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Folkestone Invicta lived to fight another day after holding big-spending Margate to a goalless draw in the First Qualifying Round of the F. A. Cup at The Fullicks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Neil Cugley’s side gave as good as they got and even shaded the first half before having a couple of second half chances to steal it but the home side’s goal led a charmed life after the interval.

Margate manager Terry Brown could only look on in exasperation as his high profile strikers continually failed to hit the target during the second half as the ambitious Ryman Premier League fired a blank for the first time so far this season.

Agonisingly wide

Substitute Jason Prior missed a gilt-edged 84th minute chance to win it when he froze and could not find a way past home goalkeeper Tim Roberts when given on-side after captain Charlie Allen had put him clean through.

The visitors almost paid a big price as Invicta substitute Connor Coyne’s deflected shot rolled agonisingly past the post during stoppage time.

Invicta had gone into the game with new signing Joe Taylor in the starting line up having joined from Farnborough Town, and young Jordan Wright making his starting debut.

Taylor, 23, had come through the ranks at Margate, for whom he had made his senior debut in a F A Cup tie, before going on to play for Ramsgate and Sittingbourne.

But it was Margate who had a great chance as early as the second minute when home captain Liam Friend’s stray back pass let Luke Williams in but the latter could not find the target after taking the ball wide of goalkeeper Roberts down the right hand side of the penalty area.

Ryan Moss then played the ball out to striking partner Zac Attwood on the right three minutes later but Micheal Everitt was there to clear in the middle.

Invicta then had an opening of their own in the eighth minute when Jon Pilbeam found Darren Smith but his shot went wide after striking Ian Draycott.

John Beales hooked his shot wide at the other end a minute later when Jack Bennett played in a free kick from the right hand side after referee Graeme Ions had pulled play back for a foul on Allen.

Attwood then headed wide after the far post after Bennett crossed from the left.


Taylor had an 11th minute chance to make an instant impact on his Invicta debut when Draycott and fellow debutant Wright combined to put him through but visiting goalkeeper Nikki Bull saved at the expense of the game’s first corner.

Home right back Josh Vincent then headed against the top of the crossbar when Smith played the subsequent set piece in from the right.

Invicta were enjoying a good spell as a 13th minute Smith shot was blocked for another corner by centre half Charlie Wassmer when the midfielder was found by Nat Blanks.

Smith hit a 25-yard free kick over the crossbar after a 20th minute foul by Wassmer on Pilbeam when Wright combined with Vincent.

Margate gained their first corner of the game in the 23rd minute when Roberts made an excellent save to touch the ball round the post when Attwood headed down a Williams cross from the left in a move started by Bennett.

The home side gained another corner of their own two minutes later when Taylor found Pilbeam and the latter’s cross in towards Draycott at the near post was put out.

Williams shot high and wide in the 27th minute when he took the ball on as Margate broke with Beales and playmaker Allen.

But this was clearly not going to be a stroll in the park for Margate as Frankie Chappell got good contact on a header across goal as Smith played in another corner from the right in the 33rd minute.

Invicta then had a clear chance in the 37th minute when Pilbeam was clear on the right hand side of the penalty area but Bull came out to save at the expense of another corner when Draycott combined with Taylor after Margate had lost possession when passing their way out of defence.

When the set piece came back out to Pilbeam his shot struck a team mate and went out for a goal kick.

Pilbeam curled a 44th minute shot just wide of the far post from the left hand side when Taylor and Draycott worked the ball out to him.

Invicta then went close again during first half stoppage time as Bull had to touch over a far post header from Josj Vincent - pictured -  when a deep Draycott cross from the left stayed in.

Former Bognor Regis striker Prior came on for Luke Moore at half time and was soon denied by a saving Chappell tackle.

Offside trap

Friend headed away in the 51st minute when Allen chipped the ball back in from the right hand side after Bennett had played the ball in to Moss.

Chappell then cleared again a minute later when Anthony Riviere played the ball in towards Attwood.

Prior put the ball over from close range when under pressure as an Attwood cross from the left was met by Moss at the far post in the 54th minute.

A ball from left to right beat the Invicta offside trap and let Riviere in a minute later and the former Welling star fired high and wide.

Friend cleared from close to the line in the 59th minute when Moss met a deep Bennett cross from the left at the far post.

Invicta put Pilbeam through the middle and Taylor on the left when Dane Luchford came on for Draycott to play on the right flank.

An Allen ball put Attwood clear on the hour mark but the striker fired another good chance over the bar as Pilbeam lay injured at the other end.

Invicta broke through Blanks after a Margate corner at the other end in the 63rd minute and Wassmer had to get across to clear from Taylor at the far post when Luchford sent the ball in from the right.

But Margate’s pressure was mounting as Allen got clear down the right in the 64th minute and Chappell had to clear after the low ball in and Attwood fired over again a minute later when Williams broke down the left.

Invicta had goalkeeper Roberts to thank again for a superb 69th minute save to deny Prior from close range when Moss played the ball across goal after being found by Beales.

The ball then somehow stayed out of the Invicta goal a minute later when Kane Wills found Riviere and the latter was lucky to be given a second bite of the cherry before playing a low ball across goal towards Moss at the far post.

Roberts got down to save a Williams shot past the post for a corner when Wassmer collected the ball from goalkeeper Bull and found Attwood.

At the other end, a 77th minute Pilbeam shot flashed inches wide of the post after a Blanks ball when Wright dispossessed Allen.


Bennett shot wide from the left hand side as Margate missed again in the 79th minute and when Prior missed his clear chance you sensed that the visitors were not going to score.

Another Margate chance went astray when Allen found Attwood and it was then Moss’ turn to fire over in the 90th minute when Prior nodded the ball on to the right hand side of the penalty area.

But Invicta had chances of their own during stoppage time as Pilbeam found Coyne - pictured right- whose shot rolled agonisingly aide as it rebounded off Wassmer and time seemed to stand still.

A Pilbeam ball in was then just ahead of Coyne in the middle as the pair combined again.

There were bookings for Invicta’s friend (handball in the 24th minute) and Margate’s Bennett (foul on Vincent during first half stoppage time).

It was Invicta’s first home goalless draw since a F. A. Trophy tie against Merstham two years ago.

But this was an afternoon that summed up the magic of the F. A. Cup that has lost none of its appeal at this level at least.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Pilbeam, Wright, Smith, Draycott (Luchford 59 mins), Taylor (Coyne 79 mins), M Everitt.  

Unused subs: Booth, Palmer, Fender.

MARGATE: Buill, Riviere, Bennett, Allen, Wassmer, Beales, Williams, Wills (Phipp 78 mins), Moss, Attwood, Moore (Prior 45 mins).  

Unused subs: Cash, Stuart, Beadle. 

Attendance: 565.

Corners: Invicta 9 Margate 6