Folkestone Invicta 3-1 Tooting & Mitcham United - Everybody in the dressing room knows we could've done better but we got the job done, says Invicta assistant Roland Edge

Saturday 16th September 2017
Folkestone Invicta 3 – 1 Tooting & Mitcham United
Location Cheriton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5JU
Kickoff 16/09/2017 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round

Saturday 16th September 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Cheriton Road

FOLKESTONE INVICTA assistant manager Roland Edge says his side could have done better during their FA Cup win over struggling, newly-promoted side Tooting & Mitcham United.

Neil Cugley’s side are now two wins away from the First Round for the first time since 2006 after inflicting more misery on their second-from-bottom Bostik Premier rivals Tooting & Mitcham United, whom have three points from seven league games.

Folkestone Invicta scored their three goals at good times.  Tooting & Mitcham’s central midfielder Eddie Dines put through his own net inside the opening six minutes; Folkestone left-back Finn O’Mara headed in within a couple minutes into the second half before substitute striker Ade Yusuff scored his fifth goal of the season on the hour-mark.

Tooting & Mitcham United striker Omar Folkes struck a rasping drive into the top right-hand corner to score his second goal for Frank Wilson’s side.

Cugley wanted Edge to face the questions during the post-match press conference, after watching his side extend their unbeaten run to six games in all competitions to book their place in Monday’s Third Qualifying Round Draw.

“Well, considering it’s the biggest Cup competition, I think, pretty much domestically in the world really, I am English, a bit biased, sometimes you expect to play to the highest of your ability but today wasn’t one of those days,” admitted Edge, 38.

Folkestone Invicta have started their campaign well this season and went into the game in the top nine in the Bostik Premier with 11 points on the board from six league games.

“I thought Tooting came out and gave their all, were a little bit unfortunate. I don’t think we really got going but luckily for us we’ve come through 3-1 and in the next round.”

Folkestone Invicta now pocketed bagged £7,500 in prize money after beating Greenwich Borough (3-2) and Tooting & Mitcham United.

“It’s lovely. Every non-league club, every extra bit of funds or money they can get they rip their hands off to get it,” said Edge.

“I think it’s quite generous really for qualifying rounds, that amount of money. It just helps club’s like this run because every non-league club finds it difficult.”

Tooting & Mitcham United were a threat with headed chances through set-pieces and Chace O’Neil should have done better with this early chance.

Left-back Peter Wedgeworth swung in their first corner from the right and O’Neill knew he missed a good chance when he steered his free header wide at the far post from six-yards.

Edge said: “They’re definitely dangerous because we didn’t mark them!  I thought they moved quite well from set-pieces, created opportunities but I think it was equal at both ends.  I don’t think either side necessarily defended well from set-pieces and I think we could’ve had a few more goals and so they could’ve had a few more as well.”

Folkestone Invicta’s left wing-back Kieran McCann clipped the ball down the left channel to release Scott Heard, who cut into the box and his low shot forced visiting keeper Joe Tupper to stick out his right leg to make a near-post block.

Folkestone Invicta opened the scoring with five minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.

Heard swung in the home side’s second corner of the game, from the right, and Dines’ sliced clearance bounced into his own net – despite Folkestone Invicta striker Joe Taylor attempting to bundle the ball over the line.

“Since Joe’s come back from his niggle, he’s looked lively and looked sharp,” said Edge.

“Everybody knows in Kent that he’s a prolific goalscorer.  I think he can’t claim that, he’ll have a little laugh if he does.  The lad scored an own goal and I think that’s the degree of luck that you need in the Cup competitions to try to get you through it.”

Jordan Wright, Folkestone’s right wing-back, played a neat one-two with Heard before getting to the by-line to whip in a hanging cross and Taylor’s downward header bounced across goal before it was hooked clear by Tooting’s right-back Juevan Spencer.

Folkestone Invicta were certainly on the front foot during the early exchanges and they should have doubled their lead in the 14th minute.

Taylor did well to shield the ball from Terrors’ central defender Sol Patterson-Bohner, winning a free-kick down the left.  McCann’s resulting free-kick was palmed away by Tupper and Heard cut the ball back to Wright, who took a touch before delivering a cross into the near post where Taylor guided his free header just past the right-hand post from six-yards.

“I think in the first half we was on top for about 10 minutes, probably could’ve scored two or three goals in those 10 minutes, then we drifted away,” said Edge.

“I think Tooting took control for the rest of the half.  Myself and Cugs couldn’t wait to get them in to have a little bit of a chat.”

Tooting & Mitcham United went close when Folkes put right winger Danny Bassett through on goal but his right-footed angled drive from 15-yards flashed across the diving Tim Roberts and only just past the foot of the far post.

Folkestone broke through the heart of the pitch with striker Ian Draycott and Heard played in McCann, who stung the fingers of the former Reading goalkeeper, although the drive from a couple of yards inside the box went straight at the 19-year-old.

Tooting & Mitcham United weathered the storm and were the better side after 25 minutes right through to half-time.

Wedgeworth swung in their fifth corner of the game, from the right, but Rowe steered his free header wide from a tight angle at the near post.

Billy Dunn swung in a free-kick from the left and Dunn ghosted in at the far post to glance his header past the post from eight-yards.

Wedgeworth swung in his sixth corner of the game, which was cleared out to Dunn, but Roberts easily gathered his left-footed half-volley from outside the box.

Wedgeworth rose his left hand before whipping in another corner, but Rowe came up from the back to send his downward header into Roberts’ hands for another comfortable collection.

Tooting & Mitcham missed a glorious chance in the 39th minute when they really should have levelled.

Winger Danny Clements broke down the left and played Wedgeworth in on the overlap and he whipped in a low cross towards the near post.  Bassett cut across his man to find a pocket of space only to poke his shot straight at Roberts from six-yards out.

“On another day, Tooting probably could’ve scored four or five and we could’ve scored exactly the same, it’s just one of those games,” said Edge.

“I think people watching it would’ve enjoyed it because there were goals and stuff like that but from a manager’s perspective, there’s a lot that you could pick holes in.”

Edge revealed it wasn’t a happy home dressing room at the break and when asked what they told their players, he replied: “Let’s up our game pretty much, or let’s get going, let’s get started!

“We didn’t really come out of the blocks, we didn’t really dictate play. We just said to them  we’re better than what we’re showing, we need to go out and sort that out!”

The introduction of Yusuff at half-time added something different to Folkestone Invicta’s attack and the former Dagenham & Redbridge and Chatham Town striker was a nuisance for Patterson-Bohner and Rowe.

However, a mistake from visiting keeper Tupper gifted Folkestone Invicta a second goal, just 87 seconds into the second half.

Heard swung in their sixth corner, from the left, the keeper’s poor punch at the near post only landed on O’Mara’s head and 18-year-old defender guided his header into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

“I’m happy for Finn, it’s quite hard when you’re a pro at a club to go out on loan, although he knows full well he’s down here just really to play competition football,” Edge said of the Gillingham loanee.

“He’s going from strength-to-strength. It’s clear that he’s a very good footballer and I’m really happy for him, his first goal, I think, in competition football and it’s in The FA Cup, so it’s lovely, one for him to remember.

“I think he shows a lot of promise.  I tell you what I like about him, he’s always willing to listen and he’s always willing to learn. He knows he’s not the finished article but he’s a very, very good footballer and a very nice lad as well.”

Clements, Spencer and O’Neill linked up down the right and Dunn drove through the penalty area and despite being closely marked by two Folkestone players, managed to stab his left-footed shot against the base of the near post from eight-yards, Roberts had it covered and watched the ball trickle wide in the 56th minute.

Edge said: “I would say today there were only a couple of players in our team that actually did their normal standard of football and play and fortunate enough for us because he was a dangerman. I thought Mev (Micheal Everitt) was outstanding today and kind of nullified their threat.”

Folkestone Invicta produced a great sweeping move when holding midfielder Micheal Everitt kept Dunn in his pocket, winning the ball before clipping a precise long ball forward that released Taylor, who slipped the ball into the box to Heard, whose flicked pass set up an unmarked Wright, who hit his shot straight at Tupper from 12-yards.

“Jordan said to us the grass is a bit long, that’s why he didn’t get enough power,” claimed Edge.

“No, it was a lovely move and it was a shame that didn’t ripple in the net to be fair. It was a bit similar to the move the other day against Greenwich Borough, lovely, one-touch, two-touch, people running in to join play. 

“It deserved a goal and that’s what we’re capable of and that’s why we often go into the dressing room frustrated because on our day we can play great football and today wasn’t one of those days.”

But Folkestone Invicta only had to wait 14 seconds to score their third goal, timed at 14 minutes and 10 seconds.

Heard played the ball into Yusuff, who got the ball out from underneath his feet before placing his low right-footed shot across the keeper, the ball nestling nicely into the bottom far corner from 14-yards.

Edge said: “I think all the time being here this is probably the best squad we’ve had.  You reply on other people to come off the bench to chip in with a goal here, goal there, who will do a job for you and I honestly think we’ve got the strongest squad we’ve got.

“Ade’s got every right to say ‘why am I not starting?’, but that’s the decision we had to make and that’s how you answer a manager!  You go out there, you give your all and it’s a brilliant finish, got it out of his feet and whipped it straight into the bottom corner and the keeper stood no chance really and that’s the game over.

“He’s really made an impact in a lot of ways. He holds the ball up well, links play really well. He can finish clearly and harasses defenders but what I like about him the most, he’s a winner and if you get a dressing room full of winners, you’re going to win the majority of games. He doesn’t accept losing, which is a great attribute.”

Josh Vincent, one of three central defenders, was pushed further forward and his pass wasn’t cut out by Patterson-Bohner and let in Taylor, but his low shot was held well by Tupper, to his left.

“I think their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves especially off Joe Taylor.  I think I was already clapping for a goal,” said Edge.

“I just think he made an instinct dive and read what was going to happen and made a great save.  Funnily enough, I thought he made some really good saves and probably looks at some of the goals and probably holds his hands up but that’s football though.”

Tooting & Mitcham United pulled a goal back with a stunning strike from Folkes with 27 minutes and 16 seconds on the clock.

Wedgeworth played the ball into Bassett, who flicked a pass to into O’Neill, who teed up Folkes, who smashed his right-footed drive past the diving Roberts into the top-right hand corner from 22-yards.

“Well, I would say it was a fantastic finish, if I’m on their bench, I’d say what a great finish!  But being part of the Folkestone team, I wonder how someone can have a touch on the edge of the 18 and have time to line up his shot. For us, it wasn’t a great goal but for them, great finish, Tim had no chance!”

Yusuff fed McCann down the left, who crossed for Taylor, who’s diving near-post header went wide of the target from eight-yards inside the final 15 minutes.

A knock down from Yusuff set up a late chance for Heard, whose first time shot was held by Tupper, who stooped down at his near post to ensure Yusuff didn’t beat him with a low shot at his near post at the end of the game.

“It became surprisingly enough more open as the game was coming to an end and fair play to Tooting, it’s The FA Cup, there’s no point trying to lose or get a draw, you want to try to win it and go through.   Tooting just threw everything at it to try to get back in the game and get the win.

“The chance for Joe Taylor weren’t as easy as you’d might’ve think. The crosses were slightly low for Joe. We scored three and really if you don’t win by scoring three, you’ve got to really look at yourself haven’t you.

“It’s one of those things, it’s funny really because it papers over the cracks, the fact that you’ve gone through and that’s the beauty of The FA Cup.  I mean there was a lot that wasn’t great that we all know and they know to be honest.  Luckily for us we’ve managed to stay in the Cup, so it’s just one of those days where everybody in the dressing room knows we could’ve been better but we’ve actually got the job done and then hopefully on Tuesday we’ll sort out some of the problems.”

When asked about his own FA Cup pedigree, Edge was part of the Gillingham side that were beaten 5-0 at Gianluca Vialli’s Chelsea in the quarter-finals back in February 2000.

“I don’t know anyone can come to a FA Cup game without being completely up for it,” said Edge.

“The finances aside, it’s just a great competition. You get the opportunity to play against players’ that otherwise you might never come across. Sticking to the same league, you play the same players.  You get the opportunity to play, if you’re lucky enough, at bigger stadiums, bigger crowds and play against players of a better quality, so The FA Cup is easy to inspire people.

“I’ve played in a few.  You’re proud of the achievements and stuff but The FA Cup is quite funny.  You pray to hopefully get further on in the competition obviously, you pray hoping to get a big team and stuff like that but that team can often end in misery.

“Stamford Bridge in the quarter-finals, lost 5-0! Funny that, it sticks in my mind but it’s funny how you pray to go as far as you can and then you come up against an obstacle you can’t get past.

“It was a lovely, fantastic day, always sticks in my mind. The bad thing now is I work at a school and when John Terry retired from football they show his first goal for Chelsea, which is that one. Every kid at my school sees my shirt in it and just gives me a load of stick!”

But with the Third Qualifying Round of The FA Cup in 14 days time, Folkestone Invicta must play three games before then, starting with a trip to Crayford to play Bostik South side VCD Athletic in the Velocity Trophy First Round on Tuesday night.

“We’ve got to go there and do a job,” added Edge.

“It’s about momentum.  I mean we’re trying to create a winning mentality, whether it’s the Kent Cup, League Cup or FA Cup. We need to try to get in bedded into our team so we’ll go there, give it our best to go through.”

Naturally, Edge would like another home tie in the next round of The FA Cup.

“Do you know what, it’s not about who we get.  You prefer to be at home but all I hope is we give it our all. It doesn’t matter who you get, you go and play the best game you can, win, lose or draw. You leave the ground happy and that’s all I want really.”

Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Jordan Wright (Nat Blanks 60), Finn O’Mara, Michael Everitt, Callum Davies, Josh Vincent (Salvyn Kisitu 82), Matt Newman, Scott Heard, Ian Draycott (Ade Yusuff 46), Joe Taylor, Kieron McCann.
Subs: Ethan Maddan, Scott Chalmers-Stevens

Goals: Eddie Dines 6 (own goal), Finn O’Mara 47, Ade Yusuff 60

Booked: Josh Vincent 27, Jordan Wright 40, Callum Davies 52

Tooting & Mitcham United: Joe Tupper, Juevan Spencer (Sandy Cunningham 64), Peter Wedgeworth, Eddie Dines (Ollie Bennett 46), Sol Patterson-Bohner, Quncy Rowe, Danny Bassett (Elijah Simpson 80), Omar Folkes, Billy Dunn, Danny Clements.
Subs: Tenny Adebowale, Liam Sallis, Dominic Morgan-Griffiths, Sergino Zamara

Goal: Omar Folkes 73

Booked: Omar Folkes 31

Attendance: 335
Referee: Mr Gerry Heron (West Wickham)
Assistants: Mr Liam Giles (Romford, Essex) & Mr Rhys Battye (Grays, Essex)

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