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Invicta Pay The Penalty And Are Beaten By Late Athletic Winner

    Dover Athletic 2 Folkestone Invicta 1    

Dover Athletic and Folkestone Invicta played out an entertaining game on a hot, sunny afternoon, which saw the home side register a 2-1 victory. Whilst our opponents had a team for each half, we once again had a depleted squad, although Matt Newman, Josh Vincent, who captained the side, and Jordan Wright all returned to the side, whilst Ian Draycott and Scott Heard were part of the warm-up, but still not fit enough to play.

Ricky Miller had the first chance, but he scuffed his shot from the edge of the area, which Tim Roberts saved easily, but his under-hit clearance went to Trialist ‘B’ who played the ball back into the penalty area to put us under further pressure, which was eventually relieved by the Assistant Referee’s flag. Invicta then won a free kick central on the edge of the area and Tyler Sterling saw his shot tipped over the bar by Dover Athletic goalkeeper, Josh Bexon, and nothing came of the corner as a foul was committed in the box.

In what was an open game, Miller saw a shot well saved by Roberts, although he was adjudged to have been offside and Khale De-Costa sent in a dangerous cross which was headed clear by Finn O’Mara, whilst at the other end only an exceptional double-save from Bexon kept the Athletic goal intact as having saved from Ade Yusuff, he got up quickly to block Alfie Paxman’s follow-up shot. Tyler Sterling then combined with David Smith, but he shot over from the edge of the area.

At the other end, Miller was a constant threat and having spun away from his marker, he sent in a good cross which was cleared but only as far as Miller, who this time combined with Travis Gregory before seeing his clever chip bounce off the top of the bar to safety. Skipper Sam Wood then did well to not only keep a cross field pass on the pitch but to play a good ball to Gregory, who saw his cross blocked for a corner, from which the central defender (or Trialist ‘B’) nodded home at the far post to give the home side the lead after twenty-four minutes. Our opponents almost got a second, when Miller played in De-Costa and his cross was nodded clear for a corner by Micheal Everitt as Gregory challenged. From the corner, the ball reached Trialist ‘B’ and his shot on the turn was deflected for a second corner which Newman cleared this time.

As the game went into added time, Yusuff saw his fierce shot saved by Bexon, whilst Miller lobbed the ball over the bar, although again he flagged offside. Sterling then had a good run, but his cross was cleared for a throw-in and that was the end of the first half action, which on the balance of play, Invicta could count themselves a little unlucky to be 1-0 down.

For the second half, our opponents changed all eleven players and straight away they were looking dangerous as Trialist ‘E’ beat the offside trap, but Roberts was swiftly off his line to prevent the home side doubling their advantage. At the other end, Paxman had a chance but delayed his shot which was charged down and then Yusuff was foiled by replacement goalkeeper, Adam Parkes, who was swiftly off his line to prevent any danger. However, just before the hour, Invicta did level matters as after Smith had been fouled just outside the area on the left-hand, Sterling sent an unstoppable free kick into the opposite top corner, giving Parkes no chance.

The equaliser seemed to galvanise our opponents, and Trialist ‘G’ got a touch to a cross from Trialist ‘F’ which went past Roberts but didn’t have enough power and O’Mara cleared the ball off the line. The same player then let fly from twenty-five yards which just cleared the bar. Invicta were still making chances and Smith, having won the ball off a Dover Athletic defender, shot wide from the edge of the area, when the better option may have been to slip the ball through to Paxman.

On a hot afternoon, as the game wore on Invicta were starting to look a bit stretched as they started to tire and Aaron Cosgrove was put through by ‘Trialist ‘F’, but fortunately for the Invicta defence he slipped as he shaped to shot and Roberts collected the loose ball. Cosgrove was then again involved, this time as provider as his pass was received by Trialist ‘J’, but he shot wide.

With ten minutes to go, we had a great chance to take the lead when after Yusuff had received an excellent cross-field pass from Ronnie Dolan, he ran through and was adjudged to have been brought down by one of the Dover Athletic defenders, which, to be honest, seemed quite generous. Yusuff got up and took the penalty himself, but it was poorly struck and Watford loanee Parkes made a relatively easy save diving to his left. To add salt to the wound, our opponents then broke away and Trialist ‘I’ crossed for Cosgrove to turn in at the far post and give them a 2-1 lead.

We then made three substitutions with Vincent, Newman and Everitt replaced by Luca Borello, Yemi Ayodele and Lenny Atherton respectively, but that was the end of the scoring although Smith saw his shot deflected for a corner and Sterling saw his free kick well claimed by Parkes. In what was a competitive and entertaining game, Invicta were slightly unfortunate to lose our unbeaten record in our pre-season games. Thanks to Dover Athletic for their hospitality and best wishes to them for the forthcoming season.

After the game I spoke to Neil Cugley who said: ‘I thought it was a good game which on balance we probably didn’t deserve to lose.’ It was unfortunate that we couldn’t bring a larger squad with us, but injuries and unavailability of some of the players meant we only had three substitutes whereas Dover changed their whole team at half-time. ‘Nevertheless, the players put a lot of effort into the game, but on what was a hot afternoon, unsurprisingly we tired towards the end, but they’ve now got a week off before the next game and hopefully we’ll have more players back next week.’     




Dover Athletic (First Half): Josh Bexon, Sam Wood (Capt), Khale De-Costa, Trialist ‘A’, Ricky Miller, Ben Williamson, Jake Goodman, Travis Gregory, Trialist ‘B’, Seth Twumasi & Trialist ‘C’.

Dover Athletic (Second Half): Adam Parkes, Trialist ‘D’, Trialist ‘E’, Ryan Hanson, Marshall Wratten, Aaron Cosgrove, Trialist ‘F’, Trialist ‘G’, Trialist ‘H’, Trialist ‘I’ & Trialist ‘J’.

(Sub not used: TJ Bramble).

Goalscorers: Trialist ‘B’ (24 mins) & Aaron Cosgrove (83 mins).

Folkestone Invicta; Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent (Capt) (Luca Borrello, 85 mins), Jordan Wright, Matt Newman (Yemi Ayodele, 85 mins), Finn O’Mara,  Micheal Everitt (Lenny Atherton, 85 mins), Tyler Sterling, Ronnie Dolan, David Smith, Ade Yusuff & Alfie Paxman.

Goalscorer: Tyler Sterling (58 mins).

Referee: Kane Dempster

Assistant Referees: Jack Fagg & Bradley Godden. 

Attendance: 704, many thanks to all the Invicta fans who went to Crabble this afternoon to support the team.

Next Fixture: We are away again next Saturday, 31st July, when we visit Ashford Utd. to play for the George Sargeant Memorial Shield, kick-off is 3:00pm.