Folkestone Invicta 0-0 Dover Athletic – PSF
Folkestone Invicta 0-0 Dover Athletic – PSF

Folkestone Invicta and Dover Athletic drew 0-0 in an entertaining game at the BuildKent Stadium, although clear-cut chances were at a premium at both ends of the pitch.

Invicta fielded a strong side probably not far off the starting line-up for next week’s first Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division game against Worthing, whilst our opponents had a mixture of last season’s squad, new signings and trialists.

Invicta had the first chance when David Smith was fouled on the edge of the area and when the free kick from Sam Hasler came in, Smith headed the ball back towards goal and Finn O’Mara’s header was collected by Josh Bexon in the Dover Athletic goal.

Invicta’s goal then had a let off as O’Mara fouled Ahkeem Rose some thirty yards out and Jack Munns saw his free kick crash off the bar and bounce to safety before Scott Heard cleared. Munns than played a good ball through to Louis Collins, but he was well tackled by Callum Davies.

Smith then went close as he nodded Heard’s cross wide of the far post after some good build up play by Adem Ramadan and Josh Vincent. Heard and Ramadan then combined again which resulted in the latter winning a corner, but it was collected easily by Bexon. Ramadan then had another shot from the edge of the area which was again saved by the Athletic gaolkeeper. Then Invicta got the closest yet as a cross was deflected towards goal by Heard and blocked, but he then sent the rebound back goal wards which was cleared off the line by Josh Passley with a diving header! Ramadan, who was becoming increasingly involved, then shot wide.

Adam Rooney nodded over from a corner as the away side applied a bit of pressure and then Louis Collins ran onto a loose ball, but he was unable to get a decent shot away and the ball was collected by Henry Newcombe, to leave the score at 0-0 as the teams went into the break.

As is usual in these games, there were a number of substitutes at half time, with Invicta making five and our opponents three which led to a disjointed start to the second half, although one of Athletic’s substitutes, Trialist 3, saw his shot cleared off the line by Davies. Another one of our opponents’ half-time substitutes, Steve Rigg, shot over the bar from the edge of the area and then Trialist 3 played the ball through to Rigg, but he couldn’t turn the ball goal wards.

The game then went into a bit of an impasse with neither side being able to cause a great deal of threat to their opponents, although Ian Draycott curled his shot wide of the far post, whilst at the other end, Rigg nodded over when well placed.

Clark Woodcock then replaced Ramadan and he was involved straight away as he was fed by Vincent and went round the full back, but his cross was cut out be Bexon. Davies then went on a run from his own half before passing to Tyler Sterling, who won a corner. Taking it himself, it was half cleared and knocked back in by Woodcock, but again Bexon was in the right place. The last chance fell to Dover as Trialist 3 burst through the Invicta defence, but as he shaped to shoot, O’Mara made an excellent and possibly goal-saving tackle.

Overall, the 0-0 draw was probably about the right result, we would like to thank Dover Athletic for visiting again this pre-season and wish them well in their National League campaign once the season gets underway.         

Manager Neil Cugley was satisfied with the performance saying;“I thought it was a decent game, and obviously the supporters thought we were playing some good football as a number of times there was applause at what we were trying to do, although I was a bit disappointed that although we got into some good positions, we didn’t test their keeper enough. “We played well in the first half and I thought that those that came on at half time also kept our momentum going. “A special mention to Ian Draycott, I thought he was excellent with his hold up play and he looked ready to go even though he hasn’t had a full pre-season due to other commitments. “We are now all looking forward to the visit of Worthing next Saturday.”

After the game, former Folkestone Invicta and Dover Athletic player Dominic Castle, who was the Match Sponsor, presented the ‘Man of the Match’ award to Invicta skipper Callum Davies.

Today’s Teams;

Folkestone Invicta; Henry Newcombe (Tim Roberts, 46 mins) Josh Vincent, Alfie Paxman (Jordan Wright, 46 mins), Finn O’Mara, Callum Davies (Capt), Micheal Everitt (Tyler Sterling, 46 mins) Scott Heard (Sam Hasler, 46 mins), Ronnie Dolan, Adem Ramadan Clark Woodcock, 79 mins), David Smith & Kieron McCann (Ian Draycott, 46 mins).

Dover Athletic; Josh Bexon, Josh Passley, Trialist 1 (Trialist 5, 70 mins), Adam Rooney (Trialist 7, 76 mins), Sam Wood (Capt) (Trialist 6, 70 mins), Trialist 2 (Oscar Gobin, 77 mins), Joe Bedford (TJ Bramble, 77 mins), Bilel Hinchiri (Trialist 3, 46 mins), Jack Munns, Louis Collins (Trialist 4, 46 mins), Ahkeem Rose (Steve Rigg, 46 mins).

Don’t forget, next week Folkestone start our Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division season with a home game against the side that were leading the table when it came to a halt last season, Worthing. Kick-off is 3:00pm.