Thursday 01st September 2005
Folkestone’s five star show ends Bromley’s Cup dream

Cugley delighted with his team's display as Invicta reach Kent Senior Cup Final

Bromley 0-5 Folkestone Invicta
John Ullman Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final
Tuesday 23 March 2004
Stephen McCartney and Richard Murrill report from Hayes Lane

Long-serving Folkestone Invicta manager, Neil Cugley was full of praise for his team after they booked a place in the final of the John Ullman Kent Senior Cup with an impressive 5-0 win at Ryman League Division One South outfit Bromley at Hayes Lane.

Cugley’s side, unbeaten in an amazing 23 Dr Martens League Eastern Division games, host cup holders Margate in the final at their Cheriton Road home on 27th or 28th April.

Margate’s dominance in the Kent Senior Cup continue after they disposed of Dover Athletic 3-1 at The Crabble in the other semi-final played on the same night. 

Cugley said: “I thought we worked extremely hard and to be honest Bromley were the better side up to when we scored.  After that, however, we controlled the game and I did feel before the game we could exploit Bromley with set pieces.  Obviously that did come true in the first half.”

Five goals in a sensational thirty-two minutes either side of half time took Invicta through in style, blowing away Stuart McIntyre’s Bromley side, even though the Ryman Leaguers had the better of the early exchanges.

Bromley are a side that can create a number of chances throughout games, but they must learn to score the goals and kill teams off as early as possible.  

This was the case after eleven minutes when Landry Zahana-Oni’s run enabled him to thread the ball to Kevin George, but the former Grimsby Town and Wimbledon player dragged his shot wide of the far post from twelve yards.  

Two minutes later, Bromley central defender John Wilfort  was almost punished for a poor back pass to goalkeeper Danny Harwood as James Dryden intercepted but the goalkeeper saved the low shot from seventeen yards.   

Harwood denied Dryden again after twenty minutes, watching the left footed shot from 25 yards take one bounce before making a comfortable save.

Just before the hour mark, however, Bromley created chances of their own.  Cheered on by their passionate and vocal fans that created the best atmosphere at Hayes Lane this season, they must take credit for supporting their battered side for the entire game, even at 5-0 down.

 Zahana-Oni carved an opening for talented midfielder, Gary Drewett  whose eighteen yard shot was clipped wide of the right post before Colin Luckett shot narrowly wide of the left post after the assistant eferee waved for a Bromley free kick.

From the resulting set piece from skipper John Myatt, who is set to make his 200th appearance for Bromley in Saturday’s crucial home Ryman League clash with Bracknell Town, delivered the ball and Mark Willy headed over from only seven yards. 

Drew Watkins clipped the ball over the home defence for Martin Chandler to exploit the back line.  His cross, however, was superbly plucked out of the air by Harwood, a crucial save as Folkestone had three attackers waiting at the far post.

Twenty-six year old centre half, Adam Flanaghan opened the scoring after 37 minutes when he headed in Chandler’s deep corner from the left from close to the goal line at the far post.

And Flanaghan made it 2-0 three minutes later when he got the final touch after an almighty scramble in the Bromley goalmouth when Paul Lamb’s corner was initially headed on by James Dryden and then took a deflection off a defender when a Michael Everitt shot came back in.

The night got better and better for Invicta as it soon became three goals in six amazing minutes from set pieces as a Chandler free kick from 35 yards out, close to the left touchline, incredibly flew over Harwood, who made one Folkestone appearance last March in a 4-1 home win over Hednesford Town,  and into the far corner of the net.

A well-worked Folkestone corner six minutes after the interval almost made the score 4-0.  Chandler’s free kick was cut to Watkins who dummied for Anthony Hogg who curled a shot wide of the far post from 25 yards.

Watkins did make the score  4-0 after 52 minutes on his return to his old stomping ground where he played for Bromley’s groundsharers Cray Wanderers until his move to Invicta during the summer.

The 23-year-old full back cut in from the right hand side before smashing the ball into the far corner of the net in a move, which, he himself had started, which also involved Lamb, Hogg and Dryden.

Bromley manager Stuart McIntyre brought on experienced striker Wade Falana and the striker caused immediate problems causing panic in the visiting defence which allowed off-sorts Bobby George a chance at goal from 16 yards but his shot was hit straight at goalkeeper Anthony Kessell.

Just past the hour, Michael Harney’s corner was headed on by skipper Myatt and Falana screamed a shot narrowly wide of the left upright.

The best was yet to come for Invicta as Hogg completed the rout with the goal of the game after 65 minutes.  The goal came at the end of a flowing Invicta move as Lamb played the ball in and Chandler exchanged passes with Dryden before Hogg applied a sweet first time finish on the turn.

Cugley even brought on substitute goalkeeper Paul Egan for Kessell with four minutes remaining, and at least he was tested, Drewett’s low shot was saved to the goalkeeper’s left.

Cugley added: “We played ever so well in the second half and the two goals we scored were very good moves.”

Looking ahead to the final, Cugley feels his side do have a chance of lifting the silverware but that depends if his first team squad, in which only 12 players get paid, can stay injury and suspension free.

He added: “We will give it a shot.  We do have a small squad and that depends on injuries and suspensions.  We only have 12 paid players in the squad, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.  If we got a full side out on the day we hope we can give Margate a good game.”

Cugley has been at Cheriton Road for seven years and he admits his side only needs to win one more league game to achieve their aim of promotion into what currently is, the Dr Martens League Premier Division.

They face King’s Lynn at Cheriton Road on Saturday, and the manager said: “I think we need one more win to secure promotion.  We have King’s Lynn at home on Saturday and that is obviously a very important game.  If we can win that who knows what we can achieve?”

Cugley praised his defence for their solid performance against Bromley.  He added: “I thought our defence played well early on when Bromley put us under early pressure.  Michael Everitt and Martin Chandler, both local lads, both played very well.”

Cugley, who lives locally in Hythe, feels it’s important that eight of his squad live in Folkestone.  The club pays only 12 players and after financial problems last season, the club were forced to sell prolific scorer Alan Tait to Dr Martens League Premier Division side, Crawley Town.  Cugley, however, revealed the club’s finances are improving and the future of the club is good.

If they continue to play the way they did at Hayes Lane in the Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final, the Cheriton Road outfit should do well next season.

Bromley have to concentrate on the league, victory over Bracknell Town on Saturday is a must!

Bromley:  Danny Harwood, Steve Potterill (Danny Smith 46), Michael Harney (Paul Vines 70), John Wilfort, Mark Willy, Kevin George, Gary Drewett, John Myatt (Capt), Colin Luckett, Bobby George, Landry Zahana-Oni (Wade Falana 55).  Subs: Paul Kember, Jason McKoy

Folkestone Invicta: Anthony Kessell (Paul Egan 86), Michael Everitt, Paul Lamb, Adam Flanaghan, John Guest, Scott Lindsey, Martin Chandler (John Walker 79), Mark Munday, James Dryden (Lee Blackman 67), Drew Watkins, Anthony Hogg.  Subs: Steve Lawrence, Lee Dyson

Referee: Mr R Bone
Assistants: Mr G Smith & Mr G Ions
Attendance: 233