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Awful officials complete sorry night and another defeat as Invicta search for true form on the road

EAST GRINSTEAD TOWN 2

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 0

Folkestone Invicta suffered a thoroughly disappointing 2-0 defeat away to East Grinstead Town at the GAC Stadium on Tuesday night and had Josh Vincent sent off with a straight red card.

Right back Vincent was dismissed in the 71st minute for an off the ball incident involving Grinstead's George Hiller-Jones when an assistant referee flagged and alerted referee Jack Packman to an alleged elbow to the back of the head.

By then Invicta were already a 53rd minute Sam Schaaf goal down and they later fell 2-0 behind when substitute Kieron Pamment increased the lead in the 84th minute.

The result has left Invicta facing something of an early season mini-crisis over their away form, although alarm rather than panic will be the order of the day.

This Folkestone side is expected to challenge for the Ryman League Division One title this season but iwere lleft still without an away win so far. If they could have hand-picked an opposition to put that right than statistically it would have been East Grinstead who had lost their previous six games and conceded 18 goals in their last four defeats, including a 4-0 home reverse against Sittingbourne on Saturday.

But very few of Cugley's side came out of this shock defeat with any credit as only the consistent Nat Blanks, exciting Jordan Wright - pictured - and the luckless Vincent performed anywhere near the level of which fans knew they were capable.

The latest dilemma for Invicta manager Neil Cugley - pictured -was clearly how to best integrate his three leading strikers Ian Draycott, Paul Booth and recent signing Joe Taylor into the starting eleven.

Since the introduction of a three-pronged attack Invicta have lost their goalscoring touch and this was the first time that Cugley’s side has failed to score in consecutive league games since March 2012 (away to Walton & Hersham and at home to Whyteleafe).

Guernsey

From the weekend trip to Guernsey, Taylor and Darren Smith came back into the side for Jon Pilbeam and Micheal Everitt (hamstring).

But the home side started well as Sam Schaaf put the ball into the net in the fourth minute but the ‘goal’ was ruled out by a flag for offside after Layton Schaaf had been given on-side down the right hand side.

Invicta goalkeeper Tim Roberts then cleared the ball straight to Michael Belli but the latter shot wide of the target.

At the other end, visiting captain Liam Friend had a 15th minute shot deflected wide following a Smith cross from the left.

Jon Hampson then headed over for the visitors two minutes later after a Hiller-Jones cross from the left hand side of the park.

Invicta striker Taylor combined with Draycott when Vincent played a 21st minute ball in but Taylor went down as he was crowded out.

A well-struck Smith shot was then charged down in the 30th minute.

Sam Schaaf fired wide of the near post when Hiller-Jones played a 32nd minute ball in from the left and another home chance went astray when the ball fell to Hiller-Jones on the left three minutes later.

A 41st minute Smith free kick from the left was then headed over by Vincent when a Nat Blanks ball in was handled after a Matt Newman ball from right to left.

Sam Schaaf could not convert a chance within a minute of the second half when the ball broke to Layton Schaaf on the right.

Blanks drilled a low shot in from the left after being found by Newman in the 49th minute but home goalkeeper Mark Fox saved at his near post.

But it was SCHAAF who opened the scoring when he took the ball on and fired it into the net after it broke to him.

Vincent then blocked a Hiller-Jones shot four minutes later when the ball came across to the East Grinstead player.

Invicta brought Pilbeam on for Smith on the hour mark as the substitute played on the left flank, with Taylor on the right and Draycott dropping deeper.

Dismissal

The home side’s captain Matt Geard was booked for a challenge on Newman, but it was Invicta who were reduced to ten men following Vincent’s dismissal.

A lot of people in the ground would not have seen the incident but visiting supporters voiced their displeasure as what was clear was that the assistant referee did not raise his flag as soon as the incident took place but only after home protests.

Invicta’s best chance for an equaliser came in the 74th minute when Pilbeam raced down the left after a misheader from Hampson but his shot was saved for a corner at the near post.

Draycott chipped over for Invicta when a Pilbeam corner from the left came back out in the 84th minute.

But it was East Grinstead who scored again when the ball fell to substitute PAMMENT after it had broke to Dan Turner on the right hand side.

Invicta had stoppage time chances as Draycott shot over the crossbar when the ball  came back out after goalkeeper Roberts had played it up to Booth.

A Draycott shot was then headed out for another corner when Pilbeam had played an initial corner in from the left.

As well as the red card for  Vincent’s, pictured right, there were bookings for Friend, Booth and Newman on a tetchy night for Invicta.

EAST GRINSTEAD TOWN: Fox, Hampson, Beard, Sinclair, Pelling, Harding, Turner (Secon-Smith 87 mins), Belli, S Schaaf (Death 86 mins), L Schaaf, Hiller-Jones (Pamment 76 mins).  Unused sub: Djimah. 

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Smith (Pilbeam 60 mins), Wright, Draycott, Booth, Taylor (Coyne 78 mins).  Unused sub: Edge.

Attendance: 121.

Corners: East Grinstead 2  Folkestone Invicta 7