CANVEY Island boss Mark Bentley has called on his players to show character as they look to bounce back from a thumping 5-0 defeat at Maldon & Tiptree.

A Jorome Slew hat-trick, along with goals from ex-Bowers & Pitsea striker Charlee Hughes and Danny Parish, resulted in the Gulls being thrashed by the Jammers.

Canvey have now suffered three consecutive Isthmian North defeats and, with an FA Cup second qualifying round trip to St Ives Town on the horizon, Bentley is interested to see how his side will react to the latest setback.

Bentley, who took charge of the Gulls 11 months ago, said: “We need to get a bit of positivity and self-pride back.

“It hurt me and I know the players were hurting after the defeat.

“It’s good winning games and we had a great start to the season, which led to a really positive mood in the camp.

“But now we have lost three league games in a row, I need to see a bit of character.

“It’s a long season and if the character is not there, it’s up to me to make sure I have the right people here.

“I think it will be interesting to see how the boys react to the heavy defeat at Maldon.”

Slew gave Maldon a fifth minute lead before Hughes saw two efforts ruled out for offside before reaching the half hour mark.

The hosts’ Slew doubled his tally for the evening two minutes after the break.

Hughes added his name to the scoresheet before Slew completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after being brought down by Dan Humphreys.

Parish rounded off the scoring, although Slew struck the post late on.

And Bentley struggled to find any positives to come from the heavy loss.

“Maldon were very good and I walked away thinking it could have been a lot worse,” added Bentley.

“Lamar Johnson pulled off a few good saves and they had a couple of goals disallowed.

“If Maldon play like that throughout the season, they’ll win the league by a mile.

“It was hard to find any positives because we couldn’t get near them.

“We couldn’t get back into the game and their substitutes didn’t weaken them.

“In all honesty, the defending was shocking.”