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Over To Dover



On Saturday, we play our first away pre-season fixture of the season (Tuesday’s game against Maidstone United Under 23s was never billed as a First Team fixture!) when we visit Crabble to play our old friends and local rivals Dover Athletic, kick-off 3:00pm.

Their trials and tribulations of last season, which lead to their League record being expunged, a £40,000 fine and a twelve-point penalty deduction to be applied this season have been well documented. This punishment will obviously put them at a huge disadvantage for the forthcoming season, both financially and on the points front. However, if anyone can ensure they have a good season and remove the burden as much as possible it is Andy Hessenthaler, their vastly experienced Manager, who will no doubt scour his vast contact book to get a good squad together.

It has proved the case so far, as he has made several impressive signings, none more so than bringing back a Dover Athletic cult hero of recent times in forward Ricky Miller, who returns from Aldershot Town six seasons after originally signing. ‘Hess’ has also brought in defenders, Seth Twumasi from Maidenhead United, Reda Johnson from Eastleigh and the former Benin international and Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday player has also agreed to be a player/coach, whilst Jake Goodman has joined from Ebbsfleet United. Midfielder and local lad Ryan Hanson, who played seven times for the club whilst on loan last season, has signed permanently from Hull City, plus up front he has added  wingers Khale da Costa from Tonbridge Angels and James Caton from Lincoln City, and strikers Ben Williamson from Bromley, and Aaron Cosgrove on loan from AFC Wimbledon. With skipper and defender Sam Wood, winger Travis Gregory and goalkeeper and former Folkestone Invicta youth goalkeeper Josh Bexon all re-signing, the squad is taking shape and I’m sure there’ll be one or two trialists on show on Saturday!

Our opponents have played two pre-season games so far, beating Pitching In Isthmian League South East Division Ashford United 4-1, with Miller immediately on the scoresheet with two goals, along with Caton and Cosgrave, whilst on Tuesday they won 3-0 at SCEFL Premier Division Deal Town, with Miller again amongst the goals and the others coming from a Trialist and Williamson.

    We played them in a pre-season game before the start of last season at the BuildKent Stadium and although the game ended 0-0, it was an entertaining encounter. The teams for that game were:

Folkestone Invicta: Henry Newcombe (Tim Roberts, 46 mins) Josh Vincent, Alfie Paxman (Jordan Wright, 46 mins), Finn O’Mara, Callum Davies (Capt), Micheal Everitt (Tyler Sterling, 46 mins) Scott Heard (Sam Hasler, 46 mins), Ronnie Dolan, Adem Ramadan (Clark Woodcock, 79 mins), David Smith & Kieron McCann (Ian Draycott, 46 mins).

Dover Athletic; Josh Bexon, Josh Passley, Trialist 1 (Trialist 5, 70 mins), Adam Rooney (Trialist 7, 76 mins), Sam Wood (Capt) (Trialist 6, 70 mins), Trialist 2 (Oscar Gobin, 77 mins), Joe Bedford (TJ Bramble, 77 mins), Bilel Hinchiri (Trialist 3, 46 mins), Jack Munns, Louis Collins (Trialist 4, 46 mins), Ahkeem Rose (Steve Rigg, 46 mins).

Looking ahead to the game, Manager Neil Cugley said: ‘I’m obviously looking forward to the game, going to a nice ground with a good pitch and hopefully a decent crowd, especially with it being only their second home game since supporters were allowed back in. ‘I’m a bit disappointed that we can’t play a stronger team, but unfortunately, although I’ve got the largest squad I’ve had for many seasons a number of injuries and players not being available have cut it down. ‘But it does mean that the ones that do take part get more minutes under their belts with a week’s rest until the next game, and with three weeks to go before the season starts, I’m confident most of the squad will be in fit by then.’

There was some encouraging news however, when he added: ‘Jordan [Wright] and JV [Josh Vincent should be fit to play and I’m also hoping Draycs [Ian Draycott] will play a part.’

Finally, he mentioned a couple of player departures: ‘Both Harrison Avery and Clark Woodcock have been released and won’t play in any further pre-season games. ‘I felt that when we had our full squad available, they would miss out and wanted to be fair to them and let them know now so they can get another club, for which I’d like to wish them well.’        


Folkestone Invicta’s Pre-Season Fixtures and Results





Kick-off/Result (F-A)

Sat 26th June




Sat 3rd July

Welling United



Sat 10th July

Eastbourne Borough



Tue 13th July

Chatham Town



Sat 17th July

Hythe Town



Sat 24th July

Dover Athletic



Sat 31st July

Ashford United



Sat 7th August

Maidstone United



Sat 14th August

Worthing (ILP)



With the Pitching In Isthmian League fixtures being announced last Wednesday, you’ll notice the first fixture on Saturday 14th August, Worthing at home, has been added.


Entrance to the game

Entrance is pay on the turnstiles, prices are: £10.00 and £5.00 (concessions), there will be further details on Dover Athletic’s website: http://www.doverathletic.com.