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Folkestone Invicta
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Bostik Premier Division

Sat 22nd Dec 2018

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Folkestone Invicta

Bostik Premier Division

Wed 26th Dec 2018

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Sat 15th Dec 2018

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Sat 8th Dec 2018

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Invicta’s back-to-form squad will have a better idea of their prospects for the rest of this Bostik Premier Division when they travel to take on leaders Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill on Saturday after an excellent holiday period which yielded 10 points out of 12 and sees them kick-off 2018 third in the table

Eight wins on the bounce took Neil Cugley’s side up to second place at one stage, and even four subsequent defeats left them still in the top six with the Christmas/New Year points haul leaving them with only this weekend’s hosts and red hot championship favourites Billericay Town above them.

Monday’s particularly encouraging 3-1 victory at Margate should put Cugley’s squad in great heart to take on the top sides in the League.

“None of these games are going to be easy” said the manager.

“We’ve not played either of the top two yet, and the return games with Hendon and Wingate & Finchley could well be tricky.

“But the three points we got at Margate took us onto 48 and with only one team relegated this season, I think we can confidently say that our place in the Premier Division is already safe for another season.


“I’ve always believed that we should look to improve on what we did last year which was 55 points so that’s the next box I’ll be looking to tick off.”

Folkestone are surely well placed to do better  than they did at Dulwich last season when despite an early goal from Joe Taylor on his return to the club from Ramsgate, Invicta ended well beaten (6-1) at Dulwich.”

For most of us who saw that match it was something of a surprise that Dulwich failed to gain promotion through the play-offs in which they lost 2-1 away to Bognor Regis. 

The home side are expected to field goal-scoring sensation Reise Allissani (see separate article) but the danger can come from almost anywhere against the Hamlet, with the likes of ex-Dover midfielder Ashley Carew (left), wide man Nyran Clunis (below right) and defenders Mark Weatherstone and Nathan Green all among the goals at various times already this season.

Skilful midfielder Nathan Ferguson, who played briefly at Folkestone last season was also on target four or five times  earlier in the current campaign but has not made a first team appearance for a while.

And for all that, Gavin Rose’s side have reasonably similar figures in the goals for and against columns.

While mega-rich arch title rivals Billericay have been taking a great deal of the limelight that could prove a blessing in disguise and reduce some of the pressure for Hamlet who have only been off top spot after two of the last 12 games.

They last lost 3-1 away at Enfield on December 2nd and have won four a drawn the other of their five games since that date.

Home form

Like so many teams, majority of Dulwich’s points have come at home where they have taken maximum points in 10 out of 13 games so far, drawing 1-1 on the opening day of the season with Staines and losing  3-1 against Billericay seven days later.

Their only other league defeat in front of home fans came in early September when they went down by the only goal of the game to Hendon.

Invicta boss Neil Cugley is a long-time admirer of the Champion Hill outfit – a view shared by many in and around the Bostik League.

When the two clubs first ‘crossed horns’ some years ago, honours were fairly even, but Dulwich’s home attendances have been the best in the league for several seasons now.

“They’ve got a terrific catchment area, have always had good players and do a great deal of work in the community in south east London” said Cugley.

“Add to that they play football the way we believe it should be played.

“They’re a formidable side home or away, but we won’t be going there to play for a draw if we can help it. They’ve had a couple of games less than we have over the holiday because of postponements and could be fresher – but I was worried that might be the case at Margate and that concern never materialised.”

Matt Newman is the only definite absentee for Invicta and could be out for another week or two with a hamstring strain.


But Josh Vincent (left) returns following a two-match suspension and 18-year-old defender Finn O’Mara is also in the squad.

“This is due to be the last game of Finn’s second loan spell (from Gillingham) with us, but talks are ongoing and I’m fairly confident that he’ll be staying with us for a while longer” said Neil Cugley.

“I don’t think he’s been getting the games he needs at Gills – their under 23s don’t play that often, and the change of management up there hasn’t seen him get back into the first team.

“He needs regular football and that was the reason we took him second time. He did look a bit rusty for the first couple of games, but has done well in the last week or two.

“And he’s a really good lad and a good man to have around so I’m sure we’re going to be able to work something out.”