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 SCORE   2-0    Gate 180

DATE  03/10/17.  For the Match Preview click HERE

Video of Game click  HERE(when available)

Folkestone Invicta’s nine match winning run came to an end when Neil Cugley’s side was beaten 2-0 away to Merstham at the Moatside Stadium on Tuesday night.

Invicta had won every game in all competitions, including two penalty shoot out wins, since their only other defeat so far this season, also 2-0, at home to Needham Market.

Youssef Bamba opened the scoring for The Moatsiders during the first half and substitute Alex Addai made the points safe with a good late strike after Invicta had enjoyed the better of the second half.

Invicta had kept the same starting X1 that had won in the F A Cup at home to Aylesbury United on Saturday to set up a Fourth Round Qualifying tie at Slough.

The visitors went forward from the start as Sam Hasler fired into the sky after just 40 seconds after touches from strikers Ade Yusuff and Joe Taylor when goalkeeper Tim Roberts played the ball up.

A low Jordan Wright ball across from the right hand side then gave Kieron McCann a fifth minute chance but his shot was blocked.

Yusuff then headed well wide from a Hasler free kick three minutes later after the striker had himself been fouled when captain Callum Davies brought the ball out of defence.

But it was Merstham that opened the scoring in the 13th minute after a typical passing move when Stephan Hamilton-Forbes found Dan Bennett down the left hand side whose low ball in was converted by BAMBA.

Reece Hall then broke down the left hand side for the home side four minutes later and let fly but Roberts kept his shot out.

Merstham striker R J Pingling touched the ball back in the 28th minute but only found Invicta’s Hasler whose low ball in from the right was claimed by home goalkeeper Chris Haigh before it could reach Taylor.

Scott Heard then took the ball on a minute later but fired well wide from just outside the penalty area.

A 34th minute McCann shot then warmed goalkeeper Haigh’s hands after Hasler had played the ball to Heard on the left hand side of the penalty area.

Wright became Invicta’s only booking on the night when he wrestled Bennett on the left hand side after Pingling had done well to find his striking partner.

Hasler curled a 39th minute free kick narrowly wide for Invicta after a foul by Bennett on Micheal Everitt.

But the visitors were to lose top goalscorer Yusuff to injury before half time which gave teenager Euan Sahadow his first senior run out of the season for the Folkestone side after a loan spell at Chatham.

Taylor found Wright in the 43rd minute but Hamilton-Forbes headed away the subsequent cross from the right.

Within a minute of the second half Merstham goalkeeper Haigh came out of his penalty area to clear and Hasler was not too far away with an audacious lob onto the roof of the net from 35 yards.

Everitt and Heard then combined to find McCann on the left hand side in the 48th minute and the ball in was headed over by Taylor.

Home striker Pingling was booked for kicking the ball away in the 52nd minute.

McCann played another good ball in from the left seconds later but goalkeeper Haigh got up to claim.

Merstham right back Sinn’Kaye Christie was then the centre of attention as he initially booked for a 53rdminute foul on McCann.

Referee Jim Paterson then had a decision to make when Christie fouled McCann again four minutes later after a Hasler ball out to the left. The official opted for leniency, but home manager Hayden Bird was taking no chances and soon took his full back off as part of a double substitution that also saw the introduction of one-time Leeds United player Ryan Hall.

The moment was not lost on Invicta manager Cugley.

As all of that was going on a Reece Hall free kick fell for Tutu Henriques in a crowded Invicta penalty area but the central defender was blocked from close range following a foul on Pingling.

At the other end, Haigh saved Heard’s free kick at his near post.

Wright did well in the 64th minute when his ball in from the right hand side of the penalty area was met by a Sahadow header that was headed out for a corner in a move started by Taylor and Hasler.

A Sahadow ball in from the left a minute later was cleared by home captain Simon Cooper before it reached Taylor and a low Hasler shot from the left was just wide of the far post across goal seconds later.

Pingling then well over from the right hand side when a 72nd minute Reece Hall free kick eventually fell to him.

Hasler cut in from the left hand side for Invicta four minutes later and let fly with a low shot from outside the penalty area but Haigh saved at his near post.

Invicta pushed Josh Vincent further forward for the closing stages as Ryan Cooper came on for Wright.

Hasler received a Cooper throw in from the right and sent a deep ball into the Merstham penalty area that was headed wide by Heard.

Hasler was now the game’s central figure as he was spraying passes into the home penalty area and out to McCann on the left.

Reece Hall fired wide for Merstham from outside the penalty area after Tom Kavanagh had combined with the aforementioned Hall and substitute Ryan Hall.

The home side was to increase its lead seconds later in the 88th minute when Ryan Hall played the ball out to fellow substitute ADDAI on the right hand side and the latter let fly into the roof of the net across goal.

Invicta goalkeeper Roberts had to get down to keep out a stoppage time Ryan Hall free kick.

The visitors had Nick Shaw on the substitutes’ bench for the first time after the former Ramsgate goalkeeper had signed for the club from neighbours Hythe Town.

MERSTHAM: Haigh, Christie (Abnett 58 mins), Harrison, Hamilton-Forbes, Henriques, Cooper, Bamba (Ryan Hall 58 mins), Kavanagh, Pingling, Bennett (Addai 72 mins), Reece Hall.  Unused subs: Gordon, Bonnett-Johnson.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Wright (Cooper 82 mins), Everitt, Davies, Newman, Hasler, Heard, Taylor, Yusuff (Sahadow 41 mins), McCann.  Unused subs: Blanks, Madden, Shaw.

CORNERS:   Merstham 1 Invicta 6