Concord Rangers 4, Canvey Island 0

A SUICIDAL five-minute spell of Canvey defending in the first half helped derby rivals Concord to cruise into the semi-finals of the county cup.

It had been a tight and tense contest for the opening 26 minutes and then Gary Ogilvie's defence splitting pass put Sam Higgins clean through on goal and he side-footed the ball under the advancing Josh Vickers to kick-start the visitors' collapse.

Three minutes later Michael Alaile fouled Sam Collins on the left-hand touchline and Jack Powell swung in an inviting free-kick for Higgins to head home his second from six yards out.

And two minutes after that Higgins looked set for a Robbie Fowler-esque hat-trick as a hopeful through ball put him clean through again, but this time the striker's dink over the on-rushing Vickers fell kindly at the feet of Collins, and he stroked the ball into the unguarded net.

The shell-shocked Gulls went close to pulling one back just before the interval when the lively Moses Ademola raced onto Mick Jones' ball over the top and forced Jamie Butler into a save at his near post.

But Canvey were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half time when central defender Rio Bryan-Edwards hauled down Tony Stokes as he looked to race in on goal, but referee Lloyd Wood only brandished a yellow when a red looked likely.

The second half was a much lower key affair with both sides tiring on an increasingly soft surface as the rain continued to steadily fall at the Aspect Arena, and five changes across the two teams.

In fact, the most entertaining aspect after the restart was the banter exchanged between a healthy contingent of home and away fans gathered behind either goal.

Concord extended their lead with nine minutes to go when substitute John-Jo Slater tripped Powell inside the box and Danny Glozier stroked home the resulting spot kick.

Canvey went close to a late consolation when Jack Lampe cleared Jones' controlled volley off the line, but Concord saw the game out in relative comfort to book a spot in the last four.

Concord: Butler, Gordon (Lampe 36), Glozier, Powell, King, Goodacre (Easterford 76), Ogilvie, White, Higgins (Hughes-Mason 65), Collins, Stokes (c).

Canvey: Vickers, Alaile, Dumas, Game (c), Bartley (Humphrey 46), Bryan-Edwards, Sellears, Jones, Ademola (Slater 60), Bellotti, Chatting.

MoM: Jack Powell (Concord).


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