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FOLKESTONE INVICTA 2

HERNE BAY 0

Folkestone Invicta maintained their excellent home record as second half goals from Jon Pilbeam (left) and Paul Booth gave Beil Cugley’s side victory over a limited Herne Bay at The Fullicks Stadium.

It was the introduction of Pilbeam as a second half substitute that changed the game after a damp squib of a first half.

Pilbeam scored the first and set up the second goal to take all the plaudits.

If a week is a long time in politics then the same is true of football as Pilbeam’s virtuoso performance came after he had been taken off at half time at Ramsgate the previous weekend and lost in his place in the starting line up here to Joe Taylor.

Invicta have now taken 13 points out of 15 in the Ryman Leagued Division One South after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at East Grinstead in September.

Former Tunbridge Wells player PILBEAM broke the deadlock in the 67th minute when he put the rebound in after former Invicta goalkeeper Jack Delo had saved his initial effort when Nat Blanks played the ball up from the left hand side to Booth.

Pilbeam then also played a big part in Invicta’s second goal as his 70th minute cross from the right was headed in by BOOTH for the latter’s fifth goal in the last four matches and his 36th goal in 48 appearances since joining Invicta from hometown club Maidstone United.

Wide man Pilbeam had come on for Roland Edge, who himself had returned to the starting eleven in place of the suspended Micheal Everitt.

Herne Bay, to be honest, offered very little beyond containment until it was too late.

Ace marksman Stuart King’s return to his old stomping ground did not live up to expectations as he was booked early on and later taken off as manager Sam Denly replaced both his strikers when 2-0 down.

Visiting captain Liam Quinn cleared after typical trickery from Booth down the right hand side of the penalty area in the fourth minute after passes from Matt Newman and Taylor.

King was then booked in the eighth minute for a late challenge on Blanks, the first of many Herne Bay fouls on the Invicta left back who was to be in the wars.

Delo palmed the ball away three minutes later when Jordan Wright got past his defender down the right and crossed after Taylor had switched the play to him.

Josh Vincent sent in a deep cross after combining with Ian Draycott in the 18th minute and the ball came off Taylor after being spilt by Delo, with Booth just unable to take advantage.

The nearest to a first half goal came in the 39th minute when Edge played the ball through to Booth who got in behind Connor Partridge but Delo came out to save.

Booth was adamant that he had his shirt pulled and was booked for comments made to assistant referee Jamie Gilham.

A 43rd minute Wright corner led to a scramble inside the Herne Bay penalty area as the stalemate continued.

Herne Bay’s Ben Brown was booked for a kick at Draycott during first half stoppage time during an opening 45 minutes during which the visitors had not tested home goalkeeper Tim Roberts.

Invicta hand an opening within 20 seconds of the re-start when the ball fell to Booth and the striker chipped wide from the left hand side.

The home side threatened again in the 62nd minute when the ever -influential Booth (pictured right) found the eager Wright and his dangerous low ball across goal from the right proved just out of Draycott's reach. 

Herne Bay replaced Brown with Sam Hasler but it was Invicta’s replacement of Edge with Pilbeam at the same time that was prove to be the more significant.

A 64th minute Draycott shot dipped over the crossbar from outside the penalty area after Blanks ball in from the left.

And Invicta soon took a stranglehold on the game with their two goalsv in the space of three minutes.

Between those two goals Herne Bay gained their first corner of the game when Danny Walder’s ball in from the left was headed wide from close range by the unmarked Danny Williams.

Pilbeam was in the action again when he latched onto a 72nd minute Vincent throw-in on the right and Herne Bay full back Michael Turner blocked from both Wright and Booth as Invicta gained a corner.

A double substitution saw Herne Bay replace King and Dan Parkinson with Joe Nelder and Kane Butler.

But Invicta were in total control as Wright hit a dipping shot just over the crossbar in the 79th minute.

Taylor was hurt in a strong challenge by Turner and was replaced by Reece Palmer, a week after the teenage striker’s first senior goal at Ramsgate had raised his profile around the club.

Herne Bay claimed a corner in the 88th minute when a cross came in towards Williams but may have been headed out of play by home central defender Frankie Chappell.

Herne Bay captain Quinn was booked for dissent after a bizarre stoppage time question mark over a throw in.

Substitute Butler fired over from outside the penalty area but Herne Bay really had not done enough to complain and were arguably more than a little flattered by the mere two-goal margin..

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Edge (Pilbeam 62 mins), Draycott, Booth, Taylor (Palmer 82 mins).  Unused sub: Fender. 

HERNE BAY: Delo, Turner, Sayer, Johnson, Quinn, Partridge, Walder, B Brown (Hasler 62 mins), Parkinson (Butler 74 mins), King (Nelder 74 mins), Williams.  Unused subs: Eastwood, J Brown.

Attendance: 311.

Corners: Invicta 5 Herne Bay 2