A BRACE of poacher’s finishes from Canvey central defender Richard Orlu sunk the Stones last night and moved the Gulls up to third in the table.
Orlu scored either side of the break for his first goals of the season to seal a win which saw his side move above their visitors and draw level on 41 points with second-placed local-rivals Concord Rangers.
Canvey’s keeper Ashlee Jones was the first called into action as he padded away Alex Dyer’s shot from distance on three minutes.
The Gulls looked sluggish in possession early on and had to wait until the 13th minute for their first attempt as Bradley Woods-Garness’ rising drive was pushed over by Rikki Banks.
But they took a 32nd minute lead when Ashley Dumas’ free-kick from the left caused havoc in the six yard box and, when it was spilled by Banks, Orlu was on hand to steer the ball home off the underside of the bar.
They had a great chance to double their lead shortly before the interval but Harrison Chatting skewed wide from Jay Curran’s knock down.
Stones’ Esmond James almost punished them seconds later with a fine jinking run into the box which was only ended with an excellent close-range save by Jones.
The visitors started the second half brightly but they were very lucky not to go further behind when Banks somehow got a hand to Woods-Garness’ low shot before Chatting thumped the follow-up against the crossbar.
Chris Moore – who tormented Canvey last season with Uxbridge – had a great chance to level on the hour mark when put clean through by Dyer, but Jones advanced quickly and saved with his legs.
And they were made to pay for their profligacy when Canvey went 2-0 up from an Ashley Dumas corner which was brilliantly flicked by Rickie Hayles into the path of Orlu, and he fired home his second of the night.
Only a good save from Banks with his feet stopped Curran making it 3-0 when put in on goal by a defence-splitting pass from Woods-Garness.
Woods-Garness, Curran and James Hawes all forced Banks into fine saves late on as Canvey ran riot on the counter attack.
Canvey (4-4-2): Jones; Miller, Hayles, Orlu, Bondon; Chatting, King (Gilbey 91), Hawes, Dumas; Woods-Garness (Blackwell 88), Curran (Heale 90).
Echo MOM: Richard Orlu (Canvey Island).