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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley's instincts serve him well in historic FA Trophy victory over Uxbridge


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Boss Neil Cugley’s instincts served him well during Folkestone’s historic FA Trophy victory.

Second-half efforts by Josh Vincent and Ade Yusuff earned Invicta a 2-0 home win over Isthmian South Central side Uxbridge, with the club booking their place in round four of the competition for the first time in their history.

Kieron McCann and Ade Yusuff celebrate. Picture: Thomas West
Kieron McCann and Ade Yusuff celebrate. Picture: Thomas West

Their reward is a trip to Wales to take on Hollywood-backed National League Wrexham in the next round which is scheduled to be played on January 15.

But the prospect of fans being allowed to watch the tie was cast into doubt hours after Monday’s draw was made, as the Welsh government announced spectators will be banned from all sporting events in Wales from Boxing Day to try to control the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

Folkestone’s opening goal against Uxbridge saw their full-backs combine as Alfie Paxman crossed for Vincent who sent a header into the net.

Cugley said: “It’s funny, really.

"Because of how they played with a tight midfield, we said at half-time the full-backs had to be the outlet.

Yusuff celebrates netting his 15th goal of the season in the win over Uxbridge. Picture: Thomas West
Yusuff celebrates netting his 15th goal of the season in the win over Uxbridge. Picture: Thomas West

“Sometimes in football you get proved right, and sometimes, you get proved wrong. But we got proved right on Saturday, with Alfie Paxman crossing for Josh for the first goal.

“He’s got a few goals from right-back for us over the years.

"We are lucky to have him.”

Hitman Yusuff sealed the win at Cheriton Road 12 minutes from time with his 15th goal of the season.

“They were good. You can see why they are near the top of their league,” reflected Cugley on Monday, speaking prior to the Welsh government update.

“We had to change our system a little bit.

"We dropped another into midfield and I’m pleased to say that it worked. But it was hard work.”

Goalkeeper Tim Roberts was named player-of-the-match as he made a string of magnificent saves, earning praise from his manager.

Cugley noted: “In the last three games, he has kept three clean sheets.

“He was outstanding on Saturday. He showed what a good goalie he is.”

As a result of the Trophy triumph, Invicta collected another £4,500 in prize money.

Cugley admits his side’s run in the competition, and their FA Cup exploits earlier in the campaign, have provided a real boost to the coffers for the Isthmian Premier high-fliers.

He said: “We must be on around £30,000 in prize money, plus the gates we have had - although we don’t keep all of the money with that.

“Financially, it’s been very good.

"We have had a run in the FA Cup and pushed a National League side all the way over two games (in the FA Cup), we are still in the Trophy and we have only got two defeats in this league this season.

“It’s a tremendous achievement.

"I heard somebody say there’s not a lot of money in the Trophy - but you try and raise £4,500! It’s a lot of money for a club like ours.”

Second-placed Invicta switch their attention back to league matters with Merstham, who are 15th, visiting on Monday.

Cugley hopes defender Ryan Johnson (groin) could be back while Ollie Freeman (knee) is expected to be sidelined until the New Year.

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