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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley admits FA Trophy tie against FA Cup giant-killers Maldon and Tiptree will be tough

Folkestone Invicta play their delayed FA Trophy tie at Maldon and Tiptree on Wednesday with boss Neil Cugley admitting many would consider his side underdogs.

Invicta are among the sides setting the pace at the head of Isthmian Premier, while Maldon play in Isthmian North – a division below.

However, the Jammers have won all eight of their league matches and on Sunday sprang a major FA Cup upset when they beat League 2 Leyton Orient 2-1 at Brisbane Road in front of the TV cameras.

Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Paul Amos
Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Paul Amos

Maldon’s cup engagement was the reason the second qualifying tie was put back and Cugley admits they will be a tough proposition having already beaten Cray Valley (5-2) and Cray Wanderers (3-0) at home in the trophy this season.

The Essex side are managed by former Leicester City, Watford and Colchester defender Wayne Brown and their squad includes former Ashford United marksman Danny Parish, who scored the opening goal against Orient before being sent off.

Cugley said: “I think they’ve only lost one game in 20, 21 matches and that was on penalties in the Velocity Trophy.

“They’ve done well. They have this link with Colchester which means they can call upon some of their under-23 players but good luck to them.

“It’s an unusual one because it could be that they are favourites even though they are in the league below.”

Reward for the winners is £3,000 in prize money plus a third qualifying tie away to Enfield with thegame due to be played on Saturday, November 23.

Invicta’s scheduled home game with Haringey that day has already been postponed as their opponents are through to the next round

of the trophy where they host Hemel Hempstead.

Invicta – now down to second in Isthmian Premier after Horsham’s 4-0 home win over Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday– visit fourth-placed Enfield in the league on Saturday.

Cugley’s only injury doubt is Micheal Everitt (foot) but he was hopeful the midfielder would be fit enough for a place on the bench at Maldon.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent


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