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Folkestone Invicta manager Andy Drury insists squad still isn’t finished article despite signing Dean Rance, Eddie Allsopp and Louis Collins

Manager Andy Drury insists Folkestone’s squad is still not the finished article - despite making three new signings.

The recently-recruited trio of midfielders Dean Rance and Eddie Allsopp, as well as returning striker Louis Collins, came off the substitutes’ bench in their goalless draw at relegation-threatened Haringey last weekend.

Former Ebbsfleet midfielder Dean Rance – made his Folkestone debut in the weekend goalless draw at Haringey. Picture: Andy Payton
Former Ebbsfleet midfielder Dean Rance – made his Folkestone debut in the weekend goalless draw at Haringey. Picture: Andy Payton

Invicta’s draw continued their decent start to 2024.

“Since we have changed formation, we have kept three clean sheets,” said Drury, who wants to bring in an understudy to goalkeeper Joe Coleman.

“The boys are still working hard so we need to look at the positives - it’s four unbeaten and three clean sheets.

“Every game, we’re building and we’re working hard to improve all the time and we’re still a fairly new group. I don’t think we’re the finished article, really.

“We’re one or two away from where we want to be. But full credit to the lads.”

Folkestone boss Andy Drury. Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone boss Andy Drury. Picture: Randolph File

Ex-Gillingham, Maidstone, Ebbsfleet and Dover player Rance has joined on an initial one-month loan from National League North Scunthorpe. Meanwhile, Collins has made his Cheriton Road comeback - having played for the club last term - and Allsopp counts Chatham, Charlton and Sheppey among his old clubs.

Drury noted: “They’re all going to add something to the group. They’re good characters, as well as good football players.

“Rancey came on for 30 minutes and was probably the best player on the pitch at Haringey in that 30 minutes. You could see his experience - we completed more passes in the last 30 minutes than we did in the first 60.

“Eddie came on and had a few nice touches, and Louis was a threat in behind. They’re all good additions.”

Boss Drury claimed he fended off competition from clubs as high as the National League for 32-year-old Rance. The pair were part of Ebbsfleet’s National League South promotion-winning squad together in 2017.

He said: “That comes down to the relationship I have got with Rancey.

“He had a few National League clubs come in for him, pretty much every National League South club in this area and even some in this league wanted him. But we have got him for a month and we will see what happens after that.

“In my eyes, he’s a National League player with us for a month. I think it’s good because the other boys can learn from him and we can get as much as we possibly can from him.”

Awful weather conditions at Haringey did little favours as Invicta and the hosts cancelled one another out.

Drury reflected: “It was just one of those horrible, scrappy, games. It was very windy and cold!

“Haringey are a bit up and down - but the one thing they do is they work their absolute socks off every game. We kind of cancelled each other out.

“The difference between Saturday and when we played Enfield and Margate was that we didn’t take our chances and, as the game went on, it got scrappier and scrappier.”

Drury, whose side are due to visit Canvey Island tonight, has also explained the decision to part company with winger Joe Boachie and why versatile defender Will Moses has joined Isthmian South East side Ashford on a one-month loan.

“Will has been a little bit in and out all season,” said Drury. “I see him as a centre-half.

“We have got a settled backline and, with Gayley (Ian Gayle) back from injury, what I don’t want to do is have Will sitting on the bench.

“Boachie has left, as well. He wanted to play football and was travelling a long way to be with us.

“He has moved on, which happens.”

Folkestone host play-off chasing Carshalton this Saturday and will face frontrunners Hornchurch at Cheriton Road on Tuesday. They then begin February at play-off occupants Billericay.

“Carshalton are on a decent run at the moment,” noted Drury. “We have got Carshalton, Hornchurch and Billericay in the next four games.

“Hornchurch are top and Billericay are probably the form team in the league, scoring fives and sixes recently against teams.

“It’s going to be a tough four games for us - but we’re on a decent run ourselves and lots of teams will not fancy facing us themselves.”

Academy midfielder Bradley Walledge has joined Canterbury City on a dual-registration basis.

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