TWO injury time goals allowed Canvey Island to seal a creditable 4-4 draw with Heybridge Swifts.

Although Ernest Okoh and Matt Lock had netted for the Gulls, efforts from Matt Price, George Cocklin, Evans Kouassi and Emmanuel Osei-Owusu looked to have Heybridge on course for three points.

But Mike Finneran and Tobi Joseph netted in the dying moments to snatch a share of the spoils and Canvey boss Mark Bentley felt his side would have triumphed had more time been remaining in the Isthmian North clash.

“It was great to pull ourselves back into the game by showing a bit of character,” said Bentley.

“If there had been another five minutes we may have nicked it because they looked deflated.

“I’ve got to look at the bigger picture and it was a big point against the team who went into the game top of the league.”

Heybridge opened the scoring with 13 minutes on the clock.

Although Rob Budd kept an Osei-Owusu effort out, the winger retrieved possession and his cross was headed home by former East Thurrock United striker Price from point blank range.

And the visitors doubled their advantage soon after as Cocklin added his name to the scoresheet.

Canvey were offered a route back into the contest as Jason Hallett was fouled and Okoh converted from the penalty spot.

But Heybridge restored their two-goal advantage on the stroke of half-time as Kouassi beat two defenders before firing into the back of the net.

The Gulls halved the deficit four minutes after the restart as Lock rifled a free-kick beyond Heybridge goalkeeper Luca Collins, but the visitors responded with Osei-Owusu netting.

Finneran headed home as the encounter ticked into injury time and Canvey grabbed an unlikely point thanks to Joseph turning a Rob Lacey strike past Collins.

But Bentley was disappointed with the goals conceded.

“Their goals were avoidable on our part, whether that was down to concentration or lack of quality,” added Bentley.

“We gave them four goals because of really sloppy defending, but it’s down to defending from the front as well.

“The goal just before half-time killed us and that was really disappointing.

“After Locky scored with a great free-kick, you’re thinking we’ll get ourselves back into it.

“But another lapse of concentration at the back post means they have a tap-in.

“We don’t get easy goals - we have to earn ours - so we’ve got to tighten up at the back and other areas of the pitch.”