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Canvey claim a point despite Hawes red card
Canvey maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 0-0 at home to Hampton & Richmond on Saturday despite the controversial 66th minute dismissal of James Hawes.
The midfielder was shown a second-yellow card after the referee ruled he had unfairly taken the ball out of the hands of visiting keeper Rodney Chiweshe.
Hawes explained afterwards he saw that the keeper only had the ball in one-hand, so he nudged it into play with his head and then turned and lobbed it into the net.
Hawes, who had already been booked in the 18th minute for a foul on visiting skipper Neil Jenkins, looked shell-shocked when referee Ian Fissenden produced another yellow, then red.
And despite seeing his side see out the game in assured fashion to pick up a point, the former Concord and Billericay man was still angry with the decision after the game.
He said: "What happened was that their fullback chested the ball back to the keeper, and he ran out with it in one hand.
"And because he did not have two hands on it I've headed it into play and then put the ball in the goal from the edge of the box.
"The referee was not even looking, he had his back to the game, but he's ruled I've taken it off the keeper when he had two hands on it.
"He gave me no explanation, he just said 'you're off - I don't want to talk about it'.
"Even their player said 'I don't know what happened there because the keeper only had one hand on it'.
"We'd played well until then, and we played well afterwards. But I'm just gutted the referee has ruined the game."
Canvey had played well until then, as had their unbeaten visitors.
It was a game in which defences dominated and a goal for either side always looked like it would settle it.
It was a shot-shy first-half in which Chiweshe again provided the main talking point as he criminally spilled a succession of routine crosses, but somehow got away with it.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Danny Heale, but he just failed to get enough purchase to steer home Bradley Wodds-Garness' looping header into the six yard box.
Hampton looked a solid outfit, but struggled to really stretch the Canvey backline.
And the first time home keeper Ashlee Jones was called upon to make a real save was when he made an brilliant reaction save to push James Simmonds' rasping 55th free-kick over the bar.
But unquestionably the chance of the game fell to Canvey's Richard Orlu.
The centre-back had another excellent game in the heart of the home defence, but when he found himself with a sight of an unguarded net at the other end from four yards, he planted his header from Ashley Dumas' whipped delivery wide of the post.
Hawes' dismissal led manager Steve Tilson to sacrifice striker Bradley Woods-Garness for midfielder Ryan Edgar.
It was not Woods-Garness' afternoon, and he'll now be hoping for a better display on today's trip to Bury Town, after which he will join Canvey team-mate Dean Mason on international duty with Montserrat for the first two weeks of September.
And, despite their man disadvantage, Mason had the best chance to win it late on when he intercepted a back-pass and skipped past the advancing Chiweshe, only to see his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by a covering defender.
Canvey (4-4-2): Jones; Miller, Hayles, Orlu, Dumas; Gordon, King, Hawes, Mason; Woods-Garness (Edgar 70), Heale.
Echo MOM: Leon Gordon (Canvey).