A young Invicta side progressed to the semi-finals of the Kent Intermediate Cup on Wednesday night with a 3-1 win over Chatham Town U23 at the Alcaline Stadium.
Having beaten Rusthall U23 and Minster Reserves 3-1 in previous rounds, Paul Stanton’s side were looking for a result that would see them match last season’s achievement of reaching the last 4 against a side that is flying high and scoring freely in the SCEFL Development League East.
Invicta’s starting XI included 7 who had started the U18 2-1 win over Erith & Belvedere in the Kent Cup Last 16 tie on Sunday, with academy scholars Brad Walledge, Fin Dent and Harrison Wade coming in alongside the U18 captain Callum Hickman who had missed Sunday’s win.
Invicta could have been in front after just 2 minutes as Academy forward Fin Dent raced clear but saw his effort saved by the goalkeeper.
Invicta were not to be thwarted for long but it was another Dent who opened the scoring after 11 minutes. A short corner from Invicta was cleared to the edge of the D, with Lucas Dent (younger brother of Fin) taking a touch before hitting a dipping half volley beyond the Chatham keeper.
Invicta could have been 2-0 up in the 20th minute as Lucas Dent won the ball high up the pitch allowing Fin to square to Kian Scott who was denied by the legs of the goalkeeper.
In the 33rd minute Invicta did have their 2nd as Brad Walledge delivered a free kick from the right, low and powerful, proving to be too much for an unfortunate defender who deflected the ball into the net.
Invicta took the 2-0 lead into the break and came out flying in the 2nd half to kill the tie. A long kick from goalkeeper Sam Grant was allowed to bounce deep in the Chatham half, Fin Dent with a touch to turn it into the path of his strike partner Kian Scott who this time buried his chance.
Chatham struck back with 15 minutes to go as Kian Garlinge got on the end of a low cross at the front post to turn it home.
Invicta would go on to see out the final minutes in relative comfort however, to book a place in the semifinals for the 2nd season in a row. Holders Deal Town Reserves and Sheppey United U23 await in the draw, with one of Hollands & Blair Reserves, Tonbridge Wells U23 and Erith & Belvedere U23 waiting to make up the final 4.