THE MATCH: Canvey Island head to Maldon & Tiptree knowing defeat to another top-of-the-table rival is not an option.

The Gulls have lost two of the last three games in the Isthmian North and are now five points off leaders AFC Hornchurch, having played one more game.

Maldon are five points behind Canvey although have a game in hand on tomorrow’s visitors.

And they are another team in need of a pick-me-up following Tuesday’s 4-2 reverse at Bowers & Pitsea.

However, that was their first defeat in 12 league matches, with tomorrow’s clash between the division’s two top-scorers set to be a cracker.

THE INSIGHT: “I watched the game between Maldon and Bowers on Tuesday and Bowers did well,” said manager Danny Heale.

“There is no doubt they are a big threat going forward and we need to keep them quiet. We are the away team so we need to not lose and we want to take all three points.

“We have a big couple of games coming up against Hornchurch next weekend as well so there are plenty of big tests ahead.

“It is so tight and everyone is beating everyone, with the possible exception of Hornchurch. There is a lot left to play for and it is the toughness of the league. So if you lose one you can’t beat yourself up, you can just try and win the next one.”

THE TEAM NEWS: Steve Sheehan is banned.