Folkestone Invicta 1 Redbridge 0

Tuesday 28th February 2006

Steve Norman came to Folkestone Invicta’s rescue with a 74th minute winner against bottom-of-the-table Redbridge at the Buzzlines Stadium on Monday night, writes Richard Murrill.

Norman had scored twice when Invicta won 2-0 away to Redbridge at the start of February with his first two league goals for the club and the left-sided defender struck again to score his first home goal for the club.

The only goal of the night came when Norman headed the ball in from virtually on the goal line when a Matt Carruthers corner from the left was headed back across goal at the far post by Mark Saunders.

It had not looked as though the ball was going to go in for Invicta during the second half as they laid siege on the Redbridge goal.

And the home side had a real scare during stoppage time when Redbridge’s Ryan Lee got clear of the Invicta defence and goalkeeper Tony Kessell had to make a vital match-winning save at the expense of a corner.

The Folkestone side had made two attacking substitutions at half time as Stuart Myall and Carruthers replaced Martin Chandler and James Everitt.

Striker Chris Wright shot wide from the edge of the penalty area after 47 minutes but this was to be a frustrating night for Wright and his striking partner Walid Matata who did not have his shooting boots on.

The home side were desperately close after 52 minutes when a Saunders shot from the edge of the penalty area was touched over the crossbar by goalkeeper Richard Wray.

Captain Adam Flanagan’s header was cleared off the line from the subsequent corner, Wray saved from Saunders again and the rebound was cleared off the line as Neil Cugley’s side began to exert real pressure on the visitors.

Redbridge striker Sol Ade then got in behind the Invicta defence and Kessell saved with his feet after 55 minutes.

But Invicta were now in the ascendancy and Wright blasted over wastefully when Mark Corneille played the ball into the box two minutes later.

Redbridge goalkeeper Wray made a great save on the hour to turn a Matata shot round the post for a corner when right back Corneille played the ball in again and Wray made another save top deny Norman.

Flanagan headed just wide from a Norman free kick on the left after 67 minutes as it looked like being one of those nights for Invicta.

But Norman was to break the stalemate.

Matata shot wide on the turn after 81 minutes with his last effort before being replaced by James Fraser.

Redbridge had gone into the game on the back of ten successive defeats but threatened to equalise when Bradley Brotherton headed just wide of the Invicta post from a corner on the right hand side after 85 minutes.

And Lee’s stoppage time chance had Invicta hearts in their mouths.

The home side had gone into the game with an unchanged line up for the third successive match.

Redbridge lost centre half and captain Chris Perkins to an early injury but were to be no pushovers.

Saunders came closest to scoring during the first half as his shot flashed just wide of the post after 14 minutes.

Norman sent the ball across goal after 21 minutes when Chandler spread the play out to Lee Shearer on the right and Norman shot from distance at Wray after 37 minutes.

For Redbirdge, full back Billy Sendall whipped in a low cross from the left which just needed a touch but carried through to Kessell after 40 minutes.

Chandler tee-d himself up and shot at Wray from the edge of the penalty area three minutes later, but though enjoying the bulk of possession Invicta had not really hurt the visitors during the first half.

And a Lee shot was charged down in the Invicta box after 44 minutes as the Essex side threatened a shock lead.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Watson, Corneille, Flanagan, Shearer, Saunders, Chandler (Myall 45), J. Everitt (Carruthers 45), Matata (Fraser 81), Wright, Norman. Unused subs: Lamb, M. Everitt.

REDBRIDGE: Wray, Sendall, Holloway, Langton, Perkins (Bradbury 13), Brotherton, Skerrit, West (Bull 83), Ade (Antoine 71), Lee, Allison.

Attendance: 274