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Folkestone Invicta boss Andy Drury on a 3-2 Isthmian Premier loss at Whitehawk and a run of one win in seven games ahead of back-to-back home matches

By Holly Morris

Boss Andy Drury insists there is “no immediate panic” at Folkestone - despite blowing a two-goal lead on Saturday.

A 3-2 defeat at Whitehawk extended Invicta’s record to one win in seven Isthmian Premier games, despite being 2-0 up with just 20 minutes left.

Midfielder Eddie Allsopp – scored in Folkestone’s 3-2 weekend loss at Whitehawk. Picture: Ian Scammell
Midfielder Eddie Allsopp – scored in Folkestone’s 3-2 weekend loss at Whitehawk. Picture: Ian Scammell

But Folkestone’s cause wasn’t helped by the absence of midfielders Seidou Sanogo, Dean Rance and Ade Cole, alongside defender Toby Byron and captain Ian Gayle - albeit experienced defender Chris Sessegnon returned.

Drury said: “We had five out for Saturday which did kill us a little bit, especially going up that slope in the second half.

“We could’ve done with making a few changes but we didn’t have the personnel available.

“We should have enough experience out there to see the game through, which we haven’t done.

“We’ve got to defend our box better, work a bit harder in training and, if we’re in this position in a week or two, after the training sessions we do, then it just comes down to personnel and I’ll have to get one or two in.

On-loan Folkestone midfielder Dean Rance – missed the match at Whitehawk but has since had his loan extended. Picture: Ian Scammell
On-loan Folkestone midfielder Dean Rance – missed the match at Whitehawk but has since had his loan extended. Picture: Ian Scammell

“There’s no immediate panic because the performances are actually really good.”

The visitors, who were in action for the first time in 11 days, took the lead in the second half thanks to Eddie Allsopp’s close-range finish and added a David Smith penalty.

But Charlie Walker’s treble flipped the game on its head and his stoppage-time spot-kick secured the win.

Drury said: “It’s a tricky one to divulge.

“We actually created about 10 or 12 really good chances and on another day we could’ve got six or seven goals, so to lose that game is quite frustrating.

“We’ve got ourselves to blame. We haven’t defended our box well enough and we haven’t put our chances away.

“That’s how you win and lose games of football and we haven’t done that well enough and that’s what cost us, along with having five players out with injury and suspension.”

Rance was unavailable at Whitehawk but has had his loan from National League North Scunthorpe extended.

“There was an issue with the paperwork as to why Rancey didn’t play, but he’ll be available for us from Saturday,” Drury explained.

“Rancey will be here for another month.

“He’ll be here until mid-March.”

Youth-team players Kian Scott and Daniel Kennedy made the squad - alongside their 40-year-old manager - at Whitehawk. None of them came on in the end, though.

“We’ll see how they keep doing in training,” said Drury.

“I don’t think it was right to throw them in on Saturday, it was a bit of a difficult game. But before the end of the season, I’m sure a couple of them will get their chances.”

Invicta have back-to-back home matches against fellow strugglers Concord this Saturday and Potters Bar on Tuesday, although Byron is still suspended this weekend.

With four out of the five absentees at Whitehawk set to return, Drury feels they can get back on track and earn a first home win since November 11.

He said: “Since the turn of the year, our performances have actually been really good. Even the games we’ve lost, we should’ve won.

“For me, it’s just doing what we’re doing but defending our box better.”

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