Invicta, previously unbeaten away from home this season, slipped to defeat to Concord Rangers, previously without a point or a win in all competitions, on Saturday afternoon as goals from 3 substitutes settled the match.
Invicta arrived at the Aspect Arena with the only change being Will Dempsey’s return to the bench in place of Micheal Everitt. Travelling supporters arrived shortly before kick off following a nightmare journey to reach Canvey Island.
The hosts started quickly, getting their first chance inside 2 minutes as a scuffed low cross ricocheted off Ian Gayle into the path of an attacker who saw how shot deflected wide. The resulting corner was headed wide at the back post.
Invicta’s first foray into the Concord box came just after the 9 minute mark as David Smith turned and swung a boot on the edge of the box but his effort looped high and was calmly taken but the Concord goalkeeper Tommy Woodcock.
Concord headed comfortably over from a corner on the 16 minute mark before Invicta dealt well with 2 more around the halfway mark of the first half.
Drury let fly in the 32nd minute, playing a nice diagonal wide left to Kane Penn who cut inside and gave the ball back to the veteran midfielder but his effort flew just over the crossbar.
As we reached the 45 minute mark Invicta forced a first save from the keeper as Olutade headed a cross to the back post but the flag was up for offside.
Smith began the second half with an effort from distance that trickled well wide while winger Khale Da Costa, who proved to be a thorn in Invicta’s side all afternoon, finished a well worked move just 2 minutes after the break by firing just over from 18 yards.
Concord continued to look the more dangerous and an effort from a little over 20 yard curled into the arms of Strizovic.
Invicta’s management looked to the bench for a way to change the direction of the afternoon with Jordon Ababio replacing David Smith 10 minutes into the second half and it paid off almost immediately with a brilliantly worked move just 3 minutes later. Olutade held the ball well with his back to go before laying it off to Drury who played it into the path of Ababio’s run inside his fullback with the Invicta substitute poking the ball past Woodcock to give Invicta the lead.
Concord then repeated the trick, sending on forward Harrison Day who met a corner at the back post, just 2 minutes after his introduction, to level the score.
With the hosts tails up and desperate for their first win of the season the referee waved away what looked a very soft shout for a penalty with Invicta going straight down the other end and releasing Olutade who fired over.
A second penalty shout came as we approached the midway point of the second half as goalscorer day went to ground after the slightest of collisions with Freddy Barton, the referee again appearing correct in ignoring the cries from all around him.
Invicta were denied a penalty of their own as Jackson put pressure on Modeste who was trying to shepherd a long pass from Ian Gayle back to his goalkeeper but the two collided and leaving the ball to run into the path of Jackson. Modeste threw and arm at the ball and made slight contact in his attempt to divert it away from the Invicta forward but the referee intervened before Jackson smashed into an empty net.
Invicta got a let off as a shot from midfielder Harry Hope was deflected into the path of forward Jacob Bland who appeared to be offside before finding Da Costa who forced a good save from Strizovic.
Concord continued to probe but Invicta hit on the counter moments later, Olutade doing well to wait patiently and time a run to remain onside for Jackson to find but he dragged his shot wide.
Coker replaced Jackson as Invicta looked to find a winning formula with 15 minutes remaining but it was the hosts who would find that breakthrough. Both teams battled for possession in midfield from a Strizovic goal kick with Ben Steward eventually finding the space to fire a diagonal wide right to Da Costa who was one on one with Kane Penn. The winger delivered to find substitute Tahjae Anderson in the 6 yard box for a tap in.
Invicta needed a quick response and almost directly from kick off went long into Olutade who lifted a bouncing ball over Woodcock but just wide of the near post.
Olutade then found himself on a ball in behind, his cutback cleared high and dropping onto the edge of the box before falling to Coker who struck the near post with his first effort before a rebound bounced into the ground and over Woodcock but was cleared off the line by Concord captain Ricky Modeste.
That would prove to be Invicta’s final chance to avoid a first away defeat of the season, leaving Micheal Everitt and Roland Edge’s team 10th in the Isthmian Premier Division table ahead of Tuesday night’s friendly with Gillingham B and Saturday’s FA Trophy tie with Haringey Borough.