Isthmian League

Match Preview | Folkestone Invicta (A)

The attention shifts back to the league once again with a trip to Folkestone in store for Whitehawk on Saturday.

Sandwiched between a hefty dose of cup fixtures, this will be the last league game until 10 October, with an FA Cup jaunt to Worthing and an FA Trophy clash on the following weekend in store.

Savour those Saturday’s, and in Folkestone Invicta, manager Shaun Saunders will see a stern test ahead. The hosts currently sit in 10th position, one point shy of the Hawks, with statement wins at Wingate & Finchley and Lewes.

Form isn’t everything, but Whitehawk will take much solace in the club’s recent turn of form. Still unbeaten in all competitions since the very first game of the season, the Hawks are proving a difficult beast as they swoop over the county border on the weekend.

The Opposition

Members of the Isthmian Premier Division since 2016, they have flirted with promotion for much of their time here, until last season’s 12th placed finish saw the end of the legendary Neil Cugley, who had been at the helm for a whopping 25 seasons.

After an inconsistent start to the league season, the past few weeks have seen that form dip a touch as they entered the cup-heavy stage of the campaign. Defeated 5-0 by Chatham Town in the Kent Senior Cup last Tuesday, they then faced a replay in the FA Cup, losing 1-3 at home to Margate.

One to Watch | Ibrahim Olutade: Concluding the previous campaign with 17 goals, eight behind the club’s top-scorer Ade Yussuf, clinical forward Olutade had big shoes to fill following Yussuf’s departure in the summer, and has already started strongly.

A hat-trick on the opening day of the campaign, the former Leatherhead, Maidstone and Tonbridge Angels striker has five on the fresh season, most recently finding the net last Saturday in their 2-2 draw with Margate in the FA Cup.

Last Meeting

The two sides met last season in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy at Cheriton Road, the Hawks’ first visit to that part of Kent since 2019.

Olutade opened the scoring for the hosts in this frenetic October affair, and that’s how it looked to be finishing until Marcus Marku levelled at the death. It then went to a penalty shootout, as the hosts earned a 4-3 victory. 

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