The Evo-Stik League South
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Match Report

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Another game, another Essex opponent. Today the Ducks took on Canvey Island, the Premier Division's runaway leaders. Canvey had stuttered in recent games, so would be no doubt looking to get back to form in some style.

Paul Curtis just one change to the starting line-up, with Greg Williams replacing the injured Alex Giscombe in midfield. Adam Garner was also fit enough to make the pitch this week having been substituted before reaching the field in the previous game.

Canvey struggled against the wind in the opening stages, and Aylesbury created some early chances. Alvin Bubb had an effort blocked, after some great forward play by Ryan Wiffin. Alvin Bubb then spread the ball to Jamie Moss, whose shot from the right-wing went wide of the near post.

Greg Williams then went excruciatingly close to opening the scoring, direct from a corner, which grazed the far post.

Unfortunately, the good early work was undone as Canvey scored with their first attack of the game. A flowing attack put them 3-on-3 with the Aylesbury defence, and after a dangerous ball went twice uncleared, Lee Boylan stole in to guide the ball home. 1-0 Canvey

Canvey were now starting to adapt to the surroundings, and started playing some nice football. They had a goal disallowed on 28 minutes. Jeff Minton put the ball home, but he was flagged offside well before then.

Ten minutes before the interval Alvin Bubb spurned a glorious opportunity to level the game. A slip by one of Canvey's defender allowed the forward to nip in, and face keeper Danny Potter. Unfortunately Bubb elected to try and flick the ball home, and agonisingly saw the effort saved.

Half-time: Aylesbury 0-1 Canvey

The second half was always going to be difficult for the Ducks, as they appeared set to struggle against the wind as Canvey did. This proved to be the case, as after a bright opening the home side found it difficult to get past the half-way line.

Greg Williams hit a left-footed volley well over the bar, after a great run from Alvin Bubb very early in the half. Boylan hit a shot straight at Rashid at the other end.

After Jamie Moss had an effort blocked, a free-kick was spread the Daniel Mead on the left-flank. His cross was only half-cleared, and Matt Hayward hit an effort over from the edge of the area.

This was as close as Aylesbury came for some time, as they found themselves penned in by a combination of the wind and Canvey's possession play.

Boylan hit another effort straight at Rashid, and Minton had an effort tipped wide after a run, as Aylesbury's keeper earned his money. Boylan then had another shot, but blazed well over the bar.

The Ducks made a double substitution, replacing Ryan Wiffin and Jamie Moss with debutant Donovan Reed and the returning Byron Bubb.

Unfortunately there was little the pair could do to swing the match, as Canvey continued to threaten. Lee Protheroe tried to place a shot from outside the area, producing another good save from Rashid. Once Kevin Davies is fit again, he'll have trouble ousting the current keeper on this form!

As the game came to a close, Aylesbury tried to throw men forward, and did have one more notable attack. A good move forward eventually resulted in Mead firing in a shot from wide, which was tipped wide by Potter.

Canvey added a second to their scoreline with a goal three minutes before time. After a good, probing run from Boylan, the ball was squared for the waiting Minton to roll home. 2-0 Canvey

So a defeat, but yet again the lads can be proud of their efforts. Many pessimists were predicting ridiculous scorelines before the match, but the Ducks certainly gave Canvey a game.