MARK Bentley was pleased to see Canvey Island battle back and force an FA Trophy first qualifying round replay after sealing a 2-2 draw with Middlesex's Ashford Town.

Jason Hallett got the Gulls off to the perfect start by netting early on, but second half goals from Kelvin Adjei and Scott Todd allowed Ashford to turn the game on its head.

It looked as though Canvey were heading out of the competition, but Kane Gilbert scored his first goal for the club by converting an 88th minute penalty.

And, having seen his side put through 120 minutes of football against Bowers & Pitsea before being beaten on penalties in an FA Cup third qualifying round replay in midweek, Bentley admits he was content with a draw.

The Canvey chief said: “We had some tired bodies out there and we’ve had a hell of a schedule over the last month or so.

“It’s another game we could have done without but it could have been worse.

“We’ve got to be happy with the draw but the boys are very tired."

The Gulls took the lead inside 60 seconds as Hallett turned a cross home from close range.

Ashford restored parity on 64 minutes as Adjei found the back of the net.

And Ashford turned the game on its head as substitute Todd rounded off a swift counter-attack.

But Canvey were offered a lifeline when Tobi Joseph was pulled back and awarded a penalty.

Gilbert dispatched the 88th minute spot-kick to ensure the two sides will meet again in a replay on Tuesday.