Thursday 01st September 2005

Cugley's triple change inspires Folkestone to victory
Folkestone Invicta 3-2 Banbury United
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 31 January 2004
by Richard Murrill

Three goals in the final 25 minutes completed a dramatic turnaround as Folkestone Invicta came back from 2-0 down at half time to beat Banbury United amidst wet and blustery conditions at the Westbourne Stadium.

The rain and wind were always likely to be a key factor in the only non-league game in Kent and the only Dr Martens League Eastern Division fixture to survive the weather on Saturday.

And so it proved as this was the proverbial game of two halves as all five goals were scored at the ‘town/cricket end’ of the ground.

Invicta’s long unbeaten run in the Eastern Division looked like being blown away as Banbury took control with two first half goals.

But a bold triple substitution on the hour mark was the catalyst for the Invicta revival as the home side laid siege on the Banbury goal.

21-year-old John Ayling once again proved to be the decisive factor as he won the Anthony Hogg penalty which eventually brought Invicta level at 2-2 and then grabbed the winner thanks to an error from goalkeeper Simon Tricker.

Centre half Adam Flanagan had thrown Invicta a lifeline when he pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 in the 67th minute.

Invicta welcomed top goalscorer Allan Tait back into the starting line after his recent absence with a hamstring injury and striking partner James Dryden also passed a fitness test on his injured ankle.

But little was to go right for the home side during the first half.

Adrian Fuller’s right wing cross just eluded George Redknap in the middle for the visitors as early as the third minute, while at the other end a dangerous Dryden cross from the left whipped across the Banbury goal after six minutes.

A Paul Lamb shot from just outside the penalty area was saved by Tricker’s feet after 13 minutes, the first of three such saves by the Banbury goalkeeper during the afternoon.

But the visitors opened the scoring after 20 minutes when top goalscorer REDKNAP slotted home a well-taken goal on the turn after Fuller had played the ball in to him from the right hand side.

Chris Potter surged through the middle and hit a low shot at Kessell after 24 minutes and Mark Simms then shot high and wide when he created space for himself.

The conditions came to Invicta’s rescue on the half hour mark when the ball got stuck in the mud as it was played out to the unmarked Redknap on the right and Hogg was able to clear.

But it was 2-0 after 32 minutes when SIMMS was there to follow up after Kessell had saved from Potter when Justin Lee played the ball through.

Desperate needs called for desperate measures on the hour mark as Ayling, Peter Overton and Micheal Everitt replaced Tim Hambley, Mark Munday and Martin Chandler.

The all-important first goal came when a throw in from the right was headed back out to FLANAGAN on the edge of the box and he fired home his seventh goal of the season.

There was still plenty of time for Invicta to save the day and Tricker saved with his feet again to deny Hogg after 70 minutes when Lamb’s ball in from the left was headed back out to the edge of the box.

Ayling then skipped past his man inside the penalty area and was brought down by Fuller to give Invicta a penalty. Tricker got across to save HOGG’s spot kick, but the midfielder made it 2-2 from the rebound after 73 minutes.

Everitt was close at the far post after 76 minutes which led to a goalmouth melee as Invicta went in search of a winner.

And it was AYLING who won the game after 79 minutes when his shot from the edge of the area squirmed through goalkeeper Tricker.

Tricker reacted well to deny Tait when Ayling threaded the ball through a minute later and the Banbury goalkeeper produced yet another save with his feet to deny Dryden after another telling touch from Ayling.

Ayling was then played through the middle, but Tricker was to come to Banbury’s rescue again to concede another corner.

Banbury’s Jason Allen became the game’s only booking when he was cautioned for dissent after 90 minutes

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Chandler (Everitt 60 mins), Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, Hambley (Ayling 60 mins), Munday (Overton 60 mins), Dryden, Tait, Hogg.  Unused subs: Blackman, Egan.

BANBURY UNITED: Tricker, Fuller, Robinson, Sullivan (Stidder 87 mins), Allen, Eldridge, Stanbridge (O’Neill 83 mins), Lee, Simms (Jackson 73 mins), Redknap, Potter.  Unused sub: Brock.

Attendance: 325.

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