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Strike aces double up and Jordy deservedly gets off the mark at last as Invicta hit top form against Ryman new boys



Strikers Paul Booth and Ian Draycott both scored twice on Tuesday night as Folkestone Invicta enjoyed their biggest win of the season so far with a 5-0 victory on their first visit to South Park.

Jordan wright rounded the night off with his first senior goal as Neil Cugley’s side moved up to third place in the Ryman League Division One South table and took their recent run to 16 points out of the last possible 18.

The Booth-Draycott combination is vital to Invicta’s success this season and the partnership is currently flourishing as Booth has now scored seven goals in the last five matches and Draycott nine in the last eight.

This was 37-year-old Booth’s 50th appearance since joining Invicta from his hometown club Maidstone United last October and he has now scored 38 goals for the club.

Draycott himself now has 16 goals in 21 games since joining Invicta after helping Leatherhead to win promotion via the play offs last season.

It was three goals during a 12-minute first half spell that gave Invicta an unassailable lead at Whitehall Lane in Reigate.

BOOTH opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when his shot on the turn flew into the net from the edge of the penalty area after a Matt Newman free kick up to him.

It was the fifth successive game in which Booth has scored after a run of six games without a goal following injury.

DRAYCOTT made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when he also shot on the turn into the net after Jon Pilbeam had played the ball in from the right following a Newman ball out wide.

The lively DRAYCOTT struck again in the 34th minute when he slid the ball under Kieran Campbell from the right hand side following a Booth flick.

Goalkeeper Campbell was an emergency stand-in for South Park after previously ever present custodian James Wastell injured a hamstring late in the match during the Surrey club’s 3-1 home win over East Grinstead when the verteran Wastell -  an old adversary of Invicta - saved a penalty.

BOOTH made it 4-0 in the 77th minute when Draycott pulled the ball back from the right hand side after Pilbeam had shot from the left hand side in a move that also involved Micheal Everitt and Wright.

It was WRIGHT - pictured - who completed the scoring in the 84th minute when he finally got his first senior goal after some recent unlucky near misses in his first season at this level since joining the club from Lydd Town.

Wright still had to work hard for his goal, though, as his first shot was saved, a second strike blocked and a third one led to penalty appeals for handball before the 20-year-old shot into the net at the near post.

It was a special moment for a player who has qucikly made himself a first team regular.

Invicta had made two changes to the side that won 2-0 at home to Herne Bay on Saturday as Everitt returned from suspension in place of Roland Edge and weekend match-winner Pilbeam came in for Joe Taylor who had injured an ankle on Saturday.

South Park have come a long way in a short period of time as a senior club and seem to not be getting carried away despite going into the game in sixth place and on a run of seven unbeaten league matches.

The fixture saw the division’s leading marksman – Chris Smith of South Park – on the same pitch as Invicta’s free-scoring Booth and Draycott and on this occasion it was the visitors who came out well on top.

In the early exchanges, Invicta captain Liam Friend played a good ball out of defence to Booth on the right hand side in the 14th minute but goalkeeper Campbell palmed the cross way before Draycott could pounce.

At the other end, Nat Blanks – making his 100th Invicta appearance – played a cross from the right out for the game’s first corner before it could reach striker Smith in the middle in the 20th minute.

But Invicta soon broke forward and Wright shot into the side netting after a big clearance from goalkeeper Tim Roberts.

In between Invicta’s first and second goals Joe Jackson could not get enough power on his shot after a long throw in from the right.

Central defender Frankie Chappell then headed back to Roberts ahead of Smith on the half an hour mark when Nathan Ayling played the ball forward.

Jackson then got in behind Blanks but fired wide from the right hand side after a good ball from Ayling.

Invicta, though, were soon 3-0 ahead.

Draycott fired just over in the 38th minute and Campbell touched a Booth free kick from deep on the left past the far post for Invicta’s first corner of the night three minutes later.

Roberts then gathered a ball in from the right just before half time as Invicta remained firmly in control and here were showing the pedigree that has seen them make the play offs for the past three seasons.

South Park’s Ayling, Jackson and Justin David were all booked during what had been a tough first half for the home side.

Invicta went forward again at the start of the second half as a 48th minute Pilbeam shot from the right was saved and the ball ricocheted around the home penalty area and past the far post for a corner.

The home side then made a double substitution as Michael Smith and Matthew Ward replaced Jack Watts and Ayling.

Smith was soon involved as his shot from outside the penalty area dipped just over the crossbar.

Chris Smith then cut in from the right hand side but his shot was held by Roberts.

Invicta, though, were still creating chances as Wright shot over on the turn from the edge of the penalty area and a Pilbeam shot was blocked after good play from Booth.

Following Invicta’s fourth goal, home top goalscorer Smith hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that flashed wide and substitute Ward hit a 25-yard shot wide from the left hand side.

A double Invicta substitution saw Taylor and Callum Wraight come on for Booth and Blanks, with Reece Palmer later coming on for Draycott.

Everitt sent Taylor clear in the 82nd minute and the latter opted to unselfishly square the ball across from the left hand side to Pilbeam who somehow missed the target and put the ball over from close range at the far post.

But Wright was soon to open his Invicta account.

Invicta’s Blanks had been booked during the second half for a foul on Jack Stafford.

SOUTH PARK: Campbell, David, Hatfield, Stafford, Guscott, Watts (M Smith 64 mins), D Smith, Ayling (Ward 64 mins), Lavery, C Smith, Jackson.  Unused subs: Rice, Parratt.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, Blanks (Wraight 79 mins), Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Pilbeam, Draycott (Palmer 86 mins), Booth (Taylor 79 mins), M. Everitt.  Unused sub: Fender. 

Attendance: 132.

Corners: South Park 2 Invicta 4