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Canvey Island 0, Met Police 1
CANVEY'S play-off push was dealt a blow as they suffered a bitterly disappointing 0-1 defeat at home to Met Police.
It was a lacklustre start to the game, with Howard Newton flashing a shot just wide for the visitors early one, before Canvey's Jay Curran saw his header from a nice left-wing Ashley Dumas cross loop over keeper Jamie Butler but drift just wide.
A swirling wind was having a huge impact on the game, with dead-balls rolling with no touch, and high balls doubling back in the direction they were kicked from.
The visitors were having the better chances, though, and David Knight's low shot from Newton's through ball was held by Ashlee Jones, before Duran Reynolds' well-struck free-kick stung the finger-tips of the home keeper.
The visitors took a 33rd minute lead following some poor defending from Canvey as they failed to deal with a ball across the six-yard box from Craig Watkins, allowing Knight to slot home after his initial effort had been blocked by Jones.
Canvey started the second half well and only a finger-tip push over from Jamie Butler kept out Bradley Woods-Garness' rasping hit from Jay Curran's through ball.
But the defensive frailty was still there for the hosts, and they were luck not to go further behind when Dumas misjudged a ball over the top and Watkins forced Jones into a low stop.
Curran missed an absolute sitter on the hour mark as he headed the ball on to Woods-Garness, who then rolled the ball back to him in front of goal, but the striker side-footed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Canvey had a couple of let offs soon after as an Orlu mistake let Knight in on goal and his low drive drew a good save from Jones, and then John Dollery shot just past the post from Knight's pass.
Woods-Garness had a close-range effort saved from close range, debutant Tommy Kavanagh fired wide from distance, and then Curran pun and just missed the target as the Gulls pushed for a late leveller.
Canvey had what looked like a definite penalty turned down in the dying moments as Kavanagh found Woods-Garness in space in the box, and he was tripped by Steve Noakes.