First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 13 April The Bauvill Stadium
Folkestone Invicta

Invicta fell to defeat in the final Kent Derby of the season on Saturday afternoon as Chatham struck either side of half time to secure their place in the playoffs.

Andy Drury waited on the fitness of a number of his squad coming into the trip to face his former club, with fellow former Chatham player Cameron Brodie the only player not to make the squad with his niggle.

David Smith and Seidou Sanogo also dropped out of the starting XI with Jordon Ababio, Dean Rance and Will Moses coming into a flat midfield 4 with Eddie Allsopp, Louis Collins partnering Tom Derry in attack while the manager called upon the same back 4 for the 5th consecutive match.

Invicta kicked off attacking the terrace that had housed Invicta supporters for the Kent Senior Cup final in May 2022, Invicta’s support interspersed among the home crowd.

Despite both sides attempting to get themselves on the front foot, the crowd of over 1,800 had a while to wait for the first effort of the afternoon, coming after 25 minutes from left back Jamie Mascoll who picked the ball up from Kareem Isiaka and evaded multiple challenges before firing wide of Kai McKenzie-Lyle’s goal from out side the box.

Referee Kane Dempster was called into action for the first time just after the half hour mark as Dean Beckwith wrestled Tom Derry to the ground as the Invicta forward tried to race onto a ball over the top of the Chatham defence.

As it appeared the game would head into the break goalless, the hosts took the lead 5 minutes before half time in controversial circumstances. A misplaced kick form the Invicta keeper found Chatham’s Jordy Robins who returned it back towards the Invicta goal first time, finding Harvey Bradbury who replays show was inside the Invicta penalty area with Ian Gayle and Callum Davies both having pushed up out of it. Raised arms went unanswered and Bradbury fed the ball to Jamie Yila who twisted inside and out to get off a low shot that MCKenzie-Lyle could only parry, Bradbury there to finish off as the second attempt.

While Invicta had pressed for an opening for large spells of the half, it wasn’t until the 1st minute of stoppage time that Eddie Allsopp fired over from a tight angle.

Invicta came out with more impetus early in the second half but it took 10 minutes before Will Moses unleashed a shot from over 30 yards that dipped just wide of the bottom corner.

Moments later Invicta were punished for not properly testing Ben Bridle Card’s goal as Chatham won the ball high up the pitch before a swift move ended with Simon Cooper doubling their lead on the hour mark.

The host’s second goal killed the momentum Invicta had began the second half with, but Invicta’s defence kept Chatham at arm’s length and restricted them to just 3 long range efforts fort the remainder of the afternoon, only 1 of which forced a good save from McKenzie-Lyle.

It was Invicta who went closest to the game’s third goal in the final minute of the 90, substitute Seidou Sanogo collecting a loose ball inside his own half and carrying it until unleashing an effort from 25 yards that rattled the top of the crossbar.

Chatham saw out the win to take the 3 points that secured their spot in the playoffs while Invicta now look towards back to back home games with Concord Rangers and Dulwich Hamlet, looking to extend run of 4 consecutive home wins before a final day trip to Bognor Regis.