Folkestone Invicta report
match report by Taimour Lay
Rob Tolfrey, in nearly 600 games for Kingstonian, had – until the 6th minute of this seaside encounter - never received a red card. If you’re going to get one after all these years, you’d at least want it to be deserved. Since I was queuing for a cup of tea at Tolfs’ end I got a fairly good view of the incident and initially thought he’d been harshly sent off for clattering Alfie Paxman rather than a handball outside the box which is what the referee saw. It seems Paxman’s lob flicked off the onrushing goalkeeper’s head and wide but both his hands were up, which led the referee to assume the ball’s path had deviated via a glove.
Away from home and down to ten, Mason Whitnell came on for a rare appearance and thoughts turned to whether K’s could hold out for a heroic draw. Unfortunately, Ollie Cook’s injury ten minutes later led to further change and confusion at the back and Invicta capitalised. First, Adam Yussuf put Invicta 1-0 up in the 17th minute after being gifted a chance. Then Matthew Newman scored a first-half brace – two unmarked headers from corners - to end the contest before half-time.
It was 4-0 shortly after the restart, David Smith converting a penalty after Yusuff was fouled. Smith then made it five in the 74th minute, bundling in from close range.
Folkestone certainly eased off at that stage, having played extra-time in the FA Cup in midweek. But K’s deserve credit for not only keeping the score respectable but fashioning several chances. Daniel Ajakaiye had a goal incorrectly ruled offside (and also hit the post before the red card), Gus Sow ran throughout like a man possessed, while Bryant Akono Bilongo and Juevan Spencer covered acres on their respective flanks. There was never any hint of a despondent collapse. K’s fans even sang “Greensleeves” in tribute to the hooped resistance.
The final goal duly went to K's. Sow went on another long run in the 77th minute, slaloming past challenges and charging into midfield space before finally drawing a foul in the box. He got up to score his 6th penalty of the season and improve our goal difference to +4.
Folkestone Invicta: Alexis Andre, Josh Vincent, Jordan Wright, Matthew Newman, Callum Davies, Ryan Johnson, Scott Heard, Ronnie Dolan, David Smith, Adam Yusuff, Alfie Paxman.
Subs: Ian Draycott (for Ryan Johnson, 57m), Tyler Sterling (for Scott Heard, 70m), Finn O’Mara (for Callum Davies, 64m), Kieron McCann, Connor Collins.
Red Card: Rob Tolfrey (5m, handball)
Goal scorers: Adam Yusuff (18m, 1-0), Matthew Newman (26m, 2-0), Matthew Newman (39m, 3-0), David Smith (49m pen, 4-0), David Smith (74m, 5-0), Gus Sow (77m pen, 5-1)