Isthmian League

Report | Folkestone Invicta 1-1 Whitehawk

The Hawks extended their unbeaten streak in all competitions to nine matches following a well-earned point on the road at Folkestone Invicta on Saturday afternoon.

Shaun Saunders made just the one change from last weekend’s 4-0 FA Cup win over Redhill, as Charlie Lambert moved to the bench to be replaced by Imran Kayani, who earned his first Whitehawk start.

In what was a frenetic opening half, the hosts had the better of the early chances, with Scott Heard scuffing his strike against Mitch Walker’s left post following a fine free-flowing move.

As the half wore on the Hawks started to grow stronger; Dixon fizzing one straight into the grateful grasp of Joshua Strizovic before Dominic Johnson-Fisher floated a delightful cross to the back post to Kayani, whose header was well-tipped over by the ‘keeper.

And with 25 minutes played Whitehawk were presented with a penalty-kick after Joel Daly tumbled in the box. Charlie Walker stepped up, emphatically slotting home from 12 yards for the game’s first goal.

But nine minutes later and the hosts were level: an incisive David Smith run ended with a gorgeous curling strike that left Walker helpless. One swift clank of the leg had changed the outcome, at a time where Whitehawk were rampant, yet a little wasteful as half-time arrived.

The second slice offered much the same in terms of energy and chances, particularly that of wasteful opportunities as Ira Jackson crashed an effort off the underside of the crossbar, shortly before Walker spurned a glorious chance at the other end after fine work from a sprightly Louis Collins.

Lambert entered the fray and was close to handing his side a late lead, but Strizovic sprawled down to his right to push away the goal-bound header. Dixon then followed that up with a strong drive, which was once again tipped over as the 1-1 scoreline remained.

Just as the Hawks were getting on top, the hosts hit back with an excellent opportunity. Jordan Ababio getting into a good position, but fired over from 7 yards.

And then the final whistle blew. Whitehawk heading home with a valuable point, it was two good attacking sides cancelling each other out. Saunders expressed his frustration afterwards of only gaining a point, and that should say just about everything in terms of how far this side has come.

Another week break ensues, before the attention switching back to the FA Cup, with a local derby in store. It’s off to Worthing next, where the true mettle of this side will be well and truly tested.  

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