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ASHFORD TOWN (Middlesex)                  2        FOLKESTONE INVICTA             7

Striker Ade Yusuff scored his first ever hat-trick as Folkestone Invicta hit seven goals in an F A Cup tie for the first time in the club’s history as they eventually eased to victory away to ten men Ashford Town (Middlesex) in Saturday’s First Round Qualifying tie at The Robert Parker Stadium in Short Lane, Stanwell. 

Invicta had led 2-0 and 3-1 during the first half but their hosts refused to go away and were still in the game at 3-2 down at half time.

But the home side had Jordan Stepney sent off early in the second half and conceded from the subsequent free kick to go 4-2 down in what will be seen as a big turning point.

As well as Yusuf’s treble, Invicta’s other goalscorers were Scott Heard, Alfie Paxman, David Smith and captain Callum Davies.

Yusuff had been one of many in the Invicta party caught up in traffic problems on the M20 onSaturday morning which didn’t give the visitors an easy start to the day.

But the Folkestone side got off to a positive start as Smith shot well wide of the target in the fourth minute when receiving the ball from Heard in a move that also involved Ronnie Dolan and Jordan Wright.

The opening goal soon followed as Matt Newman got forward to receive the ball from Paxman on the left hand side in the ninth minute and the defender picked HEARD out who slammed the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal of the season.

Smith then curled a shot at Paul McCartyh that the home goalkeeper got behind a minute later when Yusuff touched a Finn O’Mara ball forward on to his stikng partner.

Defender O’Mara was making his 100th appearance for the Folkestone club whom he had joined from Gillingham.

At the other end, Dylan Ive hit a tenth minute shot wide across goal from the right hand side.

The home side was close in the 13th minute when Ive lifted a free kick against the post and striker Daniel Brown couldn’t quite force the rebound in after a handball decision.

Invicta increased their lead with a penalty awarded when Yusuff took on Cameron Rohart-Brown and Sam Humphreys before being brought down after combining with Wright.

The Folkestone side’s recent record from the spot has not been good and though Paxman appeared to be the designated taker, YUSUFF apparently likes to take them when he himself has been fouled and it was the striker who confidently and firmly struck the ball into the corner of the net.

Yusuff fired high and wide across goal after receiving the ball from Paxman on the left hand side in the 18th minute.

Heard then received the ball from Paxman and combined with Wright a minute later when the latter’s ball into the box was cleared by defender Dale Burnham a minute later.  Heard took the ball on seconds later and shot over the target.

Stepney was booked for a 21st minute challenge on Yusuff which was to have repercussions later on.

George Spiers played the ball out to Humphreys on the right hand side two minutes later but Invicta goalkeeper Tim Roberts claimed the ball into the box.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) were given a lifeline in the 26th minute when O’Mara made an error as he appearted to try and head a low ball into the box from the right hand side and BROWN took full advantage to slot the ball into the net.

Ive then played the ball in to Brown inside the penalty area when the ball deflected out for a corner.

Home captain Matt Bunyan and Brown combined to find Humphreys on the right hand side after a 30th minute ball out of defence and the cross was met by a Bunyan header as the home side had numbers in the box but Roberts made a comfortable save.

O’Mara played the ball up to Yusuff inside the penalty area on the half hour mark when the striker took on Burnham but dragged his shot wide of the far post.

It was 3-1 to Invicta in the 37th minute with the goal of the game when PAXMAN hit a spectacular strike from the left hand side of the box after Yusuff had initially received the ball from Heard and beat Burnham before blocked by Stepney.

But the home side reduced the arrears agan when BUNYAN headed in Ives’ corner from the right.

Bunyan won the vast majority of his headers during the afternoon as the home side was to keep on plugging away.

Ive attempted an audacious chip from 40 yards a minute later that was narrowly over the bar.

Yusuff then shot narrowly wide of the far post across goal from the left hand side during first half stoppage time when Smith touched on a Paxman throw in from the left.

Early in the second half, Heard beat Burnham in the 48th minute but Stepney made a good interception to the through ball towards Smith.

Newman found Paxman on the left hand side in the 50th minute but Smith couldn’t get over the ball in and headed wide.

Yusuff then poked a shot against a post a minute later after initially being held up by and then taking the ball past Harry Woodward in a move started by Paxman.

The sending off soon followed as O’Mara played a ball over the home defence up the right hand side and Stepney p[ulled down Smith and duly received a second yellow card from referee Ayrton Hursey.

It was a double whammy for the home side as the ten men were 4-2 down from the subsequent free kick in the 53rd minute as SMITH received the ball back from Paxman, took the ball into the box and the striker’s shot bounced in front of goalkeeper McCarthy and into the net.

Corinthian had also been reduced to ten mne during the second half when Invicta won 3-2 there in the First Round Qualifying.

Home substitute Ethan Hellyer was soon involved as his 59th minute ball in from the left found Bunyan who chipped just off target.  Invicta went straight up the other end with a ball up the  right hand side as Yusuff got in behind Hellyer but couldn’t find the target.

A Paxman ball across from the left just evaded strikers Smithand Yusuff on the hour mark when Dolan won the ball and found substitute Ian Draycott.

A 62nd minute Ive delivery from the left was met by another Bunyan header just over the crossbar.

Ashford rallied as Invicta central defender Newman had to get to a 64th minute ball in from the left ahead of Bunyan and O’Mara then had to get to another ball into the box ahead of Bunyan two minutes later when Brown and Jack French combined.

Brown was held up by defenders Davies and Newman after a 68th minute ball in from the left and Newman blocked the shot when French hit a low follow up just wide.

Bunyan curled a shot at Roberts after good play from Ive down the left hand side.

But Invicta went 5-2 up seconds later in the 71st minute when a Draycott shot was charged down and fell to YUSUFF inside the box who slotted it into the net.

For Ashford, Brown and Helyer combined to find Ive inside the penalty area in the 74th minute but O’Mara blocked.

Heard broke into the box down the left hand side after receiving the ball from substitute Tyler Sterling in the 76th minute but goalkeeper McCarthy claimed the ball across goal.

Invicta’s sixth goal was to come from the visitors’ only corner of the game gained when McCarthy got across to touch a Yusuff shot past the post when Draycott played the striker in inside the box in a move started by Heard and Sterling.

Sterling’s 78th minute corner from the right was met by a DAVIES header that crossed the line despite a defender’s attempts to clear – a rare goal for the Invicta captain.

Ashford Town (Middlesex) were sporting a new kit and had several kitted out junior mascots behind the Invicta goal. Visiting goalkeeper Roberts had to alert the referee to objects being thrown onto the pitch and the Folkestone club gave a late first senior outing to back up goalkeeper Connor Collins.

18-year-old Collins was soon involved as he came out to make a brave save from Brown and was awarded with a free kick for his troubles.

McCarthy got across to make a good 82nd minute save to deny Sterling when Yusuff played the ball to him on the edge of the box.

Sterling then displayed great skill on the left hand side a minute later and curled a dipping shot just over the bar.

Sterling then received the ball from Smith and got another shot in that McCarthy saved but did not hold and YUSUFF was there to follow up from close range in the 84th minute to complete both his hat-trick and the scoring.

It was the first time that Ashford Town (Middlesex) have ever conceded seven in a F A Cup tie. 

Dolan then spread the play from the right to Heard on the left and it came back out to Sterling who curled an 86th minute shot just over from outside the box.

It had been a virtuoso spell in what was becoming the Sterling show that just lacked a goal from the Invicta substitute.

An 89th minute Ive corner from the left was met by another Bunyan header that was wide at the far post.

Smith found Paxman down the left in the 90th minute and when the ball came into the box Smith was denied by Burnham.

Draycott tried his luck from just inside his own half during stoppage time – what a way that would have been to break Invicta’s senior goalscoring record having equalled James Dryden’s 141 goals the previous Saturday at home to Horsham! But he will have to wait a bit longer.

ASHFORD TOWN (Middlesex): McCartthy, Rohart-Brown (Hellyer 56 minsw), Woodward, Spiers, Burnham, Stepney, Ive, French (Blake 69 mins), Brown, Bunyan, Humphreys.  Unused subs: Honey, Coles, Theophilou, Blackwood.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts (Collins 80 mins), O’Mara, Wright (Sterling 62 mins), Newman, Davies, Johnson (Draycott 55 mins), Heard, Dolan, Smith, Yusuff, Paxman.   Unused subs: Everitt.

Corners: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 4 Invicta 1

Attendance: 218.