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Rare gem from the skipper and young Reece gets off the mark as Folkestone find their form with thumping FA Trophy win and sweet revenge at Southwood

RAMSGATE 1

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 4

Back to form Folkestone Invicta enjoyed an emphatic 4-1 win away to Ramsgate in Saturday’s FA Trophy Preliminary Round tie thanks to goals from captain Liam Friend, strikers Ian Draycott and Paul Booth and substitute Reece Palmer.

It was a case of third time lucky for Invicta at the Southwood Stadium here Neil Cugley’s side had previously lost in the league and went out of the League Cup on penalties this season.

Invicta are now at home to Thurrock in the next round on Saturday November 1.

The Folkestone side made one change to their starting 11 as Josh Vincent came back from suspension in place of Darren Smith who had filled in during the right back’s ban.

Invicta have now scored nine goals in three away games over eight days at the end  of a run of eight out of nine matches on their travels.

On a sunny afternoon, Invicta central defender Friend - pictured riight - was soon in the wars as he had to temporarily leave the field with a blood injury and came back on with a changed number 13 shirt.

There was an early scare for the visitors when Tim Roberts cleared the ball straight at Charlie Walsh but the goalkeeper recovered the get back and claim the ball.

The home side then had a good chance to open the scoring when Tom Chapman chipped over the bar when given on-side to meet a Macauley Murray through ball.

But it was Invicta who broke the deadlock in the 14th minute as FRIEND drew first blood by heading in a Jordan Wright corner from the left hand side.

Ramsgate responded as Murray tried his luck from fully 40 yards but was wide when Matt Newman gave the ball away three minutes later.

Footwork

The home side was level in the 30th minute when MURRAY put the ball in after Roberts had spilt a Josh Woolley ball across from the left hand side when the latter combined with player-manager Dean Hill in a move started by Connor Heffernan.

Invicta threatened again nine minutes later when Walsh dived across to clear after good footwork from Booth inside the penalty area after a Vincent ball up to Jon Pilbeam on the right.

The Folkestone side regained its lead in the 40th minute thanks to some class from top goalscorer DRAYCOTT who took a Vincent ball down well with his back to goal, flicked the ball through a defender’s legs and slotted it past goalkeeper Nick Shaw.

It was Draycott’s seventh goal in the last six matches and his 14th – and arguably the best – in 19 appearances since joining Invicta from Leatherhead during the summer.

Draycott must be a manager’s dream – a consistent, hard-working team player that scores goals and his partnership with Booth is still arguably the key to just how successful a season this will become for Invicta.

Scott Punton played the ball through to Woolley during first half stoppage time but a sliding Vincent got back to put the ball out for what would have been a corner but referee Lee Dyson’s whistle for half time came first.

Invicta replaced Pilbeam with Joe Taylor at half time and made a purposeful start to the second half.

Newman played a one-two with Booth a minute after the re-start but could not divert the ball in down the left hand side of the penalty area.

Draycott then shot over the crossbar when Booth squared the ball past goalkeeper Shaw to him when a Nat Blanks ball forward made its way through to him.

Invicta had two chances in the 51st minute as Shaw got across to save from Draycott after passes from Blanks and Booth and Shaw then came out to make a god save from Taylor.

The visitors had some defending to do in the 59th minute when Blanks played the ball out for Ramsgate’s only corner of the afternoon when home captain James Sherman played the ball to Heffernan down the left.

A 67th minute Vincent shot was saved when Wright combined with Booth down the right and the ball was cleared seven minutes later when Draycott drew goalkeeper Shaw across goal after Wright had combined with Blanks.

Home substitute Mitchell Knight did not make contact inside the penalty area when it came in via an Invicta defender in the 77th minute.

Headed in

But Invicta increased their lead in the 78th minute when a Newman free kick from the left was headed in by BOOTH.

Booth was later replaced by 18-year-old Palmer who will remember this afternoon fondly.

Wright volleyed over on the turn after a 90th minute Taylor flick.

But it was PALMER - pictured right - who was to open his account for the first team during stoppage time as he headed in a Micheal Everitt chip, with the ball taking a slight touch off a defender.

Invicta should have scored again deep into stoppage time when Everitt played the ball through to Palmer again and he unselfishly squared the ball to fellow substitute Taylor but the ball rolled wide of the post.

Fortunately for Invicta this time it was not to matter.

There were bookings for Ramsgate’s Stephen Butcher (late 64th minute challenge on Everitt) and Tom Ripley (wild 78thminute challenge on Taylor down the left hand side that led to Invicta’s third goal) and for Invicta’s Friend (shirt pulling on Knight just outside the penalty area in the 75th minute).

RAMSGATE: Shaw, Heffernan (Knight 65 mins), Woolley (W Schulz 70 mins), Punton (Harrington 67 mins), Ripley, Murray, Chapman, Walsh, Sherman, Butcher, Hill

Unused subs: Jackson, Sharman

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Pilbeam (Taylor 45 mins), Draycott, Booth (Palmer 85 mins), M. Everitt.  

Unused subs: Edge, Fender 

Attendance: 257

Corners: Ramsgate 1 Invicta 3