Folkestone Invicta FC v Cray Wanderers – Tuesday 15th February 2022 – The BuildKent Stadium

I came with two good friends to this Isthmian Premier League fixture, for my second visit to the BuildKent Stadium in Folkestone. The game had been in doubt until a final pitch inspection, by the referee, twenty minutes prior to kick off. Indeed the game between Dover and Notts County had been called off just an hour before kick off, which meant some Notts County fans had come across to Folkestone, in the hope of seeing a game, after their travels.

Pitch side tree at The BuildKent Stadium.

Long serving manager Neil Cugeley, has seen something of a renaissance this season, with his team flirting with promotion places and crowds averaging 500 plus. Folkestone have plateaued a little in recent weeks and they sit in sixth place so needed a win today to reignite their drive for the play off places. Their season has been helped by the 19 goals scored by striker, David Smith, so far. Manager Neil Cugeley has completed 25 years in post at Folkestone this season, still the longest reign of any current English manager, at Step 5 and above.

Refreshment stand

Cray Wanderers have struggled this season with manager Danny Kedwell being replaced in December, by an interim Grant Basey, who had previously played for Charlton Athletic. Since then they have ground out some good results, to claw themselves out of the relegation places, into 19th place.

Isthmian League Premier Division –
Courtesy of http://www.footballwebpages.co.uk

The BuildKent Stadium at Cheriton Road, Folkestone holds 4000, with 336 seated. the ground has refreshment stands, a highly unusual and well-stocked shop, a bar and clubhouse, as well as open standing terraces and covered stands and a seated stand. The shop was full of non league and league memorabilia, with books, badges, programmes, clothing and scarves, as well as cd’s and dvd’s for sale.

The refreshment stand had a chef producing incredible food with fresh garnishing from locally sourced meat. One of my friends had beef chilli Nachos, which looked restaurant standard.

Cray Wanderers match day team – courtesy of Club Twitter account.
Folkestone Invicta match day team – Courtesy of club Twitter account.

The game started well with David Smith and Ade Yusuff linking well for Folkestone. The home crowd were in good voice, despite the torrential rain. Cray Wanderers, playing in a change kit of Lilac and white shirts and lilac shorts, counter-attacked well, with number ten, Kyle Reid, being a constant threat with some probing runs.

After some close chances Folkestone Invicta went ahead, in the 43rd minute, with a well finished goal from Ade Yusuff. The rain had stopped, which made the game easier for both sides and enhanced the quality of passing play as the half progressed.

1-0

There was still time before the half time whistle, for a fine save by the Folkestone keeper, Tim Roberts, on the stroke of half time to preserve the Folkestone team’s 1-0 lead.

The second half saw both sides create chances, with Folkestone hitting the bar and having chances saved by Blue in the Cray goal. Cray had chances saved by the Folkestone keeper, Roberts.

Tackling was tough on a wet day.

As the time ticked away the tackles began flying in and the referee waved out a procession of yellow cards. Folkestone never really looked like losing their lead and at the final whistle, the crowd of 473 applauded a solid Folkestone Invicta victory which lifts them back into the play off places in fifth place.

The final whistle.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. nbw0809 says:

    Brilliant article informative with fab pictures well done !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mattbritt69 says:

      Thanks so much. I compile a report each week from usually Kent or south east England non league games. Glad you liked it.

      Like

  2. gerard hanrahan says:

    Brilliant summary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mattbritt69 says:

      Thanks Gerard. It was an unexpectedly nice evening, the rain at the start looked like it could ruin the match!!

      Like

  3. Yes great report. Invicta are doing well and a quick plug to say that Folkestone as a town is also doing well with many places of interest, good pubs and restaurants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mattbritt69 says:

      Thanks Paul. It was a good visit. Had a drink and meal in the Bouverie Tap before the game. I love Folkestone.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jpsawh says:

    Good to see some recognition here on the reporting!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good article Matt. I also love writing soccer blogs in my home country Eswatini/Swaziland and even international leagues such as the English Premier League

    https://footballfieldpreview.wordpress.com use this link to check it out😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mattbritt69 says:

    Thanks. I’ll check it out. 👍👍

    Like

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