Here we are then, the dawn of a new season. A season that will be Folkestone Invicta’s 8th consecutive season in the Isthmian Premier Division, a run better only be Enfield Town, Kingstonian and Saturday’s opponents: Wingate & Finchley.
Having hosted Worthing on three consecutive opening day fixtures (albeit one of those was originally scheduled to be played at Worthing but was reversed due to pitch work), Invicta now travel to north London for the second consecutive opening day, drawing 1-1 at Enfield Town last August.
From The Managers
Joint Head Coach Roland Edge spoke at training on Thursday evening:
“We are glad that the season has come around now. Wingate & Finchley is a tough start but at we can guarantee it will be a good surface. I’ve got a lot of admiration for Wingate, they’re one of those side that always give it their all, to the very end. We’ve got to go there, stick to our game plan and execute it.
In patches in pre-season we’ve been really good. Obviously the purpose of pre-season is to get rid of blunders and I think that some of the games have highlighted that. We’ve come into training, we’ve talked about it and we’ve tried to mend that.
I always feel that the first game of the season it about who reacts to the real pace of a league game rather than pre-season, which it a bit fake. If you start bright, start fast you normally get a result. It’s going to be a tough start but you’ve got to start somewhere.
We’re happy with the squad, we’ve worked hard to recruit, we’ve got players with good ability, players that have played higher level, some of them have played with each other before and there’s a good bond in the camp.
At the managers meeting people said it’s a bit strange your club the first time in 15 years new faces, but me and Mev said the one thing about Folkestone is we always have a good team and a good group of lads and I honestly think we’ve done that again and you’re gonna need it through the season to get results.”
Invicta come into the fixture with a good recent record against Wingate & Finchley, having won the last 6 in all competitions. Invicta have also won 4 of the previous 5 meetings between the clubs at the Maurice Rebak Stadium.
Last season’s visit to North London saw Invicta come away 2-0 winners thanks to a first half penalty from Ade Yusuff and a second half strike from Ira Jackson Jr.
Wingate & Finchley put in a strong end to the 22/23 season to see them avoid relegation from the Isthmian Premier Division, underpinned by an impressive run of home form. Having only won once at home as they headed into February, The Blues won 6 of the final 9 home fixtures, only losing to the eventual top 3 of Bishop’s Stortford, Hornchurch & Canvey Island, to eventually secure safety with wins over the Easter weekend against Brightlingsea Regent & Potters Bar Town.
Wingate & Finchley FC, Summers Lane, London, N12 0PD
Thankfully the weather forecast is for a dry afternoon in London on Saturday. Recent trips to Wingate & Finchley have included supporters getting soaked, especially in the first half when standing at the uncovered Summer Lane end of the ground. Cover is provided with a small stand at the other end of the ground, as well as along one side and in the iconic main stand.
Tickets are available online in advance but you can pay on the gate. Wingate & Finchley are offering a Matchday Early Bird Offer which includes and burger and a pint for those who wish to arrive before midday and watch Arsenal v Nottingham Forest on the screens in the bar.
‼️𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐄𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐁𝐢𝐫𝐝 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫 ‼️
🍔 + 🍺 + 🎟️ all for £20! (Includes Arsenal vs N. Forest match live on TNT Sports)
This fantastic deal is available until 12pm, with the bar opening at 11am. DON’T MISS OUT! 🙌
— Wingate & Finchley FC (@WinFinchleyFC) August 8, 2023
The nearest tube station is West Finchley which is a 20 minute walk from the stadium. Take the Northern line service towards High Barnet from King’s Cross St Pancras or if travelling into London Victoria you can take the Victoria line north and change onto the Northern line at Euston.
If driving please remember that The Maurice Rebak Stadium is NOT in the ULEZ but given its close proximity it is certainly possible to venture in en route. Future trips to Wingate & Finchley after its expansion will unfortunately insure a ULEZ charge non-compliant vehicles.