First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Mon 1 April The Pilot Field
Hastings Utd
Folkestone Invicta

Manager Andy Drury was happy with his side’s 2nd half display at Pilot Field but too much has been left to do with David Smith’s goal just before half time unable to undo the damage of a 2-goal deficit.

Invicta travelled along the coast in high spirits having beaten Lewes on Good Friday to make it 4 wins in 5 while Hastings came off the back of a 5-0 win in North London against Haringey Borough as they continue to chase a playoff spot.

Drury was forced into a single chance to his lineup, Tom Derry having picked up a knock late against Lewes that was judged a risk not worth taking with 5 games still remaining. With Louis Collins going into the starting XI alongside David Smith, Jack Nelson came onto the bench.

Looking for revenge having been beaten twice already by The U’s this season, conceding after just 46 seconds was certainly not in the game plan. A long throw from the left was allowed to bounce inside the penalty area and Davide Rodari beat his defender to the ball to smash home his 5th goal against Invicta this season.

Invicta failed to gain a foothold in the game in the early stages as the hosts retained a large share of possession in their own half, but on 15 minutes a poor backpass that bounced and spun before it reached Charlie Grainger forced the Hastings keeper into an acrobatic clearance to spare his teammate’s blushes.

It took until the 32nd minute for either side to have another effort on target and, despite seeing very little of the football, it came from Invicta. A cross from the right was headed clear to the edge of the D where Seidou Sanogo met it on the half volley, unable to keep his effort down.

Things got worse for Invicta shortly after. A long ball down the left beat everybody and slight hesitation from Kai McKenzie-Lyle was enough to allow John Ufuah the chance to lift the ball over the keeper and into an empty net.

It may have looked like becoming a long afternoon for Invicta but we struck back quickly through top scorer David Smith. Sanogo latched onto a loose ball 10 yards inside the Invicta half and found the overlapping Michael Kedman who fed a perfect pass in behind defender Sam Gale who was brushed aside by Louis Collins, the Invicta 19 cutting inside and finding his strike partner who fired high into the net to halve the deficit.

David Smith heads back for the restart after scoring at Pilot Field

Hastings responded as Rodari laid off a chance for Jordy Mongoy to strike from the edge of the box, bu McKenzie-Lyle was equal to the fierce effort.

Having struggled to get enough much of the ball in the first half, Invicta turned the tables after the break in search of an equaliser, but it took until the closing stages to really threaten the Hastings goal. it was the hosts who got shots on goal first with efforts from the edge of the box either side of the hour mark, the first just wide and the second forcing a comfortable save.

With 15 minutes to go it was Smith who finally fashioned the first chance, stealing the ball high up the pitch and poking it through the legs of a second defender, but the Invicta forward was unable to get an early shot off on his right foot before being forced wide, eventually settling for a corner. Allsopp’s delivery was headed wide by Fregene.

Cameron Brodie was next to go close as he controlled a clearance on the edge of the area before firing a left footed effort narrowly over the crossbar.

A large travelling support made its way to Sussex on Easter Monday

With just under 9 minutes remaining an Allsopp corner was headed clear before a Hastings defender went down needing treatment inside the 6 yard box. 100 seconds later Allsopp restarted the match by the touchline, driving past his defender and delivering a ball across the face of goal that looked destined to be tapped in, only to be turned over from little more than a yard out.

Sam Cruttwell attempted to kill off the match as he struck a free kick from distance that flew with venom just over the crossbar.

With Drury sending Nelson and Ababio on for Sanogo and Brodie Invicta were throwing everything at it in the closing minutes and a cross from the latter was poorly dealt with before being fired over by Kedman.

The final chance came from an Allsopp free kick that was headed wide at the back post, leaving Invicta to head back to Kent empty handed.

Next up for Invicta is a 3rd fixture in a row against opponents from Sussex as we welcome Horsham to the Alcaline Stadium in Saturday.

Manager Andy Drury thanks the travelling supporters