Folkestone Invicta began their pre-season programme with a 2-0 win away to Deal Town as goals from Darren Marsden and Josh Burchell gave Neil Cugley’s side victory at in the sunshine at the Charles Ground.
MARSDEN opened the scoring as early as the sixth minute when he curled the ball in to round off a well-worked goal after an exchange of passes with James Everitt.
BURCHELL made it 2-0 in the 56th minute when he let fly from outside the penalty area and his shot struck the post before flying across goal and into the opposite corner of the net.
Playing their first game since last season’s play-off semi final defeat at Dulwich Hamlet, Invicta were almost ahead within the first minute through striker Paul Jones, back in the side after a couple of injury plagued seasons and undergoing ankle operations.
Jones went round goalkeeper Jon Sparks down the left hand side of the penalty area after just 38 seconds but central defender Ian Wallace got back to clear from the line.
A third minute Liam Dickson cross from the left then came back off the top of the crossbar and was put out for the game’s first corner.
And Marsden soon opened the scoring to reward the visitors’ good start.
At the other end, Invicta goalkeeper Jack Delo saved from home striker Scott Punton in the 15th minute when the visiting defence could not get the ball clear and Darren Smith battled to keep Sam Pain out inside the penalty area.
Burchell won the ball in midfield for the visitors two minutes later and played it forward to Richard Atkins who broke down the left before his shot was blocked by one-time Invicta defender Sam Marsh.
Another former Invicta youngster Niall Jackson was involved for Deal in the 20th minute when his shot from the left was kept out by Delo.
Burchell fired wide from the left hand side in the 26th minute when he broke forward after Dickson had won the ball in midfield.
An Atkins shot was saved by Sparks two minutes later when Smith played the striker through in a move started by Jones, while Punton then shot wide within a minute at the other end.
Another Atkins shot was held by Sparks after a Jones ball and right back Lee Gledhill then clipped the crossbar in the 40th minute after a move that also involved Burchell.
Burchell’s goal early in the second half was to double Invicta’s lead.
A great ball from Gledhill put Atkins through just a minute after the second goal but goalkeeper Sparks came out to deny the striker space and save from close range.
The customary second half substitutions began with Roddy Hayward replacing Delo in the Invicta goal and central defenders Liam Friend and Frankie Chappell being replaced by Mark Towse and striker Joe Lester, with Atkins dropping back to partner Towse at the heart of the defence.
Cade Mortimer, Ryan Philpott and Rowan Williams soon replaced Everitt, Jones and Dickson.
Marsden threatened again inside the penalty area in the 70th minute but was dispossessed by Deal substitute Brett Jones.
Invicta goalkeeper Hayward kept out a good 78th minute strike from Dan Langino and substitute Josh Pain then chipped at Hayward four minutes later.
An 86th minute Burchell shot was touched round the post and Wallace cleared substitute Philpott’s shot off the line from the subsequent corner on the left.
DEAL TOWN: Sparks, Bigginton, Wallace, Marsh, Winchcombe, Langino, S. Pain, Quinn, Punton, Jackson, Smith. Subs: Jones, J. Pain, Miller, Marriott, Gilmore, Amber.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Delo (Hayward 58 mins), Gledhill, Dickson (Williams 61 mins), Friend (Towse 58 mins), Chappell (Lester 58 mins), Smith, Atkins, Marsden, Jones (Philpott 61 mins), Everitt (Mortimer 61 mins), Burchell.