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Invicta Register Another Pre-Season Victory

A picture containing text, clipartDescription automatically generatedFolkestone Invicta 2 Chatham Town 0

Folkestone Invicta’s unbeaten run in the pre-season fixtures continued with a scrappy 2-0 victory over   Southern Counties East Football League (SCEFL) Premier Division Chatham Town.

Although the game had a cagey opening, Dan Bradshaw almost gave ‘The Chats’ the lead but the cross from Ike Orji was just too high, whilst at the other end, after David Smith had been fouled, Tyler Sterling’s free kick was headed wide by Matt Newman. Our opponents had the next chance when Matt Bodkin and Jon Pilbeam combined, and the latter’s cross was chested down by Orji into the path of Harvey Brown, but the young forward shot just wide of the left-hand post.

Invicta then suffered an early injury blow when Saturday’s hat-trick hero Ian Draycott left the field after just ten minutes to be replaced by Alfie Paxman. However, this didn’t deter Invicta as firstly Tyler Sterling shot over after a corner had been partially cleared and then in a good move involving Tim Roberts, Ade Yusuff, Sterling, Aaron Simpson and Paxman, the ball was crossed into the middle, but Smith was adjudged offside as he went towards the ball. Paxman then sent in a good cross which was spectacularly punched clear by the young Chatham Town goalkeeper Harvey Mills, and Sterling shot the loose ball wide. Paxman then received a short free kick, but this time shot over.

In the 36th minute Invicta took the lead, as having picked up the loose ball in the penalty area, Yusuff was tripped and he got up, dusted himself down and hammered the penalty home in off the bar. Yusuff then had another good chance as he ran onto a through ball, but his shot was tipped away by Mills for a corner from which Newman did well to nod the ball back across the box which earnt another corner, but this time it was too deep for Callum Davies who nodded wide.

Smith then played a good ball through to Paxman, but Mills was sharply out to claim the ball and then showed some good skill to make space to pass the ball to a teammate. That was the end of what action there was in the first half and Invicta went into the break a goal to the good.

Unfortunately, the second half started in a similar vein to the first for Invicta as within four minutes of the restart, Smith picked up an injury and was replaced by Josh Vincent. Harry Mayer then received the first and only booking of the game when he was yellow carded for a tackle on Paxman.

Our opponents then had a chance as Bradshaw intercepted an under-hit pass from Sterling and ran through the midfield before passing to Orji, but as he shaped to shoot, he was foiled by an excellent tackle by Davies. At the other end, Aaron Simpson made a good run and received the ball from Paxman, but his shot was saved well low down by Mills. As we approached an hour gone, the usual round of substitutions started from both sides although alarmingly one of those that went off was Jordan Wright who also seemed to have picked up an injury, although both sides still struggled to get a grip on the game.

Sterling then almost did a ‘Schick’ when having seen Mills off his line almost lobbed him from just inside the Chatham Town half, but he saw his shot drift just wide with the goalkeeper stranded. He then saw another pass intercepted and this time Pilbeam ran through but shot wide as he approached the edge of the penalty area. With six minutes remaining, Paxman found Yusuff, and the striker showed great skill in beating the defender before crossing to Ronnie Dolan whose shot was deflected past Mills to give Invicta a second goal which summed up the match. There was still time for Invicta substitute goalkeeper, Connor Collins, to save low down to preserve the clean sheet.     

Overall, not the most inspiring of games, but it was another good competitive ninety minutes and thanks to Chatham Town for coming to play the game and best wishes to them for the forthcoming season, they look as if they will put in another challenge at the top of the SCEFL Premier Division.

After the game I spoke to Neil Cugley who said; ‘It was a competitive game although we didn’t seem to be at our best and with the stop start nature of the game it was difficult to get into a rhythm. ‘On the injury front, I don’t think any of them are too serious but in these games, it is important to look after the players and take them off if necessary.’

After the game Match Sponsor, David Newgrosh of Channel Cars, presented the ‘Man of Match’ Award to Aaron Simpson. Thanks to David and Channel Cars for sponsoring the game and their continued  support as they also sponsor the production of the Matchday Magazine.  







Folkestone Invicta; Tim Roberts (Connor Collins, 64 mins), Jordan Wright, 46 mins (Harrison Avery, 60 mins), Aaron Simpson (Luca Borello, 75 mins), Matt Newman, Callum Davies (Capt) (Finn O’Mara, 53 mins), Micheal Everitt, Ian Draycott (Alfie Paxman, 10 mins), Ronnie Dolan, David Smith (Josh Vincent, 49 mins), Ade Yusuff & Tyler Sterling.

Goalscorers: Ade Yusuff (penalty, 36 mins) and Ronnie Dolan (84 mins).

Chatham Town: Harvey Mills, Chris Lawal (Charlie Weston, 76 mins), Charlie Dickens |(Josh McHeliron, 75 mins), Matt Bodkin (Darren Smith, 78 mins), Jon Pilbeam, Harvey Brown (Jack Parmby, 56 mins), Jordan Robbins, Ike Orji, Dan Bradshaw (Josh Strouts, 69 mins), Freddie Cray & Harry Mayer.

Referee: Ryan Chantrill-Smith

Assistant Referees: Matt Charles & Mark Roberts.

Attendance: 183, many thanks to everyone who game today to support their respective team, hopefully you enjoyed the game.

Next Fixture: We are at home again on Saturday, 17th July, when our neighbours Hythe Town of the Pitching In Isthmian League South East Division, visit for another pre-season fixture, kick-off is 3:00pm. The game is being played in memory of lifelong Folkestone Town and Invicta supporter Harry Lester, who sadly died in February of this year, and before the game we shall be switching on the Harry Lester Scoreboard for the first time.