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Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley looks ahead to his team's historic FA Trophy match at National League Wrexham


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Boss Neil Cugley reckons Folkestone are capable of causing Wrexham some real problems ahead of their historic FA Trophy tie this weekend.

Isthmian Premier Invicta feature at the fourth-round stage of the competition for the first time in their history when they head to the Racecourse Ground on Saturday to face the ambitious National League outfit, who are seventh in their league.

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley. Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone manager Neil Cugley. Picture: Randolph File

Fans can watch the match - despite it being played behind-closed-doors due to Covid-19 regulations in Wales.

It will now kick-off at 5.30pm after both clubs last week agreed to live stream the fixture, with the start time needing to be changed to comply with UEFA rules as a result.

But Folkestone will not be able to train ahead of their huge fixture against Wrexham - owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney - with their league match at Horsham last weekend postponed following a Covid outbreak.

“Once we are there, and can look at the stadium and their pitch, it will be excellent,” said Cugley, who will be up against ex-Charlton and Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson, who will be in the home dugout.

“We will give it everything we have got.”

Invicta have already shown they can compete against National League sides this season too.

They reached the fourth qualifying round stage of the FA Cup before they lost a replay 3-2 to Eastleigh at Cheriton Road, despite Josh Vincent’s sending-off, having played out a 3-3 draw at the Silverlake Stadium in Hampshire.

Cugley enthused: “We have got to be positive. We have had a great run in it (the FA Trophy) whatever happens.

"As we showed against Eastleigh over two games, we have players that can cause them problems. It will be a good test for us and the players.

“Once the players get there, they will want to show how good they are.”

Folkestone had looked set to lose out on a fair amount of money, with no fans able to watch the game at the ground, until the decision was made to live stream the fixture. All profits from the stream will be split between the clubs, as per FA Trophy rules.

Cugley conceded: “Lots of emails have been flying about, but I think we are sorted now.

“Hopefully, people will be able to stream it and are still able to watch it live. That will be good.

“We will make a bit on the day but it’s not been ideal. Last week was a bit manic!”

On the Horsham postponement, Cugley, who said he had “quite a few” positive cases in his camp, added: “It’s just frustrating, really.

“We are doing well and want to be playing. We wanted another game and training session before Wrexham - but that’s gone out of the window now. It’s just disappointing.

“We had a nice win against Leatherhead and we’re second in the league, then everything gets turned upside down.

“Horsham were very good about it all.

"I think they had an outbreak last year, so they understood our situation.”

Cugley concedes it will be tough to assess players ahead of their match against Wrexham but hopes defender Ryan Johnson may be back, while attack-minded player Ollie Freeman could be fit enough for a place on the bench.

It will cost £10 to watch the stream. Details on how to sign up and pay for the stream are available from the Wrexham website here.

Prize money of £5,250 is up for grabs for the winners of the tie.

Folkestone visit Chichester in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday, while they have been drawn at home to VCD in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup.

Invicta's match at Horsham has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 22.

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