Having seen plenty of rain for for our previous home pre-season fixtures, finally the sun shone upon the Alcaline Stadium, as a crowd of 528 saw Folkestone Invicta win the Sid Burvill Trophy with a 5-1 win over neighbours Hythe Town.
The Sid Burvill Trophy has been played for since the passing of of our former gateman in 2000 and Invicta would win the match for the 6th consecutive season against Hythe who had, perhaps surprisingly, never played in the fixture before. Hythe were not without experience of winning the trophy however, with former Tonbridge Angels & Ashford United manager Tommy Warrilow taking charge in the absence of manager Steve Watt. Warrilow won the fixture with Thamesmead on penalties in 2017.
Invicta made three changes from the side that started the 3-0 defeat to Maidstone United, with a change of trialist at left back, Andy Drury replacing another trialist in midfield and Ibrahim Olutade in for Jordan Ababio in attack. with a couple of knocks and players unavailable Invicta lined up with just three on the bench, although perhaps that would help add a more authentic feel to the friendly fixture (it certainly helps a social media admin who doesn’t have to keep up with a host of substitutions!)
It was the visitors who got us underway but Invicta who had the first attack of the afternoon as an overhit Andre Coker cross was recycled at the back post before Ade Cole’s effort was blocked for a corner.
A first scare for Invicta came shortly after following a slip from goalkeeper Joe Coleman, but defender Ian Gayle covered well to dispossess Hythe’s 17 and bring the ball away from danger.
The visitor’s first effort on goal came from fullback Jarred Trespaderne, who headed wide at the near post from a corner.
Things got a little heated as a clash between Ibrahim Olutade & Trespaderne was given in Invicta’s favour in a dangerous position, while Andy Drury took it upon himself to mark out 10 yards for the wall, but the resulting free kick came to nothing.
The first save of the afternoon came from Coleman who got down low to comfortably stop a driven effort from distance.
Invicta’s first effort on target would prove to be more successful. A cross from the left was cleared as far as Kane Penn who saw blocked effort fall to Ade Cole. Invicta’s number 8 held off a defender before eventually unleashing one from the edge of the D into the bottom corner for his third goal of pre-season.
Tempers flared again shortly afterwards, with a Hythe man down in the Invicta half, the visitors found themselves having to defend and a rare pre-season booking was handed out, seemingly for words said to the referee. Sarcastic applause from Hythe’s number 2 when they were awarded a free kick shortly afterwards resulted in a warning from the referee. It was meant to be a friendly!
Hythe’s number 9 went close with an effort from wide in the penalty area, firing a bouncing ball over the top just wide of the far top corner.
It was Invicta’s number 9 who had the next sight of goal. David Smith played in behind by flick on from Andre Coker, he sold the keeper and took the ball around him only to find Hythe’s big number 5 go sliding in with a challenge that drew applause from every corner of the ground.
The Bagsman could not be denied for long, however. A long pass from defender Callum Davies found Olutade in behind a Hythe defence that froze as they waited for an offside flag that never came. Smith however did not freeze and was there in the penalty area for Olutade to roll the ball to for a tap in to double the lead.
The visitors’ 17 would find himself in behind the Invicta defence for a second time following a ball over the top but his perfectly timed run was unable to reach the ball, forcing him wide and allowing Coleman to smother the chance and push it out for a corner.
The resulting set piece was cleared but a second attempted deliver was defended well at the back post by Davies before a second corner was headed clear by Drury.
Davies was again involved as Invicta killed the game off with virtually the final kick of the half. The Invicta number 5 won the ball on the left touchline before finder Andre Coker who flicked the ball to Drury to deliver a diagonal ball into Olutade who had half the pitch to himself. Nobody in a white shirt could get close to the Invicta forward who rolled the ball past the Hythe ‘keeper with the outside of his boot to seal a 3-0 halftime scoreline.
Invicta remained unchanged at the start of the second half but took a little while to get back into the rhythm. The first 15 minutes of the second period saw the Invicta enter the Hythe box on a few occasions but never manage to cut out a real opportunity on goal, while the visitors continued to look dangerous from set pieces with one headed into Coleman’s grasp at the back post while another ended in a chance from a tight angle that the big number 17 smothered.
The first time Invicta tested the goal at the Cricket Ground End came just after the hour make. Cole won the ball in midfield and fed Coker who twisted and turned before eventually losing his defender and delivered a near-perfect low cross that Olutade very nearly turned home at the back post.
Hythe than caused a similar problem at the other end, a low cross of their own eluding everybody in the box before being collected at the back post and fired over the bar by a distance.
A couple of Invicta changes midway through the half would bring about an immediate impact. Coker & Olutade were replaced by Ababio and a trialist and it was the unnamed substitute who got onto a ball over the top from Andy Drury before laying it off to Smith who buried the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the 18 yard box for his second of the afternoon.
Drury went close to a goal of his own moments later. A cross from right back was lazily cleared into the D and Invicta’s veteran midfielder met it sweetly but fired a low, driven effort just wide before making way for Jake Dancer.
A mazy run from midfielder Ade Cole ended with the number 8 firing just wide from about 25 yards.
Jordan Ababio went on to complete Invicta’s scoring moments later following a run of his own. picking the ball up from the trialist right back just inside the Hythe half the winger beat Hythe number 5 before firing an effort with the outside of his right boot from just outside the box that flew past the keeper and inside the post. A 5th of pre-season for the Ababio who will look to continue his goalscoring form into the new season.
The clean sheet that would have capped off a near perfect afternoon was denied at the death. Hythe’s 17 found a bit of luck as the ball ricocheted off the shins of Ian Gayle and allowed him to fire past Coleman with just a minute remaining.
Members of Sid Burvill’s family selected both a home and away man of the match. Goalscorer Ade Cole was selected for Invicta and veteran forward Frannie Collin for Hythe Town.