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Folkestone Invicta 0-1 Kingstonian

Six months ago saw K's lift the Geoff Chapple Trophy FA Trophy at Wembley, and the defence started at the New Pavilion. Next to the ground was where Folkestone Optimistic Hockey Club play, and the feeling was that the town's footballing equivalents would have to be extreme optimists to believe that they would get something out of this game. Yet they came so close.

A severely depleted hooped side took to the field, which itself was looking much the worse for wear. Colin Luckett was out injured whilst Geoff Pitcher and Derek Allan were both out suspended. Surprisingly Gary Patterson was not. In came Luke Basford, Junior Kadi and Simon Stewart, and there was a welcome return for Eddie Akuamoah.

The K's certainly started as though they were the team sitting second in the Conference, and it was good to see. Simon Stewart went on a good early run which ended up at Patterson's feet via Mustafa, Kadi and Eddie. Patto's shot went wide. Shortly after, Stewart almost scored what would have been just his second of the season. A free-kick was cleverly played to Wingfield who crossed to the far post. Crossley headed back across goal and the ball landed at Stewart's feet two yards out. Somehow the goalkeeper managed to stick out a leg to block the shot and turn the ball away.

Junior Kadi, who hasn't started very often this season, was obviously missing his half-time antics, when he usually plays "who can hit the bar most often" with the other subs. Pitcher was fouled, K's got a free-kick, and Kadi hit the bar. Invicta were having chances though, and a clear one was wasted on the half-hour mark when a cross from the left was turned over by the number seven. He was standing completely alone at the near post and really should have done better.

Luke Basford was having a good game on the left, and shortly before the break he was played in by Wingfield. Basford beat the last defender, got to the by-line and pulled his cross back to Leworthy. The man who hasn't scored in 28 days received the ball on the six yard box and managed to sky his left-footed shot well over the bar. Heads were in hands all around.

Gary Patterson, whose birthday it was, almost got on the score sheet when he almost connected with Eddie's cross. Unfortunately the bounce on the mud patch deceived him and the chance was gone. Just after, Patto was given a surprise, when the referee - Mr. Pettitt - gave him a birthday card. Sadly the card was yellow, for pushing the number seven in the chest.

The second half saw the home side come out much stronger. Maybe K's reputation had gone ahead of them, but whatever, they knew that the Conference second-placers were by no means unbeatable. Another cross from the left was played upwards rather than goalwards by number ten when he had a good chance to shoot on goal. Yet another left-wing cross then almost managed to deceive Farrelly, who did very well to keep the ball out.

Leworthy was given another good chance when Basford played him through on the left. The goalkeeper did superbly well to get out at the striker's feet and Wingfield couldn't do anything with the follow-up. Another spell of good K's pressure saw more chances created, and missed, by Wingfield, Leworthy and Kadi to name but three. It was yet another tale of having the ball but not actually managing to get a shot in.

When the goal did finally come it was from an unusual source. Luke Basford, who had looked very good going forward, took off on a run from just inside the Invicta half. He beat at least three men, looked up only to realise that he was in the box. His shot was on target - the first one since Mustafa scored in the last minute at Welling - and just crept under the goalkeeper's body. The players mobbed Basford and there was relief all around. Well, at one end anyway.

Leworthy was given yet another great chance to end his personal drought when Wingfield, after an amazing game of keepy-uppy, crossed. This time the ball was 8 yards out, again on his left foot, again cleared the bar by a long way, and again ended with hands heading to heads. At the other end, Farrelly was certainly seen to be the busier of the two keepers. A cross from the right ended with a shot being superbly saved by the big man, the follow up struck the bar and K's hacked away. So it wasn't going to be an easy last few minutes then.

After providing K's fans with one piece of entertainment, Luke Basford again tried to please the masses. Mustafa went down injured and Patterson attempted to play the ball off to allow him to receive treatment. Basford was having none of it and tried desperately to keep the ball in. It trickled up his leg, struck his knee, only then going off for a throw. Because of this the home side saw no reason to give the ball back and quite rightly got on with the game.

Folkestone thought that they'd scored with ten minutes left, and most K's players probably did too. A ball was played across the goal and touched in. Luckily for K's somebody had strayed into an offside position and the one goal lead still stood. Patterson then shot from forty yards with the goalkeeper miles away, but his shot ended up just bouncing wide of the left hand post.

A thirty yard strike from the number five then caused Farrelly to make another good save before the end, and this was followed by another woeful excuse for a K's shot. This time it was Patterson who was the guilty party when he skied after good work by sub Gary Drewett. These heads were getting a lot of attention today. Still, when the whistle went moments later K's were probably happy. They'd come to a team on top form and come away with the win. Yes the pitch was awful, and yes K's had players missing. But we really should be seeing more than one shot on target in ninety minutes. Shouldn't we?

Sat 27th Nov 1999
Cheriton Road
FA Trophy 2nd round
Folkestone Invicta0
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Luke Basford
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Harris
7Gary PattersonCautioned
8Junior Kadi16
9Eddie Akuamoah
10David Leworthy
11Phil Wingfield12
12Gary Drewett11
13Richard Hurst
14James Taylor
15Mike Lester
16Darren RobsonCautioned8
Man of the Match
Luke Basford
Luke Basford
Match Report By
Gary Ekins