Lowestoft Town 2 Canvey Island 1
17:12 28 December 2013
Chris Henderson’s second-half double completed an unlikely turnaround at Crown Meadow as Lowestoft Town’s perfect Christmas continued.
The Blues striker struck twice in the space of a minute against Canvey Island to ensure the Trawlerboys collected maximum points from their festive programme following victories over Dulwich Hamlet and Leiston.
It looked like being a match too far for Lowestoft’s injury-hit squad for much of the afternoon after the visitors hit the front in the first half through substitute Spencer Bellotti’s close-range finish.
However, Lowestoft dug deep into the second period and Henderson’s smart finish brought his side level before he went on to grab the winner with a glancing header.
Lowestoft started like a side that had yet to fully recover from their Boxing Day exertions against Leiston.
Canvey looked lively and the front pair of Moses Adebola and Jason Hallett caused the kind of problems the Blues have not been used to this season.
Sam Gaughran has been a pillar of consistency for the Trawlerboys this season but the physical presence of Hallett in particular appeared to unsettle the young defender.
The warning signs were there early on when Adebola capitalised on a mistake by Gaughran before crossing for Jay Curran, who dragged the opportunity wide.
Curran made a better fist of a 10th minute effort when Ashlee Jones had to get down smartly to parry his drive from the edge of the area. Adebola was first to the rebound but Jones was equal to his effort and Curtley Williams hacked off the line.
Lowestoft had a chance against the run of play in the 16th minute when some nice interplay between Manny Osei and Henderson released Robert Eagle down the left but, with just the keeper the beat, the former Norwich City winger’s tame right-footed shot was easily saved by Josh Vickers.
Henderson, playing through the middle in the absence of Jake Reed up front due to an ankle injury, had a smart effort just before the half-hour mark after a good turn but, once again, Vickers saved.
The former Bury man had strong claims for a penalty when he appeared to be barrelled over by Mike Jones in the area but referee Jonathan Burridge waved away the home appeals.
The match sprung to life five minutes before the break when Rio Brian-Edwards went down in the area clutching his face after clashing with Williams in an off-the-ball incident. It sparked a melee between both sides but once tempers had been calmed the referee sensibly dished out yellow cards to the two protagonists.
Just a couple of minutes later Canvey got their noses in front thanks in large part to some superb work down the wing by Adebola. The Gulls frontman danced round Eagle down the right flank before standing up an inviting cross for Hallett, whose header back across goal was bundled home by Bellotti.
Lowestoft had a let-off at the start of the second half when Williams was late on Sheldon Sellears in what looked like an obvious yellow card. Having already been booked the Meadow waited for the inevitable red but, fortunately for the hosts, the referee settled for a final warning.
Canvey almost doubled their lead shortly after when Adebola weaved his way through the Blues defence but his left-footed shot was brilliantly saved by Jones and Bellotti couldn’t capitalise on the rebound.
Lowestoft looked short of ideas going forward although Rossi Jarvis came close to bringing the Blues level with a 25-yard free-kick that clipped the crossbar.
Jack Ainsley brought a good save out of Vickers after being teed up on the edge of the box by Williams as Lowestoft looked to turn the screw.
The Trawlerboys got back on level terms in the 71st minute when Henderson showed the kind of predatory instinct they had been lacking all afternoon. Rossi Jarvis robbed Rob Bartley after the big defender slipped and the former Norwich man’s slide-rule pass found Henderson, who calmly slotted home.
A minute later and the Blues were in front and it was that man Henderson again. The former Bury man stole in front of the Canvey defence to head home Jack Ainsley’s free-kick and complete an unlikely turnaround.
- Lowestoft (4-4-2): Jones, Williams, Gleeson, Gaughran, S Ainsley (Adam Smith 75), J Ainsley, Okay, Jarvis, Eagle, Osei (Frew 62), Henderson. Subs not used: Bailey, Haizel, Jessup.
- Canvey Island (4-4-2): Vickers, Brian-Edwards, Bartley (Alaile 88), Jones, Dumas, Curran (Bellotti 37), Sellears, Game, Chatting, Adebola, Hallett. Subs not used: Humphrey, Bawcutt, Sands.
- Referee: Jonathan Burridge
- Attendance: 498