Harriers 3 Canvey Island 2
away fans: 39
Back from the brink
How on earth did we manage to win that?
One down within the first five minutes due to a calamitous mix up between John Danby and Wayne Hatswell and then, after being on the rack for most of the game, we grab the lifeline of two goals in the dying minutes to get us back from the brink of a first home defeat of the season.
This win takes us up to fourth place in the table but that's just temporary because there are some more games tomorrow.
With both Christie and Atieno fit from their injury scares it was a full strength side that started the game and Michael Blackwood on the bench returning from injury. Canvey Island were paying their first ever visit to us and included the dangerous Lee Boylan in their starting eleven. They also play in an awful kit that looks so non-league in a puce and vomit colour with a garish white stripe down the side of the shorts. That's the fashion vote done with for this year then.
As stated at the start a right cock up led to the opening goal for Canvey when Danby threw the ball out for Hats to promptly dither a bit then pass it back to him. Ibe was onto it in a trice and, leaving Danby on his arse and Hats holding his head in shame, slipped it into the back of the net to muted squeaks from the forty strong throng of islanders that had travelled inland.
The majority of the half was embarrassing with the genuine non-league side running rings around the temporary non-league side and being helped in their task by some bloody awful football from us. The smallest person on the pitch, Boylan, was being given the freedom to do some damage by our lax defenders and could have grabbed three goals for himself before we managed to draw level with our first bit of decent skill.
Terry Fleming collected the ball in midfield and set off for goal. With the keeper forcing him to go wide he managed to evade him and fire back across the goal and into the net.
Seconds later they went in for a bollocking.
HT: 1 - 1
Michael Blackwood was bought on for the second half in place of a quiet Simon Russell but, after some promising runs down the wing for the first ten minutes, he suddenly looked done in and was taken back off for Laurie Wilson to come on in his place. A wasteful use of resources.
Five minutes later and we had another substitution when Simon Heslop went off for reasons unknown and Lee Thompson came on instead. All three subs used within ten minutes of each other?
During the time that Blackwood was on the pitch we at least did look dangerous and we had a couple of chances to take the lead from both Christie and Atieno but they spurned their chances.
Stuart Bimson had a chance to put his side back into the lead when his powerful shot from the edge of the area went only inches wide and into the netting. Some of the Canvey followers thought it had gone in and jumped around wildly before their mates told them not to be so embarrassing.
They did take the lead just minutes later though when Wayne Evans bought Keeling down right on the edge of the area. Up steps that man Boylan to hammer it past Danby to regain the lead and trigger a complete change to the game.
Three minutes after their penalty we get one of our own after Christie went charging after a through ball and, for once, beating his marker. As he tried to round their keeper at speed the lad bought him down but he didn't really have much choice, Christie would have scored anyway.
The keeper, McKinney, got a red card for his foolishness and when he finally left the field of play the Canvey boss took off Boylan to replace him with the spare keeper. As against Woking Taiwo waited patiently while the exchange was taking place and without giving the new man time to relax put us back level with another superbly struck penalty.
With ninety minutes now on the clock the fourth official signalled for four extra playing minutes and a chance for us to win the game. Christie obliged, by beating the offside trap, with a stunning goal seconds later that left Harrison static as the ball took a slight deflection after coming in from some twenty five yards distant.
The crowd went wild in dis-belief that we had come back from the brink of defeat to the non-league side. The Canvey fans just stood there in dis-belief.
You just have to feel for them. Canvey aren't a bad side and played some nice football at times. They look like a strong side and have a sprinkling of useful players.
I know it's only our third home game so far this season but they're the best side we've had up here so far.
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