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Folkestone Invicta end their Isthmian Premier Division season away at Bognor Regis Town –Manager Andy Drury reacts to comeback draw against Dulwich Hamlet

Folkestone boss Andy Drury hopes their 2024 form can be a platform to build from next season.

A thrilling comeback draw against Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday extended Invicta’s unbeaten home run to eight games. Only champions Hornchurch have beaten them on their own turf since the turn of the year.

Folkestone manager Andy Drury has seen an impressive run of form since the turn of the year Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone manager Andy Drury has seen an impressive run of form since the turn of the year Picture: Randolph File

Wins over the likes of Enfield Town and Billericay on their travels have also ensured that Drury’s men have kept themselves well clear of the relegation scrap. Once Saturday’s game at Bognor Regis (3pm) is out of the way, the rebuild can start as the club aim for a better 2024/25 campaign.

Drury said: “We still want to win games of football but we didn’t bother strengthening before the transfer window because we knew we were safe -there wasn't really any danger.

“We have been managing the squad so that people aren’t getting injured when carrying knocks, but if we were fighting for survival we might have rolled out a couple more or signed a couple more before the deadline.

“Since the turn of the new year I think we have done quite well and we can use that as a bit of a springboard for next season.

“It always helps when you do well at the back end of a season where people can see what you’re trying to do. We have done well since January, we’re looking forward for the season to finish and rebuild for next year.”

Drury has a list of potential targets in mind but wants to sit down with his current squad first to find out who’s staying.

He said: “We are probably a few good players away from where we need to be, but it is always difficult in the summer. There are chats to have with the ones you want to keep, but some players might want to try their luck higher up, go on trial or get an offer from a club with more money - we don’t know. After Saturday I will sit down with the boys, have a chat and see where we’ll go.

“I have lists of targets of players I want in certain areas but it is about seeing if we can get them once the season finishes.”

Isthmian Premier Division table

Folkestone’s last home game of the season ended 3-3 - with Drury’s men three down after less than half an hour.

Seidou Sanogo pulled a goal back before the break and second-half efforts from Eddie Allsopp and substitute David Smith levelled it up.

Drury felt his side could have won it in the end.

He said: “It was an entertaining game of football. They showed a lot of character and left everything out there and to come back to 3-3 against a decent Dulwich Hamlet side was good.

“We started really well but before you know it you’re 3-0 down and it was worrying. We got caught out on a couple of in-behind balls, and to be fair to their lad on the right wing he did well in those areas.

“You look at the character of the boys at 3-0 down when we’re safe and there isn’t much riding on the games, but that is testament to them.

“We could have ended up losing by four or five but they regrouped. There were a few strong words at half-time, we re-jigged a couple of things and came out fighting.

“I don’t think anyone would have had any complaints if we had gone and won it 4-3 or 5-3. It’s disappointing not to win in the end, but at 3-0 down we’ll take the point. It was good character by the boys.”

Saturday’s hosts Bognor Regis sit just ahead of Folkestone in the table.

Drury said: “We were down to the bare bones a bit on Saturday and we’ll see who is available to play this weekend.

“They won 5-1 on Saturday at Cray Wanderers. We have four or five injuries at the moment, it will be a tough ask, but we’ll give it a go and see if we can get a result. Then for me it is about planning for next season.”

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