Thursday 01st September 2005

Tuesday 17 August 2004 Ryman League
Premier Division
Richard Murrill reports from Westbourne Stadium
Folkestone Invicta 1 Dryden 42
Chelmsford City 0  

Cugley pleased with first league victory

A 42nd minute header from James Dryden got Folkestone Invicta’s season up and running as they took all three points from their first home Ryman Premier League game against Chelmsford City at the Westbourne Stadium on Tuesday night.

Hard-working striker DRYDEN got the decisive goal when he met a right wing cross from fellow local player Micheal Everitt.

The win was just the tonic Invicta needed after their equally narrow 1-0 opening day defeat at Salisbury on Saturday.

The Folkestone side welcomed captain Scott Lindsey back into the starting line up after suspension and gave a first start to little striker Jamie Wood, signed from Cray Wanderers.

There were chances from the start in an entertaining first half as new Chelmsford striker Andrew Douglas shot at Tony Kessell after two minutes and a 25-yard Drew Watkins free kick flew just wide of the Chelmsford post a minute later.

An Everitt shot was then plucked out of the air by Chelmsford goalkeeper Steven Graham after six minutes following a touch by Wood.

Chelmsford were close after 14 minutes when a 25-yard free kick from Kevin Watson came back off the Invicta crossbar and former Dover Athletic player Steve Norman’s free kick from a similar distance bounced awkwardly in front of Kessell as the visitors forced their first corner of the game after 25 minutes.

For Invicta, Dryden made room for himself and hit a low shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area on the half hour mark.

But Chelmsford were finishing the half strongly and Douglas’ header from Sammy Cooper’s low cross had Kessell stretching after 33 minutes.

Gary Ansell’s shot on the turn then forced a corner from Kessell after the Chelmsford striker cut in from the right after 36 minutes and Lindsey cleared off the line from Liam Hopkins following the subsequent corner.

Dryden’s goal lifted Invicta and the popular striker threatened again just a minute later when he beat defender Ian Cousins down the right flank and sent in a dangerous cross.

Kessell was in inspired form between the posts for Invicta after his late sending off at Salisbury on Saturday and got down again to keep out Hopkins’ low shot right on half time following a move involving Norman and Cooper down the left.

The pacy Simon Glover blasted into the side netting after 57 minutes when he played a neat one-two with Everitt down the left hand side.

Invicta defended resolutely during the second half but had a let off after 75 minutes when Ansell fired wide when he seemed set to equalise after being put through down the middle.

And Douglas couldn’t convert from close range when Kessell appeared to have been fouled in the dying seconds.

Chelsmford substitute Russell Penn was the game’s only booking for a foul on Paul Lamb after 77 minutes which led to a flare up as the Invicta left back reacted.

Substitute John Ayling came on for perhaps one last hurrah as he answered Invicta’s early season call before heading for a scholarship in the USA.

Speaking to Stephen McCartney, Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley said: "John Ayling has been substitute for the last couple of games, he is off for a couple of years to the USA.

"He is a very good player and a superb substitute that can come on and turn games, which he has often done for us."

Cugley admitted he was pleased to get their first victory of the season, in their second game of their Ryman League campaign.

"All managers say the same, it's always pleasing to get that first victory. 

"Like most clubs, a lot of hard work has been done in the summer, and it's our just rewards."

With so many local players in the squad, Cugley added: "It's important as we've got a very small squad - obviously you need your local players to do well for you."

Second placed Yeading are the visitors to the Westbourne Stadium in Cheriton Road on Saturday, and the Invicta boss added: "They have a very good reputation, and are one of the current front runners, so a very good test for us."

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Watkins, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, Everitt, Munday, Dryden, Wood (Ayling 75 mins), Glover. Unused subs: Chandler, Walker, Rook, Morrin.  

CHELMSFORD CITY: Graham, Watson, Cousins, O’Connell (Faulkner 70 mins), Edwards, Williams, Norman, Cooper, Douglas, Ansell (Forde 75 mins), Hopkins (Penn 61 mins).  Unused subs: Butterworth, Crumpen.

Attendance: 385

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