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Folkestone Invicta
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Folkestone Invicta

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Sat 13th Aug 2022

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Folkestone Invicta
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Ashford Utd.


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Folkestone Invicta had to settle for a second successive goalless draw as they came back from Cheshunt with a point on Saturday following their midweek stalemate at home to Hornchurch.   You have to go back to March 2007 for the previous timetht Invicta had successive 0-0 draws (at home to Slough Town and away to Leyton).    Neil Cugley’s side remain unbeaten in their opening 12 games of the 2021-22 Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division season – the longest unbeaten start to a season that the club has achieved since gaining senior status in 1992.   Invicta also has the best defensive record in the division but came away here with concerns over defensive stalwart Matt Newman who limpede off around the hour mark here with what is feared to be a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out of the entire, albeit curtailed, 2020-21 season.   This was the start of five successive away league matches for the Folkestone side during November.   Worthing, who Invicta beat on the opening day of the season as an early indication that they too will be contenders this season, are now five points clear of Enfield Town at the top of the Premier Division.  Invicta remain in third place, eight points off the top with two games in hand.    Team news had seen captain Callum Davies return to heart of the Invicta defence after missing the midweek game against Hornchurch which saw Ryan Johnson move back up into midfield and Ian Draycott start on the substitutes’ bench.  Kieron McCann also started in place of the injured Jordan Wright whom he had come on for during the first half in midweek.    It was a windy afternoon at Theobalds Lane and in the early exchanges the ball was played over from the left to Zac Newton inside the box who couldn’t direct the ball past Tim Roberts when under pressure from Alfie Paxman.   At the other end, Invicta’s best chance of the afternoon fell to Ade Yusuff in the tenth minute when Paxman played the ball back but the striker skied the ball over the crossbar after Paxman had initially taken a throw in on the left hand side and combined with David Smith.    A 12th minute Reece Beckles-Richards shot from inside the penalty area was then blocked by Invicta defender Nerwman.   Big home striker Mo Camara then glanced a header wide after a cross from the left hand side on the quarter of an hour mark.   Invicta goalkeeper Roberts then had to push over a well-struck 17th minute shot from Cheshunt captain Joe Re for Cheshunt’s first corner after a ball from Beckles-Richards.   The stalemate continued as Invicta striker Smith hit a 21st minute shot on the turn wide of the far post after Scott Heard had combined with Paxman when Josh Vincent unusually found himself on the left hand side.   As they had done on Tuesday night, Invicta’s McCann and Paxman switched flanks.    McCann gained a 38th minute corner on the left when Ronnie Dolan’s good delivery just evaded Vincent inside the penalty area.   Cheshunt went close just 13 seconds after the interval when Camara and Beckles-Richards combined and the latter’s shot from the left was just wide of the far post across goal.   Invicta strikers Smith and Yusuff were in something of a battle with home central defenders Adam Crowther and Taylor McCenzie - the usual claim and counter-claim between opposing players all the way through.  Paxman lifted a 50th minute free kick over the bar after Yusuff had been checked following a run.    Re played the ball through to Beckles-Richards in the 60th minute but the latter was denied by an Invicta defender at the expense of a corner on the left.   Craig Edwards’ side thought that they had scored from the subsequent set piece which led to an almighty scramble inside the Invicta goalmouth but it was inconclusive as to whether or not the ball had crossed the line and the ball back in from the right was headed in by Crowther but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside.   Invicta had to make a change in the 62nd mi9nute when defender Newman limped off and was replaced by Finn O’Mara.   A 67th minute throw in from the right hand side found Yusuff and McCann got a shot in from just outside the box but home goalkeeper George Marsh got behind it at his near post.   McCann then hit high and wide of the far post across goal from the left hand side when Heard found him two minutes later.   Dolan tried to thread the ball through to Smith in the 72nd minute but Crowther intercepted.   At the other end, a Chevron McLean cross from the left was headed across goal by Newton a minute later.    A 75th minute ball was pulled back from the left hand side when an initial shot from home substitute Jamie Reynolds was blocked and Beckles-Richards’ low follow up was fired just wide.   Marsh touched an 80th minute Heard shot over the crossbar after a run from the midfielder down the middle following an initial clearance from the home goalkeeper that Invicta defender Davies returned forward.   Invicta brought on record goalscorer Ian Draycott or this season’s leading marksman Smith as any goal looked increasingly likely to settle it.    The visitors’ Johnson became the game’s only booking by referee Shelby Elson for pulling back Newton and curtailing his run after the home side broke.   Draycott lifted an 89th minute shot across goal but Marsh got up to save at his near post after Yusuff played the ball to him following a Paxman throw in on the right.   Cheshunt left back McClean took a stoppage time free kick from an inviting position on the side of the box but Roberts saved at his near post after Vincent had been penalised for a challenge on Beckles-Richards.    Invicta physio Abi Winstalney had been called into action towards the end of the first half to attend to an Invicta supporter who had fallen behind the goal.    This was F A Cup First Round Proper day when Invicta’s conquerors Eastleigh lost 2-0 away to Boreham Wood (now top of the National League) elsewhere in Hertfordshire on the road to Wembley.    CHESHUNT: Marsh, Ekongo, McLean, Gardiner, Crowther (Reynolds 72 mis), McKenzie, Beckles-Richards, Re, Camara, Miles, Newton.  Unused subs: Williams, Bobomurodon, Ojo, Taylor.     FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, McCann, Newman (O’Mara 61 mins), Davies, Johnson, Heard, Dolan, Smith (Draycott 79 mins), Yusuff, Paxman.   Unused subs: Everitt, Borrello, Collins. #   Corners: Cheshunt 5 Invicta 8   Attendance: 247.