Billy’s vintage special sets up away point
Folkestone Invicta 1 Enfield Town 1
On a blustery afternoon at the BuildKent Stadium, Town had the wind at their backs in the opening half and were to capitalise on that before too long. They had an early let off, however. After a clearance had been played back into the box by Josh Vincent and punched clear by Nathan McDonald, the ball fell invitingly to Matt Newman, but his careful shot was inches over. But, after five minutes, McDonald kicked long, and a wind-assisted bounce took the ball over the head of the retreating Callum Davies. Billy Bricknell latched onto it and, seeing Invicta keeper Tim Roberts slightly off his line, side footed beautifully over his outstretched hand from 25 yards and the ball nestled nicely in the corner of the net.
A great start nearly became even better when Ryan Blackman headed fractionally wide from a good position following a corner five minutes later. Shaun Okojie was played in by Ken Charles shortly afterwards, but an offside flag was raised. But, as the hosts began to get their act together, they were unlucky not to equalised when Ira Jackson, a troublesome presence for the visitors throughout, poked a shot against an upright. But Jackson was in the right place after 20 minutes when a great stop by McDonald from Kieron McCann’s firmly hit drive fell to him and he made no mistake from twelve yards. Ian Draycott then played a ball through to Jackson, who got to the byeline before whipping a low ball in which was begging to be converted but no-one was on hand.
Blackman fed Sam Youngs in the 27th minute and the latter’s shot was grabbed by Roberts. Jackson then combined well with former Town loanee Roman Campbell, but his shot was well blocked by Jon Muleba. Ten minutes before the break, a left footed cross from the right by Sam Hatton found the head of Okojie, but he got underneath it and the ball flew over the top. Hatton then sent in another cross with his more traditional right boot, Roberts punched clear under pressure but again there were no takers for the loose ball.
Invicta’s full-backs combined when Alfie Paxman drove a cross in from the left but, thankfully for Town, Josh Vincent, sliding in at the far post, couldn’t get on the end of it. Then a great chance went begging for the home side when Jackson played the ball though to Campbell, who took the ball round McDonald but, with admittedly an ever-tighter angle to contend with, he thumped the ball over.
Half-time: Folkestone Invicta 1 Enfield Town 1
Straight from the off in the second period, Vincent and Kieron McCann were denied by two of many outstanding saves from McDonald during the course of the game. Ken Charles broke and, as he bore down on goal, he might have passed but was tackled by Newman in the nick of time and the chance came to nothing. Jackson lined up a free kick on the edge of the Town box in a central position, but again McDonald was equal to it, diving to his right to keep the scores level once again.
Bricknell, closer to goal than he was for his opener, then attempted another audacious lob but this time Roberts was equal to it, fingertipping the ball over his crossbar. Okojie was denied by a timely tackle and, shortly afterwards, Bricknell, beating the offside trap, was denied by Roberts with his legs. There were half-hearted appeals for a penalty when Jackson fell to ground, and then Micheal Everitt’s cross just eluded Vincent at the far post, as it was now anybody’s game with proceedings becoming increasingly stretched.
Draycott played a through ball to Campbell, but McDonald was swiftly off his line to collect, before he made further saves from Jackson and McCann. Substitute Lyle Della-Verde’s cross from the left just eluded fellow sub Junior Mubiayi, and then Mubiayi was denied by Roberts low down. Johan Ter Horst met Paxman’s cross at the death, but his glancing header was claimed in relative comfort by McDonald. A good game for the neutral; frustration for both sides not claiming all three points.
Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent, Alfie Paxman, Matt Newman, Callum Davies, Ian Draycott, Scott Heard, Micheal Everitt, Ira Jackson, Roman Campbell, Kieron McCann (Johan Ter Horst 79). Unused subs: Tyler Sterling, Finn O’Mara, Kieron Jones, Henry Newcombe. Booked: Everitt, Jackson.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Josh Urquhart, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Jon Muleba, Ryan Blackman, Sam Youngs, Billy Bricknell, Ken Charles (Lyle Della-Verde 64), Shaun Okojie (Junior Mubiayi 72). Unused subs: Joe Payne, Glenn Wilson, Bobson Bawling. Booked: Weatherstone, Bricknell.
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