Thursday 01st September 2005

Chandler keeps friends at Folkestone

Last minute penalty keeps 24 match league unbeaten run going

Folkestone Invicta 2-2 King's Lynn
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 27 March 2004
by Richard Murrill

A 90th minute penalty from Martin Chandler preserved Folkestone Invicta’s long Dr Martens League Eastern Division record as Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash against King’s Lynn finished in a 2-2 draw in front of a 555 crowd at a sunny Westbourne Stadium.

Invicta had played very well during the first half and took an early lead through James Dryden, but ran out of steam after the interval and fell 2-1 down before Chandler saved the day.

Neil Cugley’s side have now gone 24 matches unbeaten in the Eastern Division as they denied championship-chasing King’s Lynn victory with a last-ditch goal for the second time this season.

Invicta came flying out of the blocks on Saturday and opened the scoring after just four minutes when DRYDEN capitalised on a stray back pass from King’s Lynn captain Glen Fuff and confidently slotted the ball past goalkeeper Steve Wilson after a Scott Lindsey ball out of defence.

It was Dryden’s sixth goal in six matches since the departure of top goalscorer Allan Tait and after a barren spell of 15 games without a goal at the turn of the year.

It nearly got even better for Invicta after just six minutes when Anthony Hogg’s 25-yard shot struck the King’s Lynn crossbar.

Hogg was close again after 14 minutes when his shot from the edge of the penalty area was cleared off the line by Richard Woodrow when Chandler’s corner from the left was initially headed on at the near post before being cleared back out.

King’s Lynn had to re-adjust after the early Invicta onslaught when defender Mark Burrows limped off after 34 minutes and left back Daniel Hammond moved across to centre half.

The visitors had not seriously threatened the Invicta goal during the first half, but it was a different story after the interval as King’s Lynn came out strongly from the start of the second half.

Invicta goalkeeper Tony Kessell looked uncertain when he let the ball slip out of his hands after 57 minutes and had to back-track to save Carl Holmes’ attempted lob.

It was 1-1 after 59 minutes when Invicta captain Lindsey conceded a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area and Dave STAFF’s strike flew into Kessell’s right hand corner despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to the ball.

Set piece specialist Staff had scored from an almost identical free kick at a similar stage of the game when the sides drew 1-1 at the Walks back in January.

Hogg headed over from close range for Invicta after 70 minutes following a melee in the King’s Lynn penalty area.

But the visitors pressed for the winner which would have kept them ahead of Tonbridge at the top of the table. And the Linnets went 2-1 up after 74 minutes when the ball bounced over Invicta’s Mark Munday in midfield and a through ball eluded captain Lindsey to allow vastly experienced striker Dale WATKINS to run on and chip the ball over goalkeeper Kessell.

Kessell got down to his right to touch Adam Jones’ header away from close to the post after 81 minutes.

And there was to be a final twist when Paul Lamb’s corner from the right was headed on by John Guest and King’s Lynn’s Staff handled on the line to keep out Adam Flanagan’s follow up header.

Staff was sent off by referee Ian Gosling to become the third King’s Lynn player to be sent off in three consecutive league visits to Cheriton Road.

And CHANDLER held his nerve to plant the ball into the corner of the net to earn his side a share of the spoils.

There was still time for a looping header from the visitors’ Jones to go just over the Invicta crossbar from Hammonds’ deep free kick.

King’s Lynn’s Staff had earlier been booked after 78 minutes before his late dismissal.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, Chandler, Munday, Dryden, Watkins (Blackman 72 mins), Hogg.  Unused sub: Walker, Dyson, Winfield, Egan.

KING’S LYNN: Wilson, Jones, Hammond, Burrows (C. Defty 34 mins), Fuff, Stevenson, Camm, Holmes, Staff, Watkins, Woodrow (Harris 52 mins).  Unused subs: Fishlock, Nobes.

Attendance: 555.