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                      FOLKESTONE INVICTA             4      RAMSGATE                                    2

                       Folkestone Invicta returned to action with a 4-2 home victory over Ramsgate to win their annual pre-season Sid Burvill Trophy fixture staged each year in memory of the club’s much-loved former gateman.

Goals from Scott Heard, IanDraycott, Alfie Paxman and David Smith put Invicta 4-0 ahead before half time substitute Ben Allen pulled goals back for the visitors.

The 2020-21 season had been curtailed due to Covid just as the 2019-20 season had been and this was Invicta’s first game since signing off with a dramatic 2-1 home win over Hornchurch back at the start of November.

This rare June fixture came at the start of a series of pre-season fixtures before the 2021-22 Pitching In Isthmian League kicks off on August 14th.

Team news saw Connor Collins come into the Invica goal having been promoted up from the youth side for this coming season and both Ade Yusuff and Kieron McCann back in Invicta colours having re-joined the club from Cray Valley (PM).

Matt Newman was playing his first game since leaving the ground on crutches with a knee injury sustained during last year’s 6-1 Sid Burvill Trophy win over Ashford United and the central defender finished the afternoon as captain and one of only three players on either side to play the entire match.

The home side opened the scoring in the 14th minute when captain Callum Davies played the ball forward to HEARD who lifted the ball over hesitant goalkeeper Jacob Russell.

A 21st minute yusuff shot flashed wide of the far post across goal after a trademark turn on the right hand side.

Left back Aaron Simpson then played the ball into the box a minute later but it was just too high for Yusuff.

Josh Ajayi broke down the right hand side for Ramsgate in the 27th minute but his bal into the penalty area was cleared by central defender Davies and former Invicta striker Ashley Miller then mis-hit his shot three minutes later when Callum Emptage played the ball in from the right.

It was 2-0 in the 31st minute when Paxman’s cross from the left was headed in by DRAYCOTT who has scored more goals than anybody in the history of the Sid Burvill Trophy including last year’s second half hat-trick against Ashford.

Paxman was playing further forward again having been converted to a left back since joining Invicta at the end of the 2017-18 season having scored 30 goals for Ramsgate.

It was PAXMAN who made it 3-0 in the 39th minute when he combined with Yusuff and drove a well-struck shot from the left hand side across goal and into the far corner of the net.

A 42nd minute Josh Vincent shot was blocked after another well-worked Invicta move and the home side was close again following a corner two minutes later when Tyler Sterling played the ball across goal from the left hand side and the under pressure Yusuff somehow put the ball over the crossbar from virtually on the line.

As was always likely to be the case there were multiple substitutions at half time as Invicta manager Neil Cugley made five changes and his Ramsgate counterpart Matt Goldsmith made nine as he introduced more young players.

Harrsion Avery was one of Invicta’s new faces and the new boy was soon involved as his 50th minute pass played fellow substitute SMITH in down the right hand side and the striker slotted the ball into the net to make it 4-0.

Heard curled a 55th minute shot wide from the right hand edge of the box and Vincent broke forward three minutes later when his well-struck shot was plucked out of the air by second half goalkeeper Leighton Fanshawe.

Sterling took a knock and was replaced by Clark Woodcock as Invicta also gave a rnu out to youth team right back Luca Borrello in place of Vincent.

Ramsgate pulled a goal back in the 67th minute when substitute ALLEN’s free kick flew into the net.

Invicta were to play the final 25 minutes with ten men as Heard picked up a knock and was not replaced.

A 75th minute Allen corner from the left was just too high for Briggs Ojemen in the box and a free kick three minutes later carried all the way to home goalkeeper Collins on his line when an Ajayi run was curtailed by a foul.

Ajayi was replaced by Harvey Bridger who was soon involved as he couldn’t quite get over a deep cross from the left hand side and was wide at the far post in the 80th minute.

The visitors made it 4-2 in the 87th minute when ALLEN struck again after Mitchel Campbell’s ball to the left hand side of the penalty area evaded defender Newman.

The visitors were close to pulling another late goal back in the 89th minute when a corner from the right came off McCann’s head and Bridger shot at Collins.

As Invicta received the Sid Burvill Trophy – with Newman finishing the match as captain and one of only three players on either side to play the entire match – Invicta’s Sterling and Ramsgate’s Ajayi received individual awards as their respective side’s man of the match.

Former Invicta strikers Johan Ter Horst (now Ashford United) and Ira Jackson (Grimsby Town) were in the crowd having scored in the 2019 and 2020 Sid Burvill Trophy games respectively.

The 2019 fixture had been against Whitstable Town, whose manager Lloyd Blackman was also present here, as was former Ramsgate manager Jim Ward.

Ryan Johnson – a new Invicta signing from Ramsgate – sat this one out.

The 527 crowd was in contrast to the opening pre-season fixture of the curtailed 2020-21 season when Ramsgate beat Invicta 2-1 behind-closed-doors at Southwood in late August.

The football is back.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Collins, Vincent (Borrello 61 mins), Simpson (Wright 45 mins), Newman, Davies (O’Mara 45 mins), Everitt (Avery 45 mins), Heard, Sterling (Woodcock 61 mins), Draycott, Yusuff (Smith 45 mins), Paxman (McCann 45 mins).  Unused sub: Johnson.

RAMSGATE: Russell (Fanshaw 45 mins), Emptage (Bunn 85 mins), Sheminant (Cousins 45 mins), McIntyre (Kennelly 45 mins), Gayle (Ojemen 45 mins), Bancroft (Chapman 45 mins), Ajayi (Bridger 79 mins), Miller (Allen 45 mins), Alopade (Carey 45 mins), Morris (Prescott 45 mins), Jadama (Jobe 45 mins).

Attendance: 527.    Corners: 3-3