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Folkestone Invicta joint-head coach Micheal Everitt will not underestimate Herne Bay ahead of Isthmian Premier Boxing Day derby at Winch's Field

Micheal Everitt will not be underestimating Herne Bay ahead of Folkestone’s Boxing Day derby at Winch’s Field.

Second-bottom Bay are in their inaugural season in Isthmian Premier and struggling, albeit they have drawn all three of their league encounters since new boss Kevin Watson took charge, with Adam Flanagan his assistant manager - both former Invicta players.

James Rogers during Folkestone's FA Trophy shoot-out loss to Leiston. Picture: Randolph File
James Rogers during Folkestone's FA Trophy shoot-out loss to Leiston. Picture: Randolph File

While Folkestone have only lost once in 90 minutes at home in eight games since Everitt and fellow joint-head coach Roland Edge took the helm, scoring 24 goals, they have been beaten in six straight away league fixtures.

When Folkestone - presently mid-table in 13th - hosted Bay in August, Invicta won 2-1.

“It’s going to be far from easy,” said Everitt. “I played with Kevin Watson, and Flans is a good mate of mine.

“I think it’s going to be a really tough game.

"There’s no easy game in this league so it’s going to be a challenge to get three points.”

Folkestone’s last match of 2022 will be followed by another Kent derby at home against Margate on January 2.

Asked if these are the sort of encounters his players should be looking forward to, Everitt replied: “Yes, of course.

“[Margate manager] Andy Drury is another really good friend of mine and we talk two or three times a week.

“They’re on a good roll, seven unbeaten [before a midweek 2-1 loss to Hastings], and that’s going to be a tough game.”

Both right-back Josh Vincent and versatile utility player Matt Newman missed Invicta’s controversial weekend FA Trophy shoot-out defeat to Leiston when they went down 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Everitt explained: “Both reported ill.

“We knew Matt was struggling, to be fair, through the week with the flu. He hasn’t been well and JV phoned Friday to say he wasn’t feeling well and phoned again on Saturday morning to say ‘No, I’m not available’ so that’s just through illness.

"Hopefully we will have them back.”

Ade Yusuff’s 21st goal of the season put the home side ahead and, despite Folkestone feeling they should have been awarded a second goal from a Ronnie Dolan free-kick, that was ruled out, with Leiston midfielder Finlay Barnes’ strike setting up a penalty shoot-out.

Top scorer Yusuff has now scored more than 100 goals for the club, while current all-time leading scorer, Ian Draycott, who has 148, made a positive impact off the bench.

“Ade has had a good season, fair play to him,” Everitt noted.

“I’m sure he’s going to score a few more for us and get closer to Drayc’s record.”

While many other matches have been called off recently due to cold and icy conditions after snow fell in some parts of the county, Invicta’s scheduled games have gone ahead.

Everitt suggested: “Maybe it’s location. If you have been around Folkestone, there has been absolutely nothing.

“We are just lucky with where we are.”

Trial dates have been released for those wishing to join Folkestone Invicta’s Academy for the 2023/24 Academic year.

They will be on January 8 (5pm), February 14 (11am), April 11 (11am) and June 18 (5pm).

Call Mark Taylor on 07484 342433 or email mark.taylor@activecommunitydev.co.uk for details.

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