Maldon Town 1 Folkestone Invicta 0

Sunday 05th March 2006
Folkestone Invicta suffered a disappointing defeat when they went down 1-0 on their first visit to relegation-threatened Maldon Town in a poor game in Essex on Saturday afternoon, writes Richard Murrill.


A freak goal settled the issue as Maldon’s Neil Shade somehow found the net in the 38th minute when his cross from the left hand side went straight through goalkeeper Tony Kessell and centre forward Tommy Lee and trickled over the line.
Kessell collided with Lee as the ball by-passed both of them and the Maldon striker was to take no further part in the game as he was carried off. It was not how Kessell would have liked to have marked his 150th appearance for the club after his late match-winning save at home to Redbridge in midweek.
For the second successive Saturday Invicta were away from home on a sunny but windy afternoon. And as with the previous week’s goalless draw at Hendon, this was a game of few chances, with the second half being particularly uninspiring despite plenty of endeavour and competitiveness on show at the Wallace Binder Ground.
Invicta brought in Matt Carruthers for his first start since re-joining the club and Stuart Myall started in midfield in place of the suspended Martin Chandler.
Gareth Heath shot wide on the turn for Maldon with an early chance for Maldon after six minutes following a throw from the right.
At the other end, Steve Norman drilled a low ball across goal from the left hand side after 21 minutes following a free kick after a foul on Carruthers.
A Dean Parratt cross flew just in front of Craig Huttley in the middle for Maldon after 25 minutes, while Walid Matata shot just wide for Invicta nine minutes later after going past two defenders following a great ball out of defence from captain Adam Flanagan.
Shade’s strange goal was to give Maldon the initiative and only their sixth league win of the season.
Invicta replaced injured centre half Lee Shearer with James Fraser midway through the second half, but their current lack of goalscoring prowess was again to cost them.
Maldon’s Heath couldn’t quite get on the end of a cross from the left after 68 minutes as the home side edged nearer to victory.
Home goalkeeper Darren Gould came out to deny Matata after 81 minutes and took a knock for his troubles when Myall put the ball through.
There were chances at both ends in the 85th minute as Fraser headed wide at the far post when Matata played the ball in from the left following a good ball from Mark Saunders and Kessell saved with his leg to prevent Heath from increasing Maldon’s lead.
Myall headed over from close range after 89 minutes from a Carruthers free kick following a foul on Fraser and Matata shot low at goalkeeper Gould deep into stoppage time after a ball over the defence.
Invicta’s Kevin Watson was the game’s only booking for a foul on Heath after 66 minutes.
Maldon Town: Gould, Bell (Rugg 28), Davidson, Shade, Clarke, Goodacre, Driver, Parratt, Lee (Parker 41), Heath, Huttley.  Subs: Hull, Elmes.
Folkestone Invicta: Kessell, Watson, Corneille, Flanagan, Shearer (Fraser 65), Saunders, Carruthers, Myall, Matata, Wright, Norman.  Subs: M. Everitt, J. Everitt, Lamb, Mann.
Attendance: 175.