Folkestone Invicta 0 Gillingham 2 Cugley's "delighted" with first outing

Wednesday 12th July 2006

Pre-Season Friendly
Wednesday 12th July 2006
Stephen McCartney reports from Buzzlines Stadium

Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley was “delighted” with his side’s performance, despite losing 2-0 to their League One neighbours Gillingham tonight.



It took the Gills 43 minutes to break the resilience from the Ryman Premier League side - adding a second goal within three minutes of the second half.

23-year-old Congo-born striker, Guylian Ndumbu-Nsungu, a summer signing from Cardiff City, tapped home into an empty net from six-yards after dummying Invicta goalkeeper Tony Kessell and tapping home, after he receive a squad pass from Michael Flynn, who burst through beating the offside trap.

Although Gillingham won eight of their 13 corners during the first half, and created numerous chances, Folkestone Invicta had two good attempts on goal.

Michael Everitt blazed over from the edge of the box and Steve Norman drove a right-footed shot wide.

With Invicta making four changes at the break - only Norman, Adam Flanagan and Kevin Watson played the entire 90 minutes - they conceded their second goal of the game inside three second half minutes.

A mix-up between Watson and goalkeeper Tony Kessell presented Dean McDonald with an easy tap-in into an empty net.

Folkestone, however, created some good second half chances of their own, with a flying Flanagan header going wide following Watson’s 61st minute free kick.

Stuart Myall drove a shot, which flew agonisingly wide from distance, and striker Walid Matata, who impressed during his second half showing, rolled a shot towards substitute goalkeeper Scott Ward when put through.

But the former Dover Athletic striker almost scored a deserved 85th minute consolation after lobbing the advancing goalkeeper but Sean Clohessey’s desperate last-gasp clearance denied the 24-year-old.

Gillingham, however, were in full control of the game, winning the corner count by 13-2. But it was a good work out for Cugley’s side.

Cugley told after the game: “Delighted really. A little bit disappointed with the goals.

“I thought the first one we didn’t defend, or it was offside? I’m not sure.

“The second one Kevin Watson should have cleared so that was a little disappointing but generally very pleased.”

Cugley, now in his tenth season at Cheriton Road, explained why he hasn’t delved into the summer transfer market.

“Lack of money!”, he said. “We have a budget and try to keep to it and they want to run the club properly and make sure we don’t get into debt, which is fair enough.

“We’ve sort off, not say push the boat out, got our players from last year. They’ve all agreed to stay and that’s eaten all the money up.”

But with striker Paul Jones back to fitness following a lengthy injury last term, Cugley admitted it’s just like having a new signing at the club.

Speaking about the former Ashford Town striker, who last season scored eight goals despite missing the last 17 games, Cugley admitted: “It feels like a new signing. I think there’s a few like that in our club. We’ve got a few getting a bit fitter and look stronger.

“But as you know this club, although we’ve got some good senior players, we’re not afraid to chuck kids in and give them a go.”

Tonight’s match was played on a lush playing surface. Cugley praised their supporters club for coughing up £3,000 to improve the much criticised pitch.

“Our supporters club are excellent,” he said. “They support us very well and put a lot of time in and we wouldn’t be this far as a club without their help - their tremendous.”

With nothing major to report from this week’s shareholders meeting, Cugley did add: “We need some more money. We’re doing well as a club but people forget how far we’ve come on. We were only a Kent League club not that long time ago.”

* Another full-time club, this time Nationwide Conference club Gravesend & Northfleet, are the visitors to the Buzzlines Stadium in Cheriton Road on Saturday, and we shall bring you an interview with Invicta striker Walid Matata later.

Folkestone Invicta: Tony Kessell (Kieron Mann 80), James Everitt (Simon Rainbow 80), Steve Norman, Adam Flanagan, Lee Shearer (Paul Lamb 45), Mark Saunders (Martin Chandler 45), Michael Everitt (Joe Neilson 65), Stuart Myall (Ben Sly 80), Rob Knott (Paul Jones 45), Matt Carruthers (Walid Matata 45), Kevin Watson.

Gillingham: Brian Murphy (Scott Ward 60), Duncan Jupp (Craig Stone 62), Danny Jackman (Gary Mulligan 55), Michael Flynn (Matthew Jarvis 55), Leon Johnson, Magnus Okuongae, Craig Dobson (Frannie Collin 33) Mark Bentley (Sean Clohessey 62), Guylian Ndumbu-Nsungu (Andrew Crofts 55), Dean McDonald (Andy Pugh 55), Clint Easton.

Goals: Guylian Ndumbu-Nsungu 43, Dean McDonald 48

Referee: Ian Gosling
Assistants: Ian Regan & Ian Cooper
Fourth Official: Martin Staveley