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Folkestone Invicta 2 Faversham Town 1 FA Trophy match report: Goals from Kieron McCann and David Smith send Invicta through

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Folkestone progressed to the FA Trophy second round as they edged an entertaining Kent derby against Faversham on Saturday.

Goals from Kieron McCann and David Smith in the first half had put the hosts in command before Eddie Allsopp’s free-kick just before the break got the Lilywhites back into the contest.

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

But Town couldn’t find a leveller, with Folkestone holding on to earn the £3,000 in prize money as well as a place in round two.

The hosts created an opening when Alfie Paxman found space, only for his effort to be blocked by away right-back Donvieve Jones in the fourth minute.

But two minutes later, Neil Cugley’s Isthmian Premier side did break the deadlock when McCann found the bottom corner to register his first goal of the season after Ronnie Dolan's cross.

Straight from the kick-off, however, Town should have levelled but Tyrell Richardson-Brown saw his effort cleared off the line by Folkestone defender Matt Newman, following good work by D’Jean Spencer who had rounded keeper Tim Roberts.

A frantic spell continued as, at the other end, Town goalkeeper Luke Watkins made himself look big and thwarted Dolan.

Faversham boss James Collins. Picture: Alan Langley
Faversham boss James Collins. Picture: Alan Langley

Watkins was again called into action with 14 minutes played, beating away Paxman’s strike before midfielder Scott Heard fired over from close range.

Striker Ade Yusuff tried getting in on the act for Invicta with 26 minutes played. His shot got the better of Watkins but flashed inches wide in front of an 708-strong crowd at Cheriton Road.

Ex-Dover men Paxman and Yusuff combined on the half-hour mark, the latter poking towards goal but being denied by Watkins.

Two minutes later, Richardson-Brown found himself in space in Invicta's area as he latched onto Jones’ right-wing cross, although the winger got his header all wrong as it harmlessly floated wide.

Folkestone - looking to respond after their 5-0 loss at Carshalton ended their unbeaten start to the season on Monday night - doubled their advantage with 43 minutes on the clock when frontman Smith poked home from close range for his 12th goal of the season.

That opportunity came soon after Roberts had denied Faversham frontman Emmanuel Oluwasemo at the other end, with Town looking for a response themselves having lost 1-0 at Burgess Hill on Tuesday.

But the Isthmian South East underdogs had looked dangerous on the counter-attack and got a goal back their play had deserved when a free-kick from playmaker Allsopp seconds before half-time got the better of Roberts which gave them a lifeline.

Town boss James Collins made a change at half-time, Benedict Bioletti coming on for Clark Woodcock. Bioletti shone in the second half.

However Heard came close to restoring Folkestone’s two-goal advantage 11 minutes after the restart, as he was thwarted by another fine block by Watkins.

At the other end, the visitors still looked dangerous. Substitute Bioletti saw his shot deflected over the bar off an Invicta defender, before Richardson-Brown blasted over from distance.

Midway through a much quieter second period, McCann beat away left-back Charlie Dickens to a loose ball and fed Yusuff. But still, the Folkestone frontman couldn't find a way past Watkins who made another good save.

Town were continuing to push for an equaliser but were struggling to muster clear-cut chances.

With a minute of normal time to play, Faversham substitute Dean Grant, formerly of Folkestone, dragged wide after finding a bit of space.

Grant again went close in stoppage-time when he connected with Allsopp’s free-kick which landed on top of the bar, but Town, who even threw Watkins forward for a corner right at the death, couldn't force the game to a shoot-out.

Folkestone manager Cugley made one change as Newman returned to the team after a knee injury, replacing Ian Draycott who dropped to the bench.

Faversham boss Collins made two changes. Richardson-Brown and Spencer replaced 17-year-old Bioletti and Onoriode Ogboe.

Jono Richardson captained the Lilywhites with club captain Harry Harding and long-serving defender Matt Bourne, another once of Folkestone, out injured alongside midfielder Lewis Chambers.

This was the first competitive meeting between the sides in more than five years, having played out a 2-2 draw at Salters Lane in February 2016.

The first round is also the furthest Faversham have got in the FA Trophy.

The FA Trophy second-round draw will take place on Monday at lunchtime.

Folkestone: Roberts, Vincent, McCann (Draycott 71mins), Newman, Davies, Johnson, Heard, Dolan, Smith (Freeman 85mins), Yusuff, Paxman. Subs not used: O’Mara, Everitt, Collins.

Faversham: Watkins, Jones (Bewick 74mins), Dickens, Dawodu, Denny, Richardson, Richardson-Brown, Woodcock (Bioletti 46mins), Oluwasemo, Allsopp, Spencer (Grant 77mins). Subs not used: Eyles, Saccoh, Geddes, Ogboe.

Ref: Toby Enstone.

Attendance: 708.

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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