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Folkestone Invicta
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 SCORE  1-3  Gate 468

DATE  16/11/19.  For the Match Preview click HERE

Video of Game click  HERE

Folkestone Invicta re-affirmed their credentials as BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division title contenders with a 3-1 win away to fellow challengers Enfield Town on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals from Scott Heard (2) and Ira Jackson.

A first ever win for the Folkestone club at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium was the perfect tonic for Neil Cugley’s side after the disappointment of their 4-3 F. A. Trophy defeat at Maldon & Tiptree on Wednesday night.

Scoring another three goals away from home again demonstrated Invicta’s attacking prowess and the visitors’ defence had to stand form to withstand a second half onslaught as Enfield threw everything at them after Invicta had led 2-0 at half time. Goalkeeper Henry Newcombe again also contributed with some good and important saves.

Invicta had to make one enforced change to their midweek starting X1 as Finn O’Mara came in at right back for the absent Josh Vincent.

The home side went forward in the fifth minute when Billy Bricknell and Sam Youngs combined to find Bobson Bawling on the left hand side of the penalty area but Invicta central defender Matt Newman blocked to keep the ball out from Muhammada Faal from close range at the expense of the game’s first corner.

Invicta then gained their first corner in the eighth minute when Heard combined with Alfie Paxman down the left hand side and the former’s ball in was put out by Joe Payne in a move started by Sam Hasler and Kieorn McCann.  Hasler then cut inside and fired over when combining with Jackson following the subsequent corner from the right.

The visitors had two openings in the 13th minute as Ronnie Dolan and Paxman combined to find McCann on the left but Payne got to the ball into the box before Jackson.  Jerson Dos Santos then cut in from the left hand side but shot wide seconds later.

Invicta were enjoying the better of the early exchanges as captain Callum Davies headed a 15th minute Hasler from the left wide.

Dos Santos then played the ball over to O’Mara on the right hand side of the penalty area two minutes later and the latter took a touch but Payne blocked.

At the other end, Bricknell held the ball up in the 18th minute and Scott Thomas played the ball out to Sam Hatton on the right whose cross found former Dover Athletic and Billericay Town striker Bricknell in the box but Dolan blocked.

Tall home striker Faal then became the game’s first booking a minute later for handling the ball as Invicta goalkeeper Newcombe attempted to clear.

McCann got a 23rd minute shot in but home goalkeeper Nathan McDonald saved at his post after Dos Santos had nodded on a Davies ball forward.

Bricknell then got a shot in at the other end when receiving the ball from Youngs two minutes later but Newcombe held.

Invicta broke the deadlock in the 26th minute when JACKSON combined with Heard and got into the penalty area to fire into the net from the right hand side.

Enfield responded as Bawling made a dangerous run down the right hand side a minute later but fired over.

But it was 2-0 to Invicta in the 32nd minute when Hasler played the ball out to McCann on the left whose chip across goal was headed in by HEARD from close range.

Dos Santos and Heard then combined in the 36th minute when the ball wouldn’t quite fall for Jackson and Heard thumped his shot into a defender’s chest.

Heard and Dos Santos combined again three minutes later to find McCann on the left whose low shot was wide across goal after the visitors broke when O’Mara got to the ball before Faal.

Enfield went close in the 40th minute when Faal played it into Bricknell whose shot on the turn was met by a good Newcombe save over the crossbar following a stray Jackson ball back to Ryan Blackman.

The game’s big talking point soon followed when a flying challenge from Invicta left back Paxman resulted in Blackman having to be stretchered off in the 43rd minute.  It let referee Stuart Kyle with a difficult decision to make and he opted for a yellow card when the home side and supporters were baying for a red.

Referee Kyle had a good game as he kept his head in an often highly charged atmosphere when many around him were on the verge of losing theirs.

A Hatton free kick from the right was met by home captain Marc Weatherstone and Faal headed at Newcombe as Enfield appealed for handball and a first half stoppage time penalty.

But unlike at Maldon & Tiptree on Wednesday night, this time Invicta held their 2-0 lead until half time.

Hatton, Weatherstone and Payne worked the ball out of the home defence in the 47th minute when Bawling’s ball into the box from the left hand side was headed away by Paxman.

Dolan broke for Invicta in the 53rd minute when Dos Santos played it out to Jackson on the right who played the ball in to Dolan who got his shot in but McDonald got down to save.

Enfield got the lifeline that they were looking for in the 56th minute when Weatherstone headed the ball on to Bawling and Bricknell threaded it through to FAAL who applied a good finish into the net.

The ball then fell to Bricknell inside the penalty area two minutes later whose shot on the turn was blocked by Newman.

There was a good chance for a home equaliser in the 59th minute when after Heard had found McCann for Invicta another stray Jackson ball back allowed Bricknell to combine with Faal but with Bricknell one-on-one with Newcombe the goalkeeper did well to come out and save and all that the home side gained was a corner.

The home side was enjoying its best spell of the game as Bawling and Youngs combined on the left in the 61st minute when Youngs got a low shot in from just outside the penalty area but Newcombe got behind it.

Invicta remained a big threat on the break and Jackson took the ball on but fired over when Hasler put him through in the 62nd minute.

Jackson then cut in from the right but Thomas blocked his shot when Hasler played the ball out wide two minutes later after Paxman had headed the ball out of defence to McCann.

Home substitute Ken Charles played a 67th minute ball out to Faal on the right hand side but the ball into the box was cleared by Dolan after Thomas had dispossessed Hasler.

Weatherstone received the ball from goalkeeper McDonald and played the ball out of defence in the 71st minute and Faal put Bricknell through again but the striker didn’t get enough power on his shot to beat Newcombe.

Dolan received the ball from McCann in the 74th minute and played it in to Hasler who took it on and got his shot in from the left hand side of the penalty area but McDonald palmed the shot away at his near post.

The nearest Enfield came to an equaliser was in the 76th minute when after a quickly taken Youngs free kick Bawling’s effort was touched onto the post by Newcombe.

After a Payne throw in from the left was nodded on by Faal a minute later Newcombe saved Youngs’ shot on the turn.

Faal then couldn’t quite get Hatton’s long 82nd minute ball forward under control as the home side chased a late equaliser.

The home side went three at the back when Charles Brown came on for Hatton a minute later.

Payne was booked for bringing Jackson down on the right flank in the 84th minute.

Jackson was then to play down the middle when Johan Ter Horst came on for Dos Santos.

Enfield tried everything going into stoppage time as Payne came across from left to right to take a long throw in into the Invicta penalty area and a Youngs corner from the right went out for a corner on the left, from which Newcombe made another save.

Brown became the home side’s third booking as he impeded Dolan who broke into the penalty area.

As Invicta had one last free kick to defend following a foul by Hasler on Youngs, Invicta broke as Heard put Jackson through who went round goalkeeper McDonald but was forced wide and Thomas cleared off the line, but the energetic HEARD was there to follow up and seal the points with his second goal of the game.

Invicta have a stop-start fixture list at the moment as they are without a home game throughout November and without a fixture now of any kind until November 30th when they visit Lewes.

The Folkestone club’s most recent two opponents – Enfield Town and Maldon & Tiptree – meet each other in the F. A. Trophy this coming Saturday, November 23rd.

ENFIELD TOWN: McDonald, Hatton (Brown 82 mins), Payne, Thomas, Weatherstone, Muleba, Youngs, Blackman (Charles 45 mins), Bricknell, Faal, Bawling.  Unused subs: Wilson, Mubiayi, Esan.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Newcombe, O’Mara, Paxman, Newman, Davies, Hasler, Heard, Dolan (Ter Horst 84 mins), Jackson, Dos Santos, McCann.  Unused subs: Everitt, Blanks, Roberts

Corners: Enfield 6 Invicta 2