Canvey Island went down to a damaging 2-1 defeat at the hands of relegation threatened Haringey Borough on Saturday in the Isthmian League Premier.

On Tuesday Haringey Borough were not so fortunate and lost in the local derby versus Enfiéld Town 1-0.

Despite leading for over 80 minutes, the Gulls never looked in control of the game, and two goals for the home side late on turned things around to leave Canvey looking over their own shoulders, with the gap narrowing between themselves and the bottom four.

Initially however, things had started well. Kai Brown, making his debut after signing on a dual registration from Aveley, looked lively down right, and he managed to cut inside early on and force Dillon Barnes into a good save at his near post.

Just five minutes has past when Canvey took the lead. A recycled corner saw the ball played to Conor Hubble on the flank, who found the space to deliver a lovely ball into the area, where Elliott Ronto was waiting to loop a header into the far corner of the net to put the Gulls 1-0 up.

They could have extended their lead on 28 minutes. An error at the back was capitalised on by the industrious Tobi Tinubu, who took a touch past Barnes on the edge of his area, but with the angle tight, his shot agonisingly came off the near post before a defender could scramble it to safety.

The host wouldn’t lie down however, and always looked dangerous on the counter, particularly with some tricky wing play down the flanks. It merited then a few chances from corners and crosses, though they saw the resolute Elliott Johnson and stand in defender Lance Akins deal with them. One of which midway through the half however, should have been converted by Nadum Melvin Lambert, but after winning a free header, he put his effort over Sam Jackson’s crossbar.

In the second half, and it was the hosts with the wind in their sails as they strode forward in search of an equaliser, but found their crossing going wayward or their attempts at goal ricochet wide.

Canvey were struggling to find rhythm in the game, not to dissimilar to the second half of New Years Day, but in Brown they had a player this time who could hold up the ball down the channels, and both he and Crowhurst fed some good crosses into the area, but saw their effort met by clearances.

Canvey would have a few big chances to extend their lead, but saw then go wanting. First, Luca Albon would sting the gloves of Dillon Barnes, the keeper parrying his effort out for a corner. Then, moments later, more good work down the flanks from Brown saw him square the ball to Elliott Ronto – the midfielder acting as a makeshift striker – but he scuffed his shot wide from inside the area.

Perhaps the best chance though, would fall to Jamie Salmon on 80 minutes, who managed to beat the offside trap to go one on one with Barnes. The midfielder couldn’t find the back of the net however, with the keeper bravely blocking the effort from close range to send it wide.

Those chances would come back to haunt the Gulls as seven minutes later, the hosts grabbed their equaliser. Mekhi Leacock McLeod managed to find space outside the box and fired an effort through a crowd of players from 20 yards, that took a deflection on it’s way through to beat Jackson and his near post and level the game.

Haringey had their tails up now, and a mix up between Jackson and Lance Akins presented Anthony Mendy with a chance, but with the keeper stranded, his effort rolled inches wide of the post and into the side netting.

The Gulls would be punished for their haphazard play however, as in the 90th minute, they backed off too much, allowing Georgios Aresti go hammer home a thunderbolt as he had done earlier in the season, to put the hosts ahead and leave Canvey shell-shocked.

Despite nearly 9 minutes of stoppage time being played, the Gulls were unable to salvage anything from the game as the hosts shut up shop, granting them their first win at home since February 2023, and leaving Canvey now concerning the need to stave off the black hole of the league drop zone.

Their mission dosen’t get any easier with another huge league game in midweek, as Lewes visit the Moviestarr Stadium.

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