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Shoot-out agony and Thanet jinx goes on after Invicta fail to take their chances in Isthmian League Cup

RAMSGATE 1

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 1

(Ramsgate won 4-3 on penalties)

Folkestone bowed out of the Robert Dyas (Isthmian League) Cup Round Two 4-3 on sudden death penalties in Thanet for a second successive season after a 1-1 draw, this time at Ramsgate having done the same at Margate last year.

Invicta somehow went out at Southwood having conceded a stoppage time equaliser and then missing a Jon Pilbeam kick to win it during the shoot-out.

And Rams keeper Nick Shaw saved from both Pilbeam and then Matt Newman to leave Ellis Keohane to force sudden death before local hero Macauley Murray hit the winning penalty.

Nat Blanks and Paul Booth for Invicta and Scott Punton for Ramsgate had been successful with the opening three penalties before Greg Skinner was unlucky to hit the crossbar for the home side.

Joe Taylor then shot wide of the target for the visitors before Connor Heffernan made it 2-2 despite Invicta goalkeeper Tim Roberts getting plenty a strong hand to the ball.

Ian Draycott stepped up to put Invicta 3-2 ahead in the shoot out before Roberts saved from home captain Curtis Robinson.

Hopes alive

Shaw’s save from Pilbeam kept Ramsgate’s hopes alive and it was Dean Hill’s side who went  on to play hosts to Tonbridge Angels in the Third Round after the latter’s 2-1 home victory over Chatham Town.

At Margate last season, Johan Ter Horst, Dane Luchford and Phil Stevenson – three players no longer at the club – had all scored, while midfielder Newman also had his shot saved and Michael Yianni hit the post before Josh Vincent shot well wide during sudden death.

This time, some few miles closer to home, Neil Cugley’s side had opened the scoring through top goalscorer Draycott in the 76th minute, but there was to be a late twist as Mitchell Knight equalised during stoppage time with several Invicta fans almost out of the gate and on the way home!

But under the rules of this competition, the tie then went straight to penalties with no extra time.

Invicta had gone into the game without the suspended Vincent and captain Liam Friend, the latter absent after a run of 137 consecutive matches since missing a 4-0 home defeat against Merstham in January 2012.

Friend’s long-time central defensive partner Frankie Chappell captained the side on what was his 350th appearance in two spells with the Folkestone club.

Alongside Chappell at the heart of the defence was 17-year-old Callum Wraight who was making his first senior starting appearance.

Player-assistant manager Roland Edge also came back into the starting 11 for the first time since the first week of the season.

And it was Edge who shot against the crossbar and over when put through by a great Newman ball on the quarter of an hour mark in a move started by Taylor.

At the other end, teenager Ira Jackson headed wide after a 19th minute Murray corner from the right and Wraight got across to clear when Chris Elliott and Heffernan found Skinner down the left hand side a minute later.

Blocked

Newman then tried to pick his spot from just outside the penalty area but shot straight at former Hythe keeper Shaw.

A 26th minute Booth shot was blocked by home centre half Punton after a Newman ball up to the striker.

The nearest to a first half goal came in the 28th minute when Invicta goalkeeper Roberts’ kick made it all the way up to Taylor on the right hand side but the latter’s lob went just beyond the far post after he put it over Shaw.

Ramsgate then had three shots from distance around the half an hour mark as Warren Schulz’s strike was saved by Roberts, Jackson’s well-struck effort was also kept out by the goalkeeper and Roberts held again on well again after Heffernan let fly after a headed clearance from Chappell fell in his path.

Invicta themselves had further half chances as Shaw saved from Booth and Blanks blasted over when a Jordan Wright cross from the right fell to him on the left.

Schulz sliced his 42nd minute shot wide for Ramsgate after former Invicta player Elliott found Heffernan on the left.

Home right back Kane Harrington blocked a Blanks shot during first half stoppage time when the latter took a touch after being found by Taylor.

Invicta moved Edge up into midfield at the start of the second half and went close in the 48th minute when a Chappell header was cleared from the liner as the visitors appealed for a goal.

Strikers Booth and Draycott then combined to find Wright on the right hand side three minutes later but his ball in was behind the forwards in the middle.

Taylor shot wide in the 58th minute when Edge played the ball across to the right hand side of the penalty area in a move started by Blanks and Draycott.

Ramsgate defender Robinson cleared in the middle when Blanks drilled the ball across goal after being found by Booth in the 76th minute.

But Invicta were soon ahead as DRAYCOTT slotted a low shot past Shaw for his fifth goal in three matches after a good throughball from Wright.

Pointblank

Invicta had goalkeeper Roberts to thank for a pointblank 82nd minute save to keep out substitute Charlie Walsh’s shot after a Robinson ball in from the left.

The visitors were themselves close again two minutes later when a Micheal Everitt header was cleared off the line after a Pilbeam corner from the right.

But Ramsgate saved the day when Walsh slid the ball through to KNIGHT who slotted it into the net across goal from the right hand side of the penalty area.

So it was into the shoot-out, and the rest, as they say, is history as Invicta's poor record in these affairs continued.

There were bookings for Invicta’s Everitt and Blanks.

The Folkestone side had likeable midfielder Luke Webb as an unused substitute after the ex-Lydd player had re-signed for the club ahead of the tie.

RAMSGATE: Shaw, Harrington, Skinner, Robinson, Punton, Murray, Heffernan, Schulz (Walsh 72 mins), Jackson (Woolley 62 mins), Knight, Elliott (Keohane 77 mins).  

Unused subs: Munday, Kelly. 

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Edge (Pilbeam 61 mins), Blanks, Wraight, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Taylor, Draycott, Booth, M. Everitt

Unused subs: Palmer, Webb, Fender.

Attendance: 128

Corners: Ramsgate 6 Folkestone Invicta 3