I have many great memories of watching Canvey Island over the years both home and away, but the one match I remember the most is the FA Cup First Round game against Port Vale on Sunday 19th November 2000 at Park Lane.
This match had everything. Football League Division Two side Port Vale came and dominated the first half, led two-nil and also missed a penalty. At the start of the second half Peter Smith of made it 1-2, but Port Vale scored again a minute later and at 1-3 the CIFC dream looked finished. However in the 52nd minute Steve Tilson scored for from the penalty spot to make it 2-3, and hope was renewed- but not for long, as Port Vale scored again to regain their two goal cushion.
However CIFC were not throwing in the towel. They threw players forward, and dynamite striker Andy Jones scored in the 89th minute to make it 3-4- and in the last minute of the game Wayne Vaughan scored to equalise 4-4 and earn a replay at Port Vale.
Canvey 2000- David Brown and friends- image cropped from a video!
Apart from 8 goals and a missed penalty this game had a streaker (twice), a visit from Superman and a final whistle pitch invasion!
On a personal note I subsequently purchased the VHS video of the game, and after CIFC scored to make it 3-4 the one and only camera panned around the ground and focused in on my son David, who at 9 years old was jumping up and down in excitement. The ironic thing is that 20 years later David has his own local company (www.altvision.co.uk) who are proudly sponsoring the CIFC shirts for the forthcoming FA 2nd round match on Monday 30th November 2020 against Boreham Wood FC.
Canvey Island in 2000 won the replay at Port Vale, and then lost to Southend United in the Second Round when my other son Aaron was a ball boy. Of course they went on to have more success that season winning the FA Trophy, beating Forest Green at Villa Park (such a shame Wembley was being rebuilt at the time). They had more success in the 2001-2002 season, getting to the Third Round after beating Wigan and Northampton Town and finally losing to Burnley.
I went to all of those and many more games with my sons and we had great times and memories, and now the club have a great chance of equalling their best achievement in the FA Cup by beating Boreham Wood. We will all be watching and cheering on, if unfortunately from the safety of home. So GOOD LUCK and come on “The Gulls.” Let’s make Canvey Island proud.
Do you have a greatest FA Cup moment you'd like to share? It would be nice to also hear from people who aren't fans of Canvey Island! Get in touch by emailing Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org