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Ace Draycott at the double as Invicta break their away 'duck' in fine style at the Pilot Field

HASTINGS UNITED 0 

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 2

Folkestone Invicta returned to winning ways with their first away victory of the season thanks to two second half goals away to Hastings United at The Pilot Field on Monday night.

Both clubs were under pressure going into the game in their first meeting since Invicta’s extra time play off semi final win of last season.

Hastings have now lost their last three home matches and failed to score in their last three fixtures including a narrow FA Cup defeat at Grays on Saturday.

Reverse

Terry White had resigned as manager following the previous Monday night’s 3-0 home defeat against Tooting & Mitcham United and this latest home reverse will have  done caretaker manager Nigel Kane’s hopes of a permanent appointment little good.

Invicta themselves had the weekend off following a period of self-reflection that followed a disappointing 2-0 midweek defeat at East Grinstead.

The Folkestone side won this encounter thanks to a strong second half performance with striker Ian Draycott credited with both goals.

Top goalscorer DRAYCOTT opened the scoring on 47 minutes when he guided the ball in off the bar after strike partner Paul Booth had met Josh Vincent's cross from the right at the far post.

It was 2-0 five minutes from tiime as DRAYCOTT got a touch as the ball ricocheted in the Hastings goalmouth and struck home right back Richard Rose on the chest after Booth had failed to connect when substitute Jon Pilbeam played the ball in from the right hand side in a move that had been started by Draycott and Matt Newman.

Invicta had Micheal Everitt back in the starting eleven after a recent hamstring injury in place of Darren Smith who has gone into semi-retirement nut who would have played had Everitt not been fit.

The opening exchanges were characterised by both sides continually falling offside.

Home striker Frankie Sawyer – ahead of a move back to Tooting & Mitcham United – then ran on and hit a well-struck shot narrowly wide from just outside the penalty area after receiving the ball from striking partner Ade Olorunda in the seventh minute.

Big chance

At the other end, Jordan Wright shot over from outside the penalty area on the left hand side two minutes later after Joe Taylor played the ball back.

The big chance of the first half fell to Invicta in the 20th minute when a Newman ball was headed on by Draycott to put Taylor through but home goalkeeper Josh Pelling came out to save and avert the danger.

Visiting captain Liam Friend then surged forward two minutes later after dispossessing striker Olorunda and his shot from outside the penalty area was deflected for Invicta’s first corner of the night.

Taylor broke and let fly from outside the penalty area but shot over the crossbar and Booth curled a shot from the left hand side wide of the far post.

There were chances at both ends in the 42nd minute as Tim Roberts got down to keep out an Ade Olorunda header after a free kick from the right and Draycott did not get enough on his shot for Invicta.

A 44th minute Sawyer shot was deflected for a corner when the striker made room for himself after a Ronnie Dolan ball and Tim Olorunda shot well wide from outside the penalty area when a Taser Hassan cross from the right came back out to him before half time.

But it was Invicta who took control after the interval and went ahead after a move initially started by Vincent, Taylor and Wright.

The visitors were close again in the 48th minute when a Booth shot curled just wide of the post from the edge of the penalty area.

Draycott played a dangerous ball across goal from the right hand side in the 51st minute that was cleared from close to the line by Rose.

Expense

It was now all Invicta as Pelling came out to save at the expense of a corner when a Booth ball released Taylor down the right hand side.

A 58th minute Newman free kick on the left was then headed at Pelling by Vincent following a foul by Rose on Wright.

Draycott shot from distance at Pelling as his confidence was up and Vincent shot tamely wide when the ball fell to him on the right hand side of the penalty area in the 68th minute.

Wright shot against the post when he did well to run inside the penalty area and shoot with the outside of his foot in the 74th minute to go desperately close again to opening his account in a midweek fixture.

Twenty-year-old Wright (pictured) has now started Invicta’s last five games and looks set to be a first team regular for some time to come.

It was a frustrating night for Hastings’ wide man Taser Hassan who switched to the left flank but shot into the side netting in the 75th minute.

Invicta brought Pilbeam on for Taylor and the substitute’s pace made an immediate impact as he shot into the side netting from the right hand side.

Sliding

An 83rd minute Sam Adams ball was touched on by Ade Olorunda to release substitute Kenny Pogue but Friend got back to make a saving sliding tackle to concede a corner.

Invicta’s second goal came as play went on despite a late challenge by Pogue on Newman.

Adams found Hassan on the right hand side in the 88th minute but the latter’s cross evaded the stretching Pogue in the middle and goalkeeper Roberts claimed the ball.

Booth was denied from close range in the 89th minute and got a corner for his efforts, while Invicta were on the attack again when the final whistle blew to deny Pilbeam.

There were bookings for Hastings’ Ade Olorunda (reckless 35th minute challenge on Everitt) and Sawyer (65th minute kick at Nat Blanks) and for Invicta’s Everitt (hauling Sean Ray down in the 27th minute), Vincent (55th minute foul on Sawyer) and Wrgiht (67th minute challenge on Hassan).

HASTINGS UNITED: Pelling, Rose, Cruttwell, T Olorunda, Ray (Cook 85), King, Dolan (Vickers 76), Adams, A Olorunda, Sawyer (Pogue 74), Hassan

Unused subs: Mastersa, Bankole. 

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Taylor (Pilbeam 75 mins), Draycott, Booth, M. Everitt

Unused subs: Coyne, Wraight, Edge.

Attendance: 332

Corners: Hastings 5 Invicta 5