Andy Drury’s new look Invicta side impressed with a pre-Christmas friendly victory over Isthmian South East promotion chasers Sittingbourne at the Alcaline Stadium.
Invicta hosted Ryan Maxwell’s side as Drury looks to gel his a series of recent signings and get minutes into leg of players who have lacked regular football in recent week as we head towards a busy Christmas schedule.
With Joe Coleman suffering from a slight knock, Luke Watkins started in goal for Invicta with a defence in front of consisting of Chris Sessegnon, pulling on an Invicta shirt for the first time, Ian Gayle, Callum Davies returning from suspension and Toby Byron.
Kane Penn slotted into midfield alongside Seidou Sanogo who was made his debut at Horsham on Saturday, while Joe Boachie operate in behind Tom Derry in attack with Ruben Soares-Junior and Victor Aiye in the wide positions.
Channel Tunnel closure caused traffic problems that forced a delay to kick off but Sittingbourne eventually kicked us off at 8pm with Invicta taking the lead 10 minutes later. Joe Boachie carried the ball down the left flank before crossing toward Tom Derry in the middle but the Invicta number 9, who scored his first goal for the club at Horsham, was beaten to the ball by his defender who turned it into his own net.
Invicta’s attack continued to look threatened throughout the 1st half with Boachie the most likely to add to the scoring, forcing a good save on 20 minutes as he found space at the back post, a second chance saw him slipped in behind the defence but unable to get off a shot before the goalkeeper smothered the ball, followed by a third as he drove inside with the ball and fired a left footed effort towards the bottom corner that the keeper got down to stop.
David Smith replace Tom Derry in attack at half time and it took him less than 3 minutes to find his shooting boots, slipped in behind the Sittingbourne defence he fired off his left foot low past the keeper to double Invicta’s lead.
Invicta’s next effort came on the hour mark, Toby Byron stepping in to win the ball in the middle of the pitch to set up an attack that saw Ruben Soares-Junior come in from the right and unleash an effort that didn’t miss the target by much.
Smith was soon on hand to add a third however as Soares-Junior got to the byline a few minutes later and floated a ball into the box for the “Bagsman” to head past the Sittingbourne keeper.
Invicta were awarded an indirect free kick 20 minutes from time as a bouncing ball was played back to the Sittingbourne goalkeeper by a defender but it came to nothing.
Winger Victor Aiye went close to making an impression with 15 minutes remaining as he struck the post. With a few minutes to go he found himself in again on the end of a pass from substitute Brad Walledge but fired into the side netting, a chance that would prove to be the last of the evening.
Andy Drury spoke after the match:
“It was a good workout tonight. We got minutes into legs that needed them, Smithy, Sessegnon [Chris Sessegnon], Tom Derry, Seidou [Sanogo], they all needed minutes and of course it good to get the win. As soon as we started playing football, one/two touch, we were good out there, [Boachie] was always a threat, Ruben [Soares-Junior] was good. So yeah, minutes in legs and no injuries, it was a really good exercise for us tonight.”