Folkestone Invicta are a club – like Dover Athletic – who are as close as we’ve come to continental European football (so far). Our 2003-4 FA Trophy Round Three tie at Cheriton Road was the time we ever had a reason to play them in competitive circumstances. Boro’ overcame the Invicta on that day to go through to the next round. And that might mean they’ll be wanting revenge next time we meet. Then again, they might not even remember it. Or then again it might not even happen. Who knows?
Football in Folkestone doesn’t seem like a terribly linear story, so we’ll tread carefully to ensure we have the origins of Invicta the right way around. Aaaaand now we think we’re on top of it. What was confusing was a mention of Folkestone FC folding in 1990 as mentioned on the Invicta Wikipedia entry. In detailing the story of Invicta, however, this has nothing to do with their back story; the only outcome of the other club’s demise of relevance being that Invicta got to move to their current Cheriton Road home.
For Invicta, the story goes all the way back to 1936. But they were very much a local club for local people. Their first league membership was of the East Kent Wednesday League. And it wasn’t until 1962 that the club changed things up by joining the Kent County Amateur League’s new Eastern Section Division Two. To be fair, Invicta had a bit of success in this competition; winning Division Two at the first attempt. While there were bumps along the way, they’d even reach the Premier Division in 1977 – and went onto win the title in 1979. A rebadge of the league in 1984, meanwhile, brought with it “intermediate” status as a club.
In 1991 with their new home ground, Invicta were elected into the Kent County League. They immediately won the Division Two title; gaining promotion to Division One and “senior” status. Within six seasons, the club were on the up yet again. They joined the Southern League and reached the Premier Division in just two seasons. After remaining at this level for three years, they dropped down into the Eastern Division – and left for the Isthmian League one year later in 2004.
How to get to Folkestone Invicta – Travel Information – Distance: 107 miles
You won’t be too surprised to learn that you need to head clockwise around the M25 and over the Dartford Crossing for this trip; the M20 (Junction 3) being your intended target.
Join the coastbound M20 for around 50-and-a-half miles; leaving at Junction 13 for the A20 into Folkestone. By now, you’re on the outskirts of the town and just further on from the Channel Tunnel entrance. Take the third exit at the roundabout and the second at the next one, having just crossed the motorway.
Barely a mile down the road is a left turn for Cheriton Road, where the ground is.
Just a little further down from the club’s main entrance is a car park next to what – by summer – is a cricket pitch. Much of this area is residential too, which makes a street parking option likely too.
Station: FOLKESTONE CENTRAL
Services to: LONDON ST PANCRAS
We reckon Folkestone Central is the closest station. The club says Folkestone West is “marginally” closer. But we’re sticking with our original choice.
From the station, leave via the approach road down to the A259 and turn left. Head left again at the roundabout. Continue along Cheriton Road for about half a mile and you’ll reach your destination.
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