Folkestone Invicta 0-2 Hampton & Richmond Borough
Saturday, 22nd January 2005. Att: 385
Scorers: Ashe 58' (pen), Godfrey 77'
Sorry, Chaps this is going to be another of my epics in which most of the report has little to do with the game itself, you had to be their for yourselves!
Hampton, not having won away for an age, made the long trek down to the Kent coast to take on a side that were in good form at home and had recently trounced Kingstonian 6-1, the augurs were not necessarily in our favour.
The nitty gritty is that Hampton won for the first time in ten away matches (the only previous win was at Worthing on August Bank Holiday Monday). The Beavers recorded their second league double of the season in a match that at one point descended into farce and was almost abandoned by the refereeing officials due to their feeling that their “lives were being threatened”.
The first half gave little clue to what was going to happen in the second period. Both sides threatened to score in an entertaining forty five minutes. Twice Hampton keeper Kieron Drake diverted shots onto the cross bar whilst Orlando Jeffrey had a shot blocked and Andy Morley just missed the target with a header from an Adrian Allen cross. 0-0 and the game could have gone either way.
The match went into a different dimension in the 57th minute, Ryan Ashe and Folkestone`s Simon Glover were booked for a minor spat. Hampton got the free kick, the ball was played in and Allen, in amongst a clutch of players, went down in the area with a shriek as he grabbed the base of his back. Referee Hoare awarded Hampton a penalty and then produced a red card and sent off John Guest, the Folkestone centre back, for violent conduct. Ashe struck the penalty home for his 9th goal of the season.
The crowd started to get on to Mr Hoare, apparently he is not the most popular of visiting referees, and that became very obvious a few minutes later. It all started very innocently enough. In the 64th minute Folkestone`s Michael Everitt seemed to win the ball fairly off Graham Harper, however the Assistant Referee, who was as close to the incident as you could get, gave a free kick in favour of Harper. Whilst Hampton players waited to take the free kick, Folkestone players protested the decision, the Folkestone Manager, Neil Cugley, ran 40 yards from his technical area to join in with the complaints (you have to feel that they had a point). Mr Hoare broke off from lecturing Everitt, advanced on Mr Cugley and sent him off and then went back to caution Everitt.
All this was getting too much for the home crowd. Five or six supporters, all adults, no kids, ran from the grandstand and started to harangue the two officials. They were leaning over the barrier, swearing, pointing, gesticulating and threatening all sorts of retribution against Mr Hoare (I told you he wasn`t popular). The disturbing aspect was that the home club didn`t seem to have any yellow jacketed stewards on hand to quell the disorder, although, fortunately, no one had as yet gone pitch side. Mr Hoare called both Asssistants to him, picked up the ball and marched off the 70 yards or so to the dressing rooms leaving both sets of players looking totally perplexed. It would seem that the officials “felt in fear of their lives” claiming that someone had threatened to stab them. The Officials closeted themselves in their room and the players were taken off to the dressing rooms. Folkestone`s Chairman plus their Match Secretary and myself visited the Officials to ascertain what was happening. Initially the Officials wanted the Police called as they had been threatened. After a cooling down phase and also a brief visit from Hampton Manager Alan Devonshire, common sense prevailed and the Referee agreed to restart the game and play the final 26 minutes. After a delay lasting fifteen minutes the match restarted.
The delay seemed to have affected Folkestone more than Hampton. The Beavers, with the benefit of the extra man were creating chance after chance. In the 77th minute Hampton went into a 2-0 winning lead, Elliot Godfrey scored with a low drive at the far post as he got on to the end of an Ashe corner. Allen pulled a shot wide, Kwakye had a shot blocked and Morley almost made it 3-0. The match finally finished, Hampton triumphant, Folkestone disgusted, with the Beavers collecting an away victory in extraordinary circumstancesWritten for the official website and reproduced here.