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 SCORE  3-2   Gate 357

DATE  03/02/18.  For the Match Preview click HERE

Video of Game click  HERE(when available)

Folkestone Invicta scored another three goals and just about held on for victory at home to Brightlingsea Regent in the Bostik League Premier Division on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Ronnie Dolan, Joe Taylor, and Ian Draycott had seen Invicta lead 3-1 going into stoppage time, but substitute Jake Turner pulled a goal back direct from a free kick and Josh Gould then headed against the crossbar seconds before the final whistle after another Turner free kick.

Invicta has scored two or more goals in each of their last ten fixtures and has scored three times in six of their last eight matches.

Goals are on the agenda when Neil Cugley’s side are in action. Both sides have now scored in 17 of Invicta’s last 18 Bostik League Premier Division games and in 20 of the club’s last 22 matches in all competitions.

It would have made good viewing as the Back of the Net crew visited The Fullicks Stadium for the first time.

When the dust settles Invicta will be pleased to have maintained their push for the playoffs as they completed another league ‘double’ for the season.

The home side had gone into the game having to make two changes as Nat Blanks came in at left back as Finn O’Mara’s loan spell from Gillingham had ended in the previous Saturday’s 3-3 draw away to Hendon and Dolan came into midfield in place of the injured Scott Heard (knee). Dolan has played his last few games with Whitstable Town on dual registration as he comes back following an ankle operation.

New signing from Hythe Town, Jerald Aboagye, started on the substitutes’ bench but was to come on at halftime for the injured Ade Yusuff.

A good sixth-minute ball from Yusuff had released Draycott but the return pass didn’t find the advancing Yusuff and goalkeeper Harry Palmer comfortably claimed the ball.

Taylor then miscued when Draycott played the ball back two minutes later and Dolan couldn’t get his shot in from the edge of the penalty area. All three players involved, though, were to finish on the scoresheet.

A 17th minute Sam Hasler free kick from the right-hand side flashed past the stretching Yusuff in the middle and carried to goalkeeper Palmer.

Palmer got down to save from Taylor two minutes later and right back George Keys cleared for a corner after a Josh Vincent throw-in had reached Yusuff.

The game’s first real moment came in the 28th minute when Hasler let fly from 25 yards and Palmer got across to push the ball away at the expense of a corner.

At the other end, the ball was played up to striker Billy Hunt a minute later who found Rob Harvey on the right-hand side whose curled shot from outside the penalty area was on target but comfortably saved by goalkeeper Tim Roberts.

Brightlingsea Regent – on their first ever visit to Cheriton Road – then created an even better chance in the 37th minute when Harry McDonald played the ball over to Harvey on the right and it then fell to Aaron Condon on the left but his shot did not beat Roberts.

A Hasler free kick from the right for Invicta five minutes later was ten put wide by a diving Micheal Everitt in a crowded penalty area.

Visiting striker Hunt capitalised on a poor 44th minute Blanks back pass and went round goalkeeper Roberts down the right-hand side but was then faced with a tight angle and his shot was blocked for a corner by sliding Invicta captain Callum Davies.

But Invicta opened the scoring during first-half stoppage time when Taylor played the ball over from the left-hand side and goalkeeper Palmer let DOLAN’s volley slip past him.

It was Dolan’s first Invicta goal of the season and his first for the club since Boxing Day 2016 at Tonbridge angels just before he sustained his injury at home to Lowestoft Town during January 2017.

There was no indication then as the rain began to fall of the goal feast that was to follow during the second half.

Invicta striker Yusuff had pulled up just before the interval and did not come back out for the second half as the home side switched to 4-4-2 with new boy Aboagye on the right-hand side of midfield.

Hasler and Dolan worked the ball out to Aboagye in the 53rd minute and Dolan sliced his shot over the crossbar when the ball came back out to him.

It was 2-0 in the 57th minute when TAYLOR headed in a Hasler free kick to take him into double figures for the season after a foul by Josh Gould on Taylor.

Gould was then booked for a 60th-minute challenge on Aboagye after the latter had gone past him after a move involving Vincent and Dolan.

But Brightlingsea Regent is a hard-working side with a never-say-die attitude that had been demonstrated in the reverse fixture back in November. The visitors were still in the game and Hunt fired wide in the 69th minute when Harvey chipped the ball across from the right-hand side and the ball came back out to the edge of the penalty area.

The visitors pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when top goalscorer HUNT smashed the ball into the roof of the net after a free kick from substitute Turner following a trip by Hasler – who was booked – on Jake Gould.

Brightlingsea Regent was close again in the 76th minute when McDonald played the ball up to Josh Gould on the left whose ball in was met by a glancing header from captain Matt Cripps and just evaded being put in at the far post before it was put out for a corner.

Invicta restored their two-goal advantage in the 88th minute when a Hasler ball sent DRAYCOTT clear who took the ball on and slotted it into the net when in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Palmer.

That is now eight goals in nine matches for Draycott since h returned to action on the last weekend before Christmas after a belated honeymoon. He has now scored in Invicta’s last five matches.

Invicta attacked again two minutes later when Draycott played the ball out to Aboagye on the right-hand side whose low ball across goal was cleared for a throw-in by visiting defender Keys.

Some Invicta supporters – the glass often seems to be half empty – remained scarred from the previous Saturday when the Folkestone side had drawn 3-3 away to Hendon after leading 3-0 with 20 minutes to go.  Stoppage time here was almost to be even more dramatic/traumatic.

Brightlingsea Regent made it 3-2 when TURNER hit his free kick directly into the corner of the net after Aboagye was adjudged to have bundled Jake Gould over.

Surely it was too late for an equaliser?  But after Dolan became the game’s third and final booking another Turner free-kick was met by a Josh Gould header against the crossbar.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Everitt, Davies, Newman, Hasler, Dolan, Draycott, Yusuff (Aboagye 45 mins), Taylor.  Unused subs: Walmsley, Madden, Shaw.

BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT: Palmer, Keys, Jake Gould, Newman (Turner 57 mins), Josh Gould, Cripps, Harvey (Newland 78 mins), Love, Hunt, McDonald, Condon (Ashford 57 mins).  Unused subs: Griggs, O’Connor.

Corners:-Invicta 5 Brightlingsea 3