Thursday 01st September 2005
Saturday 7 August 2004 Pre-Season Friendly Richard Murrill reports from Westbourne Stadium
Folkestone Invicta 1 James Dryden 28
Welling United 3 Paul Booth 19,44,79

Fans watch Booth net a hat-trick

A hat-trick from striker Paul Booth gave Welling United victory as Folkestone Invicta went down 3-1 amidst glorious sunshine in their final pre-season friendly of the summer at the Westbourne Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

BOOTH opened the scoring after 18 minutes when Danny Slatter met one-time Invicta man Anthony Browne’s cross from the right which evaded young goalkeeper Kieran Mann who was deputising for regular custodian Tony Kessell (attending a wedding).

Invicta were level after 22 minutes when Simon Glover’s cross from the left was only touched out by goalkeeper Martin Brennan and striker James DRYDEN was there to bury the ball into the net.

Glover was able to use his pace down the flanks as Invicta brought in striker Jamie Wood, who scored a lot of goals as Cray Wanderers won the Kent League in both 2003 and 2004 under his uncle Ian Jenkins. Wood also scored both goals as Cray completed the double in 2003 with a 2-0 cup final victory over VCD Athletic at Invicta’s ground, a game in which Drew Watkins came to the attention and subsequently signed for the Folkestone club.

Wood had played for Gravesend & Northfleet in an earlier pre-season friendly against Invicta and looks as though he could be a useful addition to their squad.

BOOTH restored Welling’s lead when he slotted home when the ball fell to him inside the penalty area after 43 minutes.

And BOOTH stepped up to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot after 78 minutes following a handball decision against defender John Walker when he charged the ball down from George Lay.

Curiously, it was the fourth second half penalty at the Town End – three of them disputed – which Invicta have conceded in their last three friendlies.

Welling manager Paul Parker has assembled an experienced side – with four new signings from Dover Athletic alone – as they prepare for their first campaign in the newly-formed Conference South.

But Invicta made a bright start as debutant Wood scuffed his shot wide when Micheal Everitt put him through as early as the fifth minute.

After Booth’s first goal, fellow striker Phil Collins put the ball just wide when he beat goalkeeper Mann to Brennan’s big clearance after 22 minutes, immediately before the game’s first drinks break.

Following Dryden’s equaliser, Mann saved another Booth strike when Lee Spiller forced his way through down the right hand side after 38 minutes.

Booth’s second goal gave Welling a half time lead and right on the interval Collins played the ball across goal and just in front of Slatter at the far post.

Substitute Martin Chandler shot over from the edge of the penalty area after 73 minutes following a move involving Scott Lindsey, Dryden and Wood.

But Booth’s penalty put the result beyond doubt.

Invicta’s Glover saw his free kick from the edge of the area touched over for a corner by Brennan after 83 minutes following a foul on former Dover Athletic striker Glover himself.

In a hard-fought game there were bookings for Welling’s Danny Lye (foul on Wood after 60 minutes) and Invicta’s Walker (late tackle after 61 minutes).

Welling lost Jamie Day to a head injury after 58 minutes, while Invicta centre half Adam Flanagan limped off with an ankle injury after 66 minutes, with Welling’s Collins also receiving treatment in the same incident.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Mann (Morrin 45 mins), Watkins (Walker 46 mins), Lamb, Flanagan (Lindsey 66 mins), Guest, Everitt (Wallis 79 mins), Wallis (Chandler 45 mins), Munday (Rook 79 mins), Dryden (Blackman 79 mins), Wood, Glover. 

WELLING UNITED: Brennan, Browne, Wiles, Arnott (Lee 71 mins), Watts, Day (Lay 58 mins), Slatter, Spiller, Collins, Booth, Lye (Street 79 mins).

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