Chapter Five – A Hard Slog – 2013/14 Season

After the success of their debut season in the LUL Invicta went into their second campaign with much optimism. Anthony Greenidge had steadied the ship when he took over after the opening few games of the 2012-13 season. Things started with a narrow home defeat against Millennium Falcons – London Falcons deciding to adopt a second team for the new season.

The managers team talk ahead of match day 1 of the 2013-14 season.
Great news ahead of kick off against Millennium Falcons – Invicta stalwart Chris George pens new contract extension.

A few weeks later a second successive home defeat came against East End Phoenix with the visitors running out 3-0 winners. Match day 3 saw Invicta lose 6-0 away to London Titans 2Brewers who had finished bottom of the league the season before. It was clear after 3 games of the new season that goals would be a struggle with the team failing to register a single goal.

The team ahead of the 6-0 defeat away to Titans 2 Brewers.

October and November were not much better with Invicta falling to a 3-1 defeat away to Romans Manor House before a 5-0 thumping at home to Peregrine Falcons which was followed by a 5-1 defeat away to Stonewall 3rds and then a 7-0 defeat away to Romans Gladiators. Bottom of the league without a point, only two goals scored and thirty conceded showed it was going to be struggle of a season with many players coming and going as the campaign progressed.

On 24 November 2013 Invicta narrowly lost 3-2 at home to Titans Food Chain – a game which showed promising signs that Invicta was capable of challenging teams and earning enough points to lift them off the foot of the table. 2014 brought two further defeats 6-1 away to Millennium Falcons before a 4-0 thumping at home to Titans 2 Brewers. Still rooted to the foot of the table without a single point Invicta enjoyed some LUL respite with their first ever Birthday 6 aside tournament.

It was back to league action on Saturday 22 February 2014 as Invicta hosted Romans Manor House with the hosts earning their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw. New striker Dan Goodwin scored his first Invicta goal as the team earned a delightful point. With the first point on the aboard and no games lined up for 3 weeks – the manager arranged a friendly against GFC Brighton. The game finished 2-1 to the home side.

The next LUL fixture was scheduled for Sunday 16 March 2014 away to title chasers Peregrine Falcons. With Invicta not able to field a team the match was forfeited and the 3-0 win awarded to Falcons. A disappointing outcome in Bexley – and it wasn’t to be the last forfeit of the campaign.

The following game didnt give much hope to the remainder of the campaign when league leaders and current LUL champions Romans Gladiators rolled into town. A very comfortable 9-0 away win left Invicta with just 3 games remaining to avoid going the entire season without registering a league win.

A trip to Dukes Meadows is never easy – especially coming from the South East London and Kent border on a Sunday. With Invicta again failing to fulfil a match day team – it was unavoidable for a second successive away fixture to be handed up and given away as a 3-0 defeat. However, just 7 days later away to East End Phoenix Invicta started to show signs of real progress – not only did the game go ahead but Invicta managed to score 4 away goals for the first time in over a year. The team still travelled home without any points as they fell to a 6-4 defeat.

The 4 away goals scored were not enough as Invicta went down 6-4 away to East End Phoenix in April 2014.
Training at Hall Place ahead of the final LUL fixtures against Stonewall 3rds.

And so to the final LUL fixture of a hard and at times rather soul destroying campaign – the opponents were second from bottom Stonewall 3rds. Invicta were not about the go the season without a win and despite conceding 5 goals at home they managed to bag themselves 8 with Dan Goodwin grabbing his first hatrick. The other scorers were Goal Keeper Rob Perrett, Chris George, Keeley Howells, James Little and Liam Cooper. An 8-5 win to Invicta – a first LUL league win of the season.

The players, management and supporters pose for a post match victory photo after the 8-5 win against Stonewall 3rds.

To end the season Invicta first travelled to Leeds for the GFSN Summer Get Together 5 aside tournament and eventually reached the semi-finals.

The team celetrate a successful trip to Yorkshire.

Following the trip to Yorkshire- Invicta returned home to host Bexley Police in the Aslie Pitter MBE Trophy game and recorded a 4-2 win to finish the campaign with some silverware.

All set for the Aslie Pitter MBE Trophy game against Bexley Police.
The players rejoice in the success against Bexley Police.

The players, management and supporters enjoyed a night off when they hosted the 2013-14 season awards night in Dartford. Whilst the campaign had been a hard slog credit had to be given to the management and players to fulfilling the season schedule, recruiting new additions to the playing squad along the way, securing a first LUL win of the season in the last game and picking up some silverware. 2014 showed that better things were on the horizon for South East London and Kent’s only LGBT friendly football team.

Invicta Chairman, Brian Silk speaks at the 2013-14 Awards night.

BY GARY GINNAW, PLAYER-MANAGER 2015-PRESENT