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Folkestone Invicta went out of the Portablefloodlights.com Kent Senior Cup when holders Dartford won Wednesday night’s Second Round tie 4-1 after Josh Burchell had opened the scoring for the home side.
But goals from Jacob Erskine, Tom Bonner and Richard Graham (2) saw Blue Square South club Dartford emerge as comfortable winners.
Invicta went into the game with Roddy Hayward making his senior debut for the club in goal in place of Jack Delo, whose run of 119 consecutive appearances came to an end as he was attending a funeral in Coventry.
Delo had last missed a game in October 2009 when Luke Stonebridge played in a 3-2 home win over Walton Casuals.
Striker Stuart King also made a welcome return to the Buzzlines Stadium for, remarkably, only his third home appearance for Invicta and his first since August following an arm operation.
And Invicta got off to a great start as BURCHELL marked his 150th starting appearance for the club by hitting a superb ninth minute strike that swerved into the net.
The chance came after a Josh Vincent cross from the right had been headed out by a defender and fell to Burchell in a central position just outside the penalty area and he took a touch before letting fly.
Burchell’s four goals for Invicta so far this season have come in three different competitions.
Things were not going Dartford’s way in the opening exchanges and they had to make an early change as Elliot Bradbrook replaced Lee Noble.
But the visitors were close in the 24th minute when Hayward did well to touch a well-struck Bradbrook shot from outside the penalty area onto the crossbar and over for the game’s first corner after Matt Jones had touched the ball to the Dartford substitute.
A Graham corner from the right was then headed over by centre half Paul Goodacre on the half hour mark.
And ERSKINE equalised when he struck from close range in the 36th minute when Danny Harris drilled the ball across from the right hand side after combining with Green.
Dartford then enjoyed a good spell as a close range Erskine shot deflected for a corner after striking partner Tony Garrod had pulled the ball back to him.
BONNER put Dartford ahead in the 41st minute when he was given on-side down the middle and slotted the ball in as Invicta’s offside trap was not to thwart the visitors this time.
Invicta centre half Frankie Chappell then had to block from Garrod before half time when Bradbrook found Graham down the left hand side.
Hayward saved from Graham after the interval when Erskine played the ball to Harris on the right.
Chappell got forward at the other end in the 53rd minute when he got away from his marker but headed a Darren Smith free kick from the left over at the far post.
Bradbrook found Green on the left in the 63rd minute but Chappell got across to meet the ball in before Erksine in the middle.
GRAHAM made it 3-1 with an exquisite chip that beat Hayward in the 69th minute when James Rogers played the ball up to Erskine.
Former Northern Ireland Under 21 international Graham had played against Invicta in the F. A. Trophy for Eastleigh last season and he was close to another spectacular goal in the 73rd minute but shot just wide across goal when Garrod touched the ball to him.
And it was GRAHAM who completed the scoring in the 82nd minute when he headed in after a cross from substitute Ryan Hayes on the right went over Hayward.
Delo’s absence leaves Frankie Chappell, Liam Friend and James Everitt as Invicta’s remaining ever presents so far this season.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Hayward, Vincent (Moreby 75 mins), Burchell, Friend, Chappell, Dickson, Smith, King (Mortimer 84 mins), J. Everitt, Atkins (Austin 67 mins), M. Everitt. Unused sub: Pendrey.
DARTFORD: Ibrahim, Jones, Rogers, Bonner, Goodacre, Champion (Wallis 63 mins), Harris (Hayes 75 mins), Noble (Bradbrook 17 mins), Erskine, Garrod, Graham. Unused subs: Green, Wells.