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FOLKESTONE INVICTA                2      FAVERSHAM TOWN                    1

Folkestone Invicta successfully negotiated Saturday’s Buildbase F A Trophy First Round tie at home to Faversham Town with victory at The BuildKent Stadium as all three of the game’s goals came during the first half.

As with the previous round at home to Hendon, Invicta won 2-1 against opponents who pushed them all the way.

After Invicta’s start to their league season had come to a crashing halt with a 5-0 defeat at Carshalton on Monday night, the Folkestone side was looking for some kind of cathartic win here. They got the result which was the important thing but made somewhat hard work of things after going 2-0 up. At times it was a bit close for comfort although it has to be added that Luke Watkins had a good game in the Faversham goal.

Invicta had clearly missed Matt Newman at Carshalton and would have been pleased that the central defender declared himself fit again here just a week after he had limped off at Cheshunt the previous Saturday with what had initially been feared was a recurrence of the knee injury that had kept him out of the entire, albeit curtailed, 2020-21 season.

Invicta started well as the ball was played across to Alfie Paxman on the left hand side in the fourth minute but visiting right back Donvieve Jones threw himself to block at the expense of the game’s first corner.

The home side soon opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Paxman and David Smith combined to find Ronnie Dolan on the left whose low ball across goal was swept in by Kieron McCANN for his first goal of the season.

There were good chances at both ends a minute later as D’Jean Spencer went round home goalkeeper Tim Roberts down the left hand side and played the ball across for Tyrone Richardson-Brown but Newman cleared off the line.  At the other end, Dolan was put through on the left hand side but Watkins made a good save at the expense of a corner.

Invicta had two chances in the 14th minute as Paxman let fly but Watkins got across to save after former Invicta player Clark Woodcock had lost possession.  Scott Heard then shot over the bar from close range when Ade Yusuff played the ball across from the left hand side.

Invicta were on top at this stage.

It became end to end as Richardson-Brown did well to get the ball over from the right hand side but Josh Vincent cleared from close to the line at the far post.

McCann let fly when receiving the ball from Yusuff on the right hand side in the 19th minute but the shot came off Faversham captain Jono Richardson’s head.

Eddie Allsopp then found Richardson-Brown on the right hand side but the latter crossed wastefully out of play.

Yusuff shot on the turn just wide of the target in the 26th minute and a good ball in from Dolan then just evaded Heard in the box after a move that had earlier involved both Heard and Paxman.

Striker Yusuff combined with Paxman down the left hand side on the half hour mark when Watkins saved at his near post for a corner.

Richardson-Brown had another good chance in the 32nd minute but headed off target after Jones’ inviting ball in from the right.

Yusuff rifled a shot in for Invicta a minute later when Smithy played the ball up to him but Watkins saved again.

Allsopp hit a 36th minute free kick wastefully over the bar after a handball decision against Invicta captain Callum Davies when Richardson-Brown threaded the ball through. But Allsopp was to become an increasing influence for the visitors who had never previously reached this stage of the competition.

There was another chance for the visitors in the 40th minute when a corner from the left was met by Mobalaji Dawodu but the Invicta defence eventually scrambled the ball away.

Home goalkeeper Roberts then made a great 41st minute save when he came out to deny Spener after Allsopp had received the ball from Dawodu and played it through as the Lilywhites remained very much still in it.

But Invicta increased their lead in the 43rd minute when Paxman’s cross from the left was met by McCann at the far post and when the ball came back across goal Yusuff nodded it on and SMITH put it in.

It was Smith’s first goal since his excellent finish at Bognor – his second that night – when Invicta reached the peak of their purple pitch before a four-game drought for the striker that coincided with a lull in the Folkestone side’s performances.

Faversham, though, got a vital lifeline before half time courtesy of a sweetly-struck free kick from ALLSOPP in the 45th minute from an inviting central position just outside the penalty area following a push in the back by central defender Davies on striker Emmanual Oluwasemo.

Ryan Johnson found Paxman on the left hand side of the penalty area during first half stoppage time but Jones threw himself across to block.

Faversham made a change at half time as Benedict Bioletti came on for Woodcock and James Collins’ side remained a threat throughout what was to be a goalless second half.

Allsopp showed good skill and shot just over from outside the penalty area after receiving the ball from Oluwasemo in the 46th minute.

The Invicta defence then had to deal with a Richardson-Brown cross from the right after Newman had given the ball away two minutes later.

Dawodu then couldn’t quite latch onto a 49th minute cross from the left.

The ball was then worked out to McCann on the right at the other end a minute later when the goalscorer fired over.

But Faversham went forward again in the 51st minute when Allsopp got a shot in after a Richardson-Brown ball in from the right but Roberts saved.

Watkins was then called into action again as he denied Heard after two more Invicta shots in the 56th minute.

Bioletti had a 59th minute shot deflected over after another well-worked Faversham move and Richardson-Brown fired over when Allsopp’s corner from the right came back out to him.

Watkins came out to save again and deny Yusuff in the 69th minute when McCann played the ball through after Smith had found Heard.

Yusuff then had another shot blocked a minute later after the striker had held up a McCann ball inside the penalty area in a mo9ve started by Dolan and Smith.

McCann then blasted over across goal from the right hand side after a Dolan ball in the 71st minute following some good work by Paxman on the left.

Paxman was to drop to left back when Ian Draycott replaced McCann.

Vincent made a saving tackle to deny Faversham substitute Dean Grant after an 87th minute ball into the Invicta penalty area.

An 89th minute Grant shot then flashed wide across goal.

Invicta substitute and record goalscorer Draycott then had a 90th minute shot from the right hand side saved by Watkins.

But Faversham threatened until the end as Allsopp’s stoppage time free kick from the left was headed against the top of the crossbar by one-time Invicta player Grant.

A corner from the left was then met and cleared off the line by Paxman.

There were bookings for Invicta’s Johnson (late 66th minute challenge on Bioletti) and Yusuff (stopping the re-start of play after a stoppage time offside decision) and for Faversham defender Charlie Dickens (pulling Smith back in the 65th minute).

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, McCann (Draycott 71 mins), Newman, Davies, Johnson, Heard, Dolan, Smith (Freeman 84 mins), Yusuff, Paxman.   Unused subs: O’Mara, Everitt, Collins.

FAVERSHAM TOWN: Watkins, Jones (Bewick 73 mins), Dickens, Dawodu, Denny, Richardson, Richardson-Brown, Woodcock (Bioletti 45 mins), Oiluwasemo, Allsopp, Spencer (Grant 75 mins)O.  Unused subs: Eyles, Saccoh, Geddes, Ogboe. 

Cornes: Invicta 4 Faversham 6

Attendance: 708.