Thursday 01st September 2005

Folkestone go into final on back of eight games without win

Invicta boss Cugley disappointed after seven goal thriller

Banbury United 4-3 Folkestone Invicta
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 24 April 2004
by Richard Murrill and Stephen McCartney

An injury time winner from substitute Mark Simms condemned Folkestone Invicta to defeat as they lost by the odd goal in seven in their last away match of the season at Banbury on Saturday afternoon.

The defeat means that Invicta go into their Kent Senior Cup Final at home to Margate on the back of a run of eight matches without a win.

Speaking to Stephen McCartney on Sunday, Folkestone manager Neil Cugley was very disappointed with the defeat.

He said: "I am very disappointed, our defensive play was appalling and didn't help us.  Although we scored three goals we should have had more.  We also had five one on one's with the goalkeeper and all went wide - it wasn't good enough!

"We are on a bad run at the moment, and we wanted to put it to bed as quickly as possible, so we were really disappointed."

For Banbury, Simms’ late winner was crucial in maintaining the Puritans’ own promotion hopes at a sunny Spencer Stadium.

Invicta went into the game with their small squad again stretched to the limit as John Walker came into the starting line up in place of Drew Watkins who is now out for the remaining few games of the season after sustaining an injury during the midweek defeat at Eastleigh.

But the visitors got off to the best possible start as striker James DRYDEN opened the scoring after just two minutes when he let fly from 20 yards for his 22nd goal of the season.

But Banbury were level on the quarter of an hour mark when Wayne BLOSSOM capitalised on an error from goalkeeper Tony Kessell to hook the ball home following a corner from the right hand side.

Invicta responded well and went close through Anthony Hogg, John Guest and Dryden, who shot just wide when put through by Micheal Everitt after 34 minutes.

But the home side went 2-1 up after 41 minutes when Blossom combined with top goalscorer George REDKNAP to allow the latter to take advantage of some uncertain Invicta defending.

The visitors replaced captain Scott Lindsey and midfielder Martin Chandler with strikers John Ayling and Lee Blackman at half time.

And Invicta were level after 52 minutes when Mark MUNDAY was credited with his second goal in consecutive matches in a goalmouth melee following a corner, though some say that substitute Ayling got the final touch.

Banbury went 3-2 up when Ady FULLER beat Kessell from the penalty spot after 57 minutes following a handball by centre half Adam Flanagan when Ollie Stanbridge hit an overhead kick towards goal.

Munday had an effort cleared off the line by midfielder Stanbridge before AYLING made it 3-3 after 63 minutes when he beat goalkeeper Simon Tricker with a low strike into the bottom left hand corner.

Tricker made another good late save to deny Ayling and fellow substitute Blackman also had a chance to snatch it for Invicta after 86 minutes,

But there was to be a final twist with SIMMS’ late winner as he latched onto David Billington’s free kick to fire home in off the post and set up a tense final day of the season for Banbury who could still pip Stamford for an automatic promotion place or at least need a point to secure their place in the play offs.

 FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Everitt, Lamb, Guest, Flanagan, Lindsey (Blackman 45 mins), Chandler (Ayling 45 mins), Munday, Dryden, Walker, Hogg.  Unused subs: Dyson, Egan.

Attendance: 413.