CANVEY Island came from behind to seal a 1-1 draw with Great Wakering Rovers at Burroughs Park.

Kojo Apenteng, who has joined from Barking, marked his Wakering debut by breaking the deadlock.

Although it looked as though Wakering would claim local bragging rights, Albert Levett ensured the Gulls would not leave empty-handed.

Canvey made an encouraging start to the encounter, with Tobi Joseph’s driven cross narrowly evading Jason Hallett following a fine team move involving debutant Freddy Eastwood, Josh Hutchinson and Levett.

Hallett then forced Wakering goalkeeper Bobby Mason into a diving save before Hutchinson recycled the ball and Levett rose highest to meet the cross, but the central midfielder headed against the crossbar from close range.

The hosts responded with Apenteng’s cross being nodded goalwards by former Southend United youngster Dan Walker but the attempt was easily claimed by custodian Rob Budd.

Walker tried his luck from range soon after, with Budd keeping the drive out before ex-Canvey frontman Martin Tuohy headed the resulting corner inches wide.

The Gulls came within inches of taking the lead moments later as Hallett’s centre looked as though it was going to be turned home by Levett from close range. However, Woodhouse impressively slid the ball behind for a corner.

And Wakering capitalised as they broke the deadlock 11 minutes before the break.

Apenteng beat the offside trap before latching onto Jake Gordon’s through ball and stroking the ball into the back of the net.

Canvey went in search of a quick response, but they found Mason in fine form as he turned away a drilled Levett attempt and Hallett free-kick.

The first opportunity of the second half went the way of the visitors as Hallett was slipped in behind the Wakering defence by Hutchinson, but the striker fired high and wide.

Canvey went in search of an equaliser and it came 11 minutes from time in controversial circumstances.

Mason was adjudged to have handled the ball outside of the penalty area and, after quick thinking from Hallett, Levett curled into the back of the net.

Wakering could have gone ahead again late on when player-manager Steve Butterworth came off the bench and headed narrowly wide when well-placed.

But the points were shared after an entertaining derby at Burroughs Park.