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Whitstable Town 0 Folkestone Invicta 1 - match report

Folkestone Invicta made it back-to-back wins to begin their promotion challenge after a hard-fought 1-0 derby win at Whitstable Town in Ryman League Division 1 South at the Belmont on Tuesday night.

Neil Cugley's side - who beat Molesey 3-1 in their opening game on Saturday - earned the points courtesy of a fine early finish from ice-cool Ian Draycott, though Town, beaten 4-1 by Walton & Hersham, pushed hard for a point and skipper Nick Treadwell was the width of the crossbar away from making it 1-1 in the closing stages.

Ian Draycott
Ian Draycott

Folkestone's Chris Elliot saw a 20-yard free-kick blocked by the Town wall inside two minutes but the visitors were infront less than five minutes later with the first real chance of the game as a loose ball in midfield broke to Ronnie Dolan who split the defence with a hooked pass sending Draycott through on goal.

The prolific frontman went to the right of Adam Highsted and, with the keeper trailing in his wake, slotted in from an acute angle right infront of the away fans housed in the newly-named Bruce Smith Stand - which had been unveiled by the Town stalwart before kick-off.

Town began to settle and on 16 minutes Ira Jackson cut inside from the right and drew a low save from Tim Roberts down to his left from 18 yards.

Soon after Roberts' defenders threw themselves infront of a bouncing ball in the six yard box after a set-piece to snuff out any danger with Kane Rowland in close attendance.

Invicta's lively Jordan Wright burst forward 50 yards just before the half-hour but saw his tame cross-shot from just inside the box pounced on by Highsted and saw a fiercer effort from the edge of the box moments later held by the keeper.

Town left-back Curtis Robinson strode forward and tried to beat Roberts at his uncovered near post from range on 36 minutes but failed to put enough on his speculative effort from out wide as Town enjoyed the majority of the pressure before half-time, but without creating much.

Highsted made a fine save flying to his left to keep out Draycott six minutes after the turnaround after another incisive break and the keeper also blocked a flashing header from the resultant corner from Frankie Chappell as Invicta sought to finish the job.

Ollie Gray burst down the right just before the hour and his dangerous low cross was hacked clear from under the crossbar while Roberts made a double-save on his line to keep his sheet clean after Scott Heard danced down the touchline after a clever corner routine.

Town skipper Nick Treadwell came even closer with 20 minutes remaining when he powered a header from an inswinging corner into the top of the Invicta bar,

At the other end Ronnie Dolan sliced a volley inches over from the edge of the box and Elliott saw a free-kick deflect over as Invicta pushed for a clincher while Town saw two injury-time corners scrambled away.

Whitstable: Highsted, Gray, Robinson (James 84mins), Treadwell, Kennett, Doherty, Heard, Bewick, Seenan, Rowland (Smith 79mins), Jackson (Campbell 46mins). Subs not used: Woolcott, Kitcherside.

Folkestone: Roberts, Vincent, Elliott, Friend, Chappell, Newman, Starkey, Dolan, Draycott, Rook (Miller 82mins), Wright (Pilbeam 73mins). Subs not used: Stanford, Wraight, Munden

Attendance: 261.

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