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Key trio set to return for Folkestone Invicta ahead of FA Cup clash against Tooting

By Alex Hoad

Neil Cugley hopes three key players will be fit for Folkestone’s FA Cup clash at home to Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday.

The manager saw versatile defender Matt Newman fail a fitness test on a calf problem before Saturday’s Bostik Premier game at home to Staines, while strike duo Ade Yusuff and Ian Draycott were also advised to sit out by medical staff due to tight hamstrings.

Cugley said: “We had three fitness tests and they all failed. You don’t expect that. With the amount of games we have to play, it was not worth the risk.

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Gary Browne
Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Gary Browne

“We haven’t got a big squad but it’s a nice size and it’s well balanced and we were able to come through and win without them.”

The 2-0 victory against a side who had started well and scored 13 goals in their opening five games, left Cugley’s side in eighth, with 11 points from their six games.

Cugley said: “We played well and got a good result against a decent team, despite missing those three players. Things are going all right at the minute.

“Hopefully, those three will be fine to play, a lot of people will come out to support us on Saturday and help make it a good day for the club.”

Prize money of £4,500 and a place in the hat for Monday’s third qualifying round draw awaits the winners of Invicta’s clash with Tooting & Mitcham – promoted from Bostik South last season.

Cugley said: “It’s a home draw, against a side in our division and one below us in the table. There is a lot of prize money at stake – it would take a club like us an awfully long time to raise that.”

After last night’s win against Greenwich Borough in the Kent Senior Cup, midfielder Ronnie Dolan will now have surgery on a long-standing ankle problem.

Cugley said: “We managed to persuade him to play on Saturday to help us out and it’s a shame because he played well but although we haven’t got an exact recovery time, we expect it will be a couple of months.”

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