Managerless Stones comfortably beaten
Maidstone United 0-3 Folkestone Invicta
Kent Senior Cup First Round
Wednesday 17 December 2003
by Richard Murrill
Folkestone Invicta moved comfortably into the quarter finals of the John Ullman Kent Senior Cup as goals from Drew Watkins, Anthony Hogg and John Ayling gave Neil Cugley's side a 3-0 victory away to Maidstone United at Sittingbourne on a bitterly cold Wednesday night.
This was Invicta's third consecutive midweek win in three different cup competitions and they now go into the New Year with just a penalty shoot out FA Cup exit at Welling United blotting their cup copybook so far this season.
The visitors were given a perfect start when WATKINS, a recent transfer target for Maidstone, hit a 25-yard free kick into the left hand corner of goalkeeper Kevin Hudson's net.
This was Maidstone's first game since dismissing with manager Jim Ward after Saturday's FA Vase exit at home to Bitton AFC.
Caretaker manager Mal Watkins is a one-time Folkestone player and he gave a debut to Michael Yianni, who joined the Stones from Hythe Town on Saturday.
The ambitious Kent League club gave as good as they got during the first half, but did not take their chances and the game was put firmly in Invicta's favour when HOGG curled the ball in from the edge of the area to make it 2-0 after 41
Invicta had the first chance of the game when a John Guest shot was blocked in the second minute after a touch from James Dryden.
But Maidstone had some good chances between the opening two Invicta goals and Elliott Bradbrook missed a good opportunity after four minutes when Richard Sinden did well to win the ball in the box and played a dangerous low ball
across the Invicta box.
At the other end, James Millar cut in and shot at former Invicta goalkeeper Hudson after 12 minutes when the midfielder collected the ball from Dryden.
Defender Ross Edwards did not make the most of his chance when a corner from the left fell to him after 21 minutes and Bradbrook hit a dangerous low shot across the goal when he broke down the left hand side two minutes later.
Maidstone's best chance came after 25 minutes when Sinden shot agonisingly wide of the post with the goal gaping when Invicta goalkepeer Tony Kessell raced out but did not clear after the home striker was put through.
Sinden then shot wide after 27 minutes when Neil Davey got the ball in from the right after Aaron Lacy had found him unmarked on the flank.
The home side had penalty appeals turned down when Bradbrook went down on the left hand side of the box after 28 minutes.
Invicta then began to create some more chances of their own as Ayling shot wide from the right hand edge of the box in the 36th minute after a move involving Paul Lamb, Dryden and Millar.
Martin Chandler shot over when the ball fell to him on the edge of the penalty area after 37 minutes and Hogg's goal gave the visitors breathing space.
Hogg shot over when Dryden fed him from the right after 58 minutes.
And AYLING made it 3-0 when he ran down the right hand side after receiving the ball from Hogg and squeezed the ball past Hudson.
Maidstone had another chance themselves when a ball out of the defence from right to left sent Danny Kedwell away, but the opportunity went begging as he unselfishly chose to square the ball across to Sinden, only for the pass to go
beyond his striking partner.
Sinden then shot at Kessell when the ball was played to him on the right hand side after 72 minutes.
Millar shot just over with a great strike for Invicta after 82 minutes following a Chandler pass, while Maidstone were denied a consolation goal when Kedwell lobbed just wide of the post in the 90th minute following a great ball from Steve Hogg, brother of Invicta's Anthony and himself a former Invicta player.
The visitors used the final 20 minutes to give a run out to all three substitutes, left back Darren Winfield, striker Lee Blackman and even goalkeeper Paul Egan.
Folkestone Invicta join Ashford Town, Bromley, Dover Athletic, Gravesend & Northfleet, Margate, Tonbridge Angels and Welling United in the hat for the quarter-finals
MAIDSTONE UNITED: Hudson, Yianni (McCabe 74 mins), Barton, Edwards, Davis, Hogg, Lacy, Kedwell, Sinden (Appleton 78 mins), Davey (Griffin 61 mins), Bradbrook. Unused subs: Austin, Cordice.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell (Egan 76 mins), Watkins, Lamb (Winfield 69 mins), Lindsey, Guest, Hogg, Chandler, Everitt, Dryden, Ayling (Blackman 69 mins), Millar.