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Frustration for Folkestone as cagey Casuals refuse to play the game



Invicta had to settle for a point from their visit to a sunny King George’s Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Corinthian-Casuals have been on a good run since a January visit to Brazil to meet Corinthians in Sao Paolo in front of 26,000 fans and a television audience of millions.

The Tolworth-based side kept Invicta at bay after the Folkestone side had scored 24 goals in their previous eight away Ryman League Division One South fixtures, while Neil Cugley’s side itself kept a third clean sheet in four matches since conceding five on a rare defensive off-day at Carshalton.

The manager was forced into one change to their starting eleven as the versatile James Everitt came in for the unavailable Josh Vincent at right back.

The visitors had early penalty appeals turned down when home captain Joe Hicks climbed above striker Ian Draycott in the third minute.

Invicta enjoyed the bulk of possession, particularly early on when Jon Pilbeam was given plenty of space down the right hand side.

Captain Liam Friend and Matt Newman combined to pick Pilbeam out in space but the wideman’s ninth minute low cross  was too close to goalkeeper Danny Bracken.

Draycott (left) then chose to go it alone four minutes later as he got clear down the middle but slipped as he shot from outside the penalty area.

A low swerving 30-yard Draycott free kick was then not too far wide after a 19th minute foul on Jordan Wright.

Micheal Everitt found Pilbeam on the right a minute later but his cross just eluded Wright at the far post.

With the wind in their favour, the early exchanges had belonged to Invicta.

But the Casuals were still very much in the game and responded as Jamie Byatt found Mason Welch-Turner on the left hand side but centre forward Carl Wilson-Denis could not get enough power on his 25th minute header which drifted harmlessly wide.

The usually shaven-headed Byatt, incidentally, is currently allowing his hair to grow for charity and will, apparently, finish the season blond!

Maz Bettache played a 26th minute ball in to Wilson-Denis but Invicta central defender Frankie Chappell blocked.

Draycott headed at keeper Bracken when Newman played a good deep ball over towards the far post.

Home defender Hicks surged out of defence on the half hour mark and combined with Juevan Spencer but the former fluffed his lines as he lost his footing when shooting.

Invicta gained the game’s first corner in the 35th minute when a Pilbeam cross from the right hand side was put out of play.

Three minutes later Draycott’s shot was charged down and cleared before Chappell could capitalise.

At the other end a 43rd minute Ross Defoe cross from the left presented Danny Dudley with an opening but the latter headed across goal and off target.

A 50th minute Nat Blanks ball in from the left was just too high for Ashley Miller at the far post as the stalemate continued.

Byatt then let fly with a spectacular attempt that flew over the crossbar for the home side two minutes later after goalkeeper Bracken’s clearance fell to him on the left.

Spencer and Jake Downs combined down the in the 55th minute and the ball fell to Welch-Tuner in space on the left of the penalty area but Casuals had to be content with their first corner of the game.

Hicks became the game’s first booking for a kick at Draycott a minute later but Pilbeam’s subsequent fee kick was gathered by goalkeeper Bracken before Draycott could pounce.

The second half was more end to end as Invicta left back Blanks got to a 60th minute Welch-Turner cross from the left before Byatt could put it in at the far post.

Byatt’s subsequent corner from the right was met by Dudley who again headed away from goal.

Chappell cleared when Spencer played a 64th minute ball forward towards Byatt down the middle, while Wright shot over for Invicta from outside the penalty area a minute later when substitute Ronnie Dolan played a low ball across to him.

Invicta’s Miller was booked, presumably for simulation, when Draycott headed on Blanks’s pass forward.

Draycott shot into the side netting from the right hand side of the penalty area in the 70th minute and Micheal Everitt’s header bounced wide three minutes later after a Wright free kick for a foul on Miller.

Invicta goalkeeper Tim Roberts got down well to keep out a 74th minute Reece Placid volley when Bettache found Defoe on the left and his cross was met by the substitute at the far post.

Fellow sub Max Austin then shot into the side netting from the right when a throw in reached him via the top of Blanks’ header to take the ball beyond Friend.

James Everitt’s last touch of the match saw him glance a header wide following a 77th minute Blanks ball in from the left. Richard Atkins replaced him and went up front, with Wright dropping to right back.


An 86th minute Lee Hall free kick found Byatt inside the penalty area but the home striker could not make sufficient contact after Everitt was adjudged to have fouled Hicks.

Bracken got down to save when Miller took on Hall and got a low 88th minute shot in after touches from both Atkins and Draycott.

Goalkeeper Bracken saved again in the 90th minute when Draycott could not get enough power on his shot after Newman fired the ball into the penalty area.

Newman played a one-two with Dolan but could not quiet thread the ball through to Atkins as Invicta went in search of a stoppage time breakthrough.

Hall was booked for a knee in Miller’s back that saw the Invicta striker helped off the pitch by physio Dave Williams and the substituted James Everitt.

Callum Wraight came on for Miller deep into stoppage time and the home side also made a very late change as Andy Miller replaced Defoe.

It was Casuals’ own A Miller who almost snatched victory in the final seconds when he headed a Byatt corner from the left wide with his first and only touch and the final whistle was blown following Roberts’ subsequent goal kick.

The prompting of Matt Newman (pictured above) and a typically commiited performance from Micheal Everitt (below) made them the pick for the visitors on a largely disappointing day.

CORINTHIAN-CASUALS: Bracken, Downs, Defoe (Miller 90), Hall, Hicks, Dudley, Spencer, Bettache, Byatt, Wilson-Denis (Austin 59), Welch-Turner (Placid 67).Subs not used: Green, Gill

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, J Everitt (Atkins 77), Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Pilbeam (Dolan 62), Draycott, Miller (Wraight 90), M Everitt. Sub not used: Fender.  

Attendance: 205.

Corners: Corinthian-Casuals 3 Folkestone Invicta 3