Thursday 01st September 2005
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Saturday 4th
December 2004
Ryman League
Premier Division
Richard Murrill reports from Wheatsheaf Park
Staines Town 0  
Folkestone Invicta 0  


Capture of Norman keeps Invicta solid at the back

Folkestone Invicta recorded a goalless away draw for the second successive Saturday in the Ryman Premier League as they stretched their unbeaten run to five matches in all competitions.

Neil Cugley’s side made it three consecutive clean sheets and have still not conceded a goal since signing former Dover Athletic defender Steve Norman from Chelmsford City.

And if either side looked like snatching all three points from Saturday’s encounter at Wheatsheaf Park then it was the visitors.

There were pre-match problems for Invicta as striker Simon Glover missed out with a foot injury, but in-form centre half John Guest played through the pain barrier with a chest injury.

Staines started the day in fifth place and threatened early on when Mark Jones fed Gavin Tomlin who got in behind Guest, but both Invicta centre halves Adam Flanagan and Guest blocked shots when the ball was played back and a third shot flew over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.

At the other end, a stretching James Dryden couldn’t quite force the ball in after 16 minutes when Flanagan got a touch after a back header from a Staines defender sent the ball heading towards the home goal following a free kick after a foul on Andy Burke.

The closest to a goal during the first half came after 31 minutes when Mark Munday narrowly failed to make headed contact at the far post when Paul Sykes flicked on Burke’s corner from the right to present the chance.

Sykes then ran on and hit a low shot at goalkeeper Matt Lovett when Burke played him through after 34 minutes.

And Dryden shot over on the turn after 41 minutes when Sykes nodded on a Kevin Watson throw from the right hand side.

The best save of the game came after 57 minutes when Lovett did very well to touch Flanagan’s header over the crossbar when Norman played the ball in from the left.

Invicta had another chance after 59 minutes when Sykes didn’t get enough power on his header when Burke played in a great cross from the left.

For Staines, Elliot Onochie’s shot also lacked sufficient power after 62 minutes when the ball was played in down the right hand side and the striker threatened to lob goalkeeper Tony Kessell.

Paul Ellis shot over from the right after 74 minutes with his last touch before being replaced by Jon Henry-Hayden.

Invicta brought on teenager Joe Neilson for Sykes after 82 minutes and the substitute made an immediate impression as he shrugged off his marker to get to a Dryden ball and exchanged passes with his striking partner before the latter played the ball into the path of right back Watson who hit a low shot just past the far post.

STAINES TOWN: Lovett, Gell, McDonald, D. Gordon, Flitter, Okikiola (Webb 15), George, Ellis (Henry-Hayden 74), Onochie, Tomlin (Maskell 86), Jones.  Unused subs: Redrup, L. Gordon.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Watson, Norman, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, M. Everitt, Munday, Dryden, Sykes (Neilson 82), Burke.  Unused subs: Coleman, J. Everitt, Dyson, Morrin.

Attendance: 239.

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