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RESPECT FOR THE OFFICIALS HAS GOT TO BE A TWO-WAY THING SAYS CUGLEY AFTER INVICTA COP OUT AT IMBER COURT

Speaking in the aftermath of Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Metropolitan Police, Invicta manager Neil Cugley admitted that his side – without key players in top scorer Ade Yusuff and skipper Callum Davies – hadn’t played too well on the day.

Cugs said: “We were much too disjointed, but with those two out that should not have been too surprising. We did lose concentration at times – even at 2-1 we still had a chance of coming back, but never quite looked like doing that.”

By that stage, however, the manager was watching from stands having been sent there by referee Wicks following his reaction to a foul on one of the home side by Invicta Micheal Everitt inside the first 10 minutes of the second half.

React

 “Their centre-midfield lad went right through Mev – right in front of us (on the bench). How was I not going to react to that?” he asked.

But the manager’s dismissal was for going outside the technical area which ought not prevent him being in the dugout for this coming weekend’s big Emirates FA Cup tie at Slough Town.

“We’ll have to wait for his report, but that should be okay” said Neil.

He did however rate the performance of the man in the middle as “One of, if not THE worst I’ve ever seen in all my time as a manager in non-league football. I’m one of the easiest-going managers on the bench that you’ll find but even a saint would have reacted to that challenge.

“What amazed me though was that both players received the same punishment (of a yellow card.)

Cugley, now in his 21st year as manager at Invicta, let alone another ten years elsewhere, revealed that had attended a meeting at Aveley in Essex a couple of months ago regarding designed to improve the understanding of managers and their assistants and match officials.

“With travelling time and the meeting itself, that took six hours out of my day a few weeks back” said Neil. “They talk about respect for officials, but that has got to be a two-way thing.

Report

“The referee on Saturday was being assessed, though they are phrasing that slightly differently these days. If whoever was doing that said that he (Mr Wicks) did alright, I’d love to see what that report has to say.

“This wasn’t a dirty game. The Police sides have always played the game more physically than we have and we probably needed to be a bit more mentally tough to combat that on the day.

“Maybe we’ve got a reputation here at Folkestone as being a bit of a soft touch at times. Maybe we lost our heads just a little, which is a shame – it’s easier of course to criticise (the officials) when you’ve won a game.

“Our away support is as good as any club in our league and we had plenty of fans there again on Saturday. But it spoils everyone’s enjoyment of the game when all that people want to talk about is the referee. I usually try to avoid that completely, but it worries me about where the game is going when I’ve seen a performance like that one.

One really unfortunate aspect of the game was that one of the stream of yellow cards that Mr Wicks handed out has taken Invicta’s defensive talisman Josh Vincent (below left) to five bookings for this season and he now misses the big cup tie at Slough this weekend.

“I really didn’t feel that was a foul when JV was booked, and he was the one involved when they were awarded a penalty, which again I would seriously have to question” said Neil.

The defeat – only Folkestone’s fourth of the season in all competitions, but their second in four days, following the midweek 2-0 loss at Merstham – now has to be firmly put out of mind as they prepare for the cup tie at Slough where they are just one win away from reaching the First Round Proper for only the second time ever in Invicta’s 26 year history as a senior football club.