Published: 06:00, 11 September 2019
Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley admitted it was quite a relief not to have been taken to an FA Cup replay by underdogs Whitstable on Saturday.
Invicta came through what had looked like being a potentially testing tie with a comfortable 4-0 win but the victory against their Isthmian South East rivals was not without cost.
Josh Vincent (calf) and Finn O'Mara (ankle) were already non starters at The Belmont due to injury and both Jerson Dos Santos (groin) and Scott Heard (dead leg) failed to finish the contest.
With striker Ian Draycott (wrist) still a couple of weeks away from being fit and Ronnie Dolan not yet at the end of his recovery trail Cugley is grateful for a week of respite.
He said: "We're very lucky we haven't got a midweek game because if we had, we might have been hard pressed.
"Jerson came off just before half-time with a recurrent problem and I would imagine he'll be out for a couple of weeks.
"Ian Draycott has had his plaster off but is still a couple of weeks away and while it was nice to get Ronnie on the pitch Saturday he's still not match fit.
"I'm sure by Saturday we'll have at least two of them back, but we'll keep training light."
The absence of Vincent and O'Mara against Whitstable meant Alfie Paxman moving from left to right back and Cugley said he acquitted himself well.
He said: "I had no specialist right back so we asked Alfie to play there and he did really well. He likes to play a bit further forward really but he's been playing left back and he's a great lad. He just takes it all in his stride."
Cugley was pleased with the manner in which his team tackled the Whitstable game but expressed disappointment when Monday's draw gave Invicta an away second qualifying round tie with Southern Premier Central side Kings Langley.
He explained: "Saturday was comfortable in the end and it was pleasing that we did look a league above them.
"That isn't always the case in cup games, but we played very well, especially in the second half when the lads stepped it up a bit.
"Kings Langley at home would have been a good draw, but away is not so good because we would have liked the crowd and all the benefits that come with being at home."
Invicta return to league action on Saturday when the Bostik Premier leaders host Bishop's Stortford, who are also enjoying a good start to the season.
Cugley admits confidence within the camp is high but he won't be taking Stortford – or their prolific veteran striker Jamie Cureton – lightly.
He said: "All credit to the players, they've really just carried on where they left off last season.
"They've set high standards and at the moment we're maintaining them but there are so many good teams in this league we know how quickly things can turn around.
"Stortford are a good side and Jamie Cureton is a credit to himself, to be in his 40s (he's 44) and doing what he does is a fine achievement."
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