CANVEY Island suffered a fourth defeat in their last five Isthmian North outings after losing 2-1 to high-flying Heybridge Swifts.

Martin Tuohy gave the Gulls hope of snatching a share of the spoils after halving the deficit late on, but goals from Elliot Ronto and Matt Price ensured Heybridge’s promotion push continued at the Frost Hire Stadium.

And Mark Bentley was disappointed to see his side concede the opener just two minutes after the interval.

The Gulls boss said: “I was generally pleased with our out of possession stuff in the first half.

“They didn’t cause us many problems and we had a really good shape, which we worked on in training. We were nice and compact and it was good to see what we had been working on in training paying off.

“We had a few words at half-time about how we could be better in possession, but that all went out of the window two minutes into the second half.

“The way we started the second half was really disappointing. It was a little bit too easy for them until we pulled a goal back and got a little bit of a second wind.

“But we have been in these situations before where we have been 2-0 down before starting to play and that is a little bit unacceptable.

“You have got to be motivated from the first minute and we probably weren’t.”

Heybridge broke the deadlock two minutes after the resumption as Ronto fired home.

Swifts doubled their advantage moments after the hour mark as Kreshnic Krasniqi’s inch-perfect cross allowed Price to head home from close range.

Tuohy halved the deficit with 12 minutes remaining, while Heybridge's Joe Claridge was dismissed after kicking out at Kane Gilbert.

But Canvey were unable to find a late leveller.