Thursday 01st September 2005 - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football

Saturday 9
October 2004
Ryman League
Premier Division
Richard Murrill reports from Westbourne Stadium
Folkestone Invicta 2 Dryden 24,90
Braintree Town 2 Riddle 40, Burgess 66

Dryden's last gasp equaliser is tonic after cup defeat

A stoppage time equaliser from James Dryden saved the day for Folkestone Invicta as they took a point from Saturday’s encounter with Braintree Town at the Westbourne Stadium.

DRYDEN headed in a deep right wing cross from Drew Watkins to send home supporters away happy when substitute Martin Chandler played the ball out to the flank.

Striker Dryden had earlier opened the scoring after 24 minutes, but Braintree hit back and went 2-1 up during the second half despite being reduced to ten men when left back Mark Jones was sent off for dissent just before half time.

Dryden’s last gasp equaliser was a real tonic for an Invicta side playing its fourth game in eight days and which had suffered the huge disappointment of going out of the F. A. Cup on penalties against Harrow Borough on Tuesday night.

Invicta gave a debut to new signing Andrew Burke, a 21-year-old former Tottenham apprentice and Republic of Ireland youth international and made a determined start amid blustery conditions.

Braintree had the game’s first real chance after 20 minutes when striker James Baker shot over following a good turn on the edge of the penalty area.

But Invicta opened the scoring after 24 minutes when Burke forced the game’s first corner on the left hand side. Braintree goalkeeper Danny Guy saved a powerful John Guest header from Watkins’ ball in, but DRYDEN was there to find the net from close range.

Braintree lost Bradley Quinton to injury after 39 minutes, but were level a minute later when Louis RIDDLE’s cross-shot from the left hand side sailed into the far corner of the net after taking a deflection.

The first half drama did not end there as Braintree’s Jones was penalised for an innocuous-looking challenge on Dryden and received a straight red card for his protests.

Ten-men Braintree could even have gone in ahead at half time as Gavin McGowan found himself in space down the left hand side but shot over when he cut inside right on the interval.

The visitors were to get better after the interval but had Riddle booked for diving when he went down under challenge from Watkins after 51 minutes.

Invicta’s Paul Lamb was booked after 56 minutes for pulling McGowan’s shirt, with the Braintree player also going into the referee’s notebook for having too much to say.

The home side was struggling to make its numerical advantage count and defender John Walker replaced midfielder Mark Munday after 64 minutes to allow full backs Lamb and Watkins to get forward in wide positions.

Invicta centre half Adam Flanagan had to clear from close to the line when the ball was played across from the right after 65 minutes. And the visitors went ahead when Billy BURGESS fired home after 66 minutes when substitute Steve Sodje had a charged down as the ball bobbled around the Invicta goalmouth following a corner.

Chandler replaced Scott Lindsey after 70 minutes, with Watkins donning the captain’s armband and striker Luke Coleman replaced Burke as Invicta went for broke after 75 minutes.

A Dryden shot on the turn was saved by Gay after 81 minutes and Invicta’s chance seemed to have gone when Coleman scooped his shot over the crossbar following a Dryden run when Flanagan and Walker worked the ball out of defence after 86 minutes.

But Dryden’s last-ditch equaliser was the change the mood at the Westbourne Stadium.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Munden, Watkins, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey (Chandler 70 mins), Burke (Coleman 75 mins), Munday (Walker 64 mins), Dryden, Everitt, Glover.  Unused subs: Dyson, Kessell.

BRAINTREE TOWN: Gay, Burgess, Jones, Adedeji, Lorraine, Quinton (Martin 39 mins), McGowan, Good, Evans, Baker (Sodje 45 mins), Riddle.  Unused subs: Porter, Abbott, Mayward.

Attendance: 220.