Reece Myles-Meekum’s last-gasp winner produced fireworks at The Bibby Financial Services Stadium, as he marked his (loan) return from Bromley with a bang !
In a game that lacked any real spark for long spells, it was Worthing who managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, to send the majority of the near four-figure crowd home happy.
Aside from the inclusion of last season’s wing-wonder, the only other change from Tuesday’s FA Trophy win against Burgess Hill saw Zack Newton restored to the starting eleven. Ollie Pearce took his place in the renamed Natalie Stenning Stand, with almost a full team watching from the sidelines, while Joe Clarke was amongst the substitutes.
The Library/Morgue, sorry, “action” got off to a slow start, as Darren Budd was caught offside from a Sam Rents cross and David Ajiboye’s run nearly ended with him finding Zack.
Folkestone’s first foray forward resulted in the afternoon’s opening goal. After a mistake by Will Miles, Alex Parsons failed to clear the cross from Adam Yussuf and the ball ran kindly for an unmarked Kane Rowland to slot past an exposed Perntpeoy at the far post.
A great touch and turn from Ajiboye took him into the penalty area, where Newton could only lob agonisingly wide of the target, as the hosts looked for an instant riposte.
Rowland came close to doubling the visitor’s advantage but could only find the side-netting, with Parsons unable to keep his shot down from Starkey’s left-sided delivery, before the crowd were awoken from their slumber by the goal-machine that is becoming Sam Rents.
His free-kick, taken just outside the box, over on the left, found the back of the net, despite the best efforts of a scrambling Tim Roberts in the Invicta goal.
Four minutes later and Ajiboye had a great opportunity to put his side in front. Somehow, managing to side-foot wide of a virtually empty net, frustratingly, following an impressive turn and cross from Jesse Starkey.
Rents tried his luck from another set-piece sighter but, on this occasion, watched his curler drift wide of the ‘keeper’s right-hand upright.
The final, decisive moment of the first half, left the Kent visitors to face the second, a man short, as left-back, Alfie Paxman earned a second yellow card for a foul on Ajiboye. Quite what their bench were complaining about, one-by-one, to the referee at the break, was anyone’s guess.
Top-scorer, Ajiboye was heavily involved at the resumption when, firstly, he blazed over the bar and secondly, slightly overhit his pass to Myles-Meekums, with the home team looking to stamp their authority on the game.
The two loanees then combined, only for Myles-Meekum’s threaded through ball to find Newton in an offside position.
Just shy of the hour mark and Folkestone were back in front. More sloppy defending allowed Ronnie Dolan to stroke home and leave the high-flying hosts reeling.
Wing-back, Parsons did well to keep the ball in play and Myles-Meekums almost but, not quite, gave his side the lead for the first time in the match, looking on in desperation as his effort missed the far stick by a matter of inches.
A driving run by the increasingly influential “Bromley Boy” lead to another close call, as he pulled his attempt wide of the mark, before a one-two between Ajiboye and Newton saw the latter cross to the former who, sadly, couldn’t extend himself enough to make significant contact.
Will Miles presented Ajiboye with a clear sight of goal but, he was only able to find Taylor Seymour, who was playing for Worthing United.
The luckless centre-forward headed over a Rents cross until he forced Roberts to tip his next effort over for a corner. This coming after hesitation had seen a chance go begging for Starkey.
With ten minutes to go, Ajiboye, never giving up, had a low drive blocked, until persistency finally paid off, for his teammates.
Sam Rents fizzed in a low cross from the left, that filled Newton with regret, at cutting his toenails that morning but Callum Davies obliged by side-footing home to level the scores a second time.
Callum Kealy climbed off the bench, in search of a winner, only to see his shot turned away at the near post by Roberts.
Then, it came !
Myles-Meekums bunding home from close-range, after Rent’s corner had found it’s way across a crowded six yard box.
Even a customary caution, for taking his shirt off, as he wheeled away in celebration, paled into insignificance.