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Jordan grabs a nice pair as Cugley's men extend their excellent run on the road to stay in the top four

CHIPSTEAD 0

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 3

Invicta scored three goals away from home for a second successive Saturday as Jordan Wright, pictured, (2) and Richard Atkins were on the scoresheet at Chipstead in the club’s last match before Christmas.

The NRT Stadium at High Road has proved a fruitful ground for Invicta in terms of goals scored in recent seasons even though Neil Cugley’s side lost 4-3 there last season despite leading 2-1 and 3-2.

Fixtures

The Folkestone side have now scored 13 goals in their last four visits to Chipstead, scoring at least three goals on each occasion.

Stuart King (twice) and Paul Booth have scored hat-tricks in those fixtures.

Having struggled away from home earlier in the season, Invicta are now on an impressive run on their travels. Saturday’s victory makes it nine successive away games in all competitions without defeat and their only away reverse in the last 11 matches was on penalties at Ramsgate in the League Cup.

Chipstead, along with champions Peacehaven & Telscombe, had been only of only two clubs to complete a league ‘double’ over Invicta last season and are a lively attacking side who can probably feel hard done by in terms of the margin of this defeat.

Invicta manager Neil Cugley had given striker Atkins a place in the starting 11 after his goal-scoring return to the club as a substitute at Tooting the previous weekend, with Paul Booth taking a breather on the bench.

The fit again Josh Vincent and Matt Newman also returned after missing the Tooting clash, but the injured Micheal Everitt was still ruled out with a hamstring problem.

Responded

There was a lively start to the game as Chipstead had the ball in the Folkestone net within 19 seconds of kick-off but striker Will Turl’s effort was ruled out by an assistant referee’s flag.

An Invicta then opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute when WRIGHT converted at the far post after Atkins missed from Jon Pilbeam’s cross in a move started by midfielders Ronnie Dolan and Newman.

Chipstead responded as top goalscorer Dan Moody wasted a decent chance to equalise when he shot wide after Turl  touched the ball back to the home side’s captain.

And Moody got in behind Invicta captain Liam Friend but shot tamely at goalkeeper Tim Roberts after a good 11th minute ball forward from the home side’s man of the match, Charles.

Invicta went straight down the other end as Ian Draycott sent Pilbeam away again down the right and Charles put the ball out for the game’s first corner.

Wright’s low shot from the edge of the penalty box was  deflected for another corner a minute later.

Chipstead gained their first corner of the game in the 14th minute when Moody’s effort deflected off central defender Frankie Chappell.

Tre Mitford received a 17th minute throw in on the left but his cross went narrowly over the bar as Chipstead responded well to conceding the early goal.

Evenly contested

And it was Mitford, who grew up and played a lot of youth football in the Dover area, tried his luck again from 25 yards and chipped just wide moments later when the home side benefited from a free kick taken in the wrong place.

The match continued to be evenly contested as Chappell dispossessed Josh Gallagher after a 24th minute ball forward from Mitford.

A huge moment in the game followed a minute later when the ball was played through to Moody who put it into the net with Invicta appealing for offside.

Following a very late flag and a consultation between referee Ajibola and his assistant Mr Richard the ‘goal’ was ruled out.

Linesman Richard told supporters that the delay had been caused by  “not being able to find his buzzer”.

The incident only highlights the issues of players being active/inactive and not being flagged until they play the ball – a rule change that has over-complicated the whole offside process.

At the other end, Atkins sliced wide for Invicta when under pressure from centre half Ishmeal Thomas after Draycott had laid the ball into the striker’s path.

Pilbeam threaded the ball through to Atkins in the 39th minute but Charles made a good challenge at the expense of a corner as Invicta enjoyed a good spell in the run up to half time.

Right back Charles was switched to the left as the home side tried to counter the threat posed by Invicta wide man Pilbeam’s pace down the right hand flank.

But striker Booth replaced Pilbeam just before the hour and it was the visitors who had the overwhelming majority of second half chances.

Their penalty appeals were waved away when Atkins was bundled over by Thomas in the 63rd minute and Folkestone’s right  back Vincent was booked for a challenge on Charles only seconds later.

Booked

Thomas himself was booked for bringing down Booth just outside the penalty area after Gallagher had lost possession. And the subsequent 76th minute free kick led to Invicta’s second goal as Booth chose not to shoot but found Dolan on the right and the ex-Hythe man set up ATKINS (pictured right) for his second goal in as many appearances since rejoining the club.

Maintaining their momentum, Invicta threatened again two minutes later when Booth was given on-side and put clean through but appeared to have been brought down by Charles, but referee Ajibola was not interested.

But it was soon 3-0, as Folkestone scored the best of their three goals when Vincent’s throw-in was followed by touches from Dolan and Booth and Atkins cleverly back-heeled to find WRIGHT on the left whose excellent finish flew into the far corner of the net.

With the game won Invicta could afford the luxury of using all three substitutes as Flavius Fedor got another run-out a day ahead of his 21st birthday and young striker Reece Palmer also joined the action.

Between those two Folkestone changes, Chipstead produced their only real chance of the second half when substitute Alex Wilks was ruled onside but his 84thminute shot was well touched over the crossbar by Invicta goalkeeper Roberts who duly kept a clean sheet.

CHIPSTEAD: Stojsavljevic, Charles, Betancourt, Thomas, Preddie (Willis 85), Gallagher, Mitford, McLeod, Turl, Tieku (Wilks 64), Moody. Subs not used: Mensah, Buckle 

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Pilbeam (Booth 58), Draycott (Palmer 85), Atkins (Fedor 82), Dolan.  Sub not used: Fender 

Attendance: 131.

Corners: Chipstead 5 Invicta 6

* Richard Atkins pic courtesy of the Folkestone Herald