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FOLKESTONE INVICTA                         1        GLOUCESTER CITY AFC           0

A 22nd minute goal from striker Ade Yusuff gave Folkestone Invicta victory amid difficult conditions against ten men Gloucester City AFC at a wet and windy BuildKent Stadium in Saturday’s big Emirates F A Cup Third Round Qualifying tie. 

The tie’s pivotal moments came when the visitors were reduced to ten men in the 19th minute after defender Jordon Thompson was given a straight red card by referee Tom Danaher as he pulled Yusuff down on the edge of the area after getting into a mess with tema mate Tom Harrison after Ryan Johnson hjad played the ball forward.

It was the third successive Emirates F A Cup this season in which Incicta’s opponents have been reduced to ten men.

The Folkestone side did not immediately capitalise from the free kick in an inviting position as David Smith received the ball back and his shot deflected for a corner.

But it was from Alfie Paxman’s corner on the right hand side that the goal followed as YUSUFF slid to poke the ball in amid a goalmouth melee for what was his fifth goal in the competition so far this season and, more importantly, what turned out to be the only goal of the afternoon.

Gloucester rallied after the sending off and goal and came desperately close to saving the day during stoppage time when substitute Benni Smales-Braithwaite struck the crossbar with a free kick.

The big team news had seen Invicta bring in new goalkeeper Alexis Andre, in place of injured regular Tim Roberts (groin).

Andre, a big French-born custodian, lives in Cheriton but has most recently played for Bristol Rovers, with whom he was there at the same time as new Gloucester manager Lee Mansell, who was taking charge of his hometown club for the first time.

Invicta had defender Matt Newman back but Josh Vincent was missing through injury which saw Johnson play on the right hand side of a back three alongside Newman and captain Callum Davies.

It was summer signing Johnson’s third different position in the past three matches – his arrival and the return of Yusuff have played a big part in Invicta’s unbeaten start to the 2021-22 season.

Ian Draycott – who broke the club’s senior goalscoring record in the number four shirt at home to Potters Bar Town the previous Saturday – here wore the number two shirt.

Yusuff fired narrowly wide after a good 11th minute turn on the edge of the box as Invicta started well.

The sending off and goal were to put the home side in the driving seat but Gloucester responded positively and became more of an attacking threat when reduced to ten men.

A 34th minute Newman header fell to Kevin Dawson and the Gloucester captain beat the defender down the right hand side but his cross was just too deep for Lucas Tomlinson, a new loan signing from Bristol Rovers.

Danny King then had a shot deflected for a corner a minute later when Ryan Galvin’s cross from the left came off Tomlinson.

Another King shot from the edge of the box was then blocked in the 37th minute.

Jordan Young cut inside and got a shot in from the right hand side but Andre made a comfortable save after a 42nd minute move that also involved Max Sheaf and Dawson.

There were opportunities at both ends in the 44th minute as Smith took the ball on inside the penalty area but couldn’t get his shot in after Yusuff had found Jordan Wright on the right hand side.  Young was then wide with a diving header after a Dawson cross from the right.

Smith headed wide when Wright played the ball in from the right hand side in the 51st minute after a move that also involved Draycott, Paxman and Scott Heard.

Gloucester substitute Bernard Mensah rifled in a low 57th minute shot but Andre got behind it after a ball from Young on the right.

Following a 74th minute free kick from the left the ball came back out to Johnson who hit a low shot wide of the target after a foul on Smith.

Johnson sliced the ball inside his own penalty area but Andre gathered in the 89th minute as Invicta edged nearer to victory.

Gloucester’s big chance followed in stoppage time when Davies was booked for a foul on Harrison and Smales-Braithwaite’s set piece struck the crossbar.

There were also bookings for Invicta’s Yusuff (50th minute) and Heard (76th minute) and for Gloucester’s Harrison (78th minute foul on Paxman).

The vast majority of the 669 crowd was crammed into the two covered stands due to the inclement weather.

The tie had similarities to a Fourth Round Qualifying tie in October 1989 when Gloucester won 1-0 away to the old Folkestone club at Cheriton Road on another miserable day weather-wise when Gloucester were again one division higher than their Folkestone counterparts.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Andre, Draycott, Wright, Newman, Davies, Johnson, Heard, Dolan, Smith, Yusuff, Paxman.   Unused subs: Freeman, Sterling, O’Mara, Everitt, Collins, Borrello.

GLOUCESTER CITY AFC: Cole, Leadbitter, Galvin, Harrison, Thompson, Robert, Sheaf (Smales-Braithwaite 75 mins), Dawson, Tomlinson, Young (Jordan 58 mins), King (Mensah 45 mins).  Unused subs: Armstrong, McGlip, O’Sullivan, Chambers-Parrilon. 

Corners: Invicta 5 Gloucester 4

Attendance: 669.