Tuesday’s match paired two of the opening day’s biggest winners in an early ‘first-versus-equal-second’ match-up at Wheatsheaf Park, and both managers kept unchanged sides: there was some good news on the injury front as McKain made a cameo appearance late on to mark his return from injury. The Swans attacked the Penton Hook Road end in the first half, on a warm evening, with the playing surface in excellent condition. Staines played in their new Macron home kit for the first time in this game, blue and grey flashings on the shirts replacing the blue / white chest bands of recent seasons, and with white socks back in use, the colours on show tonight resembled a Brazil – Argentine match!
However, if Staines were deservedly buoyant after Saturday’s 6-1 win, it took only a minute and 40 seconds for their confidence to be punctured, as Vincent’s long ball upfield to Scott was crossed low across the box into the path of Ben Pattie who forced the ball beyond Brewer’s despairing attempts to block on the line. A combination between Louis and Haysman ended in the latter having his effort blocked, but at this stage it was Folkestone who were well on top, Draycott seeing one effort comfortably dealt with by Turner, and two others fly narrowly past the post. However, the home side settled into their game as the game moved beyond the half hour mark, Dereck Brown finding space for a testing shot, and Worsfold having a promising run halted by a foul which brought a 36th minute yellow card for Vincent. Both Louis and Miller-Rodney were denied by firm defensive blocks, and Worsfold cracked a powerful shot inches over in the closing minutes.
Haysman fired a shot against the post right at the start of the second half – but it would not have counted anyway as the referee had spotted a handball, before Invicta countered through Pattie, who skimmed a shot across the face of goal. Staines seemed certain to get back on terms soon after, as the Brown and Worsfold combined to centre for Louis, but with ‘keeper Roberts committed, he lifted his shot just too high. A foul on Louis in the 50th minute brought a yellow card for Folkestone skipper Friend. Draycott and Pattie continued to look dangerous for the well-organised Kent outfit, the latter curling a super shot just wide on the hour mark, but Staines slowly settled down, although they too often were caught in the visitors’ carefully constructed offside snare. Louis against fired just off target, before Faolkestone gave themselves the cushion of a second goal with 15 minutes left – Dolan (who had only come off the bench three minutes earlier) swung across a corner from the right, and Josh Vincent rose to nod in an all-too-simple header from right in front of goal. Turner saved from Draycott again, but Staines responded in the 82nd after Haysman won the ball and slipped Hippolyte in, but Roberts just got a touch to send his shot outside the upright. A Dolan cross was touched past Turner in the 85th by Heard, but Staines were saved by an offside flag, before Cole picked up an 88th minute booking for a foul as Folkestone came forward again. Staines spurned perhaps their best chance of the game right on the 90 minutes, when Ahmidi and Haysman combined to feed Tison-Lascaris, but after seemingly rounding Roberts he was unable to repeat Saturday’s exploits and his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the net.
Swans: Turner, Brewer ©, Cole, Ahmidi, D Smith, Vanderhyde, Miller-Ridney (Hippolyte 79), D Brown (Tison-Lascaris 79), Louis (McKain 83), Haysman, Worsfold; unused Bielenik (g), B Brown.
Folkestone: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend (c), Chappell, Wright (Dolan 72), Starkey, Heard, Draycott, Pattie (Miller 64), Beale (Newman 72); unused Edge, Chalmers-Stevens (g).
Ref: Andy Williams (Pinner); ARs: Hugh Gilroy (Stamford Brook, London W4); Conor Griffin (Hanwell); Att 215.