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Folkestone Invicta 1 Leiston 1 (Leiston won 4-1 on penalties): FA Trophy Third Round match report

There was penalty heartache on Saturday for Folkestone Invicta, who lost to Leiston in the FA Trophy Third Round.

Invicta's top scorer Ade Yusuff put them ahead in the first half before Finlay Barnes equalised to make it 1-1 and set up the shoot-out.

Top scorer Ade Yusuff celebrates scoring for Folkestone in their FA Trophy shoot-out defeat against Leiston. Picture: Randolph File
Top scorer Ade Yusuff celebrates scoring for Folkestone in their FA Trophy shoot-out defeat against Leiston. Picture: Randolph File

But after two successive spot-kick victories already in the competition, it was third time unlucky for Invicta who lost 4-1 in the shoot-out.

The hosts made a decent start at Cheriton Road in front of a crowd of 448, which saw several early right-wing deliveries by the recalled Ira Jackson threaten but to no avail.

Leiston’s first opportunity came in the ninth minute, only for Joe Marsden to blaze over after a menacing left-wing cross had been punched clear by home keeper Bailey Vose.

Four minutes later, left-back Nathan Green scuffed wide for Folkestone, playing for the second successive weekend when many other matches had been called off due to the wintry and icy conditions.

Invicta thought they had broken the deadlock shortly before the half-hour. A corner was half-cleared, allowing Green to deliver an in-swinging cross from the right flank this time but keeper Sonny Wright made a fantastic point-blank save when it was diverted towards goal by skipper Callum Davies.

Invicta's James Rogers closes down an away player. Picture: Randolph File
Invicta's James Rogers closes down an away player. Picture: Randolph File

The home side were finding some rhythm though as Wright, the son of ex-England keeper and Man City goalkeeping coach Richard Wright, thwarted Yusuff.

Goal number 21 of the campaign came for 28-year-old Yusuff on 40 minutes. He picked up the ball from a tight angle again on the left and rounded Wright to slot home.

The Suffolk club looked for a quick response four minutes later from a free-kick but their 17-goal talisman Will Davies nodded wide at the near post.

Seven minutes after the restart, Marsden again blasted well over for the visitors whose 16-game unbeaten run was ended the previous weekend.

Invicta were left enraged to be denied a second goal in the 55th minute. Ronnie Dolan’s free-kick looked to have been nodded in at the back post by centre-back Ian Gayle, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag for offside. Footage later showed the free-kick had gone straight in.

Scott Heard on the ball for the hosts. Picture: Randolph File
Scott Heard on the ball for the hosts. Picture: Randolph File

That seemed to spur the away side into life and a through ball by Ryan Jarvis found Ollie Saunders but his strike crashed against Vose’s crossbar.

Leiston levelled on 64 minutes when midfielder Barnes found a pocket of space and sent an exceptional curling effort beyond the Folkestone keeper.

Home substitute and the club’s all-time leading scorer Ian Draycott beat the offside trap 16 minutes from time before poking straight at Wright, despite suggestions of handball.

Three minutes later, Folkestone went close once more, the Leiston goalkeeper tipping wide a low long-range drive from Dolan which had almost caught him out.

With penalties looming, Ibrahim Olutade turned well, only to be denied by Wright before strike partner Yusuff also tried his luck seconds later.

Ibrahim Olutade on the attack. Picture: Randolph File
Ibrahim Olutade on the attack. Picture: Randolph File

The final seconds of normal time saw a scrap break out after a Leiston player took out Yusuff who had collected the ball and was driving towards goal.

Tempers were clearly fraying and Gayle was cautioned as he tried to get on the end of a Dolan free-kick which had almost fallen kindly for ex-Tonbridge frontman Olutade.

Invicta desperately searched for a winner in stoppage time, with Yusuff twice going extremely close, but the Blues held on for penalties.

Davies went first for the away side and fired past Vose while Dolan emphatically dispatched Folkestone’s first spot-kick.

Barnes sent Vose the wrong way before Yusuff’s effort struck the post and then cannoned against Wright to safety.

Leiston skipper Seb Dunbar made it 3-1, with Green being thwarted by Wright. Substitute Adam Mills made no mistake, sending Leiston through and earning them £4,500 in prize money.

Joint-head coaches Roland Edge and Micheal Everitt had made two changes for Folkestone as Dolan and Jackson came into the side for Kadell Daniel and the versatile Matt Newman.

That meant there were brothers playing for both teams in Robbie and Ronnie Dolan for the home outfit and Rossi and Ryan Jarvis for the visitors.

The sides actually met twice in the FA Trophy in the 2017/18 season when they drew 1-1 on both occasions, with Leiston, now of Southern Premier Central, winning the replay 6-5 in Suffolk on penalties.

However they last played at Leiston in Isthmian Premier in April 2018, the visitors winning 2-0 through efforts by midfielder Sam Hasler - now at league rivals Hastings - and striker Yusuff.

Folkestone Invicta: Vose, Robbie Dolan, Green, Gayle, Davies, Rogers, Heard, Ronnie Dolan, Jackson (Draycott 71mins), Yusuff, Olutade. Subs not used: Daniel, Ayoola, Dancer, Coleman.

Leiston: Wright, Marsden (Hill 61mins), Dunbar, Rossi Jarvis, Hutchings, Ryan Jarvis, Saunders, Quantrell, Barnes, Davies, Fowkes (Mills 76mins). Subs not used: Bailey-Dennis, Fernandes, Eaton-Collins.

Referee: Steven Hughes.

Attendance: 448.

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