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|Richard Murrill reports from Westbourne Stadium|
|Folkestone Invicta||2||Dryden 4,27|
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
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
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).
INVICTA: Kessell, J. Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Norman, Lindsey, M. Everitt,
Glover, Dryden, Munday, Neilson (Coleman 59). Unused subs: Rainbow, Walker,
Shaw, James, Ashford, Thomas, Bright (Rofe 67), Marshall, Smith, Hughes,
McAllister, Moss (Blake 76), Bowers (Forbes 48).
Unused subs: Wyeth, Webber.