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Invicta Claim The Bragging Rights

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On a thankfully cooler afternoon, Invicta beat local rivals Dover Athletic 1-0 in a hard-fought game at the BuildKent Stadium, where defences were in the ascendency for most of the game as both sets of forwards found it hard to make an impression.   


Invicta made two changes from the line-up that started in the 3-0 victory at Hythe Town last Tuesday with Scott Heard and Ade Yusuff coming in for Nathan Green and Ian Draycott, respectively. To accommodate the changes, Louis Yamfam slotted in at left back, Heard took his position in midfield and Yusuff went up front.


Invicta won the first corner after four minutes, it was played short to Heard on the right, but his cross was plucked out the air by Dover Athletic goalkeeper Stuart Nelson. Our opponents then made a couple of half chances themselves, as firstly former Invicta winger Luke Wanadio and Luke Baptiste combined before playing in Trialist ‘A’, but his cross was cut out, and then Baptiste was fouled and from the free kick Lee Martin fed Myles Judd, but Bailey Vose was there to collect his low cross.


In the thirteenth minute, we took the lead, the Dover Athletic defence hesitated, and Heard pounced on the loose ball just outside the penalty area, before advancing and planting the ball past Nelson. This was the Dover Athletic goalkeeper’s last action as he picked up a tight hamstring, and with them not having a substitute keeper, Invicta’s Connor Collins replaced him between the sticks.


Wanadio then sprung the offside trap down the right wing and played a decent low cross into the waiting Alfie Pavey, but he failed to make a proper connection and the ball looped up and was collected by Vose in the Invicta goal. Heard then went close at the other end, but his shot, from around twenty-five yards, was collected by Collins at the second attempt as it came through a crowd of players on the edge of the Dover Athletic penalty area. Trialist ‘A’ then burst through on the right-hand side but having got into a good position his low cross was well cut out by Vose, spreading himself at the near post to collect the ball.


Our opponents then suffered a further blow when Arjanit Krasniqi went off due to illness and he was replaced by Alfie Paxman, who unsurprisingly received a warm reception from the BuildKent crowd, but it was the other former Invicta player in their line-up, Wanadio, who was causing concern, as he again made a good run, reaching the by-line, but yet again the cross was a disappointing one as it was too high for Pavey in the centre. Heard then almost repeated his goalscoring feat, as he pounced on a loose pass from Paxman, but this time his shot was charged down and went for a corner. Ronnie Dolan took an excellent inswinging corner, but it flashed across the Dover Athletic goalmouth without anyone getting a meaningful touch, before Paxman then caused concern in the Invicta box when he sent in a good cross from the left wing, but as Pavey prepared to head goalwards, Robbie Dolan anticipated the danger and rose well to head the ball clear.


Before the break, Invicta had one more chance, Ronnie Dolan won the ball in midfield and burst forward before playing the ball to Yusuff who won a corner from which Josh Vincent turned the ball back goalwards only for Paxman to clear standing just off the goal-line at the far post. That was the end of the first half action and Invicta went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.


Ian Draycott replaced Ibrahim Olutade for the start of the second half which caused further positional moves as James Rogers went to left back, Draycott into midfield and Yamfam moved to the more attacking role up front. Our opponents stayed with the same eleven from the first forty-five minutes and they exerted the early pressure. After good combination play between Jordan Higgs, Judd and Wanadio, Vose was quickly of his line to prevent Baptiste latching on to a through ball, and then Martin sent in a low cross from the left, and although Draycott sliced the ball towards his own goal, Vose was again alert, catching the ball above his head. Our opponents then attacked down the right, with Judd receiving the ball from Trialist ‘A’ before crossing, but once again it didn’t reach its target and Vose was there to collect.


Invicta briefly threatened, as Draycott received the ball around twenty-five yards from goal, but the experienced striker sent his shot wide of the right-hand post. ‘The Whites’ then threatened again as after a shot had been charged down for a corner, Judd clipped a pass to Pavey at the back post and he nodded it back to Martin on the edge of the area, but his shot was charged down and then when it was returned, although Draycott appeared to have been fouled, Higgs follows up and this time his shot was blocked by Vincent and cleared. Paxman then had a chance, finding some space inside the penalty area on the right-hand side, but again the Invicta defence was up to the challenge and the shot was blocked and cleared. Trialist ‘A’ then had the best chance of the second half as a ball over the Invicta defence from Martin put him in the clear, but his attempted lob was a tame one and straight into Vose’s hands.     


Although Draycott caused concern with a speculative shot, Dover Athletic continued to press, as Pavey first volleyed wide from the edge of the area and then he headed a cross from Paxman over the bar, before Vose was again swiftly off his line to volley the ball away from the edge of the area. Although in the sixty-seventh minute, the away side made their first substitution when Reece Grant replaced Pavey, they went close again when from a corner on the left, Baptiste met the ball on the edge of the area but his shot was charged down and all of a sudden Invicta were on the break as Yamfam’s good ball sent Heard clear, but he was eventually outnumbered as the ‘Athletic’ defence closed him down. 


In the seventy-second minute, after a drinks break, Melos Ajvazi replaced Yusuff, whilst our opponents changed their centre backs with Tyrone Sterling and Mitch Brundle coming off to be replaced by Alex Green and Jake Goodman. Yamfam then had a shooting chance from the edge of the area, but he blasted the ball over the bar, and he was again involved as he was fouled on the left-hand side some thirty yards from goal, Kadell Daniel sent in a dangerous inswinging free kick and Robbie Dolan met it some six yards out but nodded over the bar. Heard was then fouled in a similar position, this time Ronnie Dolan sent in the free kick, but Collins plucked the cross out the air.


As the game drew to a conclusion there were further substitutions with Harry Skirwayi replacing Lee Martin in the seventy-seventh minute, before four minutes later, Invicta had to make a change when Rogers jarred his back and so came off for Lenny Atherton which meant another switch around, with Daniel moving to left back and Atherton taking his place in the forward line. Our opponents made two final substitutions in the last eight minutes with Trialist ‘B’ replacing Baptiste and Harrison Byford coming on for Judd.  

With neither goal coming under any further threat that was it, and Invicta registered a good 1-0 win to give us our second consecutive clean sheet and things are looking encouraging as we approach the season start with just one pre-season game remaining.


Speaking to Neil Cugley after the game, he said; ”I was delighted with the performance and result, I thought we defended extremely well, especially with Nathan [Green] and Ian [Gayle] missing, and I thought JV [Josh Vincent] fully deserved his ‘Man of the Match’ award. “That was our second successive clean sheet and in fact today both the Invicta goalkeepers kept a clean sheet!! “We’ll train again on Tuesday and work on a few things we noticed and I’m still working at getting a couple more in, but this is proving difficult at the moment, although I’ll keep trying to complete the squad ready for the challenge of the League.”  


The game was sponsored to mark the occasion of Ian Leckie’s birthday (although it wasn’t!!) and after the game Graham Dray presented the ‘Man of the Match’ award to Josh Vincent for his strong defensive performance. 



Finally, thanks to Andy Hessenthaler for bringing his Dover Athletic team to the BuildKent Stadium for the game, and everyone at Folkestone Invicta would like to wish them well for the forthcoming season.




Folkestone Invicta: Bailey Vose, Josh Vincent, Louis Yamfam, Robbie Dolan, Callum Davies (Capt), James Rogers (Lenny Atherton, 81 mins), Scott Heard, Ronnie Dolan, Ibrahim Olutade (Ian Draycott, 46 mins), Ade Yussuff (Melos Ajvazi, 72 mins) & Kadell Daniel, (Substitute not used: Micheal Everitt).


Goalscorer: Scott Heard (13 mins).


Dover Athletic: Stuart Nelson (Connor Collins, 21 mins), Myles Judd (Harrison Byford, 85 mins), Tyrone Sterling (Alex Green, 72 mins), Mitch Brundle (Jake Goodman, 72 mins), Arjanit Krasniqi (Alfie Paxman, 35 mins), Luke Baptiste (Trialist ‘B’, 82 mins), Jordan Higgs, Lee Martin (Capt) (Harry Skirwayi, 77 mins), Luke Wanadio, Alfie Pavey (Reece Grant, 67 mins) & Trialist ‘A’, (Substitutes not used: Noah Carney & George Nikaj).


Apologies if any of the above is incorrect but we weren’t given numbers for the Dover Athletic players so not all the substitutes may be quite right.   


Referee: Simon Finnegan

Assistant Referees: Howard Collins & Bradley Godden.


Attendance: 646, many thanks to everyone who came to the game today to support their team, hopefully you enjoyed the game. Thankfully, the traffic wasn’t as bad this week, so it wasn’t the ‘Congestion Derby’ unless this refers to blockages in the penalty areas!


Next Fixture: We are at home against Ashford United on Sunday 7th August for our last pre-season game which will see the sides competing for the Sid Burvill Trophy and the George Sargeant Memorial Shield. Please note, the kick-off time is 1:00pm.