Que Sera Sera says Neil ahead of Stones game
- Tuesday, 13 December 2011
- Written by Mick Cork
Pausing to talk before going off to mend his garden fence following Monday night’s gales and torrential downpour, Invicta boss Neil Cugley admitted he is fairly laid back over whether tomorrow night’s home game against Maidstone goes ahead should the weather decree otherwise.
“We’re ready for it, but I’m quite laid back about these things and tend to say ‘Whatever will be, will be.’”
If conditions do ease up, Folkestone – off the back of morale-boosting wins over Croydon Athletic and Chipstead that got their league challenge back on course – will face a Stones side who have lost their last three games in Ryman One South, though still sitting fourth in the table with 38 points from 19 matches compared to Invicta’s sixth (36 from 19).
By rights, a Kent derby between two reasonably well supported sides in the top six of their league ought to attract one of the better crowds of the season to The Buzzlines Stadium.
But boss Cugley commented: “At this time of the year, so close to Christmas, people are sometimes reluctant to come out if the weather’s not particularly nice, but it should be a decent game, whenever it goes ahead.”
Maidstone welcomed striker Shaun Walford back from injury as a second-half substitute in their home game against modest Walton Casuals at Bourne Park on Saturday, but Welford, like his team-mates, failed to find the net with a late penalty giving the visitors a shock 1-0 victory.
Welford has enjoyed some success at Cheriton Road in the past, most recently with two goals for one of his former clubs, Margate, a little over a year ago.
Ironically, at least one of those goals was set-up by a free-kick from Darren Marsden who could make his Folkestone debut after signing from Kent League pacesetters Herne Bay at the weekend.
Invicta are due to complete the paperwork on the 23-year-old’s transfer later today, Tuesday with the centre midfielder putting pen to paper on an 18-month contract which, like strikers Stuart King and James Everitt, will tie him to the club till the end of next season.
“Like the other two, he’s just about the right age for a deal like that which should show people what we want to do here” said Neil. “I really do believe that we’ve got a nice little squad now and should be able to name a strong bench on a more regular basis with the options of changing things around.
“People do like to see the subs used, and now we should have enough on the bench to bring players on who are likely to change a game.”
Cugley admitted that tomorrow’s team against Maidstone is not yet set in stone, though Roland Edge has recovered from illness after missing the last two games giving the manager his strongest squad to choose from.
Skipper Micheal Everitt serves a one-game ban on Saturday after picking up five bookings, but is still in the running for a place in the side tomorrow night.
“They (Maidstone) are probably under a bit of pressure” said Neil.
“They’ve lost their last three league games, they’re building a new ground which will mean plenty of expectation and they’ve a decent wage budget to play with. Compared to that, we are under very little pressure and can continue to enjoy our football.”
Maidstone are also expected to include former Invicta defender Lee Gledhill who left Cheriton Road for the Met Police when the money ran out at around this time three seasons ago.
“I didn’t realise Gleds was with Maidstone till I found out a couple of days ago” said Neil.
“But he’s a good man and it will be nice to see him again.”
Following tomorrow’s match, Invicta travel to Brighton to take on well-placed Whitehawk on Saturday with the chance of completing a league double over the ambitious Sussex club.
Some places are still available on the coach, leaving Cheriton Road at 11.15am. Contact travel supremo John Law to book a place.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 December 2011 07:25