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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley tells strikers David Smith and Ade Yusuff they should both be aiming for at least 25 goals apiece this season


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Strikers David Smith and Ade Yusuff should be aiming for at least 25 goals apiece this season, according to Folkestone manager Neil Cugley.

The duo were on target in second-placed Invicta’s 3-0 Isthmian Premier home win over basement boys Leatherhead on Monday, with both already on 17 goals this campaign.

Kieron McCann on the ball in Folkestone's 3-0 win over Leatherhead in Isthmian Premier on Monday. Picture: Randolph File
Kieron McCann on the ball in Folkestone's 3-0 win over Leatherhead in Isthmian Premier on Monday. Picture: Randolph File

Folkestone have had their fair share of prolific frontmen during Cugley’s long reign in charge, including the club’s all-time top scorer Ian Draycott. He entered the club's record books this season, scoring his 142nd goal in a 3-3 draw against Potters Bar in September.

“I think we are looking for at least 25 from both this season,” said Cugley of Smith and Yusuff.

“Any forward at Folkestone should score goals.

“I suppose that’s why, over the years, I have sold a lot of forwards. But to be fair, that (scoring goals) is what they are paid to do.

“Heardy (Scott Heard) scores quite a few from midfield as well, which is good.”

Smith won both of Invicta's penalties against the Tanners. He converted one himself while Yusuff also slotted past Leatherhead goalkeeper Myles Bowman with his own spot-kick.

Cugley admitted: “We are always quite a handful up front when we get it right.

“He (Smith) did well and got another goal which I’m sure he’s pleased about, after getting brought down for two penalties.

“It was a good win, really.

"They are going through a bit of a difficult time and they have about 70 players signed on but they were quite dangerous going forward. But we did enough to win the game.”

  • Folkestone defender makes team-of-the-week

Full-back Josh Vincent also struck against Leatherhead, netting his third goal in four matches as he capped a player-of-the-match performance.

Cugley enthused: “It’s brilliant how he times his runs around the back. It’s so hard for people to pick up.

“He’s an intelligent footballer.

"They are all very similar sorts of goals but they are very hard to prevent.

“It was a good goal on Monday and he deserved the player-of-the-match award.”

Ade Yusuff is challenged by a Leatherhead player. Picture: Randolph File
Ade Yusuff is challenged by a Leatherhead player. Picture: Randolph File

The win was the perfect response from Invicta, who had lost 3-1 at Kent rivals Margate on New Year’s Day despite Kieron McCann’s effort.

Cugley felt the first goal was always going to prove crucial at Hartsdown Park, adding: “If we scored first, it would have been a completely different game but we have to give credit to them.

“It (Gate’s counter-attacking style) brings them success and they do it well.”

With leaders Worthing falling to a 2-1 loss at Carshalton, Invicta are once again seven points off the summit, with a game in hand on the Rebels.

Player-coach Micheal Everitt chases down a loose ball. Picture: Randolph File
Player-coach Micheal Everitt chases down a loose ball. Picture: Randolph File

Invicta had been due to visit Horsham this Saturday but, on Thursday, it was announced the match had been postponed due to a Covid outbreak at the Kent club.

On the injury front, Draycott came off the bench against Leatherhead, only to pull up through injury, while defender Ryan Johnson has been sidelined during the festive period with his own groin problem.

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