A much improved Invicta performance failed to provide an improved result as 2 late goals saw Hashtag United take all 3 points in front of a crowd of 1,138 at the Alcaline Stadium
With Ian Gayle injured on Boxing Day, both Jake Goodman and Callum Davies came into the Invicta defence, as well as Kane Penn dropping to left back from midfield in place of the injured Toby Byron. Will Moses pushed further forward into midfield alongside the returning Scott Heard and Ade Cole while a front 3 of Tom Derry, Joe Boachie and Ruben Soares-Junior remained in attack. Ira Jackson’s absence through injury continued.
It was the worst possible start for Invicta as Hashtag scored the first ever goal between the sides in little more than 3 minutes. A low cross from the right was only cleared as far as Sakariya Hassan who fired a shot through a crowd of legs past Joe Coleman.
Invicta struck back in the 19th minute. Joe Boachie collected the ball 5 yards inside the Invicta half and was allowed to carry it high on the left flank before laying off to Kane Penn who delivered a perfect cross onto the head of Tom Derry for his 2nd goal in 3 games and his first at the Alcaline Stadium as an Invicta player.
Hashtag United defender Thomas Anderson picked up the first booking of the afternoon for a high tackle on Ade Cole in the middle of the pitch that left the Invicta midfielder in need of treatment.
A long range Scott Heard effort that was straight down the throat of Hashtag’s on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Ted Curd was the closest either side came to adding to the scoring before half time, with the referee’s whistle coming as a relief to most with the wind and rain having picked up.
Hassan threatened to punish Invicta for a slow start again within a minute of the restart but hit a low shot wide across the face of Coleman’s goal.
Alex Teniola was next to go close as he reached a low cross at the front post but sent his effort over.
Invicta responded immediately with Ruben Soares-Junior getting off a shot from a tight angle that forced a save from Curd but the forward was unable to get off a second effort in the crowded penalty box after the ball came back to him.
Ade Cole had set up that chance for Soares-Junior and both players soot over a free kick with the former delivering onto the head of Jake Goodman who headed wide.
As we entered the final 20 minuted Scott Heard was the hero blocking 2 shots inside the 6 yard box before a series of wayward efforts finally ended in a ball into the box that was headed goal-bound by Teniola, a comfortable save for Coleman.
With 15 minutes left Hashtag made a double change as they looked to unlock the Invicta defence, while Drury replaced Boachie with Andre Coker.
With the minutes ticking away Invicta were given a warning as Pedro Carvalho unleashed a rocket from distance the came back off the underside of the crossbar, but within a minute Invicta were punished. A quick free kick resulted in a ball across the edge of the area that hit a couple of players before falling into the path of Carvalho whose shot this time hit Jake Goodman to send it into the top corner, leaving Joe Coleman helpless.
With Invicta pushing forward in search of an equaliser, the visitors killed the game in the 1st minute of added time, a ball over the top into the path of substitute Luke May-Parrott who lifted it over the onrushing Coleman and into an empty net to seal all 3 points.
Goalscorer Tom Derry was selected as man of the match by match sponsors Metroline Security.