 Donell Thomas

10 Frankie Merrifield (Goal 73’)

11 Tosin Olufemi

14 Darren Foxley

16 Ben Marlow

Canvey Island XI

1 Bobby Mason

2 Odei Martin-Sorondo

3 Sam Mvemba

4 Jamie Salmon (c)

5 Elliott Ronto

6 Elliot Johnson

7 Charlie Edwards

8 Conor Hubble (Albon 87’)

9 Bradley Sach (Goal 21’) (Girdlestone 87’)

10 Joe Paxman (Goal 25’)

11 Evans Kouassi (Tinubu 72’)

Subs

12 Tobi Tinubu

14 Luca Albon

15 Rob Girdlestone

20 Sam Jackson

Attendance 350