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 SCORE  2-2   Gate 306

DATE  09/01/18.  For the Match Preview click HERE

Video of Game click  HERE(when available)

FOLKESTONE INVICTA                            2

THURROCK                                                 2

Folkestone Invicta had to settle for a draw on Tuesday night as Neil Cugley’s side opened and closed the scoring against Thurrock at The Fullicks Stadium.

Ian Draycott scored both of the Invicta goals, but Michael Pindy and, controversially, captain Lewis Spence, struck for the visitors.

Sam Hasler then hit the post for Invicta in the closing minutes, while Spence had a stoppage-time chance to win it for the visitors.

Invicta kept the same 3-5-2 starting X1 that had lost a thriller 4-3 away to leaders Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday afternoon, with teenage defender Finn O’Mara’s loan spell from Gillingham having been extended.

Hasler shot across goal in the fourth minute but goalkeeper Ben McNamara got behind it after Scott Heard had sent over the first corner of the night from the right hand side.

It was Hasler who then hit an 11th minute free kick from the right hand side at McNamara after a foul on Ade Yusuff.

Invicta’s efforts on goal were being restricted to outside the penalty area as Heard received a 14th minute ball from Draycott and hit another low shot that McNamara again got behind.

At the other end, Spence received the ball from Pindy but shot way over the crossbar from outside the area in the 15th minute.

The next 20 minutes can then best be described as “a bit flat” before Spence volleyed wide from outside the box when a 36th minute throw in from the right hand side fell to him.

Heard then shot from outside the area again five minutes later but was wide of the target after Yusuff had played the ball up to him.

The home side was to finish the first half well as Draycott won the ball after Yusuff had been thwarted inside the area and Draycott’s shot was saved at close range by McNamara after a one-two with Kieron McCann.

There was then to be two goals either side of half time.

Invicta broke the deadlock in the 45th minute when DRAYCOTT struck at the far post after a Halser corner from the left hand side had been headed back across goal by home captain Callum Davies.

Davies had spent a month on loan at Thurrock during the 2011-12 season.

But Thurrock were to level after just 36 seconds of the second half when Joel Noublew played the ball up to PINDY on the left hand side who scooped his shot across goal and into the far corner of the net.

That is 15 consecutive Invicta fixtures in the Bostik League Premier Division in which both sides have scored and 18 of the club’s last 19 matches in all competitions.

Timotyh Ogunrinde played a 55th minute ball over from the right hand side but O’Mara headed out for a corner to prevent Ronnie Winn from getting in.

Draycott shot wide from the edge of the penalty area a minute later after a Nat Blanks throw in on the left to Micheal Everitt.

Invicta left back Blanks was celebrating his 30th birthday.

Yusuff fired wide from the right hand side when Draycott turned supplier in the 57th minute and Hasler fired over from a central position outside the penalty area six minutes later.

Things were soon to go against the home side as first they had strong penalty appeals for handball turned down when Blanks played the ball in to Yusuff and referee Jamaal Horne appeared to indicate chest rather than hand as it struck a Thurrock player.

The visitors then went ahead in the 65th minute when both O’Mara and Blanks initially headed the ball away and a shot was then deflected into the net by a Thurrock player looking suspiciously offside.

After consultation between referee and one of his assistants – and Invicta manager Cugley having his say – a goal was awarded and credited to SPENCE, with Remi Sutton getting an assist.

Invicta’s frustration grew as top goalscorer Yusuff couldn’t then make the most of his opportunity when O’Mara played a good ball up to him.

But it was 2-2 in the 69th minute when DRAYCOTT fired in again after Heard had played the ball over to him on the right hand side of the penalty area.

Invicta had been preparing changes before the equaliser and a double substitution saw Joe Taylor and Ronnie Dolan come on for McCann and Everitt.  Ryan Cooper was soon to also come on for Josh Vincent.

Dolan soon had a shot blocked when Yusuff played the ball back to him.

Thurrock themselves still carried an attacking threat and a good ball forward from Perry Dunn sent substitute Joel Brown-Bampoe clear in the 84th minute but Davies got back to avert the danger.

It was not looking like Invicta’s night as O’Mara went and stayed down inside the penalty area in the 85th minute and Hasler shot against the post a minute later, with O’Mara’s rebound from the right hand side of the box going into McNamara’s hands.

As Invicta went in search of a late winner, Blanks played a low ball in from the left hand side but McNamara claimed in the 87th minute.

A stoppage time Hasler free kick was then headed over by O’Mara after a foul on Yusuff.

But it was Thurrock that looked like winning it as Spence slotted his shot just wide of the far post from the left hand side of the penalty area after a well-worked move involving Nouble, Brown-Bampoe and fellow substitute Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves.

This fixture had been postponed on Tuesday December 19th due to traffic issues at Thurrock’s end and they arrived here within half an hour of kick on this occasion, but will have been pleased with their efforts once they got started.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent (Cooper 75 mins), Blanks, Everitt (Dolan 69 mins), Davies, O’Mara, Hasler, Heard, Draycott, Yusuff, McCann (Taylor 69 mins).  Unused subs: Wright, Shaw.

THURROCK: McNamara, Morgan, Sutton, Dunn, Goode, Christou, Pindy (Brown-Bampoe 80 mins), Spence, Ogunrinde (Ribeirio-Goncalves 90 mins), Winn, Nouble.  Unused sub: Smith.

Corners:Invicta 5 Thurrock 3