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Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley set to welcome back three defenders as team close in on Isthmian Premier Division leaders

Boss Neil Cugley is set to welcome back three of Folkestone Invicta’s defensive options in a further boost to their squad.

Second-placed Invicta moved to within two points of the top of the Isthmian Premier Division table on Saturday, claiming a 1-0 victory against leaders Worthing.

Folkestone’s defence – without the long-serving Josh Vincent plus the suspended Alfie Paxman and ex-Gillingham man Callum Davies who was unavailable – earned a clean sheet against the league’s top scorers.

Ian Draycott – made himself available for Folkestone
Ian Draycott – made himself available for Folkestone

Cugley explained: “We had a couple of players missing at the weekend but we will have them back now.

“It’s a good position for Folkestone to be in.

“We have gone down to Worthing, who are the top scorers in the league, and we have kept a clean sheet with three of our regular back four not playing so we are delighted with that.”

Jordan Wright has helped to fill the void at the back for Folkestone in their last couple of matches while striker Ian Draycott, who’s been playing dual-registration at Chatham, came on in the second half with Chatham’s Southern Counties East match against Glebe postponed.

Cugley said: “I got a call at 10.30 in the morning to say Chatham’s game was off and ‘Do you want me?’ That was very good of him but that’s what Ian is like.

“Obviously, Chatham were happy with him having a game.

“It was similar with Jordan Wright. He has been with Sheppey on dual-registration but he’s come in.

“He did me a big favour, especially with Alfie Paxman suspended and Nat Blanks getting a bit of an injury.”

The solitary goal at Woodside Road came in the 87th minute when Ira Jackson scored his 14th goal in his last 18 games.

“He had a fairly quiet game for him,” Cugley said. “But it’s good when forwards have a game like that and then pop up with a goal.

“Their keeper (Carl Rushworth) made a great save in the first half and it took something special to beat him, but Ira has come up with the winner for us.

“Credit to him, since he has had a regular run of games in the side, he has been excellent.

“He has been a dangerous player for us and I’ve been delighted with him.”

Folkestone’s trip to Isthmian North Basildon last night (Tuesday) in the Velocity Trophy was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. They host relegation-threatened Wingate & Finchley this Saturday.

Cugley said: “On Saturday, we go to the other side in terms of league positioning where they are fighting for their lives.

“Nobody seems to want to come out of this league.

“They will come here on a better run of form and they will want to get points to help them stay up.

“In this league, all matches are difficult. But the win on Saturday has given a lift to the players.”

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