First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 9 March Alcaline Stadium
Folkestone Invicta
  • Allsopp (16')
  • Sanogo (57')
  • Smith (63')
  • Dsane (49')
  • Regragui (53')

On a day he was serving a touchline ban, manager Andy Drury secured his first home win as Invicta came from behind to beat Kingstonian at the Alcaline Stadium.

Invicta hosted a home fixture on a Saturday for the first time since 27th January having faced a series of postponements, with 3 of the previous 4 Saturdays having been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Andy Drury had got some minutes into the legs of his side on Tuesday night with a friendly away at Sheppey United while the visitors had travelled to Horsham for a 3-1 defeat.

Invicta lined up with just 1 change from the side that had hosted Potters Bar Town 11 days earlier, Jake Goodman replacing Ian Gayle in defence.

Kingstonian kicked us off, attacking the Cricket Ground End in their away kit that they also wore back in October when the sides met in South London after their home kit had been stolen.

It took 11 minutes for either keeper to be tested, Eddie Allsopp delivered a deep free kick to the back post with Jake Goodman rising highest to head towards the bottom corner, but Daniel Cruz Domenech got down low to keep it out.

5 minutes later Allsopp stood over his second set piece, placing the ball wide on the left touchline in front of the Brian Merryman Stand following a handball from right back Jack Lillie. Allsopp’s delivery was straighter than his previous free kick but Cruz Domenech misjudged the flight and saw the ball sail just out of his reach and into an empty net behind him.

Kingstonian captain Matt Drage was the first played into the referee’s book after he engaged in a tussle with David Smith in front of the away dugout and ended up on the floor. With Smith carrying the ball away, the Kingstonian number 4 grabbed hold of the ball and prevented play from continuing, leaving the referee little choice.

Allsopp repeated his trick in the 24th minute, this time from a corner. Swinging the ball in with his right foot the ball beat everybody, but the referee’s whistle quickly went to award the visitors a free kick with Smith and Cruz Domenech on the floor inside the goal.

After the Kingstonina keeper received some treatment we were back underway and Invicta’s momentum continued. Sessegnon delivered a cross to the back post that was met by Michael Kedman but the left back was unable to turn his effort inside the far post.

Invicta’s goal had remained untroubled until the 34th minute when Chris Sessegnon’s afternoon was brought to a premature end. The right back pulled up holding his hamstring and while he lay on the grass awaiting treatment Kingstonian probed for an opening. Seidou Sanogo attempted to put the ball into orbit but his clearance struck was blocked before Jason Fregene’s attempt struck the knee of Sessegnon, falling nicely for Richard Michaels to lift the bouncing ball over the Invicta defence to find Nasim Regragui with Kai McKenzie-Lyle’s goal at his mercy before Callum Davies appeared out of nowhere to make the challenge of the season and deny the number 7 a shot on goal. Sessegnon was then treated before being replaced by Toby Byron, forcing a reshuffle to Invicta’s backline.

In injury time Seidou Sanogo was on the end of a chance to extend Invicta’s lead, but his first time effort from a Smith cutback failed to properly test the goalkeeper.

Invicta were forced into further changed in the backline at half time as Jake Goodman, suffering with concussion, had to be replaced by Will Moses.

Be it due to the changes to the defence or not Invicta were far from settled early in the second half and the side sat bottom of the lead took advantage to threaten a shock win. Less than 5 minutes after the restart a pair of misjudged defensive headers saw the ball drop to Eddie Dsane and the forward who worked under Andy Drury at Margate squeezed a shot in off the base of the far post to stun the Alcaline Stadium.

But the visitors weren’t finished there, taking the lead in controversial circumstances. A kick from McKenzie-Lyle was headed back in behind the Invicta defence with Callum Davies getting there first before being bundled over by Nasim Regragui, the ball running to McKenzie-Lyle who appeared to have taken it in his hands before it was kicked free by Regragui which gave the Kingstonian winger an empty goal to roll the ball into as Invicta’s protests went unanswered by the referee.

It seems that finding themselves behind was enough to kick Invicta in the backside and elicit a response that saw a leveller just 3 minutes and 2 seconds after the match was restarted. Smith held off Drage to lay the ball back to Kedman cutting inside from the right, Kedman’s shot deflected and avoided an attempted back-heeled effort from Tom Derry to find Sanogo who swung his right foot through it first time, the effort parried by Cruz Domenech but was too much for him to keep out.

It then took just 5 minutes for Invicta to retake the lead. Michael Kedman collected the ball on the halfway line, beat 2 incoming challenges and accelerated towards the edge of the Kingstonian box. Kedman found Toby Byron’s overlap and the left back fired a first time cross to Eddie Allsopp on the edge of the box, his shot charged down by Drage before the loose ball fell to Smith who buried his chance from a tight angle.

Kingstonian were determined not to go down without a fight. Invicta cleared a free kick as far as Richard Michaels who saw his cross pushed over by McKenzie-Lyle as it looked to dip under the crossbar. From the resulting corner Sam German, on loan from Bromley, met the ball with a free header from just a few yards out but failed to hit the target.

Louis Collins replaced David Smith for the final 5 minutes.

You could forgive those on the terras as nerves set in during the closing minutes. Sanogo missed the chance to add to his tally in injury time after Invicta won the ball high up the pitch. A break after a Kingstonian free kick was cleared moments later saw Kedman take a shot on goal that was blocked.

Thankfully Invicta did not need to add a 4th and the referee called a dramatic and tense afternoon to a close, Andy Drury’s side pulling 11 points clear of the bottom 4 with 10 games to play, starting with the visit of Canvey Island on Saturday 16th March.

Goalscorer Eddie Allsopp was selected at Man of the Match by our match sponsors for his performance.