Folkestone’s day of joy
FOLKESTONE Invicta secured promotion back to the Ryman League Premier Division after a historic play-off final win over Godalming Town at the Buzzlines Stadium on Saturday.
Invicta’s starting line-up was unchanged from the semi-final win over Leatherhead less than four days earlier and the home side opened the scoring on 19 minutes when Josh Burchell’s cross was met by Josh Vincent’s diving header at the far post.
However, the visitors were level within two minutes when Phil Williams headed in from close range after Richard Taylor’s throw-in was flicked-on.
The flurry of goals continued six minutes later with the eventual winner. Jimmy Jackson swung in a free-kick which Simon Austin converted from close range.
Jack Delo kept Invicta ahead with a double save six minutes before half-time, denying Glen Stanley and Chris Wales after a long ball forward from keeper Rodney Chiweshe.
Wales fired over and Chiweshe denied Liam Friend after the break as the visitors looked dangerous, with Graeme Purdy denied by a Frankie Chappell clearance and Vincent blocking a shot from a Stanley corner.
Godalming looked set to equalise when they were awarded a penalty on 73 minutes as Purdy went down under a challenge from Jackson but after being persuaded to consult his assistant, referee John Busby changed his decision and booked Purdy for diving in a pivotal moment in the match.
Chiweshe saved from Vincent at the other end moments later and Austin rounded the goalkeeper and looked set for his second until he slipped and sent the ball wide.
Town spurned another chance before substitute Brendon Cass saw a shot tipped wide by Chiweshe with time running out and Invicta held on to record a historic win and secure promotion – despite having had a 10point deduction this season.
Micheal Everitt holds up the winners’ trophy