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Invicta's passion and pace is not quite enough to swing County Cup tie against the Ryman's wealthiest club

MARGATE 2

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 1

Southern Division Invicta went out of the Kent Reliance Senior Cup after a narrow 2-1 defeat at Margate in Tuesday night’s lively quarter-final at Hartsdown Park.

All three goals came in the first half as Ian Draycott - right - cancelled out Lewis Taylor’s opener for the Gate before recent signing Freddie Ladapo hit what turned out to be the winning goal four minutes before the break.

Invicta had won the right to be here by winning 3-1 at Dover Athletic in the previous round but they could not quite do enough to get the better of the Ryman Premier League high-fliers Margate despite hitting the post twice in the second half.

Margate had beaten Invicta 3-1 in an FA Cup replay at Hartsdown earlier in the season and Invicta have now gone out of three of their four cup competitions in Thanet this season - having also ‘lost’ on penalties in the League Cup at Ramsgate.

Both sides returned to action having had their home matches postponed due to waterlogged pitches on Saturday.

Invicta had Callum Wraight in at left back in place of Nat Blanks who was due for an ultimately postponed operation of a cheekbone fractured in a collision with team-mate Jordan Wright in a previous game.

The visitors made a positive start as Draycott shot over from the edge of the penalty area when Richard Atkins headed the ball on in the fourth minute.

And the two strikers combined again four minutes later when Atkins shot was blocked.

Striker

Margate won the game’s first corner when the ball came into the penalty area towards ex-Kidderminster Harriers striker Ladapo.

Invicta goalkeeper Tim Roberts claimed the ball when it came in towards Jamie Taylor on12 minutes and an effort from ex-AFC Wimbledon player Luke Moore was blocked for a corner two minutes later.

The home side had the ball in the net from the ensuing corner but the ‘goal’ was ruled out when goalkeeper Roberts had appeared to have dropped the ball.

Invicta captain Liam Friend then met an 18th minute Ronnie Dolan cross from the left but could not get enough power on his header to beat goalkeeper Matthew Armstrong-Ford.

A Ladapo shot was deflected over the crossbar for a corner at the other end a minute later.

And the home side opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Roberts got across to superbly keep out a long range shot by Moore but the impressive TAYLOR was there to knock in the rebound.

Moore again went close from distance for Margate but Invicta were soon level.

And on 28 minutes their leading  scorer DRAYCOTT let fly and found the net from just outside the penalty area after a neat combination with Jotrdan Wright (oictured).

A Josh Vincent shot from outside the penalty area was then deflected over for a corner two minutes later.

It was even-steven as a 35th minute Tom Phipp shot from distance dipped wide, while another Atkins effort was deflected at Armstrong-Ford after a Dolan corner from the left.

But LADAPO was to put Terry Brown’s side ahead again with his first Margate goal as he cut in from the right and hit a low shot into the far corner of the net.

It was a similar scenario to the aforementioned FA Cup replay here when Margate had opened the scoring, Invicta soon levelled and the home side restored their lead just before the break.

Both sides made half time substitutions as Kane Wills replaced Phipp for Margate and Flavius Fedor replaced hamstring victim Wraight (hamstring) at left back for Invicta.

Moore twice again went close, but Invicta threw on Jon Pilbeam for goalscorer Draycott and Ashley Miller made his first appearance for the club in place of Wright.

Post

Defender Frankie Chappell got forward and his shot looped over the crossbar in the 65th minute, while Matt Newman struck the post with a low 30-yard strike a minute later.

Folkestone were throwing everything into trying to save the tie and the hard-working  Atkins’ far post effort was somewhat fortunately cleared off the line.

There was action inside the Invicta penalty area on 84 minutes when the ball fell to defender Tambeson Eyong and then to Taylor after it had evaded goalkeeper Roberts but Eyong miscued his shot  and was injured in the process.

But it was Invicta who almost  equalised to force a penalty shoot out as debutant Miller made a good early impression on visiting supporters.

Miller used his electric pace to burst through the middle of the Margate defence in the dying seconds and 90th minute and his shot rebounded off the post in the grateful arms of keeper Armstrong-Ford. - incident pictured here by Don Linkin.

And it was Miller who again went close seconds later but the 20-year-was this time denied by Armstrong-Ford’s save.

The last chance of the game fell to Margate’s Moss deep into stoppage time but he could not quite add to the home side’s lead and it was Margate who progressed into the semi finals.

The attendance of 215 was identical to that for Invicta’s 3-1 win at Merstham in their previous match!

This was a terrific, whole-hearted, passion-filled performance from Invicta against a Margate side whose top earner reportedly gets as much every week as Folkestone's entire wage bill.

MARGATE: Armstrong-Ford, Cash, Bennett (Rents 74), Eyong, Stuart, Johnson, Lewis Taylor, Phipp (Wills 45), Jamie Taylor (Moss 59), Ladapo, Moore. Unused subs: Wassmer, Riviere

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Wraight (Fedor 45), Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright (Miller 61), Everitt, Draycott (Pilbeam 61), Atkins, Dolan.  Unused sub: Fender

Attendance: 215.