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Robbo's superb save keeps Redhill at bay before ace Draycott makes points safe

REDHILL 1

FOLKESTONE INV  3

Invicta climbed to second place in Ryman League Division One South after winning their third game in six days as they beat Redhill at Kiln Brow on Tuesday night.

Invicta, who finished runners up to Peacehaven & Telscombe last season, trailed Faversham Town by eight points going into last Thursday night’s home game against South Park.

But nine points and 14 goals later Invicta have propelled themselves further up the table, although league leaders Burgess Hill Town remain champions elect after a 36-match unbeaten start to their league campaign.

Redhill had come within minutes of beating Burgess Hill the previous Tuesday, highlighting a recent improvement despite their lowly league position in the relegation zone.

And the home side proved competitive opposition as Invicta had to dig in to take all three points thanks to goals from Ashley Miller (penalty), Jordan Wright and Ian Draycott.

The game will also be remembered for a wonder save by Invicta goalkeeper Tim Roberts - pictured top of the page - that denied the home side a late equaliser seconds before Draycott settled the issue with the final goal.

Folkestone have certainly built up momentum during what could have been a tricky busy period and kept the same starting 11 that had beaten Guernsey four days earlier.

The visitors made the early running as a seventh minute Miller ball in from the left was headed wide by Micheal Everitt following Invicta’s first corner of the night.

At the other end, ex-Tooting striker Frankie Sawyer hit hia 12th minute free kick straight at Roberts.

Invicta opened the scoring when awarded a penalty after Miller’s ball in from the right hand side of the penalty area struck home captain Shaun Loft on the hand.

With leading scorer Draycott relieved of penalty taking duties after his recent double miss against Horsham (when he also scored a hat-trick!), MILLER stepped up to beat goalkeeper Michael Hunter from the spot on 17 minutes.

Whilst others – notably Draycott and Wright – have been winning the plaudits recently Miller himself has now scored five goals in seven starts since joining Invicta from Hythe Town and that despite not being one of the six deferent scorers in the six goal rout of South Park.

But Redhill drew level in the 32nd minute with a well-worked equaliser as ex-Horsham player Ross Morley played the ball up to Tyrone Pink down the right whose low ball was converted by SAWYER.

Invicta responded as Wright ran on after passes from Ronnie Dolan and Draycott but centre half Michael Olarewaju made a saving tackle.

Miller made home right back Bradley Duke look silly by keeping the ball in play and going past the defender during first half stoppage time as his shot was deflected past the far post for a corner from which Everitt headed over.

Loft played a 53rd minute ball towards Pink who got behind Friend but Roberts came out to claim the ball.

Wright did well to get the ball in to Draycott a minute later but the striker could only shoot wide under pressure.

Miller also did well down the right hand side to set up a chance for Wright who skied his 55th minute effort over the bar.

But Invicta regained the lead when Dolan played the ball up to Miller whose ball inform the right was volleyed in at the far post by the unmarked WRIGHT.

That’s now five goals in the last five matches for Wright in what has been an impressive debut season at senior level.

This was another match where the officials caused widespread exasperation – seemingly par for the course in football at all levels these days.

Invicta and Wright threatened again in the 73rd minute when Dolan received the ball from Nat Blanks and threaded it through but Duke got across to block.

Draycott has scored some spectacular goals over the previous week and almost did it again when he let fly after the ball broke to him on the left hand side in the 84th minute but his good strike across goal hit the crossbar.

Loft moved from centre half to centre forward when Redhill made a third substitution as Jack Barton replaced Duke in the 85th minute and hit a well-struck shot that flew narrowly wide of the post from the edge of the penalty area a minute later.

The game’s biggest moment came when Sawyer let fly from the left hand side of the penalty area but Roberts made a good save and then produced heroics to keep out substitute Eden Dew-Douglas’s follow up from two yards out.

Invicta again went straight up the other end and sealed victory as the ball came across from the right to DRAYCOTT - right - who made it 3-1 in the 88th minute.

That was Draycott’s seventh goal in the last five matches and his 36th in all competitions this season.

And it is an intriguing contest between Draycott and South Park’s Chris Smith for the Golden Boot.

Draycott had gone level with Smith when Invicta beat South Park 6-0 last Thursday and then scored twice in Saturday’s early kick-off against Guernsey.

Smith responded with two goals at Chipstead later on Saturday afternoon and Smith also scored as South Park crashed 7-1 at home to Guernsey - for whom Ross Allen scored four times!

Their third goal takes Invicta to 93 in the league so far this season, level with Faversham as the division’s leading scorers.

Those two Kent clubs now seem set to compete for the runners up spot in the season’s run in that would give them potentially home semi final and final ties.

That Invicta’s defenders responded to the third goal by rushing back to congratulate Roberts highlights the importance and quality of his superb save.

REDHILL: Hunter, Duke (Barton 84), Hill, Craddock, Olarewaju, Loft, Johnson (Williams 69), Morley, Sawyer, Thompson (Dew-Douglas 63), Pink.   Unused subs: Difford, Farmer. 

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Dolan, Draycott, Miller (Atkins 79 mins), M Everitt.  Unused subs: Wraight, Edge, J Everitt, Fender.  

Attendance: 135.

Corners: Redhill 3 Invicta 6