Match Officials not Strong enough in Salisbury
Salisbury City 1-1 Folkestone Invicta
Saturday 20 September 2003
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Richard Murrill
Folkestone Invicta had to settle for a point from their visit to Salisbury on Saturday in a game dominated by the antics of the match officials.
Top goalscorer Allan Tait gave Invicta the lead after just two minutes and both James Millar and James Dryden missed good chances to increase the visitors' lead before Steve Strong equalised for the home side in the 63rd minute.
But both management teams were left fuming about penalty decisions which were not awarded by female referee Janie Frampton and her assistants Kenneth Horrigan and Dominic Gillespie.
Salisbury were up in arms after 31 minutes when John Purchess' cross from the left bounced up and hit Invicta defender Dan Larkin on the hand. The assistant referee flagged and play was stopped, but he had apparently seen nothing
untoward and play re-started with a drop ball outside the penalty area.
And it was Invicta's turn to feel aggrieved after 83 minutes when substitute John Ayling was clearly bundled over by defender Michael Cooper from Michael Everitt's ball in, but a blatant penalty decision was somehow not given.
On a good playing surface, Invicta had made a positive start as a speculative 30-yard chip from Millar went just over the crossbar as early as the 2nd minute.
And TAIT soon opened the scoring when he created a chance for himself and volleyed the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
It was Invicta's first ever goal at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium, but they had the ball in the net again after seven minutes when Tait diverted Millar's shot in from Martin Chandler's corner on the left, but the strike was ruled out for offside.
Leigh Phillips headed over Mat Davies' cross from the right after 12 minutes, but Invicta were on top and Millar might have increased the lead after 13 minutes when goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer saved on the line following Dryden's ball
in from the right.
Everitt shot over from the edge of the box on the quarter of an hour mark and Anthony Hogg shot at Sawyer as he got in the box after 18 minutes on his first appearance back in Invicta colours following a loan move from, Gravesend & Northfleet.
Strong had the ball in the Invicta net after 23 minutes, but the referee had already blown for a foul on goalkeeper Tony Kessell.
The game began to degenerate into something of a farce in the aftermath of Invicta's penalty escape.
Salisbury were close after 45 minutes when Gary Funnell's free kick from the edge of the area took a deflection, but Kessell got down to save that initial effort and did even better to keep out Phillips' close range follow up.
Salisbury goalkeeper Sawyer made a great save to keep out Dryden's piledriver after 51 minutes when the Invicta striker combined well with Tait.
Dryden should have made it 2-0 after 59 minutes but shot wide across goal when Millar played an inviting ball in from the right in a flowing move also involving Hogg and Tait.
There was a scare for Invicta after 62 minutes when goalkeeper Kessell spectacularly tipped over the crossbar to prevent a headed own goal from Larkin.
But the subsequent corner led to an almighty scramble in the Invicta area, with STRONG eventually bringing his side level with a low shot to give him his eighth goal in five games.
Invicta were now hanging on and centre half john Guest headed a 65th minute cross from the right dangerously close to his own goal and out for a corner.
Strong had a volley blocked for another corner and Phillips' shot from the right ran across the Invicta goal after 66 minutes.
But Invicta were denied the chance to win the game when Ayling should have been awarded that late penalty.
There were bookings for Salisbury's Roger Emms (dissent after 50 minutes) and Funnell (late challenge on Everitt after 60 minutes) and for Invicta's Guest (dissent after 35 minutes) and Tait (retaliatory kick at Mat Davies after 75 minutes).
SALISBURY CITY: Sawyer, Bartlett, Thomas, Cooper, Emms (James 60 mins), Davies, Turk, Funnell, Phillips (Turner 79 mins), Purchess, Strong. Unused subs: Crook, Brown, Holmes.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Kessell, Everitt, Larkin (Winfield 67 mins), Flanagan, Guest, Hogg, Chandler, Munday, Dryden, Tait, Millar (Ayling 79 mins). Unused subs: Blackman, Watkins, Dyson.