AFC Sudbury 1–1 Canvey Island

(Mills 87’: Sykes 45’)

From the Wardale Williams Stadium

Isthmian North

IN a new season, the same old problems came back to haunt Canvey Island as they conceded a late equaliser to draw their opening Isthmian North game of the season against AFC Sudbury.

George Sykes had put the Gulls ahead with a volley on the stroke of half-time.

But Adam Mills struck home from a free-kick, with the aid of a deflection, with three minutes remaining to level the scores.

In a repeat of last year’s final league fixture, both sides had half chances early on – although James Walker and Sykes failed to test the home goalkeeper.

But Sykes was the danger man for the Gulls. The two frontmen linked up again and, following a neat pass by Walker, Sykes crashed an effort off the crossbar.

Tevan Allen walloped the post up the other end, with Sudbury wanting to prove they could be in the title mix this season.

Home stopper Paul Walker did superbly to tip a Sykes effort past the upright and it was unsurprising who got the goal when it came.

On the stroke of half-time, Mitch Gilbey sent a fine swinging cross into the box and Sykes blasted home spectacularly on the volley.

The second-half was a more low-key affair, with Gilbey testing Walker with a curling effort.

But the only real chance of the half brought the goal.

A free-kick was awarded on the edge of the area and Mills hit low and hard through the wall, the ball ricocheting away from Gough and into the corner.

Canvey Island: Gough, Pitty, Nesbitt, Merrifield, Sheehan, Warren, Gilbey, Collins (Levett 70’), Walker, Sykes (Ibe 82’), Charles (Lacey 77’)