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 DEAL TOWN                                                2

                                    FOLKESTONE INVICTA                4

Folkestone Invicta won their first away friendly of the summer 4-2 at Deal Town on Tuesday night thank to goals from Ian Draycott (2), Matt Newman and Ashley Miller at the Charles Ground.

Deal had the game’s first chance in the opening minute, but Invicta responded as Jon Pilbeam cut in and shot at home goalkeeper Chris Whymark after Ronnie Dolan had played the ball out to him on the right hand side in the fourth minute.

It was in this pre-season fixture last summer that Pilbeam had got his first Invicta run out and impressed manager Neil Cugley enough to be signed on. He was to be involved in three of the visitors’ four goals this time.

On this occasion Invicta were under the stewardship of Roland Edge and had captain Liam Friend back from holiday.

Left back Danny Smith shot over for Deal in the opening exchanges.

But it was Invicta that opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Friend played the ball out of defence to Pilbeam on the right hand side and he played it back for NEWMAN to stroke a low shot into the net.

Deal, though, were level in the 14ht minute when Andrew MILLER swept the ball into the corner of the net from the right hand side.

Invicta looked as though they were going to restore their lead five minutes later but Miller put the ball wide at the far post after a Pilbeam cross from the right.

At the other end, Deal goalscorer Miller chipped over the crossbar from 30 yards in the 24th minute and another one-time Invicta player Ryan Philpott shot wide from the right hand side three minutes later.

Grant Bagley blocked from Draycott on the half an hour mark after a Reece Palmer ball and Newman fired wide from the edge of the penalty area when the ball came back out.

For Deal, Philpott shot over in the 33rd minute when Jack Tanner played the ball in from the left hand side and it was touched back.

Draycott then headed over for Invicta two minutes later when Dolan played the ball in from the right after a short corner with Newman.

Invicta went 2-1 up in the 40th minute when DRAYCOTT’s shot rolled into the net after Palmer had taken the ball forward.

Palmer, the youth team’s main striker last season, was playing at right back as Callum Wraight watched from the sidelines with a slight twinge.

Invicta goalkeeper George Fender got across to his left to push away a 42nd minute Miller free kick from the right, while Invicta’s own Miller couldn’t quite lift the ball over goalkeeper Whymark after a Nat Blanks ball forward a minute later.

Deal had been forced into a first half change due to injury but this was not to be a friendly characterised by a mass overhaul of personnel during the second half.

Invicta threatened in the 47th minute when Pilbeam let fly and goalkeeper Whymark saved at the expense of a corner on the left hand side from which Draycott showed good skill before scooping the ball over.

Goalkeeper Whymark was to do well in the 53rd minute as he first touched over a Draycott header after a Pilbeam cross from the right and then kept out a Frankie Chappell header at the expense of another set piece after a Dolan corner from the right.

Blanks was the next to go close for Invicta when he hit a well-struck 57th minute shot just wide of the far post after a corner on the left hand side.

It was Invicta goalkeeper Fender who took the plaudits a minute later with two saves to keep his side ahead. Miller looked sure to equalise at the far post after a Smith ball in from the left but Fender saved at the expense of a corner and then got up to touch the ball over for another corner to keep out a well-struck Christian Gregory shot after the ball had come back out.

Invicta increased their lead in the 68th minute when MILLER showed great skill and a good first touch after receiving the ball from Pilbeam on the right and scooped the ball into the far corner of the net.

The visitors threatened again three minutes later when Draycott shot wide of the far post after good work from Miller down the left.

Deal pulled a goal back in the 74th minute when their right back found the roof of the net as the rain began to fall.

It was 4-2 in the 77th minute as DRAYCOTT headed in a Pilbeam cross from the right after Blanks had initially sent the ball across from the left.

Draycott had scored four second half goals here last summer including a four-minute hat-trick.

Deal responded as Philpott shot into the side netting from the right hand side a minute later.

Miller couldn’t quite convert for Invicta in the 83rd minute when substitute Kane Phillip crossed from the right and Miller chipped wide a minute later after a backheel from Draycott.

There were chances at both ends in the 86th mite as Fender saved a well-struck Pilbeam shot from the right and a Phillip shot lacked power after a great ball from fellow substitute Ashis Tamang.

Philpott hit another well-struck shot wide for Deal as both squads continue their preparations for the big kick off on Saturday August 8th.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Fender, Palmer (Tamang 64 mins), Blanks, Friend, Chappell, Dolan, Pilbeam (Phillip 79 mins), Starkey, Draycott, Miller, Newman.  Unused sub: Wraight.