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Missed chances cost victory as Folkestone fail to score in a home league game for the first time in 16 months



Fourth in the table Folkestone Invicta and fifth placed Whyeleafe could not be separated as they played out a goallesse draw in the Ryman League Division One South at The Fullicks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The two sides had drawn 1-1 on Whyteleafe’s new 3G pitch back in August and Invicta were here left to rue missed first half chances before Whyteleafe threatened to win the game after the interval.

Mamager Neil Cugley made one enforced change as Callum Wraight came in at left back for the previously ever present Nat blanks (unwell) on a fairly sunny but cold afternoon.

Invicta went forward from the start as visiting goalkeeper Sheikh Ceesay palmed way an Ian Draycott strike inside the opening minute.

A seventh minute Jordan Wright shot was then blocked by a defender when Draycott played the ball in from the right.

At the other end, Leafe’s Jason Henry drilled a low shot at Invicta keeper Tim Roberts when strike partner Roscoe D’Sane played the ball back to him after it had come off Frankie Chappell’s head.

Draycott found Jon Pilbeam (pictured) on the right hand side in the 22nd minute and the latter’s ball in found Wright at the far post but the midfielder’s volley was blocked by a defender.

Whyteleafe centre half Dylan Merchant got across to make a vital interception two minutes later when Pilbeam played the ball back for Wright in a move started by Matt Newman.

Striker Henry fired well over the Folkestone bar after burly visiting captain Jason Thompson had sent over his side’s first corner of the game in the 25th minute.

At the other end, Paul Booth met a hanging cross from the left hand by Wraight a minute later but the striker could not guide his header into the net.

Pilbeam got the byeline on the right hand side of box in the 27th minute and played the ball in towards Draycott but it was put out for a corner by a defender.

D’Sane then shot wide for Whyteleafe when he met Thompson’s free kick.

Pilbeam’s ball in was blocked by defender Merchant on the half an hour mark and goalkeeper Ceesay palmed away a 32nd minute Pilbeam strike.

Wright and Pilbeam combined to create an opening in the 35th minute but when the latter played a return pass for the former to meet, Thompson did well to block.

Draycott played the ball through to Booth just seconds later but the ball was touched past the post for a corner.

Striker Draycott volleyed wide when Alex Penfold miscued and Thompson attempted to clear a 38th minute Newman free kick, while Roberts got down to save when Sam Clayton shot from outside the penalty area a minute later.

Invicta had a good chance in the 42nd minute when Draycott and Wright combined to play Wraight in down the left and the teenager’s inviting cross was met by a Booth header but Ceesay was able to save.

Wraight and Draycott combined to play Wright in down the left hand side in the 52nd minute but the latter miscued wide after tee-ing himself up.

But Invicta were not having things all their own way as Henry cut in from the right and shot at Roberts after a Sol Patterson-Bohner throw in.

Then D’Sane cleverly took the ball past Invicta captain Liam Friend after receiving it from Henry in the 64th minute and let fly with a good strike just wide of the far post.

The visitors did have the ball in the net two minutes later when a crowd of players ran on to meet Thompson’s ball forward and defensive partner Merchant lifted it over Roberts but the ‘goal’ was ruled for offside.

Experienced ex-Football League campaigner D’Sane threatened again as he took Friend on when receiving the ball from Patterson-Bohner ten minutes later but Chappell got there to clear when the ball was cut back for substitute Greg Andrews.

Lively right back Patterson-Bohner got forward again and put in a good delivery across goal after going past Newman.

Invicta re-adjusted as Reece Palmer came on for the injured Josh Vincent, with Wright moving to fullback.

Wraight played youth team mate Palmer in down the left in the 85th minute and Ceesay saved at his near post for a corner, from which substitute Ronnie Dolan’s good ball in flashed across the Whyteleafe goalmouth.

But Whyteleafe went close to snatching victory when home goalkeeper Roberts found himself stranded and Patterson-Bohner lifted the ball across goal from the right hand side but Wright coolly blocked on the line.

There were bookings for Invicta’s Chappell and for Whyteleafe’s Bentley Graham, Merchant and substitute Andrews.

This was the first time Invicta had failed to score in a home league match since losing 1-0 at home to Walton Casuals in August 2013.

Both sides were photographed before the match - see below - as part of ‘Football Remembers Week’ organised by the FA to commemorate one of the most iconic moments of the First World War, the 1914 Christmas Truce football match.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent (Palmer 78), Wraight, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Wright, Pilbeam, Draycott, Booth, M. Everitt (Dolan 57).  Subs not used: Edge, Fedor, Fender. 

WHYTELEAFE: Ceesay, Patterson-Bohner, Penfold, Thompson, Merchant, Graham, Fowler, Grant, D’Sane, Henry (Pratt 90), Clayton (Andrews 58).Subs not used: May, Pykes

Attendance: 249.

Corners: Invicta 7 Whyteleafe 5