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Match Guide - Canvey Island (A)

After the postponement against Hastings last weekend, the Blues are back in action on Saturday for the first time since 24th February, with an away test at Canvey Island. The Blues remain in the playoff places at the time of writing, having now completed around 75% of the season, with the final quarter of the season likely to be vital, with all of the teams in the top half still in with a reasonable shout of getting a playoff place.


Anointed Chukwu celebrates against Canvey Island

Our Opponents

Canvey Island are currently in 15th place in the Isthmian Premier League table. With 40 points from their 31 games, they will not be looking too far over their shoulder at the relegation places at this stage, however they are 13 points off the playoff places with 11 games to go so may feel that a late playoff push is unlikely, given the number of teams between them and the playoff positions.


Last season, the Islanders had an excellent season, finishing 3rd, only 7 points behind eventual champions Bishop's Stortford. In the playoffs, a 0-0 draw at home against Aveley culminated in a penalty shootout defeat, with Aveley eventually being promoted to the National League South after winning the playoff final.

 

Did you know?

The Park Lane stadium naming rights have been held by the independent Movie Starr cinema since last season.


Head To Head

Back in October the Blues had arguably their performance of the season so far, with a 6-2 win over Canvey Island at the Maurice Rebak Stadium. Going into the break at 1-1, a second half blitz from Ruben Carvalho, Elliot Long and Anointed Chukwu helped the Blues to bag 5 more in the second half, with Canvey Island's only goal in reply in the second half coming from Luke Deslandes, who has since moved across to the Blues.


Our last visit to Canvey Island was another good result, with a 3-0 win back in October 2022, goals coming from Ben Siggers, Alkeo Bani and Dylan Kearney.




Last Time Out

There was late drama in Canvey Island's most recent game, with 3 goals coming in added time at the end of the 90 during the Islanders' trip to Lewes. Sam Higgins equalised twice for Canvey Island in both 90th and 94th minutes after Lewes had regained the lead in the 92nd minute. Prior to this, there was a home stalemate against Carshalton Athletic after defeats at Margate (3-2) and Cray Wanderers (2-1).


Our last 3 results have been draws, at Enfield Town (2-2), hosting Hashtag (0-0) and in Horsham (1-1). The Blues have proven difficult to beat in recent weeks as we look to cement our position amongst the playoff contenders this season.


Ruben Carvalho celebrates during the 6-2 win over Canvey Island

Players To Watch

Canvey Island moved to sign experienced frontman, and one of the top scorers in last season's Isthmian Premier League, Sam Higgins back in December after his departure from Hornchurch and the forward has repaid the Islanders with 5 goals so far.


Bradley Sach was a regular goalscorer last season as the Gulls finished 3rd, and he is the current Canvey Island top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions this season. Their February player of the month award ended up at the other end of the pitch, however, with goalkeeper Sam Jackson being awarded the accolade after some strong performances in recent weeks.


As mentioned, Luke Deslandes made the move from Canvey Island to Wingate & Finchley earlier in the season and he will be looking to make a statement to his former employers on Saturday if available for selection.


Photos courtesy of Martin Addison.


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