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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Folkestone Invicta FC

The New Pavilion
Westbourne Stadium
Cheriton Road
CT20 5JU

Telephone: 01303 257461


Nickname: Invicta


Main stand

Covered terrace

Cricket Ground End

Folkestone Invicta FC was formed in 1936 and seized the opportunity to take over Cheriton Road in 1991, following the collapse of Southern League club Folkestone FC the previous year. Folkestone briefly reformed as Folkestone Town (1990) FC but were only short-lived.

Invicta were then playing in the Kent League and were actually based a few miles along the coast at Hythe. By 1998 however, they had restored Southern League football to Folkestone and enjoyed three seasons in the Premier Division before suffering relegation at the end of the 2002/03 season.

Before changing their name to Folkestone Town in 1968, the old Folkestone FC had moved to the Cheriton Road site in 1914, having previously played at the old Gas Works ground at Canterbury Road Rec.

Between the Wars, Folkestone erected a long, low wooden grandstand along the far side of the ground, possibly when joining the Southern League in 1923. This was later followed by an area of cover at the Cheriton End.

In 1958 a crowd approaching 8,000 crammed into the ground to watch a Kent Senior Cup tie against Margate, and the receipts from that game helped fund the development of a covered terrace opposite the stand, along the Cheriton Road side of the pitch. Floodlights arrived in 1959 and were opened on 30 September with a friendly against Burnley.

In January 1974 a fire destroyed the old wooden grandstand, which was replaced eight months later with the structure that stands on the site today. This has seating for 900 under a large if rather low roof, although the supporting pillars obstruct the view somewhat.

The same year, the old club changed its name from Folkestone Town to Folkestone & Shepway FC, before reverting to just Folkestone FC six years later.

Mike Floate has described Cheriton Road as ‘a must for anyone who appreciates the atmosphere of a proper football ground’. Cheriton Road certainly is a ‘proper’ ground in the traditional sense, by virtue of its terracing: uncovered at the Cricket Ground End, but sheltered for the length of the Cheriton End, behind the goal at the top (west) end of the pitch.

The small area of terrace that stands on the half-way line of the south side of the ground is covered by a pitched roof and provides further shelter from the elements. The clubhouse is situated at the top corner of the Cricket Ground End, and replaced an earlier Pavilion that housed the dressing rooms.

Ground details
Capacity: 6,500
Seats: 900
Floodlights: Yes

Leave the M20 motorway at junction 13, and head south onto the A20 (Cherry Garden Avenue). At the traffic lights, turn left onto the A2034 (Cheriton Road), pass the Harvey Grammar School and Stripes club - the ground is next left before the Safeway supermarket; opposite the cemetery. Some car parking is available at Stripes.

By rail
Folkestone West (BR) 5 minutes.