Thursday 01st September 2005
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Saturday 25
September 2004
Ryman League
Premier Division
Richard Murrill reports from Sparshatts Stadium
Eastleigh 1 Stokoe 30
Folkestone Invicta 1 Lamb 90

Lamb is a saint for last-gasp Invicta

A stunning last gasp strike from Paul Lamb saved the day for Folkestone Invicta as they gained a point from Saturday’s visit to a wet Sparshatts Stadium.

LAMB hit an absolute screamer into the bottom right hand corner of the net when a Drew Watkins free kick came back out to him just outside the penalty area in the third minute of stoppage time.

Eastleigh had time to kick off before referee Bernard Baker from Andover blew for full time.

31-year-old left back Lamb could not have struck his dramatic late equaliser any better and it was all the more remarkable as it came with the right leg he normally uses for standing on. The sensational strike sparked joyous celebrations amongst the Invicta players and sent them off in good spirits for a team-bonding night out in nearby Southampton.

It had looked as though Eastleigh were heading for a third successive win over Invicta thanks to a 30th minute header from centre forward James Stokoe.

Invicta had welcomed back legendary 40-year-old goalkeeper Maurice Munden in place of the injured Tony Kessell, with Watkins moving into the heart of the defence in place of the suspended John Guest, with John Walker coming in at right back.

Neil Cugley’s side made an encouraging start amidst heavy rain and Eastleigh goalkeeper Colin Matthews did well to get down to his right and touch a low Micheal Everitt shot round the post for the game’s first corner after 12 minutes when Simon Glover cut in from the left after a move started by Everitt himself on his 100th starting appearance for his hometown club.

Matthews then pushed a deflected Glover shot over the crossbar after 20 minutes when a good ball from Walker presented the visitors with a good chance down the right.

At the other end, Munden did well to touch Eastleigh captain Martin Thomas’ shot round the post for the home side’s first corner of the game after 22 minutes.

And STOKOE put the home side ahead when he headed in Sam Wyeth’s cross from the right.

Invicta created chances at the start of the second half as big Eastleigh goalkeeper Matthews touched James Dryden’s 47th minute free kick over the crossbar after Lee Bright had fouled Glover.

And Glover himself had a chance to equalise but shot tamely at Matthews when put through down the middle a minute later.

Invicta skipper Scott Lindsey made way for the previous weekend’s 16-year-old goalscoring hero Luke Coleman after 65 minutes, with Martin Chandler donning the captain’s armband.

But the game did not really come to life until the closing stages.

Eastleigh substitute Martin Beck whipped in a couple of dangerous crosses from the left and Munden pushed substitute Stewart Beck’s shot from the edge of the penalty area over the crossbar in the 86th minute.

Munden had fitted in well as Kessell’s replacement but received a yellow card after 87 minutes for kicking out at Stewart Beck as the Eastleigh substitute impended him from clearing the ball.

It did not look like being Invicta’s day as Dryden dinked the ball over the crossbar when a Lamb kick was touched on after 88 minutes and an off balance Coleman shot over from close range as he appealed for shirt pulling in the 90th minute.

Eastleigh’s Rob Marshall and Wyeth were both booked for dissent as Invicta were awarded a free kick close to the half way line.

And Lamb’s first goal of the season was to turn the game on its head.

EASTLEIGH: Matthews, Wyeth, Ashford, Thomas, Bright, Marshall, Smith, Proctor (M. Beck 75 mins), Stokoe (S. Beck 81 mins), Banger (Hunt 85 mins), Warren.  Unused subs: Hayes.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Munden, Watkins, Lamb, Flanagan, Walker, Lindsey (Coleman 65 mins), Chandler, Munday, Dryden, Everitt, Glover.  Unused subs: Dyson, Spearpoint, Morrin.

Attendance: 214.