Cugley – look where we were
Cugley – look where we were

Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley understandably shared the fans’ delight as their side hit top spot in the Ryman Premier Division following Saturday’s eventually fairly comfortable 3-1 victory at Harrow Borough.

“I’ll just put the bottle of champagne down” he joked as he considered how much further Folkestone can go in what is proving one of the most enjoyable seasons on the field that they have had for a couple of years.

“Look where we were a year ago” said Cugs.

“At this stage of last season we were still anxiously looking at the games to we had left to see where the points would come from to keep us in this league.

“We’ve got to enjoy the moment and see how much more we can achieve.”

Harrow’s Earlsmead Stadium has not been Invicta’s happiest hunting ground over the years, and there last – and one and only win there came in 2006/7 when a 2-0 victory towards the end of the season avenged an opening day 1-0 defeat at the then Buzzlines Stadium.

The only link on the playing side – apart from the manager of course, is club record appearance holder Micheal Everitt who would probably have captained the side that day. Mev, who is back in the first team contention again after injury sat this one out on the bench but was there to enjoy being a part of the side who have taken his home town club top of the table.

That season, 11 years ago, saw Invicta finish 18th with a 1-1 draw at Carshalton on its final day, which some will recall was ‘Earthquake Day’ in Folkestone.

At a guess, it may have been Micheal’s younger brother, Ratty, who scored the goal which helped make sure that Folkestone stayed in the Ryman Premier that time around.

“I remember the Carshalton game, but couldn’t claim to recall much of the win at Harrow” admitted boss Cugley.

“Perhaps being top may not last too long, but let’s all enjoy while it does.”

Given the poor record away to Borough, Neil was not particularly looking forward to last weekend’s trip.

“It’s not the easiest place to get to for us, and we’ve not done too well there, as you say. I was a bit worried about the pitch, but they’ve done a lot of work on it, and it was far better than one or two we’ve had to play on this season.

“It was heavy, but that was understandable, so we had to work hard to get the result. Callum (Davies) had another good, solid game and Sam Hasler did well. They couldn’t cope with Johan Ter Horst’s pace, either, and it was a foul on him that gave us the penalty and the breakthrough.

“Ade tucked that away and was a handful for their defence as he always is. We’re such a strong, fit side these days and that’s what’s making the difference.”

Hard-working striker Ian Draycott was taken off with a tightening hamstring problem and is likely to miss the next two games – Wednesday’s Kent Senior Cup semi-final against Charlton Athletic and this weekend’s short trip through the Dartford Tunnel to take on Thurrock at Ship Lane.

“Yes, I think Draycs will need a couple of games. But Joe (Taylor) did well and got another goal. He’s getting a great habit of finding the net late on these days.”

Cugs says that this week’s cup tie should prove an excellent test for the Bostik Premier Division leaders – we’re trying hard to resist saying that again.

“We’ve nothing to lose really and we’ll be strong – as will they.

“But if the fans get behind us it could make all the difference. And it’s a while since we’ve been in a cup final, and what a season this would be if we could do that, and make the play-offs as well.”

Admission on Wednesday is just £5 for adults, £3 concessions and it’s kids for a quid, yep, just one of those little coins of the realm!!

Kick off 7.45pm.