Sunday 23rd October 2005

Cugley hails "great achievement"

Two goals from James Dryden booked Folkestone Invicta a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history (although Folkestone Town have reached this stage before), which has been rewarded with a trip to Coca-Cola League Two outfit Chester City on 5th November, writes Stephen McCartney.

Everyone from the Buzzlines Stadium club will remember the 5th November if they can knock out a side that are currently 78 places above them.

Proud manager Neil Cugley, nursing a slight hangover following their 2-0 win at Southern Premier League side Aylesbury United yesterday, will be hoping his side can maintain their unbeaten run of six games when they travel to Worthing (on Tuesday night) and Fisher Athletic next Saturday in the Ryman Premier League before their trip to Chester.

Folkestone started October on the end of a 5-0 drubbing at Harrow Borough, but have since remained unbeaten, and their win against the Ducks earned them a lucrative first round tie.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Cugley said: "Yes, very pleased and I'm delighted for the football club.

"It's a great achievement really. Just shows how far we've come in the last few years."

Cugley, however, praised former Ashford Town striker Paul Jones for his contribution at Buckingham Road yesterday, although his strike partner, Dryden notched up his tenth and eleven goals of the season.

"All the players attitudes have been spot on this season and have got their just rewards," Cugley said.

"We have become a very difficult side to beat - we've only lost once in the last six games."

But Cugley hopes his players won't be suffering from a cup hangover when he takes them to two sides that are currently in the top four.

"These are two big games and both these sides will be in the play-off's," predicted Cugley.

"It will be a good test for us to see how far we have improved over the last month."

Cugley, however, revealed he still has relations living in the Chester area, although his parents moved down to Kent to neared to their son.  But he is relishing their big day out.

And we all know about the magic of the FA Cup, and the Kent club could be the next non-league team to spring a surprise on the bigger stage.

And wouldn't it be great if they can join the list of non-league clubs to knock out their illustrious Football League opponents - or bring them back to the Buzzlines Stadium in Cheriton Road for a replay.

"It's a great exciting time," Cugley admitted.  "Not many of my players have played in the Football League so it's a big game for a lot of them.

"We'll make sure we'll enjoy ourselves and treat it as a very special day.  Whatever happens, we'll do our best."

And with a barman called James Dryden back on form, the prolific 25-year-old striker can join those famous non-league postmen, teachers and builders that grab the national headlines in two weeks time.

Worthing v Folkestone Invicta
Ryman Premier League
Tuesday 25th October 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Woodside Road, Worthing, West Sussex