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‘The Gills' Record A Win At The BuildKent Stadium

A picture containing text, clipartDescription automatically generatedFolkestone Invicta 0 Gillingham 2

In a competitive and entertaining game at the BuildKent Stadium, Gillingham defeated Folkestone Invicta 2-0 in our first pre-season game in front of an attendance getting on towards 1,000 including former Wimbledon, Chelsea and England international Dennis Wise who was watching his son Henry. With both clubs playing virtually separate teams for each half,  it gave supporters a chance to see the majority of their new signings plus any trialists on show.


Invicta kicked off attacking the Remland Stand end as usual and in the second minute, Ade Yusuff, started as he’d left off last season, by winning the ball and playing it back to Scott Heard before receiving a return pass and winning a corner, which was headed on by Ian Gayle, and although it was cleared, the ball was kept alive and a follow up cross was flicked on by Yusuff but Ashley Maynard-Brewer gathered in the Gillingham goal.


Our opponents then came back with a dangerous attack of their own as Ben Reeves and Leon Davies combined down the right, but the latter’s cross was well cleared by the Invicta defence, and then Ben Reeves had a shooting opportunity from the edge of the area, but he blasted over. Heard was the next to go close as having collected a loose ball on the edge of the area, but his low shot went across the goal wide of the far post with ‘Gills’ goalkeeper  Maynard-Brewer looking slightly concerned.


At this stage things we fairly even with both sides getting acquainted with their new team mates, but again it was Invicta that put our opponents’ goal under pressure. Yusuff won another free kick wide on the left, which was met by Gayle on the opposite wing, and he played in Heard who fed Kadell Daniel whose shot was deflected, and Maynard-Brewer was smartly off his line to catch the ball as Ibrahim Olutade closed in. Yusuff then had the best chance of the first half so far, as having received the ball on the edge of the area, he shifted to his right before firing his effort just over the bar.


Joe Gbode, who made three appearances for Invicta last season, then played a clever ball  to set Scott  Kashket free on the right wing, he drove to the by-line before pulling it back to Bruno Andrade, but his shot was blocked by a combination of Josh Vincent and Callum Davies before being cleared. At the other end, Yusuff continued to be our main threat as firstly he was foiled by a timely tackle by Bailey Akehurst who prevented him getting in his shot, and then a Nathan Green cross from the left was allowed to go all the way to Yusuff on the opposite wing and he cut inside before stinging Maynard-Brewer’s hands with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.


On the half hour, we had the obligatory drinks break, and that allowed ‘Gills’ to make their first substitution of the game when Matt Macarthur replaced Scott Kashket, who had been a threat down the right-hand side. Gillingham won their first corner just shy of the forty-minute mark after Andrade had played in substitute Macarthur, and although it was delivered well, Gayle was equal to the task and cleared with a good header. ‘The Gills’ skipper Shaun Williams, then had a speculative effort from inside his own half, but fortunately it went a couple of yards wide of Bailey Vose’s left-hand post. As the half reached the final minutes, Heard shrugged off a couple of challenges before feeding Yusuff who went down on the edge of the area following a crude challenge from Sam Gale to give Invicta a free kick in a dangerous position. Daniel’s free kick was charged down by the wall, but as Yusuff went to collect the ball he appeared to be fouled, but the penalty appeals were waved away, and shortly after the Referee blew for half time.


Although chances had been few and far between, it had been a competitive affair, and it was going to be interesting to see what happens in the second half with both sides changing almost their whole teams. Green and Olutade stayed on for Invicta, whilst Macarthur was the sole survivor from the Gillingham first half team.


As with the first half Invicta had the first chance, trialist Louis Yamfam was fouled and Tyler Sterling sent in a dangerous free kick which was well dealt with by the Gillingham defence and from the break, Macarthur received the ball on the left of the penalty area, but his low shot was well saved by Connor Collins in the Invicta goal. In the 55th minute, our opponents made the breakthrough and Macarthur was again involved, he beat the offside trap and burst down the right-hand side and although his shot was again well saved by Collins, the ball rebounded to him and his cross was blasted in off the bar by Jordan Greene, who had the honour of scoring the first in our new goals.


Following that goal, our opponents’ heads were now up, and they were taking the initiative, as Macarthur played a clever ball to David Tutonda who in turn fed Lewis Walker and his cross was half-cleared before Olly Lee shot over from around twenty yards. Following an injury to Yamfam which required treatment the players took their second half drinks break and when the game restarted, Sterling sent in another good free kick, but again the well drilled Gillingham defence cleared the ball.


Ian Draycott then fed a clever ball though to Yousupha Gaye on the edge of the area, but he totally missed his kick and then in challenging for the ball he conceded a goal kick and the chance had gone. In the seventy-seventh minute, our opponents doubled their lead when Matt Newman was adjudged to have brought down Greene in the area and from the resultant spot kick, Lee sent Collins the wrong way.


In the eighty-third minute, Macarthur, who had been a threat all afternoon on both wings, took a well- earned rest as he was replaced by Will Dempsey. Walker twice went close when he found himself clear on the left, but both times he shot wide aiming for the far post.


That was it for chances, but in the last minute, Green won a tackle halfway in the Invicta half and played the ball to Draycott who held the ball before sending in a cross and although the ball was cut out by goalkeeper Taite Holtam, it was under the challenge of Green who had shown commendable athleticism to cover the ground.


Although we lost, overall, it was an encouraging display and when the new signings, who all looked very good additions, gel with those already at the club, who have proved what they can do over the years, we should be in for a good season, especially with another seven games to go.                   


Speaking to Neil Cugley after the game, he said; “I thought we did really well first half , with all the players leaving we didn’t know how the new ones would settle but they all did well and things are looking promising after the first game, although there are things we need to work on. “The performance level dropped a bit in the second half, and I felt that some on show didn’t do themselves justice, if you are having a trial, the player needs to show they are better than what we’ve got and I don’t think they did really, although we’ll give some of them a second chance in the forthcoming games. “Finally, I just like to thank everyone for coming to the game today, an attendance approaching a 1,000 was excellent and I hope you enjoyed what you saw.”   



The game was sponsored in memory of Clive Mortimer and after the game his two sons, Cade and Reece, twin brother Brett and Simon Ralph presented the ‘Man of the Match’ award to one of our new recruits, Nathan Green. Thanks to them for sponsoring the game and for their continued support.








We also had a visit from 11-year-old Daniel Lysak, who is living in Folkestone with his sponsor family on the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme having escaped from the trauma of the war-torn country. The picture above shows Daniel with Malcolm and Joseph Bell of his sponsor family, we hope you all enjoyed your afternoon.







Finally, thanks to Neil Harris for bringing his Gillingham team down to the BuildKent Stadium for the game, and everyone at Folkestone Invicta would like to wish them well for the forthcoming season.





First Half


Folkestone Invicta: Bailey Vose, Josh Vincent, Nathan Green, Ian Gayle, Callum Davies (Capt), James Rogers, Scott Heard, Ronnie Dolan, Ibrahim Olutade, Ade Yusuff & Kadell Daniel.


Gillingham: Ashley Maynard-Brewer, Leon Davies, Sam Gale, Max Ehmer, Shaun Williams (Capt), Ben Reeves, Joe Gbode, Dom Jefferies, Bruno Andrade, Scott Kashket (Matty Macarthur, 30 mins) & Bailey Akehurst.


Second Half


Folkestone Invicta: Connor Collins, Louis Yamfam, Nathan Green, Matt Newman, Charlie Blanks, Ian Draycott (Capt), Micheal Everitt, Yousupha Gaye, Rob Dolan, Ibrahim Olutade & Tyler Sterling.


Gillingham: Taite Holtam, David Tutonda, Jordan Greene, Stuart O’Keefe (Capt), Lewis Walker, Freddie Carter, Elliott Moore, Henry Wise, Olly Lee, Alex Giles, Matty Macarthur (Will Dempsey, 83 mins).   


Goalscorers: Jordan Greene (55 mins) & Olly Lee (pen, 77 mins).


Referee: Kirsty Dowle

Assistant Referees: Kieron Cox & Bradley Godden.


Attendance: 949, many thanks to everyone who came to the game today to support their team, hopefully you enjoyed the game.


Next Fixture: We are at home again on Tuesday, 5th July, when Tonbridge Angels, of the Vanarama National League South, visit for another pre-season fixture, kick-off is 7:45pm.