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Invicta Win It For Harry

A picture containing text, clipartDescription automatically generated    Folkestone Invicta 2 Hythe Town 1

 

 

On a hot and sunny afternoon, Folkestone Invicta defeated near neighbours Hythe Town 2-1 in a game played in memory of long-time supporter Harry Lester which saw the Scoreboard and Clock dedicated to him turned on for the first time in front of his family and friends.

Both sides had several players missing due to injury and unavailability, which gave some of the younger ones in the clubs’ squads a chance, however, it was one of the more experienced campaigners who gave our opponents the lead when Alex Flisher fired home an unstoppable shot across Tim Roberts and into the far corner from the edge of the area after just six minutes. Within five minutes, the scores when level as Tyler Sterling fed the ball to Ade Yusuff who did well to shrug off a couple of challenges before crossing for Ronnie Dolan to finish, coming in at the near post.

Four minutes later, Tyler Sterling almost gave us the lead, but after a great run, his shot cannoned off the crossbar and bounced to safety. Yusuff then had a shot which was saved at the near post by Hythe Town goalkeeper Harry Brooks, before we then got a second in the 19th minute. Sterling threaded the ball through ‘The Cannons’ defence and Alfie Paxman ran through and rounded the goalkeeper before being tripped by Cameron Reardon, Paxman then got up and took the spot-kick himself, sending Brooks the wrong way.

Our opponents responded, and following a free kick, Noel Leighton did well to get into a shooting position, but his shot was charged down bravely by Callum Davies. Invicta were still making the majority of the chances at this stage, as following a good advantage played by the Referee, Yusuff got into a shooting position but curled his effort over the bar, and then following a mistake in the Hythe Town defence, Paxman’s cross reached Luca Borello who shot over from the edge of the area. Sterling then curled a free kick round the wall from just outside the penalty area and Brooks did well to get the feintest of touches to deflect it onto the post.

Although Invicta were on top, ‘The Cannons’ continued to look dangerous on the break, and following an excellent run from Reardon, his cross was met by Flisher’s diving header which cleared the bar. Alex Brown then received the game’s first booking as he tripped Borrello, although with some of the tackles that had been made before he could perhaps count himself a bit unlucky.

As the break approached, Micheal Everitt dinked the ball forward for Yusuff, but the ball took a while to come down and as the goalkeeper advanced off his line, the striker lobbed him but also the bar and then Borello, Paxman and Yusuff combined to create a chance for Sterling who turned his shot wide of the post. Leighton then picked up our opponent’s second booking for a crude tackle on Davies which left the Invicta Captain prostrate on the ground, and he could count himself lucky it wasn’t worse as earlier he had blasted the ball out the ground having been adjudged offside which on another day may also have picked up a yellow card. As the Referee blew the half-time whistle, Davies was still down, but eventually he got up before being taken to hospital for a check-up.

For the second half, Yemi Ayodele made his debut for Invicta as he came on for the stricken Davies, whilst Hythe Town made two substitutions with Charlie Webster and Jordan Sarfo replacing the two players that had been booked, Brown and Leighton, respectively.

As with the first half, our opponents had the first chance of the second period, when James Rogers played a clever ball through to substitute Webster, but he shot over when well placed. Sterling again went close but once again ‘lady luck’ deserted him as his curling shot from the edge of the area bounced off the woodwork for the third time. Aaron Simpson followed up, but his shot was deflected for a corner and from that corner, the ball reached Ayodele on the edge of the six-yard box, who could have marked his debut with a goal, but his shot was smothered by Brooks.

Hythe Town were still nagging away, firstly Frannie Collin went close for Hythe Town, but Tim Roberts was off his line sharply to smother his shot and then former Invicta player Jared Trespaderne sent in a dangerous low cross which was just out of reach of the incoming Sarfo, and Finn O’Mara was on hand to clear. Apart from Sterling, who had hit the goalframe three times, the other Invicta player who deserved a goal was Yusuff, he had run tirelessly all afternoon and again he set off on a mazy run, but his final shot cleared the bar.

The next ten minutes or so saw a flurry of substitutions with Connor Collins replacing Roberts in goal, and Harrison Avery coming on for Dolan for Invicta, whilst Rogers, Flisher and Collin left the field for Hythe Town to be replaced by Jacob Gilbert, George Sibley and another former Invicta player, Tom Walmsley. Gilbert made an immediate affect as first he played the ball back to Sarfo who again blasted over the bar and then he saw his own shot saved by Collins at the near post.

Invicta made a further substitution when Borello was replaced by the second debutante of the afternoon, when Lloyd Boateng replaced him, but our opponents continued to push forward and Gilbert was unlucky to see his powerful shot bounce off the underside of the bar (good job the Assistant Referee wasn’t from  Azerbaijan!) and then Walmsley turned the rebound wide, although the Assistant Referee had his flag up by then. There was just time for one further substitution when Finn Dent, son of Invicta legend Nick, also made his debut replacing Yusuff, who left the field to well-deserved applause.                     

In what was at times a feisty affair, Invicta remained unbeaten in our pre-season fixtures although there will be concern at the number of injuries that are mounting up. Thanks to Hythe Town for coming to play the game and best wishes to them for the forthcoming season.

After the game I spoke to Neil Cugley who said: ‘We had a number of players missing for one reason or another, but it gave a chance for those that played to increase their fitness, and everyone put in a good shift on a very hot afternoon. ‘I was especially pleased for the younger lads that played today, and it shows what an excellent job Stanno and Batesy [Paul Stanton and Andy Bates] do with the Youth Team as there were a number on the pitch today that had come through the youth system at the club. ‘One of those is of course Tyler Sterling, he had an excellent game today and he showed what he could do if he applies his full game, sometimes that isn’t the case.’

He then added: ‘I was pleased to see Dean, Donna and Rikki here today along with other members of the Lester family and friends to mark Harry’s support of the club, I hope they had an enjoyable afternoon and I’m sure he  would have enjoyed us beating our local rivals! ‘Finally, thanks to Steve Watt and all at Hythe for agreeing to play on this special day.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the game, Tyler Sterling received his award from Harry’s daughter Donna straight after the game and then a bit later, his two sons Dean and Rikki joined Donna for a second presentation! Thanks to them and their other family and friends for joining us at the club for the game to mark Harry’s life and support for the club, it just doesn’t seem the same at the BuildKent Stadium without him.

And the scoreboard says it all!!

 

 

 

Folkestone Invicta; Tim Roberts (Connor Collins, 67 mins), Luca Borrello (Lloyd Boateng, 82 mins),  Aaron Simpson, Finn O’Mara, Callum Davies (Capt) (Yemi Ayodele, 46 mins), Micheal Everitt, Tyler Sterling, Ronnie Dolan (Harrison Avery, 70 mins), David Smith, Ade Yusuff (Finn Dent, 87 mins) & Alfie Paxman.

Goalscorers: Ronnie Dolan (11 mins) and Alfie Paxman (penalty, 19 mins).

Hythe Town: Harry Brooks, Liam Smith, Jared Trespaderne, James Rogers (Jacob Gilbert, 68 mins), Cameron Reardon, Eli Benoit, Alex Brown (Charlie Webster, 46 mins), Darren Oldaker, Noel Leighton (Jordan Sarfo, 46 mins), Frannie Collin (Capt) (George Sibley, 75 mins) & Alex Flisher (Tom Walmsley, 68 mins), (Sub not used: Morgan Williamson).

Goalscorer: Alex Flisher (6 mins).   

Referee: Dan Blades

Assistant Referees: Joe Dann-Pye & Howard Colins.

Attendance: 435, many thanks to everyone who game today to support their respective team, hopefully you enjoyed the game.

Next Fixture: We are away next Tuesday, 20th July, when a Folkestone Invicta XI is visiting the Gallagher Stadium to play Maidstone United Under 23s (managed by former Invicta player Simon Austin), kick-off is 7:30pm and admission is by donation.