Whilst far from The Gate’s most convincing display of the season, Friend was pleased to secure a valuable point and clean sheet on the road.
Reflecting on the 0-0 stalemate, Friend said;
“I think before the game we wouldn’t have been happy with the result but having seen how the game went, we are because I don’t think anyone in the dressing room – me included – can say we’ve played particularly well. So, overall, we can be pleased with the point.”
After a slow first half, the visitors were able to stamp more authority on the game in the second period. As both defences held firm, the goalless draw was clearly signalled leading to Margate’s eighth clean sheet of the season, their third in four games and, in Friend’s opinion, one of their most important to date.
“It’s the most needed clean sheet. Usually, our attacking players would get us out of trouble if we did concede a goal but today we had to be solid as we didn’t play as well as we could as team.”
“Like Browny said in the changing room, you can’t play well for 46 league games. You’re going to have games when you don’t play well. Some teams who would come here and not play well, against a Tonbridge team who played like they did this evening, would probably get beaten by two or three.”
“So in that respect, it’s good that we’ve got the clean sheet and point but we’re disappointed with ourselves as we know we can perform better than that.”
Having started every match for Margate this season, Friend is amongst a group with plenty of minutes under their belt already. This is something the experienced centre back is taking firmly in his stride and a positive symbol of the club and players’ commitment and ambition to do well this campaign.
“It’s non-league, it’s what happens. If you don’t have that amount of games coming through, it means you’re not doing so well. So, in a way, it’s good we’re busy and have the games as it shows we’re going far in the Cups we want to be doing well in.”
“Fortunately, I don’t do a particularly taxing job; I think it might be tougher if I was a scaffolder or roofer! Ultimately, we want to be successful so we’re going to have to play lots of games this season.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Enfield, Friend’s focus is on putting in another solid display but taking all points back to Kent.
“I think if we play how we know we can, then we should win the game. We’ll be hoping for three points but the minimum is to be solid like we were tonight and go from there.”
For the latest match updates from Margate’s trip to Enfield, make sure you follow us on Twitter @margate_fc