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Invicta Move Into The Quarter Finals

On a chilly February evening, although thankfully the weather had desisted from the previous two  days, Invicta moved into the Quarter Finals of this season’s Kent Reliance Kent Senior Cup with a 3-1 win over Vanarama National League South Tonbridge Angels, courtesy of a Johan Ter Horst hat-trick. Both sides contained a mix of first team, loaned/duel registration and youth team players for the game.

With the wind at their backs, Tonbridge Angels made the early gains, but too often they over-hit the ball allowing the Invicta defenders to see it out of play. Although Ter Horst sent in a cross which struck an ‘Angels’ defender and was deflected for a corner from which Scott Heard shot wide.

The first half continued to be a low-key affair, although Henry Newcombe had to be sharp off his line to clear Finn O’Mara’s under-hit pass as Jason Williams closed in. Ter Horst then had a chance but having run through he was challenged by a defender as he shaped to shoot and the ball was cleared. Ira Jackson then caused an anxious moment in our opponents defence as he cut inside, but his cross was just behind the on-rushing forwards. Following a good flowing move Tyler Sterling found Heard, but his dangerous looking cross was well collected by Ted McDonald in the Tonbridge goal.

Just before half time Invicta had a couple of close calls. Firstly, a throw in was only cleared as far as Khale Da Costa and his cross was headed over at the near post by Joshua Ajayi. Then our opponents got even closer as Micheal Everitt and Williams challenged for the ball, the striker came away with it and was then fouled in a dangerous position on the edge of the penalty area. From the resultant free kick, Da Costa was unlucky to see his shot hit the top of the bar and go to safety, although Newcombe may have got a touch to help it on its way. That was the last kick of the half and the teams went in level at 0-0.

After the interval, Tonbridge Angels made their first substitution as Williams was replaced by Roberto Ratti. Almost immediately he was involved in the action as he was fouled on fifty minutes and whilst the Referee was helping him back to his feet, our opponents took the free kick quickly, the ball reached Ajayi who finished well, shooting across Newcombe into the far corner much to the delight not just of the Tonbridge team but also Mark Bright, who was running the eye over the Crystal Palace loanee.

However, the lead didn’t last long, as following another flowing move involving a number of the Invicta players, Ter Horst found himself on the edge of the area and he cleverly controlled and shot in one movement which gave McDonald no chance in the Tonbridge Angels goal. This gave Invicta the impetus with Jackson looking particularly threatening having been moved out wider in the second half. Having had a shot himself, which was well saved by McDonald, he then created our second, when having received the ball from Matt Newman, he ghosted round a defender and played the ball square to Ter Horst, who standing virtually on the penalty spot, finished well.

This was just after Ajayi was replaced by Harry Donovan, which was a bit contentious as he has served two of a three game ban, as although it didn’t count towards him completing his suspension, he was nevertheless able to play, it’s time the F.A. and the County F.A.s got to grips with this situation as there seems to be double standards operating here!

Our opponents then went close to scoring as a cross from James Folkes caused a problem for Newcombe, who parried the ball away for a corner, from which Da Costa sent in a good cross and their skipper Rian Bray, who was unmarked, headed over from around six yards out to give Invicta a real let-off.

Jackson again threatened at the other end, firstly after a good run, his shot was charged down and then McDonald made a good save from his low shot and Sterling probably should have done better with the rebound, but he shot wide. Da Costa then put in another dangerous cross which again saw Newcombe concede a corner, but he made a much better job as the corner came in by making an excellent catch under pressure.

On seventy-eight minutes, ‘The Angels’ played their final card with their third substitute Harry Hudson replacing Henry Burnett, however, it was Christ Tiehi that can count himself unlucky as after a good penetrating run, he saw his long-range shot bounce off the outside of the post and go to safety.

The game was end-to-end as the clock ticked down and it was Invicta who got the decisive breakthrough. Heard played an excellent ball to sterling who beat the Tonbridge Angel’s full back for pace and squared the ball to Ian Draycott, his shot was deflected away but only as far as Ter Horst, who smashed the ball into the net to clinch his hat trick and the win for Invicta.

With a makeshift team, this was an encouraging performance and result, we will now go to Dartford on Tuesday 25th February, kick-off 7:45pm, looking for a place in the Semi Finals.           

After the game, Neil Cugley gave his vocal chords a rest and I spoke to Assistant Manager Roland Edge, who said; “We knew we were a bit short for this game and Cugs has had a busy couple of days, but once we knew who we had available, we sat down and discussed the team to play and we clearly came up with the right team. “We’ve always said its important to remember that football nowadays is a squad rather than a team thing.”

On the game itself, he added; “Johan [Ter Horst] stepped up with his three goals and Scott [Heard] and Kieron [McCann] were also excellent in midfield, with Mev [Micheal Everitt] also doing well in an unfamiliar centre half position. “Cugs got it right at half time as we moved Tyler [Sterling] and Ira [Jackson] wider to allow Johan to play more central, with all three goals coming from those areas. “All in all a good performance as we now prepare for Saturday’s game at Worthing.”

Today’s Teams

Folkestone Invicta; Henry Newcombe, Finn O’Mara, Jordan Wright, Matt Newman (Captain), Micheal Everitt, Tyler Sterling, Scott Heard, Johan Ter Horst, Jerson Dos Santos, Ira Jackson & Kieron McCann, (Unused Subs; Kieran Jones, Brad Baker, Jake Grant & Tim Roberts).

Goalscorers; Johan Ter Horst (52, 58 & 82 mins). 

Tonbridge Angels; Ted McDonald, James Folkes, Liam Smith, Christ Tiehi, Alex Bentley, Rian Bray (Captain), Khale Da Costa, Henry Burnett (Harry Hudson, 78 mins), Jason Williams (Roberto Ratti, 46 mins), Joshua Ajayi (Harry Donovan, 58 mins) & Jared Small, (Unused Subs;  Edmund Lewis & Charlie Martin).

Goalscorer; Joshua Ajayi (50 mins).

Richard’s more detailed report will appear in the Match Centre soon.

Many thanks to everyone who came along and supported their respective team, the attendance was 193, which, considering the weather and the fact the tie had been swapped was a pretty good effort.

Next game

We are away on Saturday when we visit League leaders Worthing for a BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division game, kick-off 3:00pm.