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Harlow Town
0 vs 0

Folkestone Invicta

Bostik Premier Division

Sat 16th Dec 2017

Kick off - 15:00

Folkestone Invicta
0 vs 0

Thurrock

Bostik Premier Division

Tue 19th Dec 2017

Kick off - 19:45

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Folkestone Invicta
1 vs 2

Worthing

Bostik Premier Division

Tue 12th Dec 2017

Full time

Folkestone Invicta
1 vs 3

Harrow Bor.

Bostik Premier Division

Sat 9th Dec 2017

Full time

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INVICTA BOOSTED BY BIG DERBY CUP WIN AHEAD OF FACING EARLY SEASON TABLE-TOPPERS BOROUGH IN FIRST OF FIVE 'BIG' MATCHES

Whatever the merits of their heartening 6-0 thrashing of Dover Athletic to reach the Kent Reliance Senior Cup semi-finals on Monday, their outstanding performance can do nothing but lift Invicta’s confidence as they approach what does look a crucial stage of the season.

Manager Neil Cugley has earmarked their next five games as crucial in shaping Folkestone’s season as with arguably their strongest – and biggest – squad ever they sit fourth in the Bostik Premier Division with 38 points from 18 games.

“These five matches will take us to halfway through the league season” said Neil. “I’ve been saying for a while that if we can go into the new year in a strong position we really can aim for a place in the play-offs – and reaching the Kent Senior Cup Final!”

Cugs made six changes in the team that started at Crabble on Monday from that which lost 2-1 at Wingate & Finchley last weekend with several of those who came in now clearly pushing for first team places.

Pleasing

 The performance of 16-year-old Romney Marsh youngster Ethan Madden at left back was particularly pleasing and the youth team defender looks likely to be in the squad on a regular basis for this important pre-Christmas run.

“Ethan’s going to be an excellent player – we can all see that” said the boss. “To be honest I’ve not thought too much about who starts on Saturday yet. Ryan Cooper had his best game for us too -  Monday has certainly given us plenty to think about

“At this time of year you so often get one or two falling ill or getting injured, but counting Ethan we’ve got 18 to choose from which is a nice position to be in. What's particularly pleasing is that the lads all realise what we're trying to do here and don't start agitating if they don't get in every game."

Folkestone’s next five matches are Harrow Borough this Saturday, December 9 (home), Worthing, Tuesday, December 12 (home), Harlow Town, December 16 (away), Thurrock, Tuesday, December 19 (home) and Needham Market, Saturday. December 23 (away).

Currently 13th in the table, Saturday’s visitors Harrow Borough only avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, eventually finishing 21st – though Folkestone didn’t have too much to crow about even if ending up six places higher but with only two points more!

Borough began this campaign in a hurry, winning their first two league games (for the first time in almost 40 years) and shooting to the top of the table for three weeks.

Opening

That period included league wins at Wingate & Finchley (3-1) and Leatherhead (2-0) both with goals for former Folkestone striker Anthony O’Connor (right) who was well-liked by management and fans during a seven game spell at the Fullicks Stadium early last season.

Ant scored twice in the league for – at Worthing (3-3) and away to his present club where he save us an early lead before we lost 4-1 last season.

“He's a good lad, but we couldn’t afford to keep bringing him down here from his home in Wembley to sit on the bench if he wasn’t getting into the starting line-up” said manager Cugley.

The Reds’ recent form hasn’t been great but they took a point away in a 2-2 draw away on November 25th to struggling Worthing (who we play on Tuesday) and then recorded an impressive 3-0 win over Met Police – who Invicta have lost twice to already this season).

“They (Harrow) have always got a few names” said Invicta manager Cugley. “Ryan Moss (above right) had a nasty habit of scoring against us for Kingstonian, and can be a handful and there are several others we’ll have to keep an eye on.”

Ex-Margate and Ks’ striker Moss, who has indeed proved a thorn in our side in the past, was on target in the win over Met Police along Charles Banya and ex-Spurs, Charlton and Welling midfielder Kurtis Cumberbatch.

Wingback Shaun Preddie also has an eye for goal.

At the Met, lively Banya found the net after just five minutes and Invicta will be keen to avoid conceding the first goal and the early advantage which has cost them dear a few times this season, including at Wingate last weekend.

As mentioned above, our next game is at home to Worthing on Tuesda (December 12)