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 SCORE   1 - 0    Gate 707

DATE  27/04/19. 

Video of Game click  HERE(when available)

 A 69th minute goal from Ira Jackson gave Folkestone Invicta another three points as Neil Cugley’s side did its bit by beating Bognor Regis Town 1-0 on Saturday but it was not enough as the Folkestone club missed out on the Bostik League Premier Division play offs by one place and one point.

A season’s best crowd of 707 came to The Fullicks Stadium with a mixture of hope and expectation on the final days of the 2018-19 league programme but results elsewhere needed to go Invicta’s way.

Invicta knew that they had to win their fixture but then also needed Merstham not to win at Worthing and Hayden Bird’s side incredibly raced into a 3-0 lead after just six minutes en route to a 4-2 win.

That meant that Invicta needed the Carshalton Athletic v Bishop’s Stortford fixture to finish in a draw for them to have any chance of reaching the play offs on goals scored but Carshalton won 2-1 to claim runners up spot.

When Invicta drew 2-2 away to Potters Bar on the final weekend in March the Folkestone club slipped into the bottom half of the table. But they then hit a purple patch and won all five of their final fixtures during April despitea tough run in.

At home, Invicta have finished the season with a run of 16 wins, one draw and one defeat from their final 18 fixtures at The Fullicks Stadium, that it 49 points out of a possible 54. That run had begun after a 3-2 defeat at home to Carshalton when The robins scored a stoppage time wonder goal back in October and ultimately ended up in second place in the table just two points above Invicta.

Invicta kept the same starting X1 that had won 3-0 away to Margate on Easter Monday.

A 13th minute Kieron McCann corner from the right was headed wide by Micheal Everitt with the game’s first noteworthy chance.

But Bognor is a dangerous side and were soon creating chances of their own. Injuries have hampered Jack Pearce’s side’s own hopes of reaching the play offs and they have also lost their goalscolring prowess of late.

Keaton Wood found captain Harvey Whyite who played a 14th minute ball into centre forward Jimmy Wild but Invicta central defender Matt Newman averted the danger. Whyte’s ball back into the box was headed away by Invicta right back Josh Vincent who was making his 450th starting appearance for the club.

Bognor’s first corner of the game resulted in centre half Chad Field heading wide Whyte’s ball in from the right.

Leon Maloney combined with Joshua McCormick and played a dangerous 21st minute ball into the Invicta box but Newman headed away. Maloney was to be booked for simulation by referee Graeme Ions seconds later when he went down under challenge from Finn O’Mara inside the penalty area.

Scott Heard received the ball from Johan Ter Horst a minute later and then threaded the ball through to the striker but it ran out for a goal kick.

Ade Yusuff combined with McCann after captain Callum Davies’s pass forward and the 24th minute ball in from hteleft fell to Jackson whose shot on the turn was blocked by Wood. Davies was to be the only player to appear in all of Invicta’s 51 fixtures in all competitions over the season.

Jackson embarked on a dangerous 26th minute run after receiving the ball from Ter Horst but McCann over hit his cross from the left hand side that eluded Ter Horst in the middle.

Ter Horst did have the ball in the net in the 30th minute when he converted O’Mara’s cross from the left but the ‘goal’ was ruled out by assistant referee Joseph McKay’s flag for offside in a move started by Yusuff and Jackson.

Heard then hit a low 32nd minute shot at goalkeeper Dan Lincoln after a move involving O’Mara, Everitt and Ter Horst.

At the other end, Emmett Dunn threaded the ball through to Wild who was under the attention of Davies a minute later and the ball carried to goalkeeper Tim Roberts.

Invicta then enjoyed a good spell as Jackson combined with striking partner Yusuff and hit a low 36th minute shot that was touched past the post by goalkeeper Lincoln. Newman headed wide from Heard’s subsequent corner as it was not be this time after a couple of recent goals in similar circumstances.

A Jackson shot from the left hand side of the penalty area then deflected off McCormick and out for a corner two minutes later after Davies had played the ball up to Heard.

McCann then found Yusuff down the right hand side in the 42nd minute as the ball was deflected for another home corner.

Bognor broke two minutes later when Wild took the ball off Everitt and combined with Whyte before releasing Maloney who was caught by a bad Jackson tackle as he raced clear own the right and the Invicta striker was duly booked.  Maloney’s subsequent well-struck free kick was just wide of the post.

Heard broke up a Bognor attack during first half stoppage time and made a dangerous forward run before finding Yusuff whose initial shot was saved by Lincoln and the striker then skied the rebound over the crossbar.

Bognor made a double substitution at half time and a third change early in the second half.

The visitors remained dangerous as Reece Myles-Meekums played a 49th minute ball in from the left hand side of the penalty area to substitute and leading goalscorer Jimmy Muitt but Newman threw himself to block.

Myles-Meekums then found Muitt on the left hand side four minutes later but Roberts saved the subsequent shot as Invicta were to finish the season with three consecutive  clean sheets.

A 58th minute cross evaded Wild in the box and Roberts made a superb save to keep out substitute Ashton Leigh’s shot at the expense of a corner.

Myles-Meekums then showed good skill and shot against the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area in the 62nd minute.

Invicta responded as a McCann ball across goal from the right hand side was touched past the post for a corner and Vincent headed against the station of post and crossbar when Davies played a 65th minute ball forward.

The only goal of the game soon followed when Vincent played a great ball forward to replace JACKSON who slotted the ball in with a cool finish. It was Jackson’s seventh goal in ten starts since joining the club from Sittingbourne.

A 72nd minute Heard corner from the right was put just wide of the far post by Vincent and Ter Horst then couldn’t quite get a Roberts clearance under control two minutes later and the ball carried to Bognor goalkeeper Lincoln.

At the other end, a Muitt shot was blocked for a corner by Newman.

A 78th minute Wild shot then lacked sufficient power to beat Roberts after a Muitt ball in from the right.

But Invicta then began to dominate as they realised that only a two-goal win would give them any chance of reaching the play offs.

Heard played the ball up to Yusuff down the right hand side but Lincoln saved in the 79th mi9nute and a Heard corner from the left took a couple of touches a minute later and somehow stayed out after coming off Davies at the far post.

Jackson then played the ball across goal from the left hand side in the 83rd minute when a Yusuff shot was cleared by Wood close to the line.

Ter Horst got up to meet a good 87th minute Vincent ball into the penalty area but it was headed out for a corner.

Wild was booked for a 90th minute foul on Yusuff and Jackson hit the subsequent free kick just over the bar.

Lincoln made a great stoppage time save to keep out a Ter Horst header after a Heard corner from the left and a goalmouth scramble from the Heard corner on the right gave both O’Mara and Ter Horst chances inside a crowded penalty area.

Heard then produced good skill down the left hand side of the box but the ball was cleared by a defender.

There had earlier been a booking for Invicta defender Davies.

The win gave Invicta a league ‘double’ over Bognor this season as they headed to the club’s end of season presentations in reasonably good spirits but wondering what night have been.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Roberts, Vincent, O’Mara, Newman, Davies, McCann, Heard, Everitt (Paxman 87 mins), Ter Horst, Yusuff, Jackson.  Unused subs: Blanks, Madden, Small, Shaw.

BOGNOR REGIS TOWN: Lincoln, McCormick, Tomlinson (Leigh 45 mins), Dunn (Scutt 55 mins), Field, Wood, Whyte, Gilot, Wild, Maloney (Muitt 45 mins), Myles-Meekums.  Unused sub: Sanders.

Corners: Invicta 13 Bognor 4