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Matt's neat finish is more than enough as Invicta beat Hastings for the fourth time in a row

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 1

HASTINGS UNITED 0

Invicta took all three points on Saturday afternoon thanks to a penalty save from Tim Roberts and a first half goal from Matt Newman against Hastings United at The Fullicks Stadium.

Roberts got down well to his left to save Sam Adams’ 30th minute penalty after Adams himself had been brought down by former Hastings player Ronnie Dolan.

And midfielder NEWMAN - left - scored what proved the only goal of the game when he found himself clear inside the penalty area in the 40th minute and dinked the ball into the net from close range after good skill from Richard Atkins who had combined with Jordan Wright.

It was Newman’s third goal of the season – all three of them since the turn of the year.

Hastings’ last visit to Folkestone had been in a thrilling 3-2 play-off semi-final defeat after extra time at the end of last season but the always ambitious East Sussex club somewhat surprisingly now find themselves in a relegation battle after a disappointing campaign.

Invicta brought lively midfielder Wright back into the starting 11 in place of striker Ashley Miller on what was a heavy pitch, heavily sanded in places.

Manager Neil Cugley will have been pleased with a first clean sheet since New Year’s Day after the calamitous defending of the previous weekend’s 5-3 defeat at Carshalton.

The home side had penalty appeals waved away after a sixth minute challenge on Ian Draycott on the right of the penalty area and the officials probably got that one right.

At the other end, one-time Hythe wide-man Taser Hassan delivered the visitors’ first and only corner of the game from the left two minutes later that striker Ade Olorunda could not just failed to bundle over the line.

The opening exchanges were fairly even and a 22nd minute free-kick from the left by playmaker Adams from 25 yards curled relatively harmlessly over the bar.

There was far more determination in Folkestone’s defending after the Carshalton debacle and captain Liam Friend was booked for bringing down the tricky Adams.

Friend had passed a pre-match fitness test on a recent foot injury to take his place in the side as manager Cugley kept faith with his back-four despite their shortcomings seven days earlier.

At the other end Newman placed his shot a minute later when Dolan’s corner from the right came back out to the edge of the penalty area but United left back Richard Rose blocked the midfielder’s effort.

The Hastings penalty on the half hour and the fine save from Roberts (left) were the big turning points in the game.

It was soon followed by a yellow card for burly Tim Olorunda for a lunge at Micheal Everitt.

And Newman’s decisive goal soon completed a damaging ten minute spell for the visitors.

Invicta started the second half on top as Dolan shot just wide on  49 minutes and Atkins fired a low effort wide from just outside the 18-yard area three minutes later.

And Ian Draycott took the ball on and hit a low shot at Hastings goalkeeper Josh Pelling in the 53rd minute.

It was pretty much all Folkestone now as, not for the first time, this United side began to tire and a good Invicta move ended with Draycott shooting after he himself had started the attack by finding Wright before Dolan played the ball into the box for the 29-goal striker.

Wright then couldn’t quite get a vital touch from close range in the middle after Draycott played the ball across goal from the right just before the hour.

Nat Blanks ball into the penalty area picked out Atkins in space down the left but Pelling saved at the expense of a corner.

There was a rare scare for the home side as at the other end, a 67th minute Brinkhurst cross from the right hand came off the top of the Invicta crossbar.

Folkestone made a double substitution as Miller came on for his home debut along with Jon Pilbeam with the tireless duo of Atkins and Wright the players replaced.

Big strong striker Ade Olorunda went past  Blanks and broke through the middle as the game went into its last quarter hour but his low shot at Roberts lacked power.

A 79th minute Dolan corner from the right was met by a strong Frankie Chappell header that Pelling did well to save and Draycott fired over.

Club stalwart James Everitt – seconded back from Southern Counties East side Ashford United then made another cameo substitute appearance for Invicta in place of the hard-working but luckless Draycott whose best chances on the day had all fallen to his ‘wrong foot’ as he sought his 30th goal of the season.

And Invicta were left frustrated five minutes from time when a challenge by Hastings captain Sean Ray on Miller went unpunished by referee Karl May on the edge of the penalty area.

There was still time for one last chance as Pilbeam’s ball in from the right was met by fellow substitute Miller but the 20-year-old lcould not quite convert what would have been his third goal in as many games for Folkestone.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright (Pilbeam 68), M Everitt, Draycott (J Everitt 81), Atkins (Miller 68), Dolan

Subs not used: Wraight, Fender   

HASTINGS UNITED: Pelling, Hanifan, R. Rose, Holden (Foster 63), Ray, Hause, Brinkhurst, T Olorunda, A Olorunda, Adams, Hassan (Pogue 67)

Subs not used: Dixon, Robertson, D Rose. 

Attendance: 326.

Corners: Invicta 5 Hastings 1