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Folkestone Invicta made it three wins out of their opening four Ryman League Division One South matches of 2011-12 as goals from Richard Atkins, James Everitt, Roland Edge and Frankie Chappell gave Neil Cugley’s side a 4-1 victory over Whitstable Town at the Buzzlines Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.
It had been 1-1 at half time but Invicta finished as comfortable winners despite having leading marksman Stuart King limp off with a hamstring injury early on.
Invicta made two changes to the starting line up that had won 2-1 at Whyteleafe as Josh Vincent came in for Matt Hollyoak and Darren Smith returned from suspension for his first appearance of the season in place of Micheal Everitt, who has been under the weather recently.
Striker Atkins kept his place for his home debut as Paul Jones again had to sit it out with an ankle injury.
The Oystermen themselves had to make a late change as full back Ashley Ulph was injured in the warm up and had to be replaced by Scott Heard.
Invicta had an early chance in the third minute when captain Edge played the ball through to Everitt, but goalkeeper Matt Lamprell came out to save with his legs at the expense of a corner.
And the home side went ahead in the ninth minute when striker ATKINS opened his account with the club by putting the ball in from close range after a Smith corner on the left.
Heard shot at Invicta goalkeeper Jack Delo from the right hand side a minute later, but the home side seemed to be well in control.
Whitstable, however, levelled in the 19th minute when striker Stuart VAHID drilled the ball into the net after the visitors’ only corner of the game from the left hand side was touched on.
Invicta then suffered a blow when King had to limp off against the club with whom he had won the Golden Boot and the Kent League championship in 2006-07.
But the home side restored their lead straight after the interval when EVERITT slotted the ball into the net from close range when Smith dinked the ball through in the 47th minute.
Whitstable had to replace goalscorer Vahid but responded by moving big centre half Rob Lyall into attack and he shot wide across goal in the 55th minute when Ant Bodle played the ball out to the right.
Lyall then shot against the crossbar from a central position in the 70th minute after playing a one-two with Keelan Mooney on the left.
EDGE made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute with a shot from outside the penalty area that deflected off James Everitt after substitute Micheal Everitt had battled to win the ball back when Atkins fought for possession up front.
Edge had scored a couple of goals away from home early in his first spell at Invicta during the 2007-08 season, but this was his first goal at Cheriton Road.
Whitstable central defender James Peacock was booked for bundling over James Everittt just outside the left hand side of the penalty area.
And Smith’s subsequent 88th minute free kick was put into the roof of the net from close range by CHAPPELL to complete the scoring.
A stoppage time Peacock free kick was deflected into the hands of Delo.
As well as Peacock, Whitstable’s Marvin Okundalaiye was also booked during the second half.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA: Delo, Vincent, Dickson, Friend, Chappell, Edge, Smith, J. Everitt, Atkins (Guiver 86 mins), Moreby (Hollyoak 75 mins), King (M. Everitt 19 mins). Unused subs: Jackson, Hayward.
WHITSTABLE TOWN: Lamprell, Sayer, Heard, Lyall, Peacock, Hawkins, Okundalaiye, Bodle, Vahid (Benniman 52 mins), Morrish, Mooney. Unused subs: Ulph, Lloyd, Wisker, Zulmatashvili.