Folkestone Invicta vs Cray Wanderers
Isthmian Premier – Tuesday 6th February – Match Report
Folkestone Invicta 2
Smith 39, Sanogo 73
Cray Wanderers 2
Brown 89, Cook 90+7
Photos: Ozay Booth
Cray Wanderers had to show considerable powers of recovery on a foul night as Cray came back from 0-2 down to pick up a point at Folkestone Invicta with Anthony Cook’s equaliser seven minutes into added on time.
Folkestone went ahead six minutes before half time through David Smith’s ninth goal of the season and extended the lead in the 73rd minute courtesy of Saidou Sanogo’s close range finish. However, Sanogo was shown a red card for two quickfire offences two minutes from time and a minute later Ellis Brown pulled a goal back for the Wands when he fired in through a crowd of players. Then with barely a minute to go in stoppage time, Alfie Evans looped ball into the area was helped on by a Folkestone defender and Cook stooped to score the first headed goal of his career to earn a point.
Despite the result, Cray dropped a place in the table to 17th, level on 32 points with Folkestone and Whitehawk but have a ten point buffer over Cheshunt and Margate.
Both teams came into the game on the back of fine away wins on Saturday and Neil Smith named an unchanged side from the one which won at Carshalton. Folkestone won impressively at Billericay and made two changes with Michael Kedman making his debut in place of Toby Byron and also goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle for Joe Coleman.
The game began in very windy conditions and a steady drizzle and meant the first half was a scruffy affair with few chances. Cray were perhaps the first to show real intent when down the right, the excellent Alfie Evans put over a fine cross into the six yard box for Gary Lockyer who just couldn’t get a firm connection to the ball and was claimed by keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle on the line.
Folkestone looked to attack down the left with Kedman and had a half chance when from a corner down the left from Eddie Allsopp to the far post was headed wide by Jason Fregene.
For Cray, from a throw in down the left the ball came to Lockyer who lashed a volley over the bar but chances for the Wands were few and far between with Invicta perhaps shading the play but again without creating too many chances.
However, in the 39th minute Folkestone went ahead when from a free kick down the right, Allsopp’s ball into the box was steered in from close range by David Smith.
Cray looked to get back into it and from a free kick down the left of the area, Tom Beere fired wide of the left post.
Half time came as a relief for the Wands supporters on the bank of terracing just to get some warmth in the club house but at the break, Folkestone probably just edged the half.
The second half was played mostly to very steady rain and Cray looked to get back on terms and Alfie Evans placed a header wide of the right post from a Frankie Raymond corner.
Rhys Murrell-Williamson making his first appearance since re-signing for the club came on for Yahya Bamba and Anthony Cook for Tom Beere as the Wands looked to get more of a foothold in the match.
For Folkestone, Allsopp saw a shot held by Shaun Rowley while for Cray, Cook hit a shot wide of the left post.
Cray had a flurry half way through the half when first, Evans broke down the right of the area and his shot was saved by the legs of McKenzie-Lyle. Then a minute later, Emmanuel Kwatchey’s cross from the right was cleared out to Sam Wood who drove in a shot which McKenzie-Lyle did well to turn aside.
In the 73rd minute, Kane Penn saw a shot deflected behind for a corner and from the right wing kick from Allsopp into the area following a bit of a scramble the ball came to Saidou Sanogo who fired in from close range.
George Brooke was introduced with three minutes to go and this was a busy time in the match as in the 88th minute Sanogo was booked for a foul down the right and then was shown a second yellow perhaps for kicking the ball away but not totally sure.
A minute later, Cray won a corner down the right and from Raymond’s ball into the area the ball came to the far post where Ellis Brown drilled in a shot through a ruck of players that found its way into the net for his third goal in two games.
With eight minutes of injury time there was still time for Cray to get back on terms but time was starting to run out but with a minute left Raymond at the second attempt put a ball into the box and Lockyer won a header against two Invicta defenders down the right of the area and Evans got to the ball and hoisted a cross to the near post which was nudged on by a defender towards goal and Anthony Cook headed in from close range to complete the comeback.
This wasn’t a match blessed with a lot of quality not helped by the conditions but certainly had a dramatic finish and over the piece the Wands deserved a point and move on to a home game with Concord Rangers on Sunday looking to keep an encouraging run going and keep ahead of the bottom four.
Folkestone Invicta: Kai McKenzie-Lyle, Kane Penn, Jason Fregene, Ian Gayle, Callum Davies, Dean Rance, Seidou Sanogo, Tom Derry, David Smith (Jake Goodman, 80), Edward Allsopp (Louis Collins, 86), Michael Kedman: Subs: Chris Sessegnon, Ade Cole, Joe Coleman
Sent Off: Sanogo 88
Booked: Rance 65, Smith 81, McKenzie-Lyle 82, Sanogo 88
Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Emmanuel Kwatchey, David Ijaha, Tom Bonner, Sam Wood (George Brooke, 87), Alfie Evans, Frankie Raymond, Ellis Brown, Tom Beere (Anthony Cook, 61), Yahya Bamba (Rhys Murrell-Williamson, 56), Gary Lockyer: Subs: Cameron Black, Charles Paye
Booked: Ijaha 78, Evans 90+2
Referee: Steven Goldup
Assistants: Matthew Charles, Michael Corderoy