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FA Cup 1st Qual Round


 SCORE   1 - 0    Gate   337

DATE  08/09/18.  For the Match Preview click HERE

Video of Game click  HERE(when available)

Folkestone Invicta suffered a disappointing early exit from the F,. A. Cup when they were beaten 1-0 away to Burgess Hill Town in Saturday’s First Round Qualifying tie at the Green Elephants Stadium.

The F. A. Cup remains the world’s most important knockout competition for non-league clubs as a route to glory and glamour ties against Football League opposition. Its value can now also be measured in hard cash and with £6,000 prize money on offer here defeat becomes an even more bitter pill to swallow.

It remains a strange old competition. Burgess Hill had been beaten in all three of their opening three home Bostik League Premier Division fixtures of the season, conceding 11 goals in the process, to leave them bottom of the table. Assistant manager Simon Turk had left the club after a 6-1 home defeat against Enfield Town and manager Ian Chapman recently drafted in former Brighton manager Dean Wilkins to help out at training and has called one-time Dover Athletic star Simon Wormull (whose father used to own a shop in the town) to his coaching staff. The Hillians had won 2-1 at Faversham in the League Cup on Tuesday night but this was the big win that the West Sussex club had been looking for.

Invicta, by contrast, had won all three of the previous away fixtures during 2018/19 and kept the same starting X1 that had played well at Bishop’s Stortford the previous Saturday.

For the opening 15 minutes it looked as though the Folkestone side was on course for another good away result. But Neil Cugley’s side could not find a way past home goalkeeper Josh James and after the sides went in goalless at half time, Burgess Hill improved after the interval and scored the all-important goal through striker Ben Pope in the 52nd minute.

Invicta looked at their best early on when looking to utilise the guile and pace of youngsters Alfie Paxman and Johan Ter Horst. But as the game wore on Invicta were lured into playing higher and longer balls that were meat and drink to vastly experienced Burgess Hill captain Gary Elphick.

Ter Horst headed just over the crossbar from a second minute Nat Blanks cross when Paxman played the ball back from the left hand side.

A well worked Invicta move five minutes later culminated in a Paxman shot being blocked by Gary Charman and striker Kane Rowland then fired wide from just outside the penalty area seconds later.

The home side then went close in the 17th minute as Kieran Pamment found Pope on the left whose cross-shot across goal was met by a Pat Harding flick in the middle but visiting goalkeeper Tim Roberts made a good save with his legs.

Invicta then threatened in the 23rd minute when captain Callum Davies got forward down the right hand side of the box and played the ball to Kieron McCann whose shot was pushed away for Invicta’s first corner by James.  Ronnie Dolan’s set piece from the right was met by a Jack Evans header but James got down to make another good save.

A 33rd minute Jerald Aboagye ball forward found Rowland but the striker was wrestled to the ground by Elphick. Paxman’s subsequent 25-yard free kick had direction but James got behind the ball to catch it.

One-time Horsham manager and club stalwart Charman then had to limp off to break up the home side’s veteran central defensive partnership.

Pope found Pamment in the clear down the right hand side of the penalty area in the 39th mite but the latter’s shot flashed wide of the far post across goal after goalkeeper Roberts’ clearance had been headed back forward by Daniel Beck.

Home striker Pope played a 43rd minute ball forward to fellow former Worthing player Pamment inside the penalty area but Paxman did well to get across and clear.

Invicta were close again during first half stoppage time when a long Paxman throw in from the left was met by a Davies touch and James made a good save to deny Josh Vincent at the expense of a corner.

But Burgess Hill were to carry more of a threat from the start of the second half.

A 47th minute Pamment cross from the right was met by a Pope header that turned out to be more akin to a clearance but fell to Harding who fired over the crossbar.

It was POPE, though that was to score the decisive goal five minutes later when he rifled his shot into the net after a break that the striker had himself started when he nipped in to get the ball ahead of Evans just inside the Invicta half and found Pamment before Thomas Cadman played the ball in to Pope.

Burgess Hill broke again in the 54th minute when Pamment played the ball back to Harding but Evans got back to avert the danger. Connor Tighe’s subsequent corner from the left was met by an Ephick header across goal as the Hillians continued to enjoy a good start to the second half.

Tighe and Cadman combined to find Pope in the 58th minute who played a good all out to Pamment on the right who turned provider for Pope but the goalscorer shot just wide thistime.

Invicta’s first substitution saw Ian Draycott come on for Paxman which resulted in McCann moving from the central to a wide left role.

A 64th minute Tighe free kick was headed back across goal by Sam Fisk but Roberts claimed the ball after an Aboagye trip on Pope.

The ball was played in to Pope on the right hand side of the penalty area in the 71st minute who picked Harding out but the latter skied his shot well off target.

A 75th minute Dolan free kick came back out to Evans whose shot was deflected off Beck for a corner after an initial foul by Beck on Evans.

Invicta brought the calming influence of Phil Starkey on for Aboagye at right back for the final quarter of an hour.

Draycott played the ball up to Ter Horst in the 77th minute but the latter was dispossessed by Elphick as the ball carried to James after referee Robert Ablitt had played an advantage after a heavy challenge on Evans.

An 82nd minute Draycott shot was deflected off Beck for a corner after goalkeeper James had kicked the ball straight to Draycott who combined with Ter Horst. Dolan’s subsequent corner on the left was met by Davies and Ter Horst blasted over the crossbar.

After an 88th minute foul on McCann, Dolan played a free kick in from the left and Vincent went down as Fisk was all over him but nothing was given as Invicta became increasingly desperate.

Vincent was involved again as he went down after a tussle with Cadman before a 90th minute Dolan free kick was taken after a bad foul on Blanks.

The unfortunate Blanks had to limp off in what was his last match before an  upcoming operation.

A stoppage time McCann shot came off Elphick and Ter Horst then had a shot deflected as Invicta won two late corners, the second of which was headed away by former Brighton centre half and Worthing manager Elphick which summed up the second half and Burgess Hill’s resistance.

Burgess Hill’s Harding was the game’s only booking for pulling Evans back in the 67th minute.

Visiting manager Cugley was visibly distraught as his side’s fate was confirmed.

Invicta’s suspended pair Ade Yusuff and Sam Hasler watched from the sidelines. The Folkestone side had coped well enough without them starting at Bishop’s Stortford the previous weekend. They were missed here.

The two clubs meet again at The Fullicks Stadium next Saturday. This winner-takes-all encounter was the more lucrative one to win, but life moves on.

It was to be a third consecutive 1-0 result for the Folkestone club – two loses and one win.

BURGESS HILL TOWN: James, Barker, Cadman, Fisk, Elphick, Charman (Diallo 33 mins), Harding, Beck, Pope (McCollin 78 mins, Smith-Joseph 85 mins), Tighe, Pamment.  Unused subs: Franzen-Jones, Watson, Bennett.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Aboagye (Starkey 75 mins), Blanks (Newman 90 mins), Vincent, Davies, Evans, Paxman (Draycott 61 mins), Dolan, Ter Horst, Rowland, McCann.  Unused subs: Everitt, Coleman.

Corners: Burgess Hill 5 Invicta 9