Monday 04th April 2005

Disciplinary action hangs over Invicta

FOLKESTONE INVICTA secretary Neil Pilcher has issued a statement regarding the events that took place during their game against Hampton & Richmond Borough at the Westbourne Stadium in January, writes Stephen McCartney.

There were unprecedented scenes at the Westbourne Stadium when referee Gavin Hoare sensationally walked off the pitch after just 65 minutes and appeared to have abandoned the game in front of a stunned 389 crowd.

Play eventually re-started following a delay of over ten minutes during which the players returned to the dressing rooms and supporters remained baffled as to what was going on.

At the time Mr Hoare declined the opportunity to explain his actions saying that all he had to say on the subject would be included in his report to the Football Association.  But the referee was believed to have felt threatened after being verbally barracked by supporters.

Pilcher revealed: "The club has received a reply from the FA concerning events at our game with Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday 22nd January 2005.

"Having reviewed our comments I can confirm that the FA does not propose to take any further action on the occasion.

"However the FA also stated that they would consider disciplinary action against the club should further reports of spectator misconduct be received and that the FA reserves the right to refer to this matter in such circumstances.

"Therefore, whilst the club is pleased with the outcome we would ask spectators to behave in the appropriate manner to ensure we are not called before the FA again.  

"We shall continue with our "low-key" stewarding, which has been effective in our climb through the leagues."

In a bid to tackle the problem of reduced gates at the Westbourne Stadium during the course of European and Premiership football being screened on television, Folkestone Invicta will be playing their games on Monday night's next season.

Pilcher added: "Due to the number of televised European games, particularly on Tuesday's and Wednesday's, this has caused a big reduction in attendances at the Westbourne Stadium.

"I hope everyone understands the economic arguments behind this decision and that supporters will continue to support the club and encourage friends and neighbours to get out from behind the TV set.

With Folkestone almost safe following their flirt with relegation from the Ryman Premier League, the club have issued season tickets prices for next season.

For people who aren't a season ticket holder, they should be advised that for applications/renewals special rates apply to tickets purchased before the end of April 2005:

Adults: £130 (standing)
Adults: £145 (seated)
Senior Citizens/Junior: £70 (standing)
Senior Citizens/Junior: £85 (seated)

From May 1st onwards:
Adults add £10
Senior Citizens and Juniors add £5

The gate price for season 2005-06 will be £8 (standing) and £4 (concessions)

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Tony Kessell has signed for Nationwide South Eastbourne Borough.  Kessell will be with Invicta until the end of the season and then if Borough finish in the play-off zone the former Charlton Athletic, Hastings, Dartford and Cray Wanderers stopper will join the Sussex outfit as cover only, returning to Invicta.  To enable him to cover in May, the registration with Borough had to be signed and sealed before the transfer deadline last Thursday.