Thursday 01st September 2005

Folkestone leave it late

Invicta stretch unbeaten league run to 23 games

Chatham Town 0-3 Folkestone Invicta
Saturday 20 March 2004
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Richard Murrill

Two goals in the closing  minutes from striker James Dryden put a flattering slant on the final scoreline as Folkestone Invicta stretched their unbeaten run in the Dr Martens League Eastern Division to 23 matches with a 3-0 win amidst windy conditions away to Chatham Town on Saturday afternoon.

Dryden’s goals take his recent tally to five in the last four matches since the departure of Allan Tait and injury to John Ayling have seen him assume the role of Invicta’s only recognised striker in the starting eleven.

It had looked as though a first half goal from Drew Watkins was going to be enough to settle the game in Invicta’s favour.

Former Cray Wanderers player, WATKINS had opened the scoring after 35 minutes with a good low finish across goal when Anthony Hogg played the ball out to him on the right hand side after Paul Lamb’s attempted pass to Dryden had been headed back out.

Invicta had to wait until the 89th minute for their second goal when an attempted clearance was closed down by DRYDEN and the ball ricocheted into the air off his foot and flew over goalkeeper Gavin Hopper when a good ball from John Guest was headed out.

DRYDEN struck again during stoppage time when he broke down the left hand side, cut in and shot across goal into the far corner of the net.

The game thus ended with a late Invicta flurry and Dryden was denied a second hat-trick of the season against Chatham when he broke down the left again deep into stoppage time and shot just wide, with the stretching Lee Blackman just unable to turn the ball in at the far post.

Centre half Guest then scooped the ball just over the crossbar when goalkeeper Hopper fumbled a Dryden following a Lamb free kick.

Substitute Blackman had earlier headed against the crossbar after 85 minutes following a Martin Chandler volley.

It had been a different story during the first half when Chatham created the vast majority of the chances with the strong wind at their backs at Maidstone Road.

Steve Hafner chipped over from 25 yards after five minutes and striker Frannie Collin shot high and wide in the ninth minute when Doug Kedwell put him through after getting away from Guest.

Kevin Spriggs didn’t make enough contact when a Hafner cross from the right was headed on in the middle after 19 minutes, while at the other end a Dryden shot was blocked for a corner two minutes later when Chatham captain Tom Binks sliced his clearance after Hogg had played the ball into the box.

Collin brought the ball down and forced a save from Tony Kessell with a low shot across goal after 27 minutes and Kessell was called into action again a minute later when Spriggs let fly from outside the penalty area.

A Spriggs free kick then flew just wide of the post after 32 minutes when Invicta captain Scott Lindsey brought Hafner down near the edge of the penalty area.

Watkins’ goal came against the run of play, but put Invicta in the driving seat.

Chances were few and far between at the start of the second half and Hogg did not get enough power on his shot after 52 minutes.

Dryden showed great perseverance to keep the ball in play on the right hand side after 74 minutes and shot just over when he cut in after a combination of Chandler and Lindsey had got the ball clear.

Former Invicta player Hafner shot wide when the ball fell to him on the left hand side of the box after 76 minutes and the same player shot wide when he ran to the edge of the area after 87 minutes.

But Dryden’s late goals were to put some distance between them and their fellow Kent opponents by the final whistle.

Folkestone Invicta travel to Ryman League Division One South outfit Bromley on Tuesday  in the John Ullman Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final at The Clive Christian Stadium in Hayes Lane, kick off 7.45pm

CHATHAM TOWN: Hopper, Binks, Larkin, Driscoll, Boyle, Douglas (Brookes 74 mins), Spriggs, Billinness, Collin, Kedwell (Hassett 74 mins), Hafner.  Unused subs: Berkhauer, Lombardo, Armond.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, Chandler, Munday, Dryden, Watkins (Blackman 76 mins), Hogg (Walker 90 mins).  Unused sub: Dyson.

Attendance: 194.