Thursday 01st September 2005

Rampant Folkestone

Kwashi's late strike isn't enough for Dartford

Dartford 1-6 Folkestone Invicta
Tuesday 24 February 2004
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Richard Murrill

Top goalscorer Allan Tait helped himself to a hat-trick as Folkestone Invicta equalled their biggest ever Dr Martens League win with a 6-1 rout away to Dartford in a totally one-sided match at Gravesend & Northfleet’s Stonebridge Road on Tuesday night.

Anthony Hogg, Martin Chandler and John Ayling were the other goalscorers as Invicta returned to winning ways following the frustration of their goalless draw at home to Corby Town on Saturday afternoon.

The win takes Invicta up to fourth place in the Eastern Division table and stretches their unbeaten league run to 18 matches.

Tuesday night’s game was played amidst incessant rain, but the good playing surface always looked like being to Neil Cugley’s side’s liking.

Luke May had a couple of pot shots at the Invicta goal during the opening five minutes, but the visitors soon took control from the game’s first few corners.

Hogg – who started the season a Gravesend player – opened the scoring in the 12th minute when a Tim Hambley shot was blocked for the game’s first corner following a great ball from Paul Lamb. The latter moved across to the right to take the set piece which came back out to HOGG whose deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area went through a crowd of players and just crossed the line past debutant goalkeeper Jamie Delo.

Dartford have had their fair share of goalkeeping problems in recent weeks and Delo’s night was not to get any better.

Invicta were close again after 26 minutes when Delo pushed a Tait shot over for another Lamb corner which James Dryden headed against the crossbar.

The visitors made it 2-0 from the game’s third corner when Chandler played the ball in from the left and TAIT was there to convert what was Invicta’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions.

Hogg created another chance for himself with a drag back after 33 minutes from a Lamb ball but this time shot at goalkeeper Delo.

Dartford’s best chance of the first half came when John Butler’s far post shot was cleared off the line following a good Tony Kessell save from Tostoa Kwashi after a free kick from the left.

Hogg was close again after 44 minutes when goalkeeper Delo lost a great Micheal Everitt ball in from the right.

Invicta carried on from where they had left off after the interval as John Guest’s cross form the left just eluded Dryden at the far post after 47 minutes.

But it was 3-0 after 49 minutes when TAIT forced the ball over the line from close range when Chandler got to the bye line down the right and sent the ball over to Dryden on the left who created the initial opening for Lamb.

Dryden was the creator again when he received the ball from Everitt and crossed from the left for CHANDLER to make it 4-0 at the far post after 54 minutes.

Tait was denied after 56 minutes when Tommy Osborne cleared his chip off the line and centre half Guest volleyed wide when Lamb dinked the ball in after 62 minutes.

Dartford won their first corner of the game after 72 minutes, but it was 5-0 a minute later when TAIT smashed the ball into the roof of the net to complete his third hat-trick in Invicta colours after Dryden had let the ball run into his path from Adam Flanagan’s left wing cross.

With such a comfortable lead, Invicta could afford the luxury of an unbelievable miss from striker Dryden after 75 minutes. The striker somehow fluffed his lines when a Tait ball was missed by goalkeeper Delo to present Dryden with a complete open goal, only for him to somehow mis-cue. Dryden has now gone 14 games without a goal and needed a goal more than anybody in Invicta colours.

Dryden was now playing a more withdrawn midfield role as substitutes Ayling and Lee Blackman partnered Tait in a three-pronged attack.

And AYLING duly made it 6-0 after 81 minutes with a classy chip into the net when he showed typically sublime skill to take the ball through after another Chandler cross from the left.

That was the cue for Invicta to give a run out to reserve goalkeeper Paul Egan in place of former Dartford custodian Kessell.

Tait shot wide when Blackman chested the ball down for him after 87 minutes and Lamb found Chandler in space on the right hand side, only for Delo to save with his feet this time.

Tommy Sampson’s Dartford side grabbed a consolation goal when KWASHI headed in Danny Tingley’s cross form the right after Jay May had played the ball out wide following a free kick.

DARTFORD: Delo, Tingley, Osborne, Butler, Ratchford, L. May, Kwashi, Ansell, J. May, Elliott (Cunningham 60 mins), Nunn (Foley 45 mins).  Unused subs: C. Tedder, Nicholls, J. Tedder.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell (Egan 81 mins), Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Chandler, Hambley (Blackman 73 mins), Munday, Dryden, Tait, Hogg (Ayling 66 mins).  Unused subs: Watkins, Dyson.

Attendance: 179.

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