Invicta are so close to play-offs
Invicta complete their ‘regular’ season at Chipstead on Saturday, needing only a point to clinch a place in the Ryman One South play-offs for the second time in three years.
Neil Cugley’s side are in fine style and could complete their scheduled fixtures with a sixth successive victory and secure in fourth place in the table.
Their remaining rivals for a play-off spot can now only match Folkestone’s current 73 point tally and would need to win their two remaining games with Invicta also currently holding a superior goal difference.
Looking ahead to the Chipstead game, manager Cugley said: “We’ll be going there to win it then we won’t need to worry about what anyone else does.
“It’s good too, that we’ve a better goal difference. I suppose if we lost 3-0 and one of the others won 3-0 it might make a difference, but I’d like to think we’ve got a lot more about us than to let that happen.”
The manager’s confidence comes from the fact that he will have arguably the strongest squad available that he has had all season with experienced duo Lee Gledhill and Roland Edge back and available.
And first-choice keeper Jack Delo also returns from his one-match suspension.
Only Josh Vincent is currently out of action and he is progressing well and might even make the play-offs if needed.
Chipstead looked a good, well-organised side before losing 2-0 to Invicta at The Buzzlines in December thanks to two goals from James ‘Ratty’ Everitt.
They themselves were in with a shout of making the play-offs until losing 3-0 at Dulwich and 2-1 at home to Godalming over the Easter weekend.
Last weekend, they were beaten 3-0 away to Maidstone - all three of those results, of course, against decent opposition.
Just before Easter they had recorded a good 5-1 victory over Burgess Hill and an even more impressive 4-1 win at Ramsgate.
Folkestone have never gone out to play for a draw and they are in as good form as they have been in all season following successive 4-1 victories over Crawley Down and Sittingbourne.
The remaining fixtures for their play-off place rivals are –
Maidstone United: Walton Casuals (A), April 21; Bognor Regis (H), April 28
Godalming Town: Sittingbourne (A), April 21; Eastbourne Town (H), April 28
If I were a betting man, I’d put a couple of quid on Folkestone finishing an excellent fourth – they cannot finish higher – which would mean they would play the team finishing one place above them in third.
At this moment that is Dulwich Hamlet – in many people’s opinions the best side we have faced this season, though at this moment all of the top three can still take the title and with it the one automatic promotion place.
Remaining fixtures and current points totals of the top three are –
Bognor Regis Town (84): Walton & Hersham (H), April 21; Maidstone United (A), April 28
Whitehawk (83): Corinthian Casuals (A), April 21; Chipstead (H), April 28
Dulwich Hamlet (83): Faversham Town (H), April 21; Burgess Hill Town (A), April 28
Invicta’s coach to Chipstead leaves Cheriton Road at 11.30am on Saturday.
Late enquiries to travel supremo John Law on the usual number.