Bognor Regis Town 2-4 Folkestone Invicta
Folkestone Invicta’s start to the season gets better and better as they maintain their unbeaten league start to the season in a proud performance as they came from behind to claim all three points at Nyewood Lane.
Invicta have been no strangers to high scoring games of late, coming into this game off the back of a resounding 5-1 win against Kingstonian on Saturday which followed on from the well documented FA Cup tie and replay against Eastleigh, which saw 11 goals scored across the two matches. This was the first league away match for the Seasiders since a 1-1 draw against East Thurrock United on the 14th September, with their fixtures broken up by the earlier rounds of the FA Cup.
Memories of nearly moments and hopes of promotion scuppered by the curtailment of the last two seasons, Folkestone once again looked the real deal as they chase the promotion dream. Goals from Ade Yusuff, Jordan Wright and a second half brace from top scorer Dave Smith, saw them fight back from 2-0 down inside 15 minutes to end the night third.
Invicta found themselves in trouble when the Rocks raced into a two goal lead in no time at all. Only eight minutes in, Jordy Mongoy scored the easiest goal of his career as he smashed in from point blank range after desperate Invicta defending denied Harrison Brook, as he saw his shot cleared off the line, but only to fall into the path of the goal scorer.
The second for the hosts came just under 10 minutes later, Harrison Brook wasn’t to be denied a second time as he stabbed home from midway inside the penalty box with an emphatic strike. Both goals were created by the Rocks wing backs as they matched Invicta in a back five setup and played effectively on the counter.
The Seasiders wasted no time in pulling themselves back into the game and finally took one of their early chances after Bognor had made them pay for their wastefulness. Just like their opposite numbers, Invicta’s wing backs would also have a key part to play in proceedings.
Just two minutes after the hosts had scored the second, Yusuff headed in Invicta’s first and set the comeback in motion. Great play from Alife Paxman on the left set up the opening as he intercepted a weak switch of play before releasing Smith down the wing who found Yusuff unmarked in the box.
Once again two minutes passed and another goal, on the 22nd minute mark the scores were level as Invicta cancelled out the Rocks early advantage in three first half minutes to cap off a frantic opening quarter of the game. This time Invicta’s leveller came from the right when Wright saw his deflected shot from the edge of the box loop over helpless keeper Amadou Tangara and into the top corner to set Folkestone on the road to victory.
The visitors then set about turning the screw as they dominated the rest of the first half with a mixture of Tangara and lacklustre finishing from the away side keeping the scores level at the break. However, it wasn’t long into the second half when the pressure finally told, Smith rose highest at the back post to head in Paxman’s wicked delivery and put the visitors ahead for the first time after 54 minutes.
Bognor reacted to going behind with purpose as they forced Invicta on the back foot and under heavy pressure for the first time since going behind early on. A completely different second half to that of the first as the hosts began to create openings and yet again enjoyed the wide areas with the wing back turning the tables and this time pinning back the Invicta defence.
On a couple of occasions saved by the flag or their own desperate defending. Invicta found a fourth goal and finally breathing space in the game. A ball through the channel from Callum Davies found Smith who reached the ball ahead of the goalkeeper and chasing defender. Under pressure, Smith worked the ball onto his left foot and his looping shot over the despairing keeper seemed to defy gravity as it hung in the air, finally dropping into the back of the net queuing celebrations and an out pour of relief from those on the pitch and behind the goal.
The visitors managed their way through the rest of proceedings expertly with the Rocks unable to find any scent of a chance to get themselves a goal and set up a nervy ending. The Seasiders will yet again thank their goalscoring quality for getting them out of the early predicament. Since a change of shape during pre-season to a defensive five, Folkestone arguably look as good as they have for some time as they begin their chase on those above them.
After an FA Trophy tie at home to Hendon on the weekend, Invicta kick off a packed November schedule against mid-table Hornchurch, the first of eight league games lined up next month. Those eight games include the games in hand that the Seasiders have on the surrounding pack in the league, as the opportunity is in their hands to top the league by the end of the month before facing second place Enfield Town in the opening weekend in December.