Folkestone Invicta 2 - 2 Thurrock
Thurrock match Invicta all the way to win a valuable away point.
Thurrock finally got to The Fullicks Stadium to fulfil this Folkestone fixture. Mind you the typically terrible Thurrock traffic tried to confound matters once more and the team coach didn’t arrive until 19:15.
Despite the rushed pre-match preparations Thurrock had their first attempt on goal about five minutes in. Timothy Ogunrinde forced a corner which was whipped in by Joe Christou for Perry Dunn to get a toe to but over the bar. Soon after Michael Pindy battled his way in from the opposite wing before setting Lewwis Spence who also shot high.
Midfield and defence of both sides largely nullify each other and there are no solid chances on goal until just after the half hour. Scott Heard gets sight from distance and hits a fierce shot which is confidently caught by Ben McNamara who is positioned so well he doesn’t need to move his feet. Joel Nouble draws a foul twenty five yards out, Spence swings the free kick in for Nouble who gets his header on target albeit from an offside position. Nouble and Spence link again as Nouble heads on a Joe Christou throw for Spence to volley inches wide with Tim Roberts rooted to the spot.
A flurry in the final five minutes, Heard again brings the ball down and shoots but this time dragged wide. McNamara makes a point blank save and sends Pindy off on a counter which is well defended by Invicta to concede only a throw.
It looks like the half is going to end all square and goalless when in the final minute Invicta craft a fine opening goal. A corner is sent long to the back post and headed strongly back across the face of goal to be met by Ian Draycott who rifles home.
Half Time: Folkestone Invicta 1 – 0 Thurrock
As explosively as the first half ended, the second began. Nouble holds up the ball before slipping the ball through the defence for Pindy who fends off three defenders before side-footing past Roberts to level the score. Ogunrinde gets in a good cross for Nouble who is just beaten to the header to win a corner whipped in by Christou, Roberts spills the ball but Invicta are able to clear downfield to work a chance for Kieron McCann who is unable to find the target.
Thurrock’s desire is evident as each player works their socks off covering each other and every blade of grass. Pindy tracks all the way back to his own corner flag before Remi Sutton nicks the ball and brings it forwards before feeding Pindy who has reversed tack and overlapped before being tackled.
Thurrock take the lead for a brief period. Folkestone all stop and appeal for a handball against Ronnie Winn but as the referee doesn’t blow his whistle Winn continues playing and pings the ball to Ogunrinde, a bit of a scramble before the ball comes back to Sutton to shoot goalwards, the ball takes the slightest touch off Spence to deflect past Roberts. The lead is short lived though. As Thurrock attempt to clear their lines five minutes later the ball is deflected to Draycott who turns inside and shoots in one movement and the ball squeaks inside McNamara’s near post to make things all square again.
As per the first period the middle section of the half is end to end but no clear cut chances until five minutes from time when Folkestone smash a thunderbolt of a shot from distance that looks to be curling beyond McNamara’s outstretched fingertips only to cannon off the inside of the upright. The referee indicates four minutes of added time and in the fifth minute Nouble travels down the wing and plays inside to Christou who in turn moves the ball onto Spence to drive into the area and shoot inches wide of the far post.
Yet another gutsy performance and a valuable away point
Thurrock: Ben McNamara, Reece Morgan, Perry Dunn, James Goode, Joe Christou, Michael Pindy (Joel Brown-Bampoe 81), Lewwis Spence, Timothy Ogunrinde (Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves 90), Ronnie Winn, Joel Nouble
Unused: Toby Smith
Next Match: Sat 13 Jan | Thurrock vs Staines Town
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