Walton Casuals recorded one of their best ever FA Trophy wins after goals from Josh Kelly and Lartey Sarpong sunk Canvey Island.
Kelly’s opener on the stroke of half-time paved the way for Sarpong to add his second brace in three games, this time beating the Bostik North leaders.
The two clubs had an almost identical record this season going into the match, but there was an uncertainty looming in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
Canvey Island pressed early on and tested Denzel Gerrar a few times in the opening minutes. Teddy Nesbitt came close after a free-kick, before Mitchell Gilbey forced a fine save from the keeper.
18-year-old Kelly looked to have opened the scoring after 15 minutes, and connected well with Sean McCormack’s cross. His header was denied by an extraordinary save from Henry Newcombe at point blank range.
An Alex Kelly corner also came close to the first goal of the afternoon – this time Josh Kelly putting the pressure on Newcombe, who managed a punch away.
Dominic Ogun did well to head away a free-kick from George Craddock shortly after, and the visitors failed to make use of the rebound from the edge of the area.
The deadlock was finally broken in the first minute of added time, with Kelly grabbing his 10th goal of the season. Another well-worked cross from McCormack was slotted home from close range in a fine link-up from the Maidenhead United duo.
The Stags came out of the break on top, and it didn’t take long to double their lead. A ball over the defence released Lartey Sarpong, who cleverly chipped Newcombe and found the net on 54 minutes.
Sarpong then added his second of the afternoon just after the hour. After an interception allowed the ball to be played into the box, he made no mistake in finding the bottom corner.
The Gulls looked to break their deadlock despite the deficit, and a well-struck free-kick from Sam Collins was turned around the post by Gerrar. A trio of changes did little to unnerve the Casuals, and they comfortably saw out the victory.
Walton Casuals will travel to Bostik North club Maldon & Tiptree in the FA Trophy First Qualifying Round on Saturday 28 October.
Walton Casuals: Denzel Gerrar, Harry Mills, Dominic Ogun, Alex Kelly (76), Max Hustwick, Joe Hicks, Sean McCormack (80), Daryl Coleman, Josh Kelly, Lartey Sarpong, Luke Holness (83)
Subs Not Used: Stuart Baldwin, Alfie Taylor
Goals: Josh Kelly (45), Lartey Sarpong (54, 61)
Canvey Island: Henry Newcombe, Jake Pitty, Ashley Dumas, George Craddock (69), Elliott Warren (69), Steve Sheehan, Frankie Merrifield (69), Sam Collins, George Sykes, Mitchell Gilbey, Teddy Nesbitt
Subs Not Used: Jerrome Sobers