Derby win could seal play-off spot
NEIL CUGLEY thinks a derby win against Sittingbourne on Saturday will secure Folkestone Invicta's place in the play-offs.
The boss has seen his squad stripped to its bare bones through injuries and suspensions but back-to-back victories over Hythe Town and Crawley Down mean Invicta are all but there.
Worthing, Maidstone and Godalming are six points behind Invicta with three games to play while Croydon Athletic's withdrawal from the league means Invicta have two games left.
Cugley's men have a better goal difference than Godalming and Maidstone and the boss believes three more points will do it.
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He said: "If we win on Saturday I think we'll be guaranteed a play-off place. We need a big crowd down there to cheer us on as this is the business end of the season.
"I'm proud of the players. They've put in a lot of hard work and the last week or so has been a tough one.
"It has been hard to get enough bodies in to fill a team and the bench so to get six points is a great achievement.
"We've got nothing to lose now. It was always our aim to get into the play-offs and now it's in sight."
Cugs will welcome key men back for the visit of Sittingbourne and it all seems to be coming together at just the right time.
He said: "Mev (Micheal Everitt) and Stuart King are both back so if we do get into the play-offs we're looking strong.
"Lee Gledhill has been outstanding while he's been with us and hopefully I can speak to the directors and sort something out to keep him.
"I will speak to the directors about getting Edgey (Roland Edge) back too – I'm hopeful something might be able to be done on both those fronts."
Gledhill was one of the stars of the show as Invicta saw off Hythe and the boss was pleased with how his side stuck to the task.
He said: "I thought the first half was poor. It's a difficult place to play on a tight pitch and I had to change the system a little bit to get a bit more width on it.
"The game really changed when Ratty (James Everitt) went up top and that was the difference.
"It was a bit of a gamble to go and try and win the game but I had to try and do something as I thought we might be able to win it.
"The defending was absolutely superb from the whole back four.
"We had to cope with a bit of a bombardment as free-kicks and throws were coming in from every angle.
"It's not easy but they stood up to the challenge.
"I thought one player who had the power on Monday was Liam Dickson. He was outstanding and he was massive for us. He was tackling with the precision that Phil Taylor might have on a dartboard.
"Hythe were right up for it and they really bombarded us – they're a lot, lot better now than they were back at Christmas.
"We had to double up on (Taser) Hassan at times because he was very dangerous and Jimmy (Dryden) caused us problems on the opposite wing.
"But the lads were magnificent and each and every one of them did the club proud."
Cugs doesn't know if he has Dartford striker Jack Pallen available for Saturday while everyone else pulled through fine.