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Kingstonian 0-4 Canvey Island

The final league match of the season saw the visit of runners-up Canvey Island - fresh from a ten-one drubbing of Enfield, and looking to avenge their Kingsmeadow defeat last season.

The visitors included two old-boys among their ranks - 40-plus goal Lee Boylan and played-for-a-few-minutes-once Steve Parmenter. K's were still without the resting Tim Sills, while Scott Smith and Chris Whelan were paired at the back. For a few minutes at least. After just six minutes, Smith took a kick on the thigh and had to retire hurt, to be replaced by Matt Bradford.

Well don't ask me what's going on

A good spell followed for K's, with three chances in quick succession. Dave Clarke made the first all by himself when he burst through the middle of the Canvey midfield and ran through to face Ashley Harrison on his own. The shot came from just inside the area, but the goalkeeper managed to stick out a foot to turn the ball away.

Scott Edgar headed a Liam Collins cross marginally wide, but it was Canvey defender John Kennedy who came closest to breaking the deadlock. Another run and cross from Collins saw the ball sliced horribly over his own bar by the shin of Kennedy's left leg, as Harrison stood and watched.

Yet for all the early chances for K's, just three minutes after the above, Canvey were two up. On thirteen minutes a left-wing corner from Lee Protheroe was played short to Jeff Minton, he crossed into the mixer, and the unmarked Boylan stepped up to toe the ball over the line.

Wingers gets his leg over for the last time

Just two minutes later the lead was two. Ollie Berquez brought the ball out of defence, found Minton, who in turn played in Boylan on the right. His cross was met by Berquez, who had continued his run, who scored with ease past the somewhat unprotected Adrian Jones.

K's didn't wilt though, and almost got back into the game through James Pinnock. Another Collins cross from the right found its target, but the number eleven's shot was just wide.

Goal number three proved not to be far away though, with Boylan again the provider. He dropped deep to receive the ball from Protheroe and then played a pass through the oh-so-square K's defence. Minton ran onto it, took his time and beat Jones with the minimum of fuss.

Scott Edgar jumps into the sun

Dave Clarke - back to his best of late - wasn't about to take this laying down, and he muscled his way up the right wing to create another fine chance. Chris Duffy was left in his wake as he made sixty yards on the wing, and crossed for Edgar. He headed goalwards, but somehow the ball managed to cross in front of everybody without getting a touch. Grant Payne retrieved, laid it back to Craig Lewington, but he showed just why we still await his first goal by blasting wide.

Duffy headed against the bar as half-time approached, and it didn't take Canvey long to further their cause after the interval. Ben Chenery played the ball up the right-wing for Boylan to run onto. This he did, as the defence once more stopped to admire a player at the top of his form. His finish - an exquisite chip from the corner of the area - was entirely in keeping with a player who has now scored 47 goals this season. But how come he never looked very good down here?

With the match long ago over, K's did continue to try and find a goal, but seemed to have no real idea how to break down the visitors' defence. Pinnock shot just over after cutting in from the left and substitute Phil Wingfield headed over when he might have done better, but those chances were more than matched by Canvey. Kennedy struck the top of the bar with a mid-range effort and Boylan came close to completing his hat-trick on more than one occasion before the end.

Just some of the players say thanks to the supporters

K's might have been awarded a penalty when substitute Bertie Brayley handled a cross from Bashiru Alimi, but anything other than an emphatic Canvey victory would have flattered a K's side which looked more than ready for the summer break. They even finished with ten men, when Matt Bradford took an accidental kick to the forehead and was forced to leave the pitch - leaving K's with, um, just the one fit centre-half ahead of a cup final?

Still, the one off Surrey Cup Final with Sutton will be a different story. Canvey came here in fine form, looking to sign off in style - and they did just that. The Kingstonian defence simply had no answer to their speed of thought or passing, while the attack quite simply failed to produce any sweat on Harrison's head. Next year will be a different story.

Sat 3rd May 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Canvey Island4
1Adrian Jones
2Max Hustwick
3Bashiru AlimiCautioned
4Craig Lewington14
5Scott Smith15
6Chris Whelan
7Liam CollinsCautioned
8Dave Clarke16
9Scott Edgar
10Grant Payne
11James Pinnock
12Mark Jones
13Trevor Jones
14Phil Wingfield4
15Matt Bradford5
16Chris Nurse8
Match Report By
Gary Ekins