Thursday 01st September 2005
Cugley: It's been hard work at the club this week
|Ryman Premier League||Stephen
McCartney reports from
Andre Scarlett 90
|Staines Town completed a smash and
grab raid on Folkestone Invicta to win their 13th game in the Ryman
Premier League this season as they mount a serious bid for promotion,
writes Stephen McCartney.
Both their goals came on the break and in the final twenty minutes when bottled blonde Jamie Guy's fifth goal of the season and Andre Scarlett's debut goal gave the Swans an early Christmas present - one they didn't deserve.
The first half, however, was uneventful but Walid Matata - making his debut having joined from Dover Athletic in the deal that took record goalscorer (114 goals) James Dryden to Crabble - linked up well with striker Paul Jones.
The first shot of the dull first half came inside five minutes from the 23-year-old's right boot, but his drive was comfortably saved by Staines goalkeeper Shaun Allaway.
Despite there being five corners in the first half (Folkestone winning three) little else happened.
But the second half sprang into life and Martin Chandler was close to opening his account for the season but Allaway got down low to his right to palm his drive away after 48 minutes.
And new top-scorer, Paul Jones (8 goals) squared the ball to full-back Paul Lamb who drilled a shot wide of the left post four minutes later.
With red skies above the Buzzlines Stadium, the Kent side created a couple more chances with Chandler seeing the goalkeeper off his line, he tried his luck from 40-yards but the ball sailed over.
But Guy stunned the home faithful when, after cutting inside, his low curling shot found the bottom far corner of the net past Tony Kessell - who didn't have much to do during the game.
With Lamb now sitting on the substitutes bench after being replaced by Joe Neilson as Invicta went three men up front, Steve Norman swung in a corner and Adam Flanagan was denied his fifth goal of the season when Allaway somehow kept out his bullet header from close range.
Staines' Darren Campbell burst through the Invicta defence after 83 minutes cutting in from the left to the right but his audacious chip was easily plucked out of the air by Kessell.
Matata hooked a shot agonisinly wide of the right post but the Folkestone fans streamed out of the stadium in the final minute when Scarlett latched onto a howler from John Guest and buried a shot past Kessell.
Guest admitted after the game that he "messed up" (or words to that affect) and in the post match press conference told www.kentishfootball.co.uk: "We matched them. I thought we played well today for 90 minutes.
"We actually dominated them, they are a good side and if you really look at it they probably had a couple of shots. That's the difference - they finished them."
And his disappointed manager, Neil Cugley added: "I thought we played ever so well. Staines are a really good side with a very big squad.
"They haven't lost away from home this year and that showed today."
Speaking about highly-rated striker Matata, Cugley added: "I'm very pleased with him, he's done ever so well and looked sharp. It's very difficult as he's only just joined the club.
"He hasn't had a chance to work on anything, he's gone straight into the side and looked very sharp and I'm sure he'll get better and better.
"He's only a young lad and I think there's exciting times for him up front."
Invicta's next game is a trip to Hartsdown Park on Boxing Day against Margate, before Bromley visit Cheriton Road on 2nd January.
"We've had some really good games over at Margate over the last few years and hoping that can happen again," said Cugley.
"Hopefully we can go over there and get a win and that will help us push up the league."
Cugley revealed the mood at the club following the recent departures of James Dryden (to Dover Athletic) and Scott Lindsey (family).
"We are a bit disappointed with James going as well as Scott. over the last week it's been hard work this week at the club," he said.
"But the players responded superbly and I've got no complaints how we've played or the attitude of anybody in the team today."
|Folkestone Invicta: Tony Kessell,
Kevin Watson, Paul Lamb (Joe Neilson 73), Adam Flanagan, John Guest, James
Everitt, Martin Chandler, Stuart Myall, Walid Matata, Paul Jones, Steve
Norman. Subs: Liam Friend, Ben Sly, Gavin Ransley, Kieron Mann (GK)
Staines Town: Shaun Allaway, Jake Newton, Michael Murphy, Danny Gordon, Matt Flitter, Andre Scarlett, Andre De Lissier, Fiston Manuella, Garry Sippetts, Darren Campbell (Jon McDonald 85), Jamie Guy (Jermaine Hunter 90). Subs: Craig Maskell, Clement James, Trent Phillips (GK)
Referee: Mr Tony Mason (Sidcup)
Assistants: Mr Chris Phillips (Carshalton) & Mr Craig Hicks (Sutton)