League Cup is low on my list of priorities, admits Cugley
|Richard Murrill reports from Champion Hill|
Scannell 22 (pen)
Folkestone Invicta went out of the Westview (Ryman League) Cup when they went down 4-2 to Fisher Athletic in what turned out to be something of a thriller at Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill Stadium on Monday night, writes Richard Murrill.
The home side raced into a 3-0 lead within the opening half hour before Invicta hit back to trail 3-2 through Paul Jones and substitute James Dryden, with Jones also missing a penalty between the visitors’ two goals.
Invicta fielded a stronger side than had been anticipated for this Third Round tie after their F. A. Cup exploits at Chester on Saturday, with goalkeeper Tony Kessell, centre half John Guest and the injured Martin Chandler the only absentees from Saturday’s squad.
That gave starting places to teenagers Kieron Mann, Will Dunlop and Joe Neilson, as well as the more experienced midfielders Scott Lindsey (captain) and Matt Bower.
But Invicta were soon in trouble as Charlie Hearn opened the scoring for Fisher in the sixth minute when Anthony Riviere played the ball back from the right hand side in a move started by captain Chris Piper.
The home side had further chances as goalkeeper Mann made a good save to deny Lenny Piper after 12 minutes when Chris Piper got down to the byeline on the right and Lenny Piper then hit a low shot narrowly wide of the far post two minutes later from the left hand side of the box when Riviere slid the ball through.
Fisher forced the game’s first corner after 18 minutes when Adam Flanagan blocked a Riviere shot and Hearn headed wide.
It was 2-0 in the 22nd minute when Damien Scannell converted a penalty harshly awarded for handball when Riviere combined again with Chris Piper down the right hand side and the latter’s subsequent cross struck Flanagan.
And it looked like being an uncomfortable night for Invicta when Hearn struck again to make it 3-0 after 28 minutes when Lenny Piper crossed from the left in a move also involving Scannell and Ben Walshe.
But Invicta started to have chances of their own as Neilson was played through down the middle after 35 minutes, only for goalkeeper James Pullen to save at the expense of the Folkestone side’s first corner. And from Paul Lamb’s subsequent set piece from the right Jones got in before Pullen to head home from close range.
Neilson then did well down the left hand side and Pullen had to touch away his cross from the left after 38 minutes and Stuart Myall was denied by a good Pullen save after 43 minutes when Jones played the ball through following a quick free kick from Bower.
There were chances at both ends after 48 minutes as James Everitt headed at Pullen from a deep Lamb cross and Dunlop got in before Lenny Piper to concede a corner when Walshe played the ball in from the left.
Chris Piper broke dangerously down the right again for Fisher after 50 minutes, but Steve Norman made a saving tackle and Scannell shot wide from outside the box.
Invicta then had three chances in as many minutes to get back into the game.
First Jones’ penalty was saved by Pullen after 55 minutes when defender Jermaine Hinds fouled Neilson on the left hand side of the box.
Myall then hit a great strike just over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after 56 minutes and Neilson was desperately close a minute later when he shot just wide of the far post after being sent away by James Everitt’s ball from the right.
At the other end, Norman came to Invicta’s rescue again when Scannell ran at the visiting defence after 63 minutes and substitute Hamid Barr’s shot rocked the Invicta crossbar when Scannell played the ball back after 68 minutes.
But Invicta set up an exciting finish when Dryden rifled the ball into the net in the 75th minute after he had nodded on a Norman free kick to Jones and latched onto a return pass.
Mann did well to keep out a fierce Barr shot after 83 minutes when the Fisher forward showed good footwork inside the penalty area, but Barr increased fisher’s lead in the 84th minute when he converted Walshe’s good ball in from the left.
Myall was close for Invicta after 87 minutes and a Dryden shot was deflected for a corner when substitute Micheal Everitt picked out Jones.
Mann then came out to save from Scannell after 89 minutes.
Flanagan was the game’s only booking for clattering into Scannell after
Athletic: Pullen, C. Piper, Nugent, Hinds, Davis, Kirby, Riviere (Barr 45),
Hearn (Smith 45), L. Piper (Burnett 74), Scannell, Walshe.
Subs: Clancy, Duku.
Invicta: Mann, J. Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Dunlop (Dryden 65), Lindsey, Bower
(M. Everitt 54), Myall, Neilson (Sly 77), Jones, Norman.