Canvey Island 3-0 Grays Athletic

(Gilbey 43’, Sykes 68’, Charles 72’)

From the Frost Hire Stadium

Isthmian North

CANVEY Island returned to the top of the Isthmian North with a comfortable 3-0 win against rivals Grays Athletic.

Inspired by George Sykes, Canvey romped to victory – with the striker involved in all three goals.

With nine goals in the reverse fixture, much was expected at the Frost Hire Stadium.

But it was a low key opening. The first chance was 12 minutes in coming, Sykes’ strike on the angle excellently tipped open by debutant Ben McNamara.

Canvey were sparked into life. A fine through ball by Mitch Gilbey freed up Ryan Charles but his shot was excellently tipped aside by McNamara.

The visitors were struggling to get any joy in the final third although they did almost get the breakthrough against the run of play.

A dinked cross by James Folkes found the run of Jamie Slabber but the striker’s header dropped inches wide of the far post.

But a moment of madness shortly before half-time did bring the breakthrough.

A 60-yard run by Sykes from deep inside his own half ended with him being brought down needlessly by Ryan Mahal in the penalty area.

And despite the best efforts of Grays Ben McNamara and Richard Halle, Gilbey made no mistake from the penalty.

The second half was also a slow burner, Charles’ header tipped over on 55 minutes the brightest opening of the first 15 minutes.

But a real moment of quality brought the second-goal. A tremendous pass from Charles split the defence in half and Sykes kept his cool to round McNamara to score.

And five minutes later the favour was returned.

Sykes played through Charles and the midfielder jinked his way past Grays’ goalkeeper to wrap up the win.

Canvey Island: Jones, Pitty, Dumas, Craddock, Sobers, Sheehan, Merrifield (Norman 75’), Collins, Sykes (Walker 86’), Gilbey, Charles (Nesbitt 86’)