But what a bunch of moaners the Canvey fans are. One un-named fan standing next to me (hint – Look at me!) was heard to exclaim when Canvey were 4-1 up, “F******g boring…” That’s how fans seem to see things nowadays; if the lads aren’t scoring once every five minutes, it doesn’t seem good enough. The Yellow Army have become used to such a high level of performance that anything less than excellent appears to be a disappointment. But look at it from a Northwood fan’s point of view. Those I stood next to, both in the loo and in the bar, were asking me, “Do Canvey make it look so easy every week?” The only answer I could give, in all honesty was, “Yes!” The only weakness in the Canvey squad at the moment seems to be that fecking trumpet!!!
When Christian Metcalfe was sent off for a disgraceful foul on John Kennedy after only 10 minutes, Northwood seemed to give up the chase. Steve Parmenter came on for JK (who was, by now, speeding his way to hospital for stitches in a leg wound) and he played a stormer. Meanwhile, Northwood were disjointed in defence, they lacked cohesion in attack and they simply had no midfield. But what a stupid sending off for the home captain. Scores at that time were 0-0, the game was only a few minutes old and there was nothing at stake. You might forgive a late tackle, you might forgive a high tackle, but you can never forgive a tackle that is both high AND late. It wasn’t done in desperation, it wasn’t done out of temper; it was purely cynical. And the referee was spot-on in reaching for his red card.
From this point on Northwood appeared to give up and it was with relative ease that Canvey took a four-nil lead by the half-time point. Everything was falling into place for them. The neat flick-ons were finding their targets, the long balls were accurate and the crosses were menacing. Northwood, it has to be said, were well and truly beaten - long before the ref blew for the end of the first 45 minutes.
After the break, Northwood came out as if they were on a mission. They upped their game by several degrees and, thanks to a Chris Duffy ‘senior moment’, they managed to find a chink in the visiting defence and Elsegood got a goal back for the home team. But that was as far as Canvey were prepared to let them go. They immediately regained control and denied Northwood any further opportunity to get back into the game.
OK, so only one more goal materialised, but you can’t take anything away from Canvey. They played like a team who are 16 points clear at the top of the league which, after all, isn’t arrogance - it’s just the truth. Northwood were simply a minor irritation en route for the three points. With other results going Canvey’s way today (ignore Carshalton, they don't appear to me to be good enough) the Park Lane ‘mild optimism’ looks like going up a gear to ‘perhaps it could be our year???’ Who knows?