Final Day Defeat For Blues
Disappointing end to a disappointing season writes The Mariner.
Blues brought the curtain down on their season in front of a large crowd at Mill Field going down to a Folkestone Invicta side who needed the win to secure their Ryman Premier League status . After last weeks impressive display at Dulwich Blues failed to reach those heights with a lacklustre performance and highlighted the lack of consistency that has dogged their season.
Blues made one change with Kwabene Osai replacing the injured Nathan Campbell in the back four.
The opening fifteen minutes was a scrappy affair both sides having to come to terms with a difficult playing surface as a consequence the ball was spending a lot of time being launched into the air.
Jamie Stuart had Blues first opportunity when he nodded the ball across the area following a Harry Watkins corner the ball was comfortably cleared by the visitors.
It was Blues goal that came under pressure shortly after when the lively Beale turned Joe Payne in the area and fired over,he did hit the target shortly after when his drive took a nasty deflection forcing Amadou Tangara to change direction and hang on to the ball. By this stage the visitors were edging proceedings as Blues old habits began to reappear again failing to pick up runners, misplacing their passes and conceding a number of free kicks.
Beale again tested Tangara with a fierce free kick which the Blues keeper could only push out such was the power of the kick. He was far busier than his counterpart who was rarely being tested as Kieron Bishop was isolated up front feeding off scraps.
Folkestone could so easily have gone in front when Draycott latched on to a long ball forward outpacing the Blues defenders but his shot lacked power and the danger was cleared.
The second half brought no improvement to the quality of play with the ball again spending a lot of time in the air and frequent stoppages for a succession of niggly fouls.
With so much at stake Folkestone continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock taking the play to their hosts,Tangara again was in the centre of the action making a number of vital saves.
Blues were creating very little in the way of goal scoring opportunities play breaking down on the edge of the visitors box, in contrast Folkestone were probing for the that elusive goal and in the 60th minute they finally made the breakthrough,The ball was played forward finding Taylor in acres of space, Tangara appeared to hesitate allowing the Folkestone man to roll the ball home.
Buoyed by the goal Folkestone looked to increase their advantage Tangara produced a great save clawing Taylor's goal bound header behind for a corner.
Sub Joel Nouble created a half chance for fellow sub Denzil Adebiyi who had replaced the injured Ryan Mahal but the ball just eluded the youngster . It was a rare opportunity and Folkestone always looked likely to increase their advantage which they did in the 79th minute when Draycott capitalised on a loose ball after Tangara could only push the ball out leaving the Folkestone striker the easiest of chances as he swept the ball home.
Just five minutes later and Blues miserable afternoon was complete when Hasler was unceremoniously brought down in the area with Draycott collecting his second from the resultant spot kick.Three could so easily have been four when Folkestone swept forward in a sparkling move cutting through the Blues ranks but Tangara came to Blues rescue with a smart save.
The result and performance was so disappointing after two impressive wins but it was symptomatic of Blues season in which they failed to put together a run of undefeated games.If only they could have converted the five drawn games into wins they may have had a chance of survival.