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Canvey Island 4, Kingstonian 3
A LAST-MINUTE winner from Bradley Woods-Garness gave Canvey victory after they rode their luck against visitors Kingstonian.
The Gulls had been 3-1 up but were pegged back to 3-3 and looked to be heading for defeat as the K's laid siege to their goal in the second-half.
But with seconds of the 90 minutes remaining, Louis Dennis played a delightful ball over the top to put Woods-Garness in on goal and he finished coolly under the body of keeper Rob Tolfrey.
It was harsh on the K's, and particularly their striker Andre McCollin, who scored a hat-trick and hit the bar but still ended up on the losing side.
A first Canvey goal for James Hawes and close-range finishes from Dennis and skipper Rob King had cancelled out McCollin's sixth minute opener and given the hosts a 3-1 half-time lead.
But they took their foot off the gas after the restart, and Canvey manager Steve Tilson admitted they were lucky to win.
"If I'm honest, I would have taken a point," he said.
"They were knocking on the door for long periods and putting us under pressure.
"So to score a winner right at the death is really pleasing.
"The first 10 minutes of the second half set the trend - we made two poor errors for their second and third goals.
"We did not cover around when they launched a straight ball down the middle and the third goal came when a sloppy back pass let the boy in.
"That set the tone for the rest of the game and in the end we were hanging on, but we've come away with three points and that's the nature of the beast."
The Gulls got off to a bad start when keeper Ashlee Jones came for Byron Napper's cross but failed to get anything on it and McCollin headed home.
But they were level on 21 minutes when Woods-Garness got to the bye-line and pulled the ball back for Hawes to tap home from close range.
And two minutes later they were in front as Ashley Miller's low centre was turned goalwards by Kevin Dobinson and then smashed home by Dennis.
And it was 3-1 two minutes before the interval when Napper fouled Miller and Dobinson swung in the resulting free-kick for King to side foot the ball home at the back post.
K's pulled one back four minutes after the restart when McCollin latched onto Craig Mullen's flick-on and fired coolly past Jones.
And they were level on the hour mark when Rickie Hayles' under-hit back pass allowed McCollin to nip in and round Jones before rolling the ball home.
It was one-way traffic for 20 minutes after that and it seemed when and not if Kingstonian would score, their best effort McCollin's header from Dean Lodge's cross, which skimmed off the top of the bar.
Canvey had a glorious chance 11 minutes from time when Woods-Garness burst clean through on goal, but he was denied by a close-range save from Tolfrey.
But the former Sutton man was not to be denied at the death as he raced on to Dennis' chip over the top and slid the ball under the advancing Tolfrey.
Canvey (4-4-2): Jones; Dumas, Hayles, Orlu, Miller; Hawes, King, Dobinson, Curran; Woods-Garness, Dennis.
Echo MOM: Kevin Dobinson (Canvey Island).
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