Back to the football this week with a trip to Folkestone to see Folkestone Invicta play Kingstonians in the Isthmian League Premier Division. Folkestone went out of the FA Cup in mid week to Easleigh which ended an exciting run. They now need to catch up on League games that if they win their outstanding games it would put them well ahead of their rivals. Folkestone were trying to maintain their unbeaten league record and catch up Kingstonians.
The ground is on the edge of town tucked behind a recently re-built Morrison’s that has risen after being burnt to the ground. There are other sporting facilities next door which gives a good parking area.
Again initially a mild afternoon in late October with high grey clouds stationary in the sky due to little if any wind.
The Build Kent Stadium is well cared for with good terracing behind both goals one of which is covered. Down one side is a covered seating stand and a fans area with bar, food and outside seating area, it was used well before and during half time by a large crowd of 884 which was made up of a good mix of ages and sexes. The green lush grass pitch slopes very slightly from one end but as a playing surface is one of the best I have seen recently.
Folkestone Invicta FC has been around since 1936 and played their football locally in the East Kent Amateur League but in 1991 they moved to the Cheriton Road ground after the former Folkestone FC stopped playing. The old Folkestone club had reached the Non League heights of the Southern League.
Invicta embarked on their quest to gain a higher status and in 1998 were rewarded with a return to the Southern League and two years later reached the Premier Division but were back down again after a further two years. In 2004 they were transferred to the Isthmian League under one of the Non-League restructures but suferred relegation in 2008. Yet again they bounced back in 2010 but the next year were relegated once again. After some years of play-off heart ache they won outright promotion back to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League in 2016. This is truly some YO YO years but they now look well placed with a good team and manager, a strong organisation and fan base to perhaps make it next year to their highest level yet in the National League South. There they may lock horns again against their deadly rivals Dover FC who look favourites to be relegated to that Division.
Kingstonians history goes back 136 years with the current club being formed in 1919 after mergers, name changes and the demise of previous clubs such as, Kingston and SurbitonYMCA FC, Saxon FC, Kingston Wanderers FC, Kingstpn-on-Thames AFC, Kingston Town and Old Kingstonians. They initially played in the Athenian League but joined the Isthmian League in 1929 where they stayed until 1998 when they were promoted to the old Conference but they were back in the isthmian league a few years later where they too have seen demotion and promotion back to the Isthmian Premier. So the Isthmian League has been their home for the vast majority of their history but it is in the senior Non League cups that they are famous for, winners of the FA Ameteur Cup in 1933 and finalists again in 1960 and back to back winners of the FA Trophy in 1999 and 2000. They are a very respected club in their sphere.
Kingstonians home is now in a shared ground with Corinthian Casuals at King Georg’s Field in Kingston-upon-Thames.
Folkestone Invicta 5 Kingstonians 1
Invicta v The K’s
Kingstonian started well and were unlucky not to go ahead in the first minute when a well worked right wing pattern was bundled away at the near post by the Invicta defenders.
On five minutes the whole game was turned upside down when the Kingstonians goalkeeper rushed out to stop a clear through run by the lively left winger, Andy Paxman, and was adjudged to have used his hands to stop the ball and was sent off. It became worse for the visitors as their solid centre back Ollie Cook was substituted after what appeared to be a leg injury. Kingstonians had little time to re-group as Adam Yusuff was put through to give Folkestone the lead.
With constant pressure and little organisation Kingstonians conceded a second when Mathew Newman headed in an uncontested corner after 26 minutes which he did again on 39 minutes. The goalkeeper and defence looked panicked at any high ball in the box.
Half time came as some releif to Kinstonians but it only held off the onslaught for a further 4 minutes when Folkestone made it number four, this time from a penalty by David Smith after a forward was tripped in the penalty area. David Smith made it 5 on 74 minutes when again the keeper missed the ball and although 3 Folkestone players could have scored he stepped forward to tap it in.
Kingstonians despite the pressure did show why they are in the top half of the division with some neat interpassing triangles all over the pitch. Their number 2 was particularly impressive all game but it fell to number 8, Gus Sow, to gain a consolation goal with 13 minutes left when he scored from the penalty spot having himself been fould after a strong run at goal.
It definately looks like the local dery with Dover could be on for next season and Kingstonian can go away knowing thatthey can’t surely start so badly in their next game. Invicta remain unbeaten in the league.
The chips were very hot, crispy, well cooked, no oily taste and were on their way to a very good score of 85 when as I made my way through the good portion I noticed the pre seasonning made them saltier and saltier so I have reduced my score to 80.