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Steve Tilson chuffed with Canvey Island so far
STEVE Tilson says he is happy with what he is seen from his players during his first two games in charge, but added that everyone is still playing for their place in his Canvey side.
The new Gulls boss kicked off his tenure with a 3-2 defeat at Ryman One North new-boys Witham last week and followed up with a 2-0 win over Ryman Premier champions Billericay on Saturday.
Tilson said he pays no heed to pre-season results but added he has been impressed with the endeavour of his players following a disrupted summer of preparations.
“They all did well on a hot day on Saturday, but they are still a couple of weeks behind on their fitness,” he said.
“We tired a bit at the end and in the last 15 minutes Billericay had three or four shots straight at our keeper which on another day could have gone in.
“But I’m not interested in pre-season results because at this stage — it’s all about fitness and getting the team right.”
Canvey trialled a new centre-back pairing of former Hornchurch man Ricky Hayles and Robbie Blackwell, who played alongside Gulls right-back Ashley Miller in the West Ham academy.
They started former Redbridge striker Eddie Hart, who was prolific during a spell with Southend Manor in the Essex Senior League, and also played a different keeper in either half — Jack Parr in the first, and Andre Foster in the second.
Tilson said: “I saw good things and bad things from the keepers, as I did from all the players.
“We lost a keeper so we need to replace him and I may bring in another couple to take a look at because at this stage nobody is guaranteed their position.” Canvey’s win against Billericay came in front of a crowd of 307 at Park Lane.
The visitors were first to threaten when former Grays striker Jared Small clipped the top of the crossbar with a long range effort.
And home keeper Parr had a busy end to the half as he denied Harrison Chatting to ensure it was goalless at the interval.
Canvey took a 58th-minute lead when Albert Levett sent Jay Curran down the left wing and he slid the ball across for left-back Ashley Dumas to score.
And they doubled their advantage four minutes later when Dean Mason squared a loose ball for Curran to finish from close range.