Folkestone want to Shine in front of television cameras

Wednesday 05th April 2006

Folkestone Invicta travel to Stag Meadow on Saturday to take on Slough Town in the Ryman Premier League, writes Andy Bown & Tom Marchant -

Invicta players and supporters will undoubtedly travel with confidence after a comprehensive 3-1 victory over play off hopefuls Walton and Hersham at the Buzzlines Stadium the previous Saturday with Kevin Watson, Mark Saunders and Matt Carruthers getting the goals to make it three wins in three games for the Seasiders.

So Folkestone will surely be looking to make it four wins in a row as they seek to pick up as many points as possible in the final games of the season.

Manager Neil Cugley stated it was doubtful injuries to centre back Lee Shearer (ankle) and to Walid Matata (hamstring) will have healed properly in order for the pair to be in contention for a place in the squad to go to Stag Meadow.

“I don’t think they’ll be available Saturday,” revealed Cugley. “One of them might be on the bench but we’re not going to rush them back for the sake of it so we’ll more or less go with the same team as last Saturday.

“I think they’ll both be available for the Heybridge game and the Easter programme as these will be two difficult games”.

Local midfielder Martin Chandler who picked up a thigh strain at Cheriton Road last Saturday should be fit to travel but fellow midfielder Stuart Myall will not be in the squad as he is out of the country for a few days meaning Micheal Everitt will feature in the Invicta midfield.

Youngster Rob Knott who impressed greatly on his first team debut against Walton is likely to feature in the starting eleven alongside Matt Carruthers in attack.

“At his age there is a lot more to come from him and he’ll be a big asset for us next season,” said Cugley. “Since Jonesy has been injured he (Knott) gives us a bit of strength and puts people under pressure well and obviously he’s got a big frame and he can score goals which will certainly help us”.

Folkestone’s last away match against Slough was in October 2004 at a time when the Club had gone six games without a win and it was the since departed Mark Munday who scored an equaliser following a goal mouth melee to earn Invicta a 1-1 draw.

Slough’s successes last season which included reaching the second round of the FA Cup after defeating League One side Walsall were somewhat overshadowed by their poor finish to the season.

However, despite several high profile players leaving Stag Meadow such as Shaun Allaway to Staines and Alex Haddow to Eastleigh, optimism ran high at the start of this season as they aimed to return to the second tier of non league football.

Although this optimism was punctured by a poor start to the season in which they won three of their first 12 games and since then it has been their home form which has held them back with ten defeats so far this season.

Slough have currently only won one home game in the last seven but have a side which includes the Ryman Premier’s third top scorer; Ian Hodges who has scored 19 goals in 31 games. His goals have helped Slough push towards safety and are one of the reasons why Invicta’s miserly defence have to be weary this Saturday.

The Folkestone boss remarked: “We’ve obviously had them watched and we’re definitely going there to win as they aren’t that strong at home. With the way we’re playing at the moment we’ll be disappointed if we don’t get at least a draw if not all three points.”

The manager went on to say that Chief Scout Richard Langley has given him some more quality feedback on the opposition, expressing, “He (Richard) has given me a couple of things we’ve got to be careful of but if we play like we have done in the last few weeks there shouldn’t be a problem.”

This Saturday’s encounter has an extra dimension to it; independent television programme producers ‘Shine Limited’ are making a documentary for the ‘Bravo’ television channel called ‘Man’s Work’.

The programme features journalist Ashley Hames; a man who has never done a days work in his entire life who takes on thirteen jobs deemed to be the toughest in the world including working for the Columbian Narcotics Police and the Montana Avalanche Rescue Team.

Taking full charge of the Slough Town first team including conducting training sessions, under the assistance of current manager Eddie Denton and assistant manager Mark West is the final challenge for Hames in order to experience the stress and difficulties of being a modern day football manager.

Cugley said: “It’ll be an interesting game on Saturday and from our point of view it makes us even more determined to win because you don’t want to be losing the game if it’s going to be shown on Sky!

“I don’t think it’ll have any bearing on the football Slough play as their players will continue to play in a particular way like they have done all season and they are going to be motivated by being on TV”.

Fans are asked to be especially considerate on Saturday as Slough fans mourn the death of a supporter at their away game to Staines last week.

Many will remember the decency with which Slough fans respected the mourning of Paul Sykes at the first home game after his death towards the back end of last season and so we would ask everyone attending from Folkestone to match the respect they gave at the game this coming Saturday.

Fans may also have noticed that the previously scheduled friendly against Hythe Town on Monday 10th April at the Buzzlines Stadium will now be against Herne Bay.

Herne Bay have kindly stepped in as Hythe have pulled out due to the large number of injuries they have picked up in recent games.

Slough Town v Folkestone Invicta
Ryman Premier League
Saturday 8th April 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Windsor & Eton, Stag Meadow, St Leonards Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3DR