Goals surely likely as top two scorers in the league meet at Bognor
- Thursday, 01 March 2012
- Written by Mick Cork
Invicta need to get their bid for a play-off place back on course as soon as possible but realistically they face their toughest game of the season when they visit Division One South leaders Bognor Regis Town for the first time on Saturday.
Disappointing defeats against Merstham (0-4) and Ramsgate (2-3 – last weekend) came either side of a comfortable 4-1 win at Faversham.
Meanwhile, however, the Rock – as Bognor are known – have literally rocked on at the top of the table, justifying Folkestone boss Neil Cugley’s belief that they will win the D1S title this season.
“They are a very good side and, in my opinion, the best side in this division by some way” said Neil this evening, Thursday.
“But it should be a really good game on Saturday. They play good football, but so do we. I’m told it’s a nice pitch and there should be a few there so it ought to be the kind of game that players love to play in.”
The match pits the top two goalscoring sides in the division – though Bognor’s 78 is 17 more than Folkestone’s total of 61 which is already a massive improvement on recent seasons.
The difference could be the goals against column where the Nyewood Lane outfit have conceded a paltry 25 in 29 league games compared for 40 for Invicta.
Both sides have, though, each failed the score in four league games.
Bognor have featured in goalless draws at Sittingbourne, Walton & Hersham and away to probably their greatest title rivals, Dulwich Hamlet.
The other game where they failed to find the net came in one of their only two league defeats this season when they went down 3-0 at Whitehawk in January.
They have not, therefore, recorded a blank in the league in front of their own supporters.
Folkestone’s goalless league returns came, like Bognor on that appalling playing surface at Sittingboure (0-2), in 0-0 draws against Faversham (home) and Eastbourne Town (away) and a few weeks back in the aforementioned 0-4 reverse to Merstham when Invicta’s unbeaten home league record came to a sorry end.
The clubs drew 2-2 at The Buzzlines on November 13 when both Bognor’s goals came from the prolific Jason Prior who has since moved to AFC Wimbledon.
Folkestone also had a two-goal hero that day in Simon Austin who looks likely to have to again be satisfied with a place on the bench this weekend.
Austin, though, has a habit of scoring against the better sides in this division and could well be used as an ‘impact-sub’ by the manager who reports a clean bill of health for all the squad and no suspensions to worry about.
Prior, who left the Sussex outfit a few weeks back, was the leading goalscorer in the division with 24.
His departure has hardly meant any let-up in Bognor’s goalscoring as big Steve Harper (with three in the last two games) and Ashley Robinson (five in the last three) have contributed to recent 6-1 wins over Walton Casuals and, last weekend, 4-2 at Godalming.
Harper is well known to Invicta boss Cugley who has been interested in signing the ex-Burgess Hill player in the past and said: “He’s maybe getting on a bit now, but he’s still a very good player.”
Robinson appears to have joined the Rocks in mid-season. He is believed to be an ex-Crystal Palace youngster who fell out with their then manager Neil Warnock a few years back after boasting on Facebook about what, it reportedly transpired, was ‘an unsanctioned’ trial at Premiership Fulham.
He has since had spells with Bromley and Tooting & Mitcham among others.
Folkestone are taking the rare step of running a players (and officials) only coach on Saturday, leaving at 10.30am in a bid to avoid anything like the later than ideal arrivals they have suffered on recent trips to Sussex.
The supporters coach leaves at a somewhat more sedate 11.30am.
To enquire about any late spaces on that coach, please contact travel chief John Law on 07957 688 435.
· Both Stuart King and James Everitt scored their 20th goals in all games this season in last weekend’s home defeat against Ramsgate, and King has now taken over as leading Division One South marksman with 18 league goals (Ratty is currently 5th with 13). And Bognor's current highest flyer on this list is Terence Dodd with ... only ... 11! Prior is no longer on the list of course.
Kingy also found the net in Wednesday’s 4-1 practice match victory over Kent League Canterbury City when manager Cugley fielded his strongest team in the first half when they led 3-0 and brought on several fringe players after the interval. The other goals came from Darren Smith, Simon Austin and Liam Dickson.
Dickson had a particularly involved game, according to the manager, making three goals and scoring the other from a nominal starting position of left-back.
· Following the Bognor game, Folkestone entertain Walton Casuals at The Buzzlines next Wednesday when – as previously widely announced, admission will be just £4 for adults and £2 concessions.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 March 2012 08:49