Thursday 01st September 2005

19-goal Dryden: I'm getting sick of these transfer rumours

Friday 9th
December 2005
Ryman Premier League Stephen McCartney reports from 
Chestnut Avenue
Wealdstone 1 Jermaine Beckford 12
Folkestone Invicta 2 James Dryden 40,77

Folkestone Invicta leapfrogged over Wealdstone in the Ryman Premier League table after coming from behind to collect three vital points at a foggy and graffiti covered Chestnut Avenue ground in Northwood tonight, writes Stephen McCartney.

James Dryden's brace secured Invicta's third league win on their travels after Stones' striker Jermaine Beckford's fine individual goal - his 20th of the season - gave the Londoners a 12th minute lead.

Cutting in from the left flank, the visiting defenders couldn't steal the ball off him, and from an acute angle he drove a shot across goalkeeper Tony Kessell and into the bottom far corner.

But Dryden had a couple of chances before the opening goal.  He first tried his luck from 30-yards, which dipped narrowly wide of the right upright and then, after controlling Stuart Myall's through ball, his right-footed shot went agonisngly wide of the far post.

Following their goal, Wealdstone twice tried to beat Kessell with shots from outside the box, but defender Andy Keepence's rasping 30-yarder was comfortably saved and the goalkeeper turned Gary Burrell's shot around the post.

Folkestone almost equalised just past the half-hour mark.  Eastbourne based midfielder Myall hurled a throw into the penalty area, which was flicked on at the near post but Paul Jones' agonisngly headed against the top of the right post.

Dryden then latched onto a through ball and with only goalkeeper Glenn Jackson to beat, was denied by a fine save.

But a diving Jackson couldn't prevent Dryden netting his 18th goal of the season after 40 minutes, beaten by a left-footed half-volley from 25-yards.

Homeless Wealdstone, searched for an equaliser, and after Lee Holland ran into a solid brick wall, he laid the ball off for Robert Ursell to fire over.

And then on the hour-mark, Beckford's right-footed 25-yard shot dipped just over Kessell's bar, who three minutes later was relived to see a close range header at the far post go just wide.

Folkestone's first chance of the second half came on 66 minutes when new skipper Adam Flanagan saw his long range effort dip narrowly over.

Former Ashford Town striker Jones, meanwhile, worked hard throughout and after being denied by Jackson, the goalkeeper threw the ball up field to Phil Turner, who burst down the middle of the pitch and was denied a fine break away goal by Kessell, pushing the 25-yard shot around the post.

But Jackson's blunder with 13 minutes left, gift-wrapped the Kent side all three points, which was an early Christmas present for the Cheriton Road club.

Kicking a back pass straight at Myall's feet, he centred for Dryden who punished the howler, firing into the bottom right hand corner to score his 19th goal of the season and to seal a very important victory.

"I thought we played ever so well," Invicta manager Neil Cugley said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk  after the game.

"We should have been three or four one up at half time and that wouldn't have been an injustice on today.

"The first twenty minutes we were a bit poor but after that I thought we were outstanding and thoroughly deserved the win."

Cugley explained why experienced midfielder and player coach Scott Lindsey left the club earlier in the week.

Lindsey, who was sent off after coming on as a late substitute in their 2-1 defeat by Hendon at the Buzzlines Stadium last Monday, will be missed by Cugley and the players.

"Scott was in and out of the side," admitted Cugley.  "He just felt with his family and that he wanted to spend more time with them and it's a great shame.

"It's a great loss to the club because he's a great bloke, will be badly missed and we won it for him tonight."

Cugley's side take on promotion hopefuls Staines Town at the Buzzlines Stadium, Cheriton Road on Saturday, 17th December, before making an emotional short trip to Hartsdown Park on Boxing Day (26th).

"Staines will be in the top four at the end of the season so that will be a hard game," admitted Cugley.

"To be fair Margate were superb with the Paul Sykes situation and obviously we'll like to go down there and beat them but I'd still like to thank them on how they handled the whole night and the cup final afterwards."

And an emotional Cugley added: "You don't really recover.  You think about it most day's I'm afraid.  You do get on, you have to, and I'm still very sorry for Carly (Sykes) - it's still a horrible feeling.

But after losing their last two games to basement boys Windsor & Eton and Hendon, Cugley was pleased that his small squad have bounced back.

He said: "We wanted to get nine points from our last four games, but we've finished up with six, so I suppose it's not too bad.

"Hopefully we can kick on and get midtable this year and have a good year next season."

Meanwhile, 19-goal striker, Dryden, admitted he's pleased with his pre-Christmas form.

He said: "Very pleased.  I always look to target over 25 (goals).  I'm nearly there already - I'm really chuffed."

And the 25-year-old admitted tonight's win was vital as they climbed up the table.

"We've got back into trouble into the relegation zone, which we don't need at the moment," he said.

"We've got a good team here and we don't want to be in there.  We should be further up in the league but hopefully that will be changing soon."

When asked about the rumours about his future, Dryden replied:  "Yes, everyone keeps talking about it."

What would you like to say about your future?  "I don't know at the moment," he replied.  "There's so many rumours, I'm getting sick and tired off it really, just want to get on with my game for Folkestone at the moment and that's the main thing, scoring goals."

Can we say you'll be a Folkestone Invicta player for the rest of the season?  "I'd like to say I will be, yes, but you never know what could happen....."

Wealdstone:  Glenn Jackson, Lee Holland (Josh Cooper 83), Lee Campbell, Ross White, Dave Ryan, Andy Keepence (Robin Tucker 45), Kenny Beaney, Robert Ursell (Graeme Montgomery 72) , Jermaine Beckford, Phil Turner, Gary Burrell.  Subs: Carl Ashton, Louis Lancaster

Folkestone Invicta: Tony Kessell, Kevin Watson, Paul Lamb, Adam Flanagan (Capt), John Guest, James Everitt, Martin Chandler, Stuart Myall, James Dryden, Paul Jones, Steve Norman.  Subs: Joe Neilson, Rob Knott, Ben Sly, Kieron Mann (GK)

Attendance: 251
Referee: Mr Alan Black
Assistants: Mr Michael Webb & Mr David Jones