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    FOLKESTONE INVICTA            2     HENDON                  1

Folkestone Invicta came through Saturday’s Buildbase F A Trophy Third Round Qualifying tie with a narrow 2-1 win over Hendon at The Buildkent Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Scott Heard and Ade Yusuff scored the goals for Neil Cugley’s side but Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South club Hendon gave as good as they got.

Some sort of hangover from Invicta’s recent dramatic F A Cup ties against Eastleigh and big league wins over Brightlingsea Regent, Kingstonian and Bognor Regis had been expected at some stage and this was probably it as Invicta did not reach the great heights of recent weeks but still got the job done- the sign of a good side they say.

Team news had seen Kieron McCann start a game for the first time this season after Jordan Wright had picked up an injury in Tuesday night’s excellent 4-2 win at Bognor and Tim Roberts return in goal as Alexis Andre also took a knock in midweek.

This was a close encounter from the off as the visitors made a positive start.

Shaun Lucien fired wide of the far post across goal when the ball was worked across to him on the right hand side in the fourth minute.

A tenth minute Lucien cross-shot then hit the top of the Invicta crossbar after Liam Brooks had found him on the right.

At the other end, a David Smith shot from the left was deflected off Sam Dreyer for the game’s first corner when the striker received the ball from Heard.

Wilson Carvalho got a 15th minte shot in from outside the penalty area when Ronnie Dolan gave the ball away but Roberts got down to save but not hold.

Roberts then had to come out a minute later to claim the ball ahead of Hamza Semakula.

For Invicta, Alfie aPaxman hit a well-struck 24th minute cross from the left after a Yusuff backheel but visiting goalkeeper Fred Burbridge claimed it.

The ball then rebounded off Ian Draycott and just off target a minute later after the record goalscorer had combined with Smith in a move started by Dolan and Paxman.

Lucas Perry made a dangerous 27th minute run into the box but lost control after being impeded in a move involving Tafari Moore, Lucien and Joe Budd.

Hendon ten gained their first corner in the 30th minute when Budd played the ball out to Lucien and it deflected off Invicta captain Callum Davies.

McCann played a deep cross from the right for Invicta on the half hour mark but Paxman could only head wide.

A Semakula shot on the turn from the edge of the area flashed past the post after Hendon captain Kieran Forbes had initially found Carvalho.

But Invicta broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when a McCann cross from the right was converted by HEARD after a fast-flowing home move. Heard has now scored in six of Invicta’s last nine matches.

Draycott then curled a 42nd minute shot at Burbridge from the edge of the area after another well-worked Invicta move.

But Hendon equalised in the 45th minute when Invicta failed to get the ball clear and LUCIEN found the net from the right hand side of the area after being picked out by Brooks.

Both teams have now scored in each of Invicta’s last six matches and in 11 of their last 12.

Yusuff hit a well-struck 52nd minute shot over from the edge of the box after the striker had initially received the ball from Smith and then exchanged passes with Paxman.

It was YUSUFF that scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 55th minute when he shot across goal into the bottom corner of the net from the right hand side of the penalty area, with Smith and Ryan Johnson involved in the build up.

It was Yusuff’s tenth goal of the season so far spread over three different competitions and he has now scored in each of Invicta’s last four matches, again spread over three different competitions.

Invicta threatened again in the 60th minute when Burbridge kept out a Smith header from a McCann cross on the right after Smith had initially found Yusuff.

Dolan then hit a well-struck shot from outside the penalty area just wide on the hour mark after Paxman had done well on the left hand side.

But Hendon themselves remained a threat as Semakula and Carvalho combined inside the penalty area but appeared to try to walk the ball into the net without getting a shot in.

The visitors then made a double substitution when they introduced Anis Nuur and Jayden Clarke as they continued to chase another equaliser.

Nuur was involved straightaway as he couldn’t direct his header goalwards from a Moore cross who had been found by Lucien on the right.

Dolan then headed away a 65th minute Lucien free kick from the right hand edge of the penalty area after a foul by Invicta central defender Matt Newman who was making his 300th appearance for the Folkestone club.

McCann blasted over from the right hand side when the ball was worked out to him two minutes later.

Smith received the ball from Yusuff and played Paxman in down the left hand side in the 70th minute but the latter over-ran it and Burbridge came out to claim.

Substitute Leone Gravata then fired over from the left hand side of the box at the other end a minute later after a well-worked move started by Moore and Lucien on the right.

Roberts saved at the expense of a 73rd minute corner to deny Gravata on the left hand side of the penalty area again after Nuur had played the ball out to him following a ball forward from Lucien.

Christian Smith found Nuur on the left and the latter’s 75th minute chip across goal just eluded Lucien at the far post as Hendon threatened again.

Invicta were under pressure as Paxman sliced over his own crossbar in the 76th minute and Lucien shot over from the right hand side of the box after a Clarke ball a minute later.

Substitutes Clarke and Nuur combined to find Lucien on the right whose 78th minute ball flashed across goal just in front of the in-coming Nuur.

Clarke hit a low 82nd minute shot wide of the far post from just outside the penalty area after Clarke had initially intercepted the ball and combined with fellow substitute Gravata.

Invicta brought defender Finn O’Mara on for Draycott and moved Johnson up into midfield.

The home side then had the game’s final chances cand had the ball in the net again in the 86th minute when Yusuff found Paxman on the left hand side and the low ball across was converted by Smith but the ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside.

Yusuff received the ball from Paxman and shrugged off Moore seconds later but Smith cleared.

Substitute Ollie Freeman held the ball up when Paxman played it to him on the left and Yusuff then took it on before firing wide during stoppage time.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Draycott (O’Mara 81 mins), McCann, Newman, Davies, Johnson, Heard, Dolan, Smith (Freeman 89 mins), Yusuff, Paxman.   Unused subs: Sterling, Everitt, Borrello, Collins.

HENDON: Burbridge, Moore, Perry, Forbes, Dreyer, Smith, Lucien, Budd (Clarke 62 mins), Brooks, Semakula (Nuur 62 mins), Carvalho (Gravata 69 mins).  Unused subs: Gordon, Corcoran, Plarerin, Alexander-Greenway. 

Corners: Invicta 2 Hendon 3

Attendance: 618.