A new look Invicta side got off the to best possible start to the Isthmian Premier Division season, brushing aside Wingate & Finchley to claim all 3 points in North London.
Micheal Everitt & Roland Edge picked a starting 11 featuring just 4 players from last season, with 5 making their debuts for the club and another 2 returning.
Having finished last season as Invicta’s starting goalkeeper following injury to Patrick Ohman, Joe Coleman took the number 1 shirt behind a defence that had some continuity with Ian Gayle & Callum Davies in the centre, with Freddy Barton and Makhosini Ryan-Khanye making their debuts at right and left back respectively.
With Scott Heard suffering suspension, Kane Penn & Ade Cole made their debuts in midfield alongside Andy Drury, while Ibrahim Olutade was joined in attack by new signing Andre Coker and the returning David Smith.
Unlike elsewhere in North London there were no problems with the ticketing system at the Maurice Rebak Stadium and a healthy number of travelling supporters, some wearing their brand new replica shirts, took up their position in the small stand behind the south end of the stadium.
It was not long before another player would make his Invicta debut. Just 9 minutes after kick off Andy Drury made way for Will Moses in midfield.
The opening stages proved fairly even with Cole and Olutade forcing comfortable saves from the Wingate keeper while Smith shot just wide. At the other end Coleman turned a good effort from the end of the box out for a corner just before the half hour mark.
It was on the 38th minute that Invicta would strike for the first time this season. Andre Coker found himself wide on the right and did well to work enough space for a cross that reached the back post with pace and met the boot of Ibrahim Olutade who volleyed past the keeper to give Invicta a lead at the break.
It wouldn’t take long after the restart for Invicta to kill off the game. Less than 4 minutes into the second half Olutade found himself on the end of a ball over the top of the Wingate defence and did well under intense pressure from his chasing defender to bury a right footed effort inside the post to double the lead.
Just 4 minutes after that Olutade wrapped up his first hat-trick for the club. Midfielder Kane Penn cut back from the byline to Olutade in the centre of the penalty area who unleashed a high, powerful effort that the keeper got hands to but could not keep out as it hit the roof of the net.
Andre Coker was then replaced by Ira Jackson who missed the final pre-season friendlies due to his honeymoon and Jordon Ababio came on for Ian Gayle to instigate a reshuffle that saw Will Moses drop into the back line.
Having scored on the opening day of his previous seasons at Invicta, David Smith was not to be left out. with less than 2 minutes to play, Invicta’s number 9 robbed the ball from the Wingate keeper leaving him free to dribble towards goal before smashing the ball into the net from little more than an inch out.
The only minor disappointment among the travelling supporters was that Carshalton had denied Invicta top spot on the first Saturday night of the season by putting 5 past Potters Bar Town, but it was smiles all round as the players headed over to thank them for their support following the final whistle.
A job very well done for Invicta as we now head towards our opening home fixture: Chatham Town at the Alcaline Stadium on Tuesday night.