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Top goalmen Wright and Draycott's second half strikes bring a very welcome revenge victory



Folkestone Invicta made it five successive home victories in  Ryman Division One South as Neil Cugley’s side overcame East Grinstead Town at The Fullicks Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a game important at both ends of the table.

Third placed Invicta gained two points on both second placed Faversham Town, who missed a penalty in their 0-0 draw at home to champions-elect Burgess Hill Town, and fourth placed Merstham, who needed a very late goal to draw 1-1 at home to Walton & Hersham.

Invicta kept the same starting 11 for a fourth successive match in a row on a miserable afternoon weather-wise.

A fourth minute header from home left back Nat Blanks threatened to let East Grinstead striker Andy Irvine in but the ball carried to home goalkeeper Tim Roberts.

At the other end, a seventh minute effort from Jordan Wright (pictured) lifted up at goalkeeper Seb Bos when the East Grinstead defence failed to clear.

Wright then threaded the ball through to Ronnie Dolan two minutes later and East Grinstead goalkeeper Bos and defender Guy Harding collided as they averted the danger.

Romario Hart and Emiliano Hysi showed good trickery inside the Folkestone penalty area after 10 minutes but Hysi’s shot was blocked by centre back Frankie Chappell.

The always lively Wright was again getting forward to good effect for Invicta and he was put through again by Ian Draycott in the 14th minute but this time just failed to get the ball under control.

At the other end, a free kick from, East Grinstead’s well-travelled captain Steve Sargent on the quarter hour mark was headed wide by Irvine.

But Invicta went ahead in the 19th minute when Ashley Miller unselfishly chose to square the ball to strike partner Draycott inside the box and Wasps’ hapless left back HARDING got back well, but put the ball into his own net.

The visitors then had their manager sent to the terraces for comments made to an assistant referee just after the half hour.

Wright received the ball from Blanks and put Dolan through on 35 minutes but keeper Bos came out to save at the expense of what proved remarkably, the game’s only corner.

A 40th minute Sargent free kick was thumped away by Roberts but fell to Harding who fired over from just outside the penalty area.

The first half ended with Bos saving well from Wright following a good run by Miller in a move started by the again excellent Micheal Everitt (left) and Wright himself.

Almost inevitably It was WRIGHT who made it 2-0 in the 51st minute when he fired in after Everitt’s effort was deflected into his path.

The 20-year-old midfielder has now scored in each of Invicta’s last four home matches and has scored five goals in the last five games overall.

Wright has now scored 15 goals in a superb debut season at senior level having joined Invicta from Lydd Town last summer.

East Grinstead made a double substitution as Tom Calrse and Richmond Kissi replaced Hart and Sargent, while Invicta soon replaced Miller with Richard Atkins.

Hysi found Carlse on the left hand side in the 65th minute and the latter fired over after his initial shot had been blocked by Chappell.

Matt Newman was making his 100th starting appearance for Invicta and deserved to mark the occasion with a goal after a virtuoso solo run into the penalty area in the 70th minute but was denied by goalkeeper Bos.

Dolan then had a 74th minute shot blocked by Harding after Draycott crossed invitingly from the left.

East Grinstead had a good chance in the 78th minute when Hysi played Carlse in down the left but the substitute shot wastefully into the side netting.

The visitors did pulled a goal back against the run of play in the 84th minute when Baff Addae found Carlse who touched the ball back for IRVINE to find the net.

Centre forward Irvine had been a member of the Tunbridge Wells side that reached the 2013 FA Vase Final at Wembley, along with Invicta’s Jon Pilbeam.

But Folkestone eased any nerves and restored their two goal advantage to make the points safe when top scorer DRAYCOTT (left) thumped the ball into the roof of the net after an 89th minute Newman free kick from deep on the right hand side.

It was goal number 37 for Draycott on his 50th appearance for Invicta in another remarkable debut season since joining the club from Leatherhead during the summer.

Draycott has now scored in Invicta’s last four home matches and has eight goals in the last seven matches.

This took him one goal clear at the top of the Ryman League Division One South goal-scoring charts but his race with South Park’s prolific Chris Smith for the Golden looks like in might go right to the wire.

Invicta's first ever league visit to East Grinstead in the autumn had ended eshock 2-0 defeat so tnis victory was revenge indeed.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Dolan, Draycott, Miller (Atkins 59), M. Everitt (J Everitt 77). Subs not used: Pilbeam, Wraight, Fender.  

EAST GRINSTEAD TOWN: Bos, Harden, Harding, Pykes, Pelling, Prescott, Hart (Carlse 55), Sargent (Kissi 55), Irvine, Whybrow (Addae 67), Hysi.   Subs not used: Sinclair, Boyle. 

Attendance: 230.

Corners: Invicta 1 East Grinstead 0

EAST GRINSTEAD TOWN: Bos, Harden, Harding, Pykes, Pelling, Prescott, Hart (Carlse 55), Sargent (Kissi 55), Irvine, Whybrow (Addae 67), Hysi.   Subs not used: Sinclair, Boyle. 

Attendance: 230.

Corners: Invicta 1 East Grinstead 0