Fine display unrewarded
FOLKESTONE Optimist 1sts produced their best performance of the season but still lost 1-0 to Kent/Sussex Regional leaders Eastbourne. With solid defending, Ops were able to push forward and Martin Ritchie and Neil Bristow caused plenty of problems without managing to find a breakthrough. Eastbourne looked dangerous on the counter but their attacks were broken down by a battling Ops as the first-half finished goalless. The breakthrough arrived at the start of the second half when a reverse stick shot found its way into the Folkestone goal. Despite renewed determination, Ops couldn’t get an equaliser as Eastbourne defended stoutly to claim the points.
FOLKESTONE 3rds also came unstuck as they went down 3-1 to Marden Russets in Kent Open Premier A. The Ops put in plenty of effort but there was little in the way of incisive hockey. The only high point of the match was a tremendous reverse stick goal by Allon.
THE 5ths lost 7-1 away at Wellcome 3rds, with Jack Henshaw grabbing Ops’ consolation strike.
LUCY ANDERSON scored a last-gasp winner as Folkestone Optimist Ladies won a 5-4 thriller away to Letchworth to move into third place, one point behind Sevenoaks. With five games left, the side are confident of clinching promotion. Ops found themselves a goal down after a scrappy start but recovered to equalise when Nicki Timmins converted a short corner. The teams changed ends all-square but moments after half-time, Letchworth re-took the lead. Ops again restored parity – this time through Polly Wittleton – and went in front for the first time when Timmins coasted through the Letchworth midfield and found Janet Fadagio on the far post to slot home from five yards. Letchworth scored twice to lead 4-3 with just five minutes to go but skipper Jo Creek led by example to slot the ball past the keeper to make the score 4-4 and a great cross from Fadagio found Anderson at the far post and she did the rest with a minute left.