Thursday 01st September 2005

STEPHEN McCARTNEY 07979 418 360

Saturday 5th
February 2005
Ryman League
Premier Division
Richard Murrill reports from Westbourne Stadium
Folkestone Invicta 2 Dryden 4,27
Eastleigh 2 Smith 10
Forbes 67

Prolific hit-man Forbes scoring again

Honours were even at the Westbourne Stadium as an entertaining game finished 2-2 when the prolific Andy Forbes equalised for promotion-chasing Eastleigh after James Dryden had twice put Invicta ahead during the first half.

Forbes’ goals helped Winchester to win the F. A. Vase last season and the highly-rated striker showed his class to save the day with a 67th minute equaliser for the visitors after coming on as a substitute early in the second half.

Aware of Eastleigh’s attacking strengths and missing suspended centre half John Guest, Invicta manager Neil Cugley decided to go for broke from the start on Saturday.

18-year-old striker Joe Neilson kept his place in the starting line up for his full league debut and when striker Paul Sykes was ruled out with flu, Cugley brought in Mark Munday to lead the attack as a fourth forward rather than use in his normal holding midfield role.

And the bold move paid early dividends for Invicta as they opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute when Neilson found Simon Glover on the left hand side and DRYDEN pounced to score from close range when the subsequent cross was not properly cleared by a defender in the middle.

Invicta then had two chances during the eighth minute when Dryden headed wide Micheal Everitt’s corner from the left hand side and Glover burst through and dinked his shot at big goalkeeper Wayne Shaw.

But Eastleigh were level in the tenth minute when former Bournemouth and Winchester player Danny SMITH controlled the ball with his head and lobbed the ball into the net from just inside the penalty area.

Dryden had a good chance to restore Invicta’s lead after 25 minutes but fired wide across goal when Steve Norman’s free kick from the right hand side fell to him at the far post.

And top goalscorer DRYDEN slotted home a similar chance to make it 2-1 in the 27th minute when Glover did well down the right hand side and referee D. Buck from Istead Rise played a good advantage after the latter had been fouled.

Dryden was involved again when he played the ball in to Munday after 37 minutes, but the former Margate man could not force the ball in after being wrestled to the ground.

Goalkeeper Tony Kessell came to Invicta’s rescue a minute later when he came out to save from on-loan-from-Stevenage striker Craig McAllister when Easteligh captain Martin Thomas played the ball over the Invicta defence.

Eastleigh signalled their intent at the start of the second half by bringing on Forbes after 48 minutes.

And the visitors were close a minute later when Ryan Moss headed wide former Football League player Thomas’ cross from the left in the middle.

A back pass then put Kessell in trouble after 53 minutes and Invicta could only look on in relief as the goalkeeper’s clearance ricocheted off Moss and flew wide of the post.

For Invicta, Micheal Everitt shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area after 56 minutes when Paul Lamb’s cross from the left came back out to him in a move also involving Glover.

But Eastleigh were level after 66 minutes when FORBES was there to convert Ryan Ashford’s free kick from the left after Forbes had himself been fouled by Adam Flanagan after being given the benefit of the doubt for shrugging off James Everitt.

Invicta had the ball in the net again after 72 minutes but the ‘goal’ was ruled out by a linesman’s flag after goalkeeper Shaw had kept out Norman’s free kick on the edge of the penalty area when Thomas handled captain Scott Lindsey’s through ball.

There were chances at both ends after 74 minutes as goalkeeper Shaw got down to keep out Munday’s header from substitute Luke Coleman’s left wing cross and Forbes’ shot flashed just wide of the Invicta post.

Eastleigh were pressing for a winner and Kessell got down to save from Forbes when McAllister played him through as Invicta got caught short of numbers at the back after 79 minutes.

With Invicta hanging on somewhat, Smith shot over when Ashford’s deep cross from the left fell to him in the box after 87 minutes.

There were bookings for Invicta’s Dryden (late challenge on Ashford after 69 minutes) and for Eastleigh substitute Danny Rofe (catching Micheal Everitt after 84 minutes).

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, J. Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Norman, Lindsey, M. Everitt, Glover, Dryden, Munday, Neilson (Coleman 59). Unused subs: Rainbow, Walker, Morrin.

EASTLEIGH: Shaw, James, Ashford, Thomas, Bright (Rofe 67), Marshall, Smith, Hughes, McAllister, Moss (Blake 76), Bowers (Forbes 48).  Unused subs: Wyeth, Webber.

Attendance: 351.