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Folkestone Invicta forward Alfie Paxman impressing boss Neil Cugley

By Steve Tervet

Alfie Paxman has been praised for his work ethic after stepping up to play Bostik Premier football at Folkestone.

Paxman became the latest lower-league player to catch Invicta boss Neil Cugley’s eye when he made the short move from Ramsgate in the summer.

The 21-year-old striker marked only his seventh league start of the season with a fine goal – his fifth for the club – in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bishop’s Stortford.

Alfie Paxman on the ball for Folkestone against Bishop's Stortford Picture: Paul Amos
Alfie Paxman on the ball for Folkestone against Bishop's Stortford Picture: Paul Amos

Cugley said: “He’ll be pleased because last Saturday he lost possession and that’s how they scored so it could have been a bit different for him. This week he came out and put on a great show.

“To be fair, he’s a very good finisher so if he gets into the positions, you think he’s going to score.

“He got pushed to left-back (earlier in the season) and I’ll give him his due; he was excellent there as well.

“I don’t think it’s his favourite position but he did a tremendous job for the club when we didn’t have one and when Nat Blanks got fit, he had to keep his standards high.

“Alfie’s stuck at it and worked really hard. When we’ve talked to him, we’ve told him the right things and he’s gone and done it.

“It’s about having consistency at this level, whether you can do it week in, week out but I think that’ll come.”

Saturday’s win left Folkestone 13th in the table, six points off the play-offs.

Cugley said: “The last couple of months we’ve done well. We’ve only lost to Haringey by the odd goal – and they were a good side, as they’ve shown since – and Woking.

“Considering the quality players who are yet to come back, it’s all looking good.

“Having a settled team helps and Tim Roberts in goal has done really well.”

Josh Vincent will deputise for Phil Starkey at right-back on Saturday when Folkestone host Leatherhead.

The teams are level on 26 points and Scott Heard could be in line to start his first game since injuring his knee in January.

Cugley said: “We beat them quite easily at their place but that was after they had a hard FA Cup game.

“They’ve brought in players since then so I think they’ll give us a hard test but we’re on a good run so bring them on, especially at home.”

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