CANVEY Island boss Mark Bentley was left frustrated after being forced to pull out of their scheduled pre-season friendly at VCD Athletic.

The Gulls were originally due to play the Kent side last night but a long list of absentees resulted in Bentley being unable to put together a squad to make the trip.

However, Bentley is hoping that those who have picked up injuries will not be sidelined for a lengthy spell.

The former Southend United midfielder, whose side suffered a 2-0 defeat to Isthmian Premier League side Cheshunt at the weekend, said: “We had four on holiday and two or three injured for the Cheshunt game.

“We had five or six key players away and they will be first team players.

“Jose Figura and Ade Osifuwa didn’t train on Thursday so I didn’t want to start them.

“Ryan Melaugh got a whack on his ankle against Cheshunt and it did swell up a bit.

“Hopefully there is no ligament damage and he will only be out for a week.

“George Purcell has a problem with his ankle as well.”

Two goals from Jason Hallett ensured Cheshunt condemned Canvey to their first home defeat of pre-season but Bentley feels the Gulls must put the setback behind them.

“It was probably the first time in pre-season where the opposition outworked us physically and that was a little bit of a disappointment,” added Bentley.

“We didn’t really get going unfortunately.

“It’s one to take on the chin and move on.”