Lowestoft 1, Canvey Island 1

Lowestoft Town went top of the Ryman League Premier last night despite a disappointing draw against Canvey Island.

The Essex side were well worth their point and had their chances to win it late on while Lowestoft failed to find the attacking rhythm that has characterised their excellent start to the campaign.

The Blues took the lead against the run of play in the first half thanks to Lee McGlone's classy finish and Joe Francis should have sealed the match at the start of the second half but blazed over when well placed.

Canvey got back on level terms midway through the second period through the dangerous Jay Curran and both sides had chances to win it late on through Alex Rhodes and McGlone respectively.

The visitors almost took advantage of a lacklustre opening from Lowestoft as the Blues struggled to get a foothold in the game.

The hosts had a big let-off in the 15th minute when Rhodes' in-swinging free kick was met by Gulls midfielder Rob King at the near post but his header crashed against the post and rebounded to safety.

The Blues' midfield were second to everything in the early stages and only some excellent defending from Curtis Haynes-Brown prevented Canvey from breaking the deadlock when he headed a Matt Game corner off his own line.

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Fortunately for Lowestoft the visitors couldn't take advantage of their superiority and the Blues' first move of real quality led to the opening goal.

Scott Mitchell's initial corner was headed away only as far as Andrew Fisk, who gave the ball straight back to the winger.

Mitchell wasted little time in hitting a sumptuous cross that completely caught the Canvey defence on their heels and McGlone benefited by flicking the ball home with the outside of his right foot to leave 'keeper James Russell with no chance.

Confidence flowed through the Blues as a result of the goal and the attacking fluency of their play returned for the rest of the half.

Danny Bloomfield almost doubled his side's advantage when Andrew Cave-Brown's cross from the right found the former Norwich City striker unmarked but his header from 10 yards was straight at the 'keeper.

Lowestoft should have put the game to bed at the start of the second half when some comical defending from Canvey saw them fail to clear their lines and Francis surged into the penalty area before lashing over when he should have at least hit the target.

The Gulls still presented a threat of their own although Lowestoft were almost the architects of their own downfall in the 55th minute when Dale Cockrill presented the ball to Rhodes 30 yards from goal.

The lively winger immediately set his sights on goal and unleashed a fierce left-footed strike that Andy Reynolds did well to parry to safety.

The woodwork again came to Lowestoft's rescue in the 57th minute when Rhodes' cross was met by Curran whose glancing header came off the post.

Lowestoft's luck finally ran out four minutes later however when Kevin Dobinson made a rampaging run through the Blues' defence before neatly laying off for Curran who rammed the ball home from a tight angle.

Curran could have wrapped up the points 10 minutes from time when Haynes-Brown made a hash of a clearance but his right-footed effort flew wide.

Lowestoft weren't done either however and substitute Jamie Forshaw's long range effort had Russell worried as it whistled just wide of the post and McGlone could have stolen a winner in injury time but his scuffed effort skewed wide.

• Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Reynolds, Cave-Brown, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Smith, Mitchell, Cockrill (Godbold 75), Fisk, Francis (Forbes 64), McGlone, Bloomfield (Forshaw 50). Subs not used: Halliday, Ainsley.

• Canvey Island (4-4-2): Russell, Everett, Moore, Ward, Dumas, King, Game, Dobinson (Gordon 75), Rhodes, Curran, Heale. Subs not used: West, Easterford, Davidson, Isa.

• Referee: Adrian Oldershaw

• Attendance: 677