Thursday 01st September 2005

Matata saves the day for Invicta

Boxing Day, Monday 26th December 2005 Ryman Premier League Richard Murrill reports from Hartsdown Park
Margate 1 Ian Hillaire 83
Folkestone Invicta 1 Walid Matata 88

An 88th minute equaliser from recent signing Walid Matata saved the day for Folkestone Invicta at Hartsdown Park on Boxing Day afternoon after substitute Ian Hilaire had opened the scoring for Margate after 83 minutes in front of a 902 crowd, writes Richard Murrill.


The East Kent derby thus had a dramatic finale as Matata opened his account for the club to give Invicta a share of the spoils after joining the club as part of the deal which took record goalscorer James Dryden to Dover Athletic.


Matata made it 1-1 when he smashed the ball into the roof of the net at the far post after striking partner Paul Jones had played the ball across from the right hand side.


Hilaire had broken the deadlock when he slotted the ball past goalkeeper Tony Kessell when teenage full back Osman Sesay played him through and Chris Kinnear’s were ahead despite the efforts of an Invicta defender to clear the ball off the line.


Both clubs have lost players in recent weeks and will in reality just be hoping to survive in the Ryman Premier League during the second half of the season as they look to rebuild for 2006-07.


The game had started and unseasonal sunshine but ended in bitterly cold conditions as Invicta made their first league visit to Hartsdown Park since New Year’s Day 2001.


After Invicta had won a couple of early corners, Margate striker Charlie Taylor got in behind John Guest in the third minute but shot high and wide across goal.


An assistant referee’s flag then came to Invicta’s rescue after nine minutes when a quick throw from home goalkeeper Charlie Mitten released captain Berti Brayley on the right hand side and the former Grays man played the ball in to Taylor in the middle.


Dean Standen then had the next chance for Margate after 16 minutes but his shot ended up hitting the corner flag as the Invicta defence had been unable to get the ball away.


The closest Invicta came during the first half was in the 34th minute when Jones shot into the side netting after captain Adam Flanagan had headed on a Stuart Myall throw from the left.


It was Invicta’s turn to have the chances as Margate goalkeeper Mitten had to keep out a Myall header after 34 minutes when Watson played the ball in from the right in a move also involving James Everitt and Matata.


Mitten then kept out another far post header from Myall two minutes later when Watson played the ball in again from the right after a Guest free kick had come back out to the full back.


At the other end, a Brayley shot dipped just over the Invicta crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after 39 minutes following a good passing move from the home side.


Jones then shot at goalkeeper Mitten in the 45th minute when Flanagan played the ball forward to Myall.


Myall headed at Mitten at the start of the second half following a ball in from Paul Lamb, the Invicta left back and former Margate stalwart who has recently been the subject of a seven-day approach from his former club.


Brayley showed good skill for Margate down the right hand flank to get past both Lamb and James Everitt and shoot wide across goal after 61 minutes.


Hasim Deen then hit a deflected shot at Kessell after 72 minutes as the stalemate continued.


Matata dispossessed Sesay after 80 minutes and ran at central defender Bill Edwards before curling a shot from the edge of the penalty area just wide of the far post.


The game opened up in the final ten minutes as a minute later Brayley set up a chance for Adolf Amoako who broke down the left hand side of the box before shooting at Kessell, with Hilaire unable to force the ball home.


Hilaire’s subsequent goal threatened to win it for Margate before Matata’s reply.


And Margate ’s Brayley shaved the Invicta crossbar with the penultimate kick of the game deep into stoppage time from a 25-yard free kick.

Margate: Mitten, Sesay, Allman, Edwards, Donovan, Deen, Keister, Brayley, Taylor (Hilaire 71 ), Amoako, Standen (McGowan 63).  Subs: Egan, Okikiolu, Oatres.


Folkestone Invicta: : Kessell, Watson, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, J. Everitt (Neilson 86) , Chandler (M. Everitt 73), Myall, Matata, Jones, Norman. Subs: Sly, Ransley, Mann.


Attendance: 902.