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FOLKESTONE INVICTA 3

SITTINGBOURNE 2

Folkestone Invicta came back from 2-0 down at half time to win 3-2 at home to Sittingbourne on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at The Fullicks Stadium.

Following Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at Ramsgate, things were not looking good for Neil Cugley’s side as they trailed by the same scoreline at the interval.

But second half goals from strikers Paul Booth (2) and Ian Draycott gave the Folkestone side a third successive home victory from the start of the season that keeps them at the top end of the Ryman League Division One South table.

Professional

Hull City forward Johan Ter Horst was in attendance to watch the club that he had left to go professional at the end of last season turn things around with goals from his former striking partner Booth and newcomer Draycott.

Invicta had enjoyed the majority of the first half possession but it was the Brickies who scored the goals.

The visitors had taken the lead when right back Tom BRUNT got to the ball first and drilled a well-struck shot into the far corner of the net following a great run from Joe Nwoko.

It was 2-0 in the 37th minute when Gary Webb broke down the left hand side and played the ball to striker Ellie KAYEMBE whose shot deflected off Frankie Chappell and looped into the stanchion at the back of the goal that temporarily confused supporters as to whether it had gone in or over.

Invicta were thrown a lifeline when a mis-hit Dane Luchford shot was touched in by BOOTH  - pictured left - in the 54th minute.

BOOTH - pictured - then showed his quality to equalise in the 68th minute with a great strike from the edge of the penalty area into the corner of the net after goalkeeper Tim Roberts’ ball forward had found Nat Blanks who played it in to Luchford.

Unchanged

The turnaround was complete in the 75th minute when the ball broke to DRAYCOTT who slotted the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net after substitute Jon Pilbeam had touched on a Josh Vincent ball forward.

Invicta had gone into the game with an unchanged starting eleven, whilst Sittingbourne were missing a few including goalkeeper Adam Molloy who had been taken ill.

The home side had an early chance when Luchford put the ball over from close range after Blanks played a low third minute ball across from the left in a move started by strikers Booth and Draycott.

Luchford had scored six goals in the two games against Sittingbourne last season but this looked like being the Brickies’ day as Brunt opened the scoring.

A Matt Newman shot was blocked by Brett Milham on the quarter of an hour mark when Blanks played the ball in from the left at the end of a flowing Invicta passing move.

Newman played the ball through to Draycott two minutes later but Ollie Brown got back to clear at the expense of one of a succession of first half Invicta corners.

Booth got up to meet a 22nd minute Luchford cross from the right but the latter’s header was kept out by visiting goalkeeper Sean Bazell.

Home captain Liam Friend then headed wide at the far post across goal when he met a Darren Smith corner from the right at the far post.

Fellow Invicta central defender Chappell then headed on a deep Blanks cross but the ball was cleared from Micheal Everitt at the expense of a corner.

Booth shot on the turn from the edge of the area in the 36th minute but his effort lacked power and was comfortably saved by Bazell.

Sittingbourne then increased their lead a minute later to pile on the misery for the home side.

Invicta responded a Newman shot straight at goalkeeper Bazell in the 44th minute after Draycott had pulled the ball back when he received it from Luchford.

Luchford himself then blasted the rebound over a minute later when his initial header was kept out by Bazell after a Blanks cross.

Passes

Vincent found Booth early in the second half and the latter’s cross towards Draycott was put out by Matt Harden for the throw in on the right that led to Booth’s opening goal.

Draycott then found Vincent but goalkeeper Bazell got a touch to the right back’s ball across goal after Smith had exchanged passes with Luchford.

Invicta made a change on the hour as Pilbeam replaced Newman to attack the right flank, with Luchford moving across to the left.

Sittingbourne had numerical advantage as they broke with substitute Cameron George and Kayembe in the 64th minute but Friend cleared Brunt’s ball in from the right.

There was a big moment a minute later when Kayembe had a clear chance but Roberts came out to save and Vincent cleared from the line, with the visitors looking to the assistant referee for a goal.

Invicta were soon level rather than 3-1 down and still had plenty of time to get a winner that duly arrived from Draycott.

The home side threatened again in the 77th minute when Blanks received the ball from Luchford and his ball across from the left evaded first Draycott in the middle and then Pilbeam at the far post.

Sittingbourne had to wait until the 82nd minute to gain their first corner of the game but were not to retrieve the situation.

It was Invicta who had the game’s final chance as Bazell claimed the ball when Pilbeam received a ball out of defence but his cross from the left could not find Booth in the middle.

Invicta’s Everitt was the game’s only booking for an 87th minute foul on George Crimmen.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman (Pilbeam 60 mins), Luchford (Yianni 78 mins), Smith, Draycott, Booth, M Everitt.  Unused subs: Elliott, Coyne, Edge.

SITTINGBOURNE: Bazell, Brunt, Webb (Cameron George 55 mins), Brown, Harden, Crimmen, Dunsdon, Gallagher, Keyembe (Izokun 84 mins), Milham (Curtis George 66 mins), Nwoko.  Unused subs: Wright, Burrell.  

Attendance: 216

Corners: Invicta 8 Sittingbourne 2