Folkestone snatch point and continue 15-match unbeaten run
Burgess Hill Town 2-2 Folkestone Invicta
Wednesday 7 January 2004
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Richard Murrill
An 87th minute equaliser from left back Paul Lamb stretched Folkestone Invicta's unbeaten run to 15 matches as Neil Cugley's side came back from 2-0 down to snatch a point away to Burgess Hill Town on Wednesday night.
LAMB scored his first goal since joining the club in November from Maidstone United when his shot from outside the penalty area was deflected into the net to save the day.
Substitute James MILLAR had given Invicta a lifeline when he pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after 71 minutes when Matt Geard pushed James Dryden at the far post after Allan Tait had sent the ball over from the left hand side following a John Ayling ball.
Tait and Millar had replaced Martin Chandler and Anthony Hogg at half time as Invicta signalled their intent to claw their way back into the game.
The visitors would have preferred to give top goalscorer Tait more time to recover from his hamstring injury ahead of Saturday's big F. A. Trophy tie at home to Stevenage Borough, but the striker was to make his first appearance from the substitutes' bench in Inivcta colours.
Things were not looking good for Invicta at half time at the Leylands as Burgess Hill led thanks to two goals from set pieces.
Nicky SULLIVAN opened the scoring after 26 minutes when he headed in the game's first corner from the right hand side.
And GEARD made it 2-0 after 41 minutes when his free kick deflected in off the Invicta wall. The free kick had been awarded for a challenge by Mark Munday which earned the Invicta midfielder a booking, with Dryden also booked for dissent.
Invicta had gone into the game with Chandler back from suspension in place of the injured Tim Hambley.
The visitors had the first effort on goal when Dryden shot at goalkeeper Pat Gannon in the second minute after a good combination with striking partner Ayling.
Chandler then shot wide a minute later when ailing created another chance down the right hand side.
At the other end, Munday blocked Ashley Carr's shot after six minutes when the striker cut in after John Price's ball had fallen to him down the middle.
Chandler hit a well-struck shot at Gannon from the edge of the penalty area after 11 minutes when strikers Dryden and Ayling combined to set up the opening.
And centre half Adam Flanagan headed wide from Dryden's long throw from the left after 17 minutes.
Burgess Hill responded as Carr headed wide from Steve Harper's right wing cross after 20 minutes.
And Sullivan put in a dangerous ball from the right after 25 minutes when Harper broke following an Invicta free kick at the other end just before Sullivan put the home side ahead.
Both sides then struck the woodwork as Geard hit the Invicta post with a low shot from the left hand side after 33 minutes and Munday hit the crossbar at the other end two minutes later.
Harper ran at the Invicta defence and shot just wide of the post after 37 minutes and Geard's goal increased the home side's lead just before half time.
Millar forced a corner from the edge of the box following a Tait ball after 51 minutes as the two substitutes aimed to make an early impact.
But at the other end, Sullivan headed just wide after 55 minutes when Geard whipped the ball in following a good move started by Carr.
And Harper shot against the post from the left hand side of the box a minute later.
Tait shot at goalkeeper Gannon following a corner after 67 minutes as Invicta sought the goal that would bring them back into the game.
Millar's penalty was to do just that, though the Folkestone side had Drew Watkins to thank for a great tackle when Sullivan was put through the middle after 76 minutes.
Burgess Hill's experienced debutant Price was booked for bringing Dryden after 85 minutes when Watkins and Ayling combined to send the striker racing away.
After Lamb's equaliser, Invicta threatened to strike again when Ayling found Tait on the left hand side and his ball across goal nearly went in off Geard.
BURGESS HILL TOWN: Gannon, Sullivan, Guile, Curnow, Andrews, Downey (Bridle 60 mins), Harper, Price, Geard (Dallaway 90 mins), Carr, Day. Unused subs: Hurley, Killpartrick, Sadough.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Watkins, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Hogg (Tait 45 mins), Chandler (Millar 45 mins), Munday (Everitt 73 mins), Dryden, Ayling, Lindsey. Unused subs: Dyson, Egan.
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