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Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley receives apology from referee over disallowed goal against Enfield

Folkestone remain unbeaten in the Isthmian Premier but know they should have maximum points.

David Smith had a clear goal ruled out, that was comfortably over the line, as Saturday’s home game with fellow form side Enfield ended goalless.

Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Barry Goodwin
Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Barry Goodwin

The referee has since apologised to manager Neil Cugley for the mistake which cost Invicta their 100 per cent record.

They were back on the winning trail on Monday with goals from Ronnie Dolan and Smith in a 2-0 victory at Merstham.

“We should be on 12 out of 12,” said Cugley. “It was miles over the line, everyone was jumping around, we were all happy, and then he didn’t give the goal.

“It came at a time when we were so far on top in the game - we couldn’t believe it didn’t stand. In fairness to the ref, he rang me to say sorry.

“It was disappointing but I’d take being unbeaten after playing Worthing and Enfield in the first four games - they’re two teams who will be up there this season.”

Folkestone had only one goal to show for their first-half dominance at Merstham but Smith clinched the points.

“We played really well in the first half but didn’t get that second goal when we were on top,” said Cugley.

“They had a 10-minute spell in the second half where Tim Roberts has made a good save.

“We then got the second and they weren’t going to come back from that.

“It’s a shame Smithy’s goal on Saturday didn’t count as he’d be top scorer in the league now.”

Folkestone travel to Isthmian South East new boys Corinthian in the FA Cup first qualifying round this Saturday.

They’re likely to be without Aaron Simpson, who trained well last week before suffering a setback in his recovery from long Covid.

But with Smith and Ade Yusuff fit and firing, Cugley fancies Invicta’s chances against anyone.

He said: “Hopefully the two lads up top carry on doing what they’re doing - they’re hard to restrain.

“They’re so strong and it helps that they’re not giants because it encourages us to play the ball to their chest and into feet and not just bang it forward to them.

“It didn’t quite work when we put them together at the start of pre-season, and we were getting a bit of stick, but I just thought they’d click and they have. They’ve got better and better.”

Corinthian were promoted on average points after a couple of successful years in Southern Counties East, during which they also reached the FA Vase semi-finals.

Cugley said: “They’re a good club, you can see why they’ve done so well.

“They’ve got a lovely pitch, excellent training facilities and they’re in a nice catchment area.

“Put it all together and you’ve got a good side - all credit to them. We just want to stay in the FA Cup for as long as possible - money-wise, for the fan base, everything.

“Fingers crossed, we can get through on Saturday.”

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