Folkestone Invicta 0-3 Chatham Town - I say sorry because that today isn't good enough and we're going to do everything we can to put it right, says Folkestone Invicta's assistant manager Roland Edge

Saturday 03rd October 2020
Folkestone Invicta 0 – 3 Chatham Town
Location Cheriton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5JU
Kickoff 03/10/2020 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Saturday 3 October 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Cheriton Road

FOLKESTONE INVICTA assistant manager Roland Edge issued an apology after his side suffered a humiliating home defeat to Chatham Town in The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round at Cheriton Road.

This was Neil Cugley’s side fifth outing of the season.  They won 4-1 at Wingate & Finchley in The FA Cup First Qualifying Round and went into the game sitting in fourteenth-place in the Isthmian League Premier Division table with three points from as many games.

Chatham Town extended their impressive 100% record to nine games after their impressive win on the Kent coast today. 

They defeated East Preston and Westside 2-0 in the first two rounds before Southall were beaten 3-2 as the club reached the Third Qualifying Round for the first time since 2013.

Former Sheppey United striker, Dan Bradshaw, scored a brace to take his goalscoring tally to 10 goals for the season to give Chatham Town a deserved 2-0 lead before attacking midfielder Jack Evans notched the club’s 36th goal of the campaign to send the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division leaders comfortably through.

“Obviously pleased with the result,” said Chatham Town manager Scott Lindsey, 48.

“I felt the second half was better in terms of performance than the first.  I thought we were a bit ponderous at times in the first half and I understand it.  We were playing against a team that are two leagues above and we were wary of them and I don’t think we needed to be.

“I felt we had to play with a little bit more confidence and I’ve seen that in the second half.  I did feel the game was a little end-to-end at times, which I’d like to have seen us control and be more dominant with the ball.

“Listen, we’ve just beat a side from two leagues above and I’m pleased. I’m not saying I’m not because I am.

“I’m not bothered about sending any signals out if I’m honest with you. I just want to keep the momentum of winning, I think that’s important.

“The reality is we’re not going to win The FA Cup. It will be Arsenal, Chelsea or Man City or somebody like that, maybe Liverpool. It ain’t going to be Chatham Town but what I do know is that winning is a good habit in order for us to keep the machine moving forward in my eyes.

“I think it’s good habits and it helps us to where we want to get to, which is win promotion and results like this today can certainly help towards that.”

Folkestone Invicta have banked £3,375 in FA Cup prize money this season, while Chatham Town have collected £8,194 from their run so far.  Chatham Town do have a larger budget than their higher-league hosts and have players that are capable to spring a shock result like this one.

Folkestone Invicta’s Edge, 41, said: “Obviously I’m not going to say too much, just thoroughly disappointed to be honest.

“We knew that Chatham have worked hard behind the scenes, they’ve done a good job there.  They’ve recruited good players, good management staff. We knew it was going to be a tough day.

“We just hoped that our team would turn up and it would be a good contest but today didn’t happen.

“I’d say most people that come down to Folkestone know they’re in for a tough game, but I would say today, the Chatham side and they did play well. They didn’t see what Folkestone are pretty much all about, which is rolling their sleeves up.  I mean in the games when sometimes it doesn’t go right and that happens in football because you can’t always be brilliant, we’ve always have that fighting mentality and spirit but today it looked like we just weren’t at the races.

“Chatham have definitely got class across the pitch like Hayes, Evans and Rooney. Let’s be fair they’ve played at higher tiers and stuff like that and to be honest they showed it today.

“They looked far more relaxed in the game than our lot. I don’t know if that’s because our lot felt they had to put on a show because we’re two leagues above and we should beat them but they set their stall our straight away and we didn’t upset them and they ran out winners and deserved it.”

Chatham Town started the game on the front foot, calling Folkestone Invicta keeper Tim Roberts into making a save after only 189 seconds.

Left-wing-back Ryan Hayes swept in a cross into the Folkestone penalty area, Bradshaw flicked the ball on and Evans’ left-footed rasping drive from 15-yards forced Roberts to dive to his left to push the ball away.

“Listen, Jack’s always dangerous because he arrives in positions where he can score goals and he did that throughout the game, I felt,” said Lindsey.

Edge added: “They came straight out and they knew what they had to do to get through the Cup tie, FA Cup as well, best competition that you can play in.

“They came out straight away. We knew they were going to play football, did that and got opportunities.

“It’s hard to take because I don’t want to take anything away from their performance but ours was that bad that they could’ve done pretty much anything today.”

Chatham Town then struck the crossbar following their first corner of the game.

Hayes swung the ball in from the right and the ball was cleared out to Luke Rooney, who hit a stunning scissor kick volley to smack the crossbar from 18-yards.

“Luke Rooney is a good footballer and he’s a massive addition to the squad and I felt he was outstanding today,” said Lindsey.

“I thought Luke had the bit between his teeth. He’s a real winner and a great person to have on the team and in the changing room.”

Edge said: “I mean that just shows the class of the player and let’s be fair he had to do a scissor kick from 18-yards. The ball was in the air, caught it really sweet and he hit the bar.

“If he’s honest he should be playing at a better level anyway so Chatham have done very well to get him (from National League South side Welling United). It was a real, good technical strike and on another day it could’ve nestled as well.”

Shell-shocked Folkestone Invicta should have scored with their first attempt in the eighth minute, with both of their full-backs involved.

Right-back Josh Vincent whipped in a deep cross which was knocked down by fellow full-back Jordan Wright but left-winger Aaron Simpson found a pocket of space at the near post and lacked composure to lash his shot over the crossbar from 10-yards.

“I’ve got to say that was probably our best passage of play in the whole of the game,” admitted Edge.

“It’s quite hard because he’s done ever so well to get into position but he’s not an out-an-out forward or a winger. We had to put him there today to try to nullify how they play and he put it over but it was a good chance.  You’d like to see him at least test the keeper in that situation.”

Folkestone Invicta towering striker David Smith was a handful for the two Chatham Town centre-halves and peeled of his man to plant his free-header over the crossbar from 15-yards after meeting Sam Hasler’s left-footed cross from the right.

Former Dartford winger Hayes put in some great crosses into the box and was given the freedom to do what he wanted by Vincent’s poor marking for most of the game.

Hayes’ cross found Moses Abioye in space just inside the penalty area but he hooked his shot past the post.

Rooney’s quickly-taken free-kick saw him pass to Evans who fed Jordan Robins, whose left-footed drive from 25-yards bounced once into Roberts’ gloves for a comfortable gather.

Folkestone Invicta forced visiting keeper Jordan Carey into making a flying save in the 19th minute of an open start to proceedings.

Smith drew a foul and took a quickly taken free-kick which he played out to Scott Heard, who cut the ball onto his right-boot and tried to curl his shot into the top far corner from 18-yards, which was tipped over by Carey, diving high to his left.

Edge said: “I thought Dave was excellent, I’ve got to say that.  I thought out of the whole team he was the only one who turned up and I actually felt sorry for him today.

“You often ask your team to beat the man that’s against them to win your individual battle and I felt he did that today but I just felt he didn’t have anybody else with him.”

Lindsey added: “We knew they’re a dangerous side going forward, they’ve got some real attacking threats and we knew that there was going to be times when they got down the sides of us or in behind us and those two chances you mentioned was exactly that.

“The big lad up front, Smith, is a handful for them. The ball went into him a lot of times keeping possession for them high up the pitch but I felt we dealt with him really well in the whole.”

But Chatham Town were by far the better side over the 90 minutes and they regained their dominance on the derby after the home side slightly weathered the storm.

Chatham Town’s opening goal was deserved and it came with 34 minutes and 48 seconds on the clock.

Sloppy Vincent lost the ball to Evans inside his own half in midfield and Evans put Bradshaw through on goal and with his third touch he drilled his right-footed shot into the left-hand corner of the goal, whilst under pressure, 16-yards from goal in a central position.

Lindsey said: “It was a good action because it was the first time we actually played infield. We tried to find the opposite 10 being Jack Evans. Jack’s kind of read what the defender was going to do and it was a good ball through for Dan and you don’t put Dan Bradshaw that easy and he doesn’t score. We always knew he was going to finish well.”

Edge said: “I mean JV’s (Josh Vincent) been good for years’ now and by his own account he probably gave it away a little bit too easily. Even when you lose it like that our defence was all over the place for me. 

“The minute we lost it, the lad was pretty much playing as a lonely forward, so he’s got the ball, he’s driven through and he’s put it in.  He’s got gifted one chance and he’s taken it.”

Chatham Town wasted a glorious chance to seal the deal in the final three minutes of the half.

George Sheminant, who plays on the left of a three-man defence and is therefore the defensive protection to allow Hayes to play more like a winger than having to get back and defend which he doesn’t enjoy, fed Hayes, who was left in acres of space to float a deep cross towards the far post.

An unmarked Jon Pilbeam – a right-wing-back who finished the game up front when Bradshaw was substituted due to an ankle injury, ghosted in and steered his downward header just past the near post as Folkestone Invicta switched off at the back.

Lindsey said: “Listen, I thought it was a good action again. We got down the left-hand side. Pilbeam got around the back, which is what we work on in training. We ask our opposite wing-backs to get in goalscoring positions when the ball’s on the opposite flank.  Pilbeam certainly did that and I thought he was unlucky. It probably came at him probably too fast.”

Edge added: “You tell your wingers, it’s hard to say this because you’re talking about Chatham, but you’re telling your wingers to arrive at the back post.

“When Jon was here he was great for us, up and down, delivering good balls and scoring the odd goal.  He got inside the left-back and he probably felt he probably should’ve done better than he did but it was a great run and he was unlucky not to score that one as well really.”

Visiting keeper Carey controlled the ball with his feet after Heard cut into the Chatham box and his weak shot trickled towards goal but it was evident going into the break that there was going to be a FA Cup upset here.

Edge said: “We were asking them ‘if they was going to turn up?’

“It’s quite awkward.  We discussed in length before the game what we needed to do, told the boys how they needed to execute it and then they didn’t do it!

“It’s very hard. Sometimes you make mistakes in the way you set-up but when they don’t actually do what you’ve asked them to do, you haven’t got much chance and when they actually don’t play very well and they don’t do what you’ve asked them to do, it’s even worse!”

Lindsey said: “My thoughts were at half-time, I felt we could’ve play better and I felt that we turned down an opportunity for 45 minutes to not actually grab hold of the game.

“I thought we were ponderous. I came through a few of them, I’ve got to be honest with you. A few of them had it from me because I wasn’t happy, a little bit of ponderous body language and we were slow on the ball.

“We didn’t show real quality at times so they needed to have a rocket and I felt it worked for the second half.”

Smith cut into the Chatham box from the right before lashing his left-footed drive high over the crossbar from 15-yards, which was proof just how poor the home side were.

Chatham Town produced a slick move as they deservedly doubled their lead with five minutes and 16 seconds into the second half.

Sheminant roamed forward down the left and played a one-two with Evans to reach the by-line before cutting the ball back for Bradshaw to slot his first-time shot past Roberts from inside the six-yard box.

“I don’t know what you want me to say?  Yes, good action, good finish,” said Lindsey.

“Dan Bradshaw gets in those positions and he doesn’t normally miss. That’s the reason why we’ve signed him. We signed him because we know he’s going to score goals. We’ve got players in the team that are going to score goals.”

Explaining why Bradshaw was substituted in the 63rd minute, Lindsey revealed: “Injury more than anything, he’s got a problem on his ankle so he signalled to the bench that he was struggling a little bit. We felt that we needed to make a change.”

Edge said: “They played well. I’m not going to take that away but we were so disjointed. They didn’t have to do a lot to get through today. There were nice little passages and a simple little tap in. They deserved it.”

Cugley responded by making a double substitution and brought on Clark Woodcock and Adem Ramadan to join Smith up front, with Heard and Simpson behind them with Ronnie Dolan sitting in front of their back four.

It had the desired effect as within a minute Woodcock played a pass along the deck in from the right to Ramadan, who cut onto his left-foot and scuffed his trickling shot from 18-yards which was comfortably gathered by Carey.

Smith drove into the Chatham Town penalty area and teed up Woodcock, who cut onto his left-foot to curl his shot around the far post from 18-yards on the hour park as the former Ashford United man sparked Folkestone Invicta back into life.

Edge said: “He’s a young lad, come in with a lot of energy and stuff like that.

“The unfortunate thing for him is, as everyone will say, he’s in the right position, he’s driving in, he’s cut inside and it’s on his left-foot, which isn’t his favoured foot and he hit the first one ok, which just went wide and the other one he cut across it and it didn’t even threaten the goal.”

Lindsey added: “We defended resiliently, especially in the second half, throughout the game really. I think towards the end of the game when they put the subs on, it looked like they had three or four players playing up front for them.

“It’s The FA Cup, they’re losing the game and they’re going to throw bodies forward and they did that. It made quite a difficult game for us then.”

Heard penetrated the Chatham Town defence by going on a 60-yard run straight through the heart of the pitch but Woodcock lacked the finish, slicing his left-footed shot around the far post just 59 seconds after his first chance.

Lindsey also made a tactical change as Bradshaw was replaced as Pilbeam played as the lone striker, with Rooney and Evans behind him, while Ikechukwa Orji came off the bench to slot into right-wing back.

Pilbeam came within inches of scoring against his old club after good wing-play from Orji saw him turn Simpson, who had helped out within his own defensive channel.

Heard fed Ramadan, who cut inside Chatham centre-half Christian Lawal, before stroking his right-footed shot from 15-yards which drew a comfortable low save out of Carey, holding the ball low to his left at the halfway point.

Pilbeam and Jordan Robins linked up inside the Folkestone half and Hayes ignored an overlapping run from Sheminant to cut into the box before cutting on to his right-boot before curling his shot just over the top of the far post.

Chatham Town’s dominance continued going into the final 15 minutes as they easily got in behind the home side’s defence to reach the by-line.

Sheminant did just that and cut the ball back under a couple of team-mates and Evans lashed his first time drive over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

The impressive Woodcock trickled a poor shot into Carey’s hands, who got pushed over the goal-line by a frustrated Smith, who somehow escaped a booking from referee Simon Finnigan.

“It’s The FA Cup at the end of the day.  You might as well lose 7-0 but you’ve got to have a go at it,” said Edge.

“The Cup competition is brilliant. It’s time away from the League so we just said ‘look, just have to go for it regardless’ and that’s pretty much what we tried to do.

“We tried to go for it with three (up front) and see if that could get us anything. I’d say at times it did put them in a bit of trouble but we had such a lack of quality today. I think we could’ve played until midnight and wouldn’t have scored!”

Heard’s fierce drive was blocked by Sheminant (despite calls for a handball) and his second bite of the cherry was held by Carey, low to his right.

Chatham Town put the icing on the cake by scoring their third goal, two minutes and 11 seconds into stoppage time.

This time it was substitute left-winger Harvey Brown who easily reached the by-line and he cut the ball back for Evans to take a touch before smashing a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

“Again, we were trying to keep possession of the ball. We wanted to try to run the clock down by just keeping the move, what I call resting with the football,” said Lindsey.

“It ended up getting into a really good area and getting into the box and Jack was there to slot it in. He was quite clever with his first touch, took the defender out with his first touch and then slotted it home. A good finish.”

Edge said: “You kind of feel that was written in the stars today that he’d score a goal.  They got down the touchline far too easily and pulled it back and I think one person pretends he’s going to hit it and doesn’t and Evans just tucks it into the far corner.  It was far too easy for me but lovely if you’re from Chatham.”

Chatham Town received a ticket allocation of just 90 (15% of 600) for this all-ticket Kent derby and their fans’ certainly enjoyed their time on the Kent coast as their team pulled off a FA Cup upset.

The FA Cup is all about players creating memories in games like this one and the UK Government MUST lift restrictions on crowds and let fans in to watch football at ALL LEVELS of the game in this country.

“Unfortunately, that’s the case but I’m not going to stand here and moan about it. It is what it is,” said Lindsey.

“We can’t change the rules, that’s it and if it’s at home and if we’ve got 300 people, we’ve got 300 people. If we’re away and we can get more, great, whatever it is, it is.

“It’s important that we keep winning. It’s going to help our campaign to get promoted and it’s big for us in terms of the football but for the football club it’s massive because it’s more revenue. We’re in the next round, it’s exciting for the fans to see who we’re going to get in the next round. Is it going to be home? Is it going to be away? It’s excitement for the fans and for the club in general and it's great.”

When asked how it felt to come up against his former manager, Lindsey replied: “Listen, Neil’s somebody I respect very much, so he’s somebody who I’ve got a lot of time for.

“It’s difficult because I’ve been in the dug-out when the opposition beat you and it's not a nice place to be, but I’m sure Cugs has got enough experience to dust himself down and go again.

“I felt for him a little bit because it’s not nice to be in that position.

“What was it like being against him? Like it is being against everybody else, it’s the same. Just because I know him it’s business as usual and we have to approach the game and prepare and manage the game accordingly during the game as I would normally whether I’m stood next to Neil Cugley or whoever.

“I have to do my job but I did feel for him. It’s not a nice place when you’ve been beat. I’m sure that I’ll find out eventually at some point during the season, hopefully not too many times. I’m sure I will.

“He’s a good guy and I’m sure he’ll have a good season because he’s a hardworking manager, he’s got good knowledge, he’s got good players and good staff around him as well and it’s a fantastic football club Folkestone and I wish them all the best.”

Folkestone Invicta, meanwhile, travel to unbeaten fourth-placed side Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday night.

Edge said: “It hurts because you love the competition. It’s the one thing you miss when you stop playing, it’s The FA Cup, the opportunity even at this level. You’ve got the opportunity to take your team into it. It’s not like you start in it and see how far you can go.  I always love it.

“To go out not really showing what you’re about hurts. It does hurt but we’ve got to see what character we’ve got now because we’ve got to dust ourselves off and get on with it and show that we can because at the minute we’ve got a lot to prove.

“What do I say to the fans today? I say sorry, to be honest. That today isn’t good enough and we’re going to do everything we can to put it right.

“At the minute, I can’t even think of (the Bishop’s Stortford game on Tuesday night).  I’m that gutted that we’ve lost in the style that we’ve lost.

“When it comes to Tuesday, we’ve got to dust ourselves off, we’ve got to get our heads mentality right and set our stall out and put in a good performance.”

Chatham Town, meanwhile, host fellow unbeaten side Tunbridge Wells on Tuesday night.

Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent, Jordan Wright (Tyler Sterling 75), Micheal Everitt (Clark Woodcock 55), Callum Davies, Finn O’Mara, Aaron Simpson, Ronnie Dolan, David Smith, Scott Heard, Sam Hasler (Adem Ramadan 55).
Sub: Henry Newcombe

Booked: Sam Hasler 21, Micheal Everitt 41, Aaron Simpson 88, Scott Heard 90

Chatham Town: Jordan Carey, Jon Pilbeam, Ryan Hayes (Harvey Brown 73), Reece Butler, George Sheminant, Christian Lawal, Jordan Robins, Luke Rooney, Dan Bradshaw (Ikechukwa Orji 63), Jack Evans, Moses Abioye (Mikey Dalton 67).
Subs: Fikayo Ajayi, Jack Healey, Jack Palmby, Patrick Lee

Goals: Dan Bradshaw 35, 52, Jack Evans 90

Booked: George Sheminant 24, Jack Evans 85

Attendance: 594
Referee: Mr Simon Finnigan
Assistants: Mr Martyn Milligan & Mr Liam Vitoria