Slough Town 2 Folkestone Invicta 0
Folkestone Invicta slumped to a 2-0 defeat away to Slough Town on Saturday afternoon as Windsor & Eton’s Stag Meadow again proved to be an unhappy hunting ground for them, writes Richard Murrill.
Invicta have not won now in five visits to the ground and this disappointing performance follows an equally poor display in a 1-0 defeat away to Windsor themselves back in December.
Slough played for an hour with ten men after Leon Woodruffe bizarrely got himself sent off for persistent dissent, but the Rebels won the game thanks to goals from Charlie Ide and Michael Alexis.
It was a strange afternoon all-round as Slough were under the temporary management of television presenter Ashley Hames for a show filmed for Bravo.
And Hames was to have to deal with a first half sending off and a late goalkeeping injury.
Invicta themselves had Mark Patterson in charge for the day in place of the absent Neil Cugley who had a long-standing commitment.
The visitors brought in Micheal Everitt for Stuart Myall (work commitments) and kept young Rob Knott in attack for only his second start on a sunny afternoon, though conditions were hampered by a swirling wind and bobbly pitch.
A Micheal Eveirtt shot dipped over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after six minutes, but a cross from Slough right back Josias Carbon came back off the Invicta crossbar two minutes later.
Woodruffe was booked for dissent after 16 minutes at the start of a crazy 15 minutes for him.
But Slough opened the scoring in the 21st minute when the danger seemed to have gone following the game’s first corner only for the ball to be played back through the middle of the Inivcta defence by Glen Harris for Ide to put the ball over goalkeeper Tony Kessell and find the net.
Slough goalkeeper Clark Masters had to save when Paul Lamb whipped in a free kick from the right following a reckless challenge by Woodruffe on Matt Carruthers after 23 minutes, with Carruthers’ subsequent rebound blocked and captain Adam Flanagan hooking over.
Carruthers then shot at Masters a minute later when Flanagan nodded down a Kevin Watson free kick after another foul by Woodruffe on Carruthers.
There was danger at the other end after 25 minutes when Kessell had to touch Carbon’s right wing cross away and the ball didn’t quite run for Ide.
Woodruffe had exchanged words with officials, team mates and home supporters alike before he tried referee Mr Basten’s patience once too often and was dismissed for a second needless yellow card after having been given a final warning in the 32nd minute.
The home side soon replaced goalscorer Ide with another defender in Mark Avery.
Invicta’s Watson was also booked in the 42nd minute when he bundled Gareth McCleary over after the Slough striker had broken down the right hand side.
Kessell had to save from Glen Harris after 55 minutes when Leigh Mason spread the play from left to right to set up the chance.
Things got worse for Invicta after 70 minutes when a great combination from McCleary and Carbon sent the latter clear of the visiting defence and he unselfishly squared the ball across for Alexis to put the ten-men 2-0 up at the far post.
A long range Watson shot deflected for Invicta’s first corner of the game after 74 minutes.
Invicta introduced substitutes Walid Matata, Joe Neilson and James Fraser to try and make some progress against a Slough defence well-marshalled by captain Steve Daly.
Matata tried in vain to force the ball over the line from close range after 84 minutes and Steve Norman’s subsequent shot was charged down as Invicta finally made some in-roads in the Slough box, with centre half Flanagan now thrown forward as an additional striker.
Slough goalkeeper Masters was carried off in the 88th minute when a collision in the penalty area left him concussed and with a fat lip. He was later said not to remember anything about the game, though most visiting supporters will also not want to dwell on it for too long for differing reasons.
Fraser forced a stoppage time corner from replacement goalkeeper Michael Parkin when Flanagan nodded down a Norman corner from the left.
Slough Town: Masters (Parkin 87), Carbon, Steele, Daly, Ballard, Woodruffe, Alexis, Mason, Ide (Avery 35), McCleary, Harris (Moleski 79). Subs: West, Wilkinson.
Folkestone Invicta: Kessell, Watson, J. Everitt (Fraser 78), Flanagan, Lamb, Saunders,
Chandler, M. Everitt (Matata 63), Knott (Neilson 75), Carruthers, Norman. Subs: Burton, Mann.