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Margate 1 Folkestone Invicta 3 - match report

By Mark Stokes

Folkestone Invicta came from behind to win their New Year's Day derby at Margate and secure a third successive win in the Bostik Premier.

Jordan Chiedozie's 18th goal of the season gave Margate an early lead but by half-time Invicta had turned the game around through Scott Heard and Kieron McCann.

Micheal Everitt's header made it 3-1 early in the second half and despite Chiedozie, Frannie Collin and Ben Swift all going close after that the Gate were unable to prevent a third straight defeat.

Scott Heard
Scott Heard

The teams had gone into the match having experienced contrasting fortunes over the holiday period.

Gate had been on a nine-game unbeaten run going into Christmas before losing 4-3 at home to Wingate & Finchley and then 4-2 at Dorking Wanderers on Boxing Day.

Invicta meanwhile had taken seven points from nine snatching a last-gasp 2-2 draw at Needham Market before successive 3-1 home wins over Tonbridge and Burgess Hill.

The visitors made just one change with Nat Blanks coming in for Matt Newman while Gate boss Steve Watt gave a debut to ex Leatherhead midfielder Sam Blackman who signed before the weekend.

Keeper James Russell was handed his second start, while Matt Bodkin and Kane Haymsan were restored to the starting line-up.

The first chance of an entertaining first half fell to Invicta's Ian Draycott who whistled a shot just wide after a good pass from Blanks inside four minutes.

Six minutes later Gate's Dave Martin played in Chiedozie but his first touch was a bit heavy which enabled Invicta keeper Tim Roberts to block with his legs.

Seconds later Chiedozie made no mistake this time rifling home from 12 yards after Roberts had initially blocked Collin's close range effort.

The game had a real cut and thrust feel to it and twice Ade Yusuff brought Russell into action first with a low cross to the near post and then with a free-kick which he curled over the wall but straight at the keeper.

Invicta's equaliser arrived 11 minutes from the break and was a real cracker from Heard who came in off the wing before curling a superb left-foot shot into the far corner - for his third goal in as many games.

Gate debutant Blackman then forced Roberts to save well before Invicta took the lead on 41 minutes as Sam Hasler's superb deep corner was turned home at the far post by McCann.

They might have gone further in front before half-time when first McCann saw a shot deflected over and from Heard's corner Yusuff headed just over.

However the visitors needed less than 90 seconds of the second half to extend their advantage as Heard's corner was headed down at the far post by half-time substitute Ryan Cooper and Everitt headed home from close range.

Gate's Collin was desperately unlucky to see his curling effort hit the upright on 51 minutes and Swift also saw a header blocked by Roberts as Gate sought a way back.

The Invicta keeper twice then came to his side's rescue on 68 minutes, first turning aside Chiedozie's fierce low drive at the near post and then flying away to his left to keep out Swift's header from the corner.

Chiedozie had another excellent chance with seven minutes left but he put his header too close to Roberts who saved comfortably completing another disappointing afternoon for the Gate.

Margate: Russell, Bodkin, Wynter, Rogers, Friend, Swift, Haysman, Blackman (Prescott 71mins), Chiedozie, Collin, Martin (Enver-Marum 71mins); Subs: Lee, May, Bray.

Invicta: Roberts, Wright (Cooper 46mins) Blanks, Everitt (Dolan 71mins), Davies, O'Mara, Hasler, Heard, Draycott, Yusuff, McCann; Subs: Taylor, Shaw.

Attendance: 653.

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