A game that's best forgotten

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hawthorne (60 pen)
Canvey Island

Canvey Island

Duffy (14), Williams (21)
League Attendance: 663 Unknown
They say a week is a long time in politics and the same could be said of football as Slough's dismal performance on Saturday was a far cry from the slick style they showed against Dulwich seven days earlier. Slough were made to look pedestrian by a Canvey Island side who played thoughtful football, were quicker to the ball and ran and worked for one another to offer plenty of options.

It was no surprise that Canvey Island were two goals up after 20 minutes as they exploited the space left by slack Rebels defending. With Graham Roberts opting to play three up front, Slough were overrun in midfield by a well organised Canvey side. The manager readjusted to 4-4-2 by moving Paul Barrowcliff to midfield from wingback, but after half an hour Al-James Hannigan was dismissed for violent conduct and the team had to be reshuffled again.

Although they tried to pick things up in the second half and hit back with goal on the hour, a combination of poor passing and the humid heat saw the Rebels' ten men wilt to their first home defeat.

Canvey set their stall out from the kick-off with confident raids on Slough's goal when first Craig Davidson got away down the left to bring a superb one handed save from Danny Honey and that was followed by lively Paul Williams heading against the crossbar after a high cross from the left went over Honey.

Andrew Deaner answered that when he met a pacy cross from Engwell with a good header but was denied by the woodwork. Canvey took the lead after 14 minutes when the experienced Chris Duffy had an easy task to mop up after Steve Tilson's effort came back off a post, following a good flowing move down the left.

Seven minutes later. Canvey doubled their score when Slough went to sleep as the visitors took a free kick on the right. Williams accepted the ball from the free kick and drove in a left foot shot as the Slough defence were still trying to get in position.

Slough were then rocked by another two attacks and had to work hard to stop Canvey increasing their lead. Then former Football League player Williams again looked menacing as he was allowed to run across the box unmarked but luckily he shot over the bar. Slough seemed a hit unlucky when Younis Nabil drove a shot in and it looked as though it had crossed the line and hit a stanchion in the top corner, bouncing back out, but play continued to the dismay of the crowd.

On 31 minutes Hannigan was fouled by Mark Stimson, but foolishly retaliated with a kick and was shown the red card by referee Wilkind, who also booked Stimson. That left Slough in a more desperate position having already shown little commitment to run and support.

As the second half began, Mark Pye was brought on to replace Andrew Deaner, though the tall striker had offered more than David Adekola, who looked out of sorts up front. Slough tried to settle but too many passes were going astray for them to get any rhythm going. Nabil was working hard trying to create openings and his persistence paid off on the hour as he dribbled his way into the box and was brought down by Steve Ward who was booked for his trouble. Mark Hawthorne stepped up and drilled the spot kick into the righthand corner to put Slough back in the game.

On 67 minutes Eddie Denton replaced Dave Rainford and fresh legs helped as Slough tried to pick gain more control. Nabil was unlucky as he again worked his way into the box but although he seemed to have been tripped, he eagerness to go down worked against him as the referee denied him a second penalty.

Slough's resurgence faded as they gave away possession too cheaply and Canvey took advantage to open up Town's defence twice in a minute and maintain their lead for the three points. Canvey Island look a useful side and worthy of their place in the Ryman Premier having won promotion last season and now strengthened with a number of Football League and Conference players.

Roberts said afterwards: "That was a poor first half performance and by standing off them, we let them take control. I tried three up front but they were too strong in midfield so I had to adjust. "Mark Pye livened things up for a while in the second half and I thought we deserved a second penalty when Nabil was felled. We'll be taking it on the chin, though, and we'll be aiming to get back to how we can play. Al-James knows he has let the side down and he will miss three games now, including the one against Hampton."

Canvey Island Lineup


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