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Folkestone storm to cup victory over the old enemy as thunder and lightning hit Crabble and Kinnear's 'poor' Whites are left shell-shocked

                                                                                                                DOVER ATHLETIC 1

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 3

Folkestone Invicta’s good run continued with a 3-1 win away to Dover Athletic in the Second Round of the Kent Reliance Senior Cup on a stormy Tuesday night at Crabble.

Ian Draycott (two, one penalty) and Nat Blanks scored the goals to give Invicta a fifth straight win and 11 goals in three games over eight days in three different competitions.

It turned out to be a miserable night for Dover who saw Barry Cogan have a penalty saved, Chris Nanetti taken off injured and Sean Raggett sent off as he conceded Invicta’s penalty.

There has been a lot of talk about team selections ahead of Dover’s big weekend F. A. Cup tie at home to Morecambe but the simple truth is that Invicta played very well, and, to be fair, the hosts acknowledged this.

DRAYCOTT opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he slotted the ball into the net after Jordan Wright had been put through and went round goalkeeper Lee Hook but was forced wide before keep his composure to pull the ball back.

The goal was marked by the skies being lit up with thunder and lightning to make for a dramatic scene to accompany the torrential rain.

It was 2-0 in the 28th minute when BLANKS (pictured left) opened his account for the season when he headed in a Matt Newman free kick from the right.

Invicta were on top but had goalkeeper Tim Roberts to thank for an excellent first half save to deny home striker Jake Reid.

Roberts then went one better when he got across to make another good save to keep out Cogan’s 54th minute penalty following a foul by Micheal Everitt on Nanetti.

The Folkestone side made it 3-0 with its own penalty as DRAYCOTT was successful from the spot after centre half Raggett was given a straight red card for bringing down Joe Taylor.

But the home side did manage to score when new striker Greg RUTHERFORD put in the rebound after Roberts had saved but not held a free kick from Dover captain Matt Lock.

Invicta might have had more second half goals as Everitt was denied for a push and another chance looked to have crossed the line but on this occasion the visitors had enough in hand for those not to prove significant.

This was Invicta’s first visit to Crabble since March 2005 when a James Dryden goal gave the Folkestone club a 1-0 victory and all but condemned Dover to relegation from the Ryman Premier League.

Dover have since achieved three promotions in a decade to reclaim their place at the pinnacle of non-league football.

Such is the infrequency of meetings between the senior clubs of these two traditional town rivals you have to go back to March 2004 for Dover’s last competitive win over Invicta.

Invicta supporters will enjoy the fact that the above statistic still stands.

Dover gave debuts to new signings Ben Sampayo and Tarik Moore Azille and had Lock back from injury.

Invicta do not have a big enough squad to make shuffle their pack too much during cup competitions and went with the same starting eleven that had won 3-2 at home to Thurrock in Saturday’s F. A. Trophy tie.

That meant 17-year-old Callum Wraight kept his place at the heart of the defence and the youth team captain passed these two difficult tests with flying colours as deputy for Liam Friend.

Alongside him Frankie Chappell seemed to thrive on the added responsibility of being captain.

There were chances at both ends in the seventh minute as Paul Booth found Jon Pilbeam on the right but the low drilled in ball was cleared and a deep Nanetti cross from the left was nearly put in by Reid at the far post.

But Draycott was soon to open the scoring for Invicta and the storm clouds if not the floodgates.

Dover were becoming the latest to fall victim and grow frustrated by Invicta’s offside trap and the visitors threatened again in the 15th minute when the ball fell to Draycott again but Moore Azille got across to clear.

Reid did well to get a shot in for Dover but could only find the side netting.

And it was Invicta who struck again and importantly scoring when in the ascendancy.

Goalscorer Blanks then met a Wright corner but the ball just eluded striker Booth.

Visiting goalkeeper Roberts then took the plaudits for his 34th minute save from Reid after a Cogan free kick from the left.

At the other end, Pilbeam curled a shot wide from the left hand side a minute later.

Invicta had a chance to increase their lead further when Booth received the ball from Everitt and made room for himself on the left hand side but his shot lacked power.

Lock then blasted wide at the end of a dispiriting first half for the home side after good skill from Nanetti on the right hand side.

Dover came out with more purpose at the start of the second half but the unruffled Wraight headed away a Nanetti cross.

It was Invicta who ten thought that they had scored again when Everitt headed in a Wright corner at the far post but it was ruled out for a push.

The club record’s appearance holder, Everitt was the only surviving playing member of Invicta’s last visit to Crabble.

A Nanetti shot came off team mate Cogan in a 53rd minute move also involving Lock and Sampayo.

Dover were then given the chance to get back into the tie a minute later but Roberts produced more heroics to save Cogan’s penalty.

Invicta then had another near miss of their own when Pilbeam played the ball in from the right towards half time substitute Taylor in the 64th minute and felt in need of goal line technology as Moore Aziulle cleared.

Fans’ favourite Nanetti;s injury meant that the night soon got worse for Dover and Raggett’s dismissal compounded their misery when Lock lost possession on the halfway line after a Liam Bellamy ball and Newman played it through.

It was the second time in four days that Invicta had found themselves up against ten men.

Draycott’s penalty took him to 18goals in 23 Invicta appearances and 11 in the last ten matches.

Rutherford’s goal at last gave home supporters something to cheer about.

But Invicta still looked dangerous as Josh Vincent found Pilbeam on the right and the latter’s dangerous cross was headed over at the far post by Moore Azille.

Hook then saved well from Draycott and Pilbeam shot into the side netting from the left hand side after Draycott had played the ball back to Vincent who hit a good ball forward to Pilbeam who squared the ball to Wright in one of the best of many good Invicta moves on the night.

Draycott put the ball into the net again but an offside flag had long been up after a move involving Everitt and Pilbeam and Hook raced out to deny Draycott a hat-trick in the 85th minute before Invicta’s top goalscorer was replaced by teenager Reece Palmer.

Substitute Alistair Gordon had a late chance for Dover but it was Invicta who had the game’s final shot courtesy of Taylor from the left hand side.

Everitt was the game’s only booking, although Raggett was, of course, sent off.

Assistant manager Roland Edge took charge of the Invicta side as Neil Cugley served a one-match touchline ban after his recent dismissal at Whitstable Town. Cugley will have liked what he saw from up high in the Director’s gantry.

DOVER ATHLETIC: Hook, Sampayo, Gerrard (Gordon 60 mins), Lock, Raggett, Moore Azille, Cogan (Priddle 72 mins), Bellamy, Reid, Rutherford, Nanetti (Isichei 67 mins).  Unused subs: Holmes, Tonkin.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Wraight, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Pilbeam, Draycott (Palmer 86 mins), Booth (Taylor 45 mins), M. Everitt.  Unused subs: Webb, Fender. 

Attendance: 305.

Corners: Dover 3 Invicta 4

Pictures by FIFC Club Photographer Don Linkin