Canvey Island 3–0 Aveley

(Sheehan 26’, 45’, Sykes 38’)

From the Frost Hire Stadium

Isthmian North

STEVE Sheehan scored twice for the second home game in succession as Canvey Island eased to a comfortable 3-0 win over Aveley on New Year’s Day.

The defender netted twice in the first half with George Sykes also on target for the Gulls, who closed to within eight points of the Isthmian North summit.

The Gulls were perhaps more refreshed than their visitors, who had played out a 1-1 draw just 48 hours earlier.

And Canvey were unfortunate not to be ahead inside two minutes. A low corner was played in Ryan Melaugh and the ball dropped to Sykes. His poked effort seemed destined for the top corner only for custodian Rhys Madden to spring into action and tip the ball to safety.

Frankie Merrifield powered inches wide of the near post 10 minutes later before the Gulls did deservedly take the lead.

A reckless challenge by George Woodward on Jake Pitty drew a free-kick in a wide right position and Canvey took full advantage.

Melaugh’s free-kick was sent into the danger zone and Sheehan rose highest to glance into the goal.

The Millers were struggling to create any chances, with Alex Teniola increasingly isolated, and then Gulls were to double their lead.

Merrifield was adjudged to be onside by the assistant referee and he played a simple square ball to Sykes who tapped into the net – his 21st of the season.

The same man created the third, heading on a Melaugh corner for Sheehan to make it four goals in his last three matches.

Into the second period Sykes was prevented from surpassing his goal tally from last season by the outstretched leg of Madden.

In a rare Aveley attack, Robbie Rees was thwarted by Ashlee Jones but it was to be one of few bright moments for the visitors.

Canvey Island: Jones, Pitty (Bourne 65’), Dumas, Merrifield, Warren, Sheehan, Norman, Collins (Brown 84’), Sykes, Walker (Nesbitt 70’), Melaugh