5:15pm Wednesday 22nd February 2012
By James Colasanti
Canvey manager Glen Alzapiedi refused to wish Concord luck for their county cup semi-final with Colchester tonight, but admitted an all-island final would be great for local fans.
Canvey booked their place in the final with a dramatic penalties win over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.
Tonight, Concord can join them if they can get past what is expected to be a strong side for the League One U’s.
Speaking immediately after the win over Daggers, Alzapiedi initially joked he’d prefer Colchester to win and put out their youth team in the final.
But he added: “Of course a Canvey versus Concord final would be tremendous for the fans on the island.
“And I’d imagine that wherever it is held there would be a big crowd.
“So we have done our part - and now I’m sure they’ll do their part.
“Saying that, it will probably depend on the side Colchester send down.
“But Dagenham have put out a strong side against us and we’ve managed to get a result.
“So I can’t wish Concord luck, but if they get to the final then we’ll be ready for them.”
Canvey were under the cosh for the majority of their game with Daggers, but Gulls keeper James Russell was in sparkling form and he put the cherry on his performance by saving two penalties in the shoot-out and even converting one himself.
Alzapiedi said: “When it went to penalties I definitely thought we would win because I though James would save at least two.
“And that’s how it turned out. It was just a question of whether we would stick away our penalties.
“And I’m delighted Matt Game scored the winning penalty because he was different class in the game.
“He showed a huge amount of energy and commitment to Canvey Island.
“And I was delighted for him because he missed a penalty at Dartford last season [in the FA Cup] when we were knocked out.
“So for him to get the one that puts us through tonight and spark all these celebrations - I am really pleased for him.
“But every single player contributed and this is a big achievement for the club and it gives us something to look forward to know.”
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