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Folkestone Invicta light on numbers for Boxing Day derby at Tonbridge Angels

By Steve Tervet

In-form Folkestone will be down to the bare bones on Boxing Day but boss Neil Cugley is still relishing their trip to Tonbridge.

Five key men are missing for the Kent derby at Longmead as Invicta look to close the gap to the Bostik Premier play-offs.

Matt Newman is away on honeymoon and Phil Starkey is also unavailable while Johan ter Horst, Ronnie Dolan and Sam Hasler all remain injured.

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Andy Payton
Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Andy Payton

Cugley said: "We'll have five out but the team I'm putting out is still strong.

"We're a bit short of numbers on the bench but it's one of those things and you've got to get on with it.

"I've never had such a big squad so I can't moan.

"We're not going to be as strong unless I can get somebody in for a short-term loan to get the numbers up.

"But Scott Heard will come in and Finn O'Mara's a natural centre-half so he'll go in at the back for Newman."

Folkestone's 2-0 win over Leatherhead means they're now just three points outside the play-off places.

They're one of the division's form sides with four wins and a draw in their last six matches.

Cugley said: "We can start looking up the table rather than down it, which is very important.

"We're in a good place at the moment. We had to change things round two or three months ago and since then, we've kicked on.

"It's such a strange league. Nearly all the bottom sides won on Saturday."

Folkestone follow the Tonbridge clash with another Kent derby, at home to Margate, on New Year's Day.

Cugley said: "We're still trying to get to that sort of level. Both of them have been in Conference South and they're still big clubs.

"At the beginning of the season Tonbridge were on a heck of a roll.

"They're not on such a roll now but it's not an easy league to keep getting results in. Everybody's beating each other."

Both matches kick off at 3pm.

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