|Richard Murrill reports from Westbourne Stadium|
|Folkestone Invicta||4||Guest 6,
Harris 90 (pen)
Sykes makes excellent Invicta debut
eleven game Invicta’s winless run came to an end when they picked up all three
points with a 4-3 win over second-placed Cheshunt in an extraordinary encounter
at the Westbourne Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
recently suffering supporters were in dreamland as goals from John Guest, James
Dryden (2) and Mark Munday saw Neil Cugley’s side raced into a 4-0 lead after
just 54 minutes.
goals in the final 20 minutes took some of the gloss off Invicta’s victory,
although the home side would have accepted any kind of victory before kick off.
Invicta gave a
starting place to new signing Paul Sykes and the extrovert striker made a
positive difference to the home attack alongside top goalscorer James Dryden,
with Andrew Burke and Simon Glover supplying the ammunition.
shot over for Cheshunt after just 48 seconds, but the first half was to be
one-way traffic in Invicta’s favour as they totally overwhelmed their
GUEST opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he stabbed the ball in at the
far post after Andrew Burke had sent over the game’s first corner from the
It was 2-0
after nine minutes when DRYDEN was there to follow up and head home after
Cheshunt goalkeeper Russell Ling had made a point blank save to keep out a Sykes
header following a ball in from the left.
The home side
were in rampant mood as Dryden volleyed over from close range when Glover burst
past two players down the left hand side and played the ball into the middle.
captain Ryan Harris then cleared off the line from Burke on the half hour mark
when Ling saved Burke’s initial shot following a move involving Kevin Watson,
Dryden and Sykes.
into action again after 41 minutes with another good save when the ball
ricocheted off Dryden.
forced a corner from Invicta goalkeeper Tony Kessell right on half time, but it
had been a first half to forget for the visitors.
better for Invicta at the start of the second half as DRYDEN made it 3-0 after
47 minutes when he tapped the ball in at the far post following an excellent
exchange of passes between Glover and Sykes.
burst down the left hand side and shot wide across goal for Cheshunt after 49
made it 4-0 after 50 minutes when he bundled the ball in after Dryden’s shot
had been blocked when Sykes touched on a Burke free kick.
to be no way back for Cheshunt and when Darren GRIEVES met Steve Magona’s
corner from the left to score inside the post past Kessell after 70 minutes it
appeared to be no more than a consolation.
ARCHER sidefooted the ball home a minute later the alarm bells starting to ring
for a nervous home club.
struck again to make it 4-3 with virtually the last kick of the game when HARRIS
converted a stoppage time penalty following a handball decision against Guest.
scoreline probably flattered Cheshunt, although the corner count of 12-3 in
their favour may suggests otherwise.
Invicta gave a first senior outing to 17-year-old substitute James Everitt who joined elder brother Micheal on the field when he replaced Glover during stoppage time.
Speaking to www.kentishfootball.co.uk
editor Stephen McCartney, Invicta boss Neil Cugley was pleased his side ended
their dismal run of eleven games without a win, and praised striker Paul Sykes
on his debut after signing from Southern League Division One side Dartford last
"The victory was badly needed and we deserved to win I felt," he said.
"Cheshunt had nothing to lose at 4-0 down and they threw everything at us and I am pleased we won.
"We had three sixteen-year-olds on the bench and we picked up a couple of injuries in the game so the last quarter-of-an-hour was hard work."
Sykes - a favourite with the Dartford fans - has slotted into the side and his work ethic pleased the long serving boss.
"He had two good reasons to join the club, he lives near and he is very cheap - he is very much in our wage bracket. He played excellently for an hour, when he got tired we had to change it around.
"His experience in leading the line was excellent."
After going out of the FA Trophy to Cray Wanderers in a midweek replay, Cugley added: "It was a game we should have won but didn't so it was very difficult because we've got a small squad and have been knocked back with injuries.
"We've lost Drew Watkins so I've brought in Kevin Watson from Welling and bringing in Andrew Burke and Paul Sykes has given us a stronger team."
Kingstonian - at the wrong end of the table -visit the Westbourne Stadium next Saturday, and Cugley added: "It we play well like we did yesterday we won't have any problems."
Scott Lindsay - who got sent off in the first game against Cray Wanderers - will miss the game with a one-match suspension so Cugley will be looking to bring in one more player to fill the gap.
INVICTA: Kessell, Watson, Sykes (Walker 71 mins), Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, M.
Everitt, Munday, Dryden, Burke (Coleman 78 mins), Glover (J. Everitt 90 mins). Unused subs: Waters, Morrin.
Ling, Keepence, Magona, Harris, Highton, Wales (Williamson 55 mins), Black,
Obeng (Aransibia 55 mins), Archer, Grieves, Watters.
Unused subs: Adams, Spencey, Reddington.