A LATE winner from Bradley Woods-Garness gave Canvey a hard fought 1-0 victory against Cray on Saturday, writes George Thorpe.
The striker, who scored a last minute winner against Kingstonian last week, came up trumps again with an 84th minute goal.
Both sides had opportunities during the end-to-end match which was allowed to flow nicely by referee Duncan Foreman.
Jay Curran could have put Canvey ahead after two minutes but decided against shooting from 40 yards out following goalkeeper Andy Walker’s poor clearance, instead passing to Woods-Garness and the attack broke down.
Ashlee Jones made a superb save in the 19th minute when Robbie Blackwell - deputising for the injured Ricky Hayles - sliced a clearance backwards which gave Paul Vines a one-on-one chance.
But Jones got a powerful hand to Vine’s effort before Ashley Miller cleared the rebound.
Gulls right back Miller suffered a hamstring injury in the 35th minute and could be sidelined for four weeks.
Walker made a fantastic save of his own two minutes before half time when he got an arm and leg to Kevin Dobinson’s firm shot.
Dobinson was thwarted again in the 59th minute when his shot, following great skill by Woods-Garness to shake off Billy Burgess, was saved by Walker.
Louia Dennis, whose loan from Dagenham & Redbridge ends this week, should have scored in the 70th minute but squandered a one-on-one after taking too long to shoot.
Thankfully for Canvey his strike partner secured the points 14 minutes later.
He got a shot away after latching onto a through ball from Dennis, despite Walker getting a hand to it.
Cray nearly equalised in the last minute, but Jones denied Vines again with a wonderful save as the midfielder slid onto a cross at the back post.
Gulls boss Steve Tilson was pleased his side come through a tough game and kept a clean sheet.
“It could have gone either way with chances coming at both ends,” he said.
“But we’ve taken one of our chances and I thought the lads stayed in the game and really dug in, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Canvey: Jones, Miller (Gordon 35), Dumas, King, Blackwell, Orlu, Curran, Dobinson, Woods-Garness, Dennis (Gilbey 90+2), Hawes (Chatting 46).
ECHO MOM: Richard Orlu (Canvey Island).
* CONCORD had to settle for a point at FA Cup heroes Hastings, despite leading with 20 minutes to go.
A closely-fought game took place in front of a crowd of 458 gathered at the Pilot Field to see a home side who face Harrogate Town in a televised FA Cup game on Thursday.
Hastings took a 35th minute lead from the penalty spot following a foul by Steve King on Zac Attwood. Lee Carey converted despite keeper Tom Lovelock guessing the right way.
But the Beachboys were level on the stroke of half-time as skipper Tony Stokes turned and fired home from an angle to send the teams in level at the break.
And Concord's talisman Stokes gave them a 70th minute lead when he smashed the ball into the top corner following Nicky Cowley's lay off from a free-kick.
But the hosts were level almost immediately as Lovelock failed to deal with Carey's free-kick and Jono Richardson scored from close range after his initial effort had been blocked on the line.
Concord Rangers: Lovelock, Coyne, Glozier, Cowley, King, Easterford, Walker, White, Spendlove, H Elmes, Stokes.
* JAMES Lawson returned to action with East Thurrock and played a big part in their winning goal on Saturday.
The former Southend United winger, whose last club was Maldon & Tiptree, hit a cross-cum-shot against woodwork from which Hakeem Araba finished the rebound for a decisive third goal with 15 minutes to go.
Rocks had taken a fifth minute lead when Sam Collins scored his seventh goal of the season.
Frankie Merrifield leveled for the hosts 10 minutes before the break, but Rocks got their noses in front again before the break with a goal from Kris Newby.
Simeon Akinola equalised again for the hosts in the 68th minute, but Araba hit the winner soon after to move John Coventry's side up to 13th in the table.
East Thurrock: Justham, Sammons, Stephen, Peddie, Harrison, Collins, Newby, Gilbey, Araba, Burgess, Ruel.