Steve Tilson: If we'd taken our chances we could be top of the league

STEVE Tilson says with a bit more ruthlessness in front of goal his Canvey side could have claimed 12 points from their opening four games.

The Gulls have kicked off their Ryman Premier campaign with two wins, a draw and Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bury Town.

Tilson said that for the opening half-an-hour in Suffolk they were the better side until a very unlucky own goal from Danny Heale gave the hosts a 1-0 win.

“We paid for not taking our chances while we were on top,” said Tilson.

“And that’s been the story of our opening four games.

“Against Hampton, Richard Orlu had a great chance with a header from a set piece and Dean Mason should have scored when he went around the keeper.

“So the good thing is we are creating chances, and I would be worried if we were not.

“And if we’d taken those chances we really could be sitting here with 12 points from 12.”

Canvey will now lose the services of Bradley Woods-Garness and Dean Mason for the next two games as they go away on international duty with Montserrat.

Tilson admitted it was a blow, but said it was a problem faced by many Ryman sides.

He said the club are looking to add two more players to the squad, with their targets a new centre forward and a winger.

He also said Jay Curran would be assessed at training last night to see if he’s ready for a return from his hamstring injury for their game at home to Lewes tomorrow.

Lewes arrive at the Prospects Stadium on the back of their first league win of the season, a 1-0 at home to Wealdstone on Monday courtesy of a goal from ex-Concord man Karl Beckford.

Danny Cowley admits his Concord side also need to start finding the target, and says they also need to stop leaking goals if they are to end their disappointing start to the season.

Cowley described Kingstonian’s first goal against his side in Monday’s 3-0 defeat as “probably the worst we’ve conceded since I’ve been manager here.”

He said: “Against Kingstonian we had 60 or 70 per cent of the possession but we were naive defensively and we were blunt up front.

“And we’ve shipped 11 goals in four games so you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out where we need to improve. We need to stop giving teams a leg up.

“So it’s been a disappointing start but we’ll assess where we are after 10 games not four, and I still have confidence in my players.” Harry Elmes has come off the bench for Concord in their last two games following a health scare, and Cowley said he’s not far away from pushing for a starting place.

But the Beachboys have a concern over keeper Michael Jordan’s quad injury and could look to bring in a replacement on loan in time for tomorrow’s trip to Hendon.

The North London side are bottom of the table after four games with two defeats and two draws, the latest a stalemate at Whitehawk on Monday.

Richard Wray could return in goal for East Thurrock tomorrow after a long lay-off with a knee injury.

The keeper has been out since April with a cartilage problem which required an operation over the summer, but came through 90 minutes with the reserves last week.

It’s a timely return for Rocks, who will be missing suspended keeper Jamie Riley and centre-back Steve Sheehan for their trip to Carshalton Athletic tomorrow.

“Richard was out of action for the last five games of last season and we’ve taken things slowly with him over the summer,” said East Thurrock manager John Coventry.

“But he feels he’s now ready and that’s good news for us because it comes at a time when we need him.”

Rocks will be looking for their first win of the season tomorrow following three draws and Saturday’s 1-0 reverse at Bognor Regis.

Coventry feels his side have put on Jekyll and Hyde performances in all four of their games so far, and says they need to start playing consistently well for 90 minutes.

He said: “Three draws doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s one point for a draw and that’s left us a long way behind some teams.

“We’ve played really well for 45 minutes in each of our games, and usually in the second half.

“But we’re not going to get away with that all season because sooner or later a team will put three past us and we won’t come back.

“I can’t put my finger on exactly why we have been performing like that, but we need to cut it out.”

Carshalton start the weekend behind Rocks in the table following two defeats and two draws, but Coventry says they’re prepared for a tough game.

He said: “They have a very good side on paper and they’ve brought in some big players with big reputations.

“But they had good players last year too, and it did not quite happen for them. We won’t be underestimating them.”

In the Conference Couth, Billericay Town will have to do without suspended striker Jay May on their trip to Bath City.

Town come into the game on the back of a hard-fought point at home to derby rivals Hornchurch on Monday.

Bowers & Pitsea claimed the derby bragging rights with a 2-1 win over Basildon United in the Essex Senior League Cup on Wednesday.

Charlie Bridgeman put the Bees 1-0 up in the first half at the Len Salmon Stadium.

But goals after the restart from Calvin Poku and Dean Allen gave John Doyle’s side the win.

Both sides are in FA Vase action this weekend. Basildon have a trip to Halstead town, and Bowers are at Long Melford.

Great Wakering will look to bounce back from last weekend’s FA Cup defeat at Wroxham, when they host Sporting Bengal in an Essex Senior League match at Burroughs Park.

Rovers defender Stuart Hepburn was sent off for a second FA Cup game in a row to further dampen Rovers trip to Norfolk.

Elsewhere in the division, Southend Manor host a Takeley side who start the day in fourth in the table, and Hullbridge Sports are away to fifth-placed Enfield 1893.

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