Dryden saves the day for Invicta
First Qualifying Round
|Richard Murrill reports from Buzzlines Stadium|
|Folkestone Invicta||1||Dryden 82|
An 82nd minute equaliser from James Dryden saved the day for Folkestone Invicta as they came back from a goal down to force a replay at home to Whyteleafe in Saturday’s F. A. Trophy First Qualifying Round tie at the Buzzlines Stadium, writes Richard Murrill.
Dryden took full advantage when centre half Leigh Douce under-hit a headed back pass to goalkeeper James Wastell to rescue the home side after Adam Flanagan had headed the ball forward.
After a recent run of six wins in seven matches, Invicta had been expected to progress at the first attempt, but the Surrey side had not read the script and came to Folkestone full of attacking intent despite losing Richard Williams to injury during the warm up.
The visitors had opened the scoring after 52 minutes when former Wales Under 21 international Andrew Martin took the ball down well and planted a low shot into the net following a ball from Lee Sidwell.
Whyteleafe threatened to restore their lead a minute after Dryden’s equaliser but Invicta goalkeeper Tony Kessell made a vital double save to first deny substitute Gareth Graham and then Bradley Drake with an incredible save.
Douce then headed the subsequent corner from the left hand side over the crossbar as he looked to make up for his part in the Invicta goal.
Kessell saved again from Drake in the 85th minute after Lewis Taylor’s ball down the right hand side.
Goalscorer Martin then shot over from close range after 85 minutes as Whyteleafe went for a winner.
But Invicta themselves could have stolen it as a shot from substitute Ben Sly was deflected for a corner when Flanagan headed the ball on again in the 87th minute.
A combination of John Guest and Dryden then couldn’t quite force the ball over the line at the far post from Paul Lamb’s corner on the right.
And there was controversy in the 90th minute when both Invicta striker Dryden and Whyteleafe defender Dean Hamlin were booked for squaring up to each other after Invicta had penalty appeals turned away.
The chances had come right from the start as Drake shot across the Invicta goal after just 27 seconds at one end and Wastell made a great second minute save at the other end to keep out Stuart Myall’s far post header when Dryden played the ball in from the right.
Scott Simpson then shot over for Whyteleafe with an eighth minute free kick from the right hand side of the box and for Invicta a Dryden shot was cleared off the line by a defender two minutes later when Myall played the ball in from the left.
Taylor then blasted over for Whyteleafe after 13 minutes when he did not make the most of his chance as Simpson’s cross from the left fell to him.
Dryden did not get enough power on his shot and Wastell was able to save after 21 minutes when Myall’s throw form the right fell to the striker and another Dryden shot was then blocked after 33 minutes as the stalemate continued.
Invicta made tactical changes at half time as striker Joe Neilson replaced midfielder Scott Lindsey, with Micheal Everitt taking over the captain’s armband on the eve of his 23rd birthday.
Centre half Flanagan was pushed forward into a more advanced role during the second half as Invicta’s situation became increasingly desperate.
Whyteleafe continued to cause problems as Flanagan tackled Simpson in the box after a ball from Kevin Lock in the 48th minute and Micheal Everitt blocked from Lock himself after 50 minutes.
A 25-yard shot from Tony Martin then flew just over the Invicta crossbar prior to Martin’s opener.
Drake then headed over from Simpson’s corner on the right after 58 minutes.
Invicta had chances of their own as Paul Joes mis-fired from the right hand side when substitute Neilson did well to take the ball down and create an opening.
Guest then headed at goalkeeper Wastell following Lamb’s corner from the right after 78 minutes.
Hamlin, T. Martin, Davenport (Howard 83), Douce, Sidwell, Taylor, Drake, Lock,
A. Martin, Simpson (Graham 76).