Thursday 01st September 2005

Flanagan's absence proves costly at in-form Braintree

Saturday 19th
November 2005
Ryman Premier League Richard Murrill reports from Cressing Road
Braintree Town 3 Ofori 9,24
Hawes 75
Folkestone Invicta 0  

Folkestone Invicta slumped to a 3-0 defeat away to in-form Braintree Town at Cressing Road on Saturday afternoon, writes Richard Murrill.


Centre forward Eugene Ofori put the home side in the driving seat with two goals in the opening 23 minutes and James Hawes completed the scoring towards the end of the second half.


Without influential suspended centre half Adam Flanagan, this was always going to be a tough test for Invicta against a Braintree side which is top of the current form charts and one of the championship favourites.


George Borg’s men have now won 15 and drawn two of their last 18 matches, with their solitary defeat since September 3rd coming 4-1 away to Shrewsbury Town in their F. A. Cup First Round tie on the same day Invicta were themselves acquitting themselves well at Chester .


Flanagan’s absence was to prove costly for Neil Cugley’s side as Invicta conceded two early goals from set pieces.


A 25-yard free kick from Brad Quinton flew just over the crossbar after just four minutes following a harsh free kick decision against John Guest.


The home side opened the scoring after eight minutes when Ofori  headed powerfully into the net from Quinton’s free kick on the right following a foul by Steve Norman on Andy Porter.


James Dryden didn’t connect properly and shot tamely at goalkeeper Nick Morgan when Stuart Myall played the ball in from the right after 11 minutes.


But Morgan was not to be seriously tested all afternoon as Invicta made very little in-roads against the side with the best defensive record in the Ryman Premier League so far this season.


Ofori headed wide after another ball in from the right in the 15th minute.


And it was 2-0 after23 minutes when big right back Chris Wild headed a corner from the right against the post and Ofori pounced again to find the net from close range.


Invicta made a tactical change at half time as striker Joe Neilson replaced right back James Everitt and the visitors went four at the back.


Paul Lorraine hit a fierce free kick at goalkeeper Tony Kessell when captain Scott Lindsey caught Hawes let as he shot over from the edge of the penalty area after 51 minutes and Mark Jones shot just wide of the far post from the left hand side after 69 minutes.


Hawes increased Braintree ’s lead after 73 minutes when he fired in from outside the penalty area when Kessell punched the ball out following a free kick on the left, with Invicta defender Guest still off the pitch having received treatment after committing the initial foul.


James Baker shot wide from the edge of the penalty area after 79 minutes as Braintree remained in the ascendancy.

Chelmsford City are the visitors to the Buzzlines Stadium, Cheriton Road on Monday night (7:45pm).


Braintree Town: Morgan, Wild, Jones, Adedeji , Lorraine , Quinton, Joseph (Burgess 80), Porter (Agygmang 90), Ofori (Toku 84), Baker, Hawes.  Subs: Robbie, Good.


Folkestone Invicta: Kessell, J. Everitt (Neilson 45), Lamb, Watson, Guest, Lindsey, M. Everitt ( Chandler 70), Myall, Dryden, Jones, Norman.  Subs: Friend, Hurley.


Attendance: 413.