Margate v Hendon
Margate welcome fifth placed Hendon to Hartsdown Park on Saturday (Tomorrow) looking to close the gap on the play off places in the Bostik Premier League.
The Blues would have been bitterly disappointed to exit the FA Trophy on Tuesday night after having the better chances against National League South side Bath City after exiting on penalties after an enthralling 2-2 draw after 120 minutes of thrilling football at Hartsdown Park.
Manager Steve Watt still has an army of walking wounded with Chris Sessegnon (Knee), Tom Mills (Knee) and Tom Wynter (Shoulder) all struggling ahead of Saturday. Watt should be able to call upon Lenny Pidgeley who returned at Burgess Hill last Saturday, however he missed Tuesday due to long delays of traffic.
Hendon arrive in a good position having risen to fifth in the table and reached the 1st round proper of the FA Trophy after beating Slough Town last week in a replay to set up a tie against Bath City who defeated the ‘Gate on Tuesday evening on penalties.
Margate will have to be aware of Hendon and League top goal scorer Niko Muir who has netted 17 times this season so far. When these two sides last met at Hartsdown Park in the League it finished 4-4 in an enthralling 90 minutes of football.
Margate will have special memories of also defeating the Greens in the 2014/15 play-off final at Earlsmead as a Ryan Moss goal defeated Hendon 1-0 as the ‘Gate won promotion to the National League South.
Kick off at Hartsdown Park is 3pm but as always if you can’t be there then you can stay right up to date on the clubs official Twitter feed @margate_fc from 2:15pm.
Blues Defeat Hendon In Five Goal Thriller
Margate closed the gap on the Bostik Premier League play-offs with a fantastic 3-2 victory over Hendon at Hartsdown Park in freezing conditions.
Manager Steve Watt was forced into changes with injuries to Lenny Pidgeley, Chris Sessegnon, Tom Mills and Jordan Chiedozie.
The Blues started positively though despite injuries across the team and took an early lead as Frannie Collin linked up well with Kane Haysman who released Collin to stroke home a delightful goal for the hosts.
Hendon who sat 5th at the start of the day and included the league’s top goal scorer Niki Muir were trying to force their way back into the game but young Patrick Lee stood firm to deny the prolific striker.
The visitors were level just before half time though after some fine work on the wing from Muir allowed Nathaniel-George the opportunity to poke the ball home past the stranded Lee.
The ‘Gate were forced into a half-time substitution as Jack Evans was the next to fall victim to Margate’s growing injury list meaning Nathan Fox joined the action as Margate restored their lead 20 minutes into the second half as Dave Martins cross was headed back across goal by James Rogers to Collin who notched his 10th goal of the season for Margate.
The Blues were seemingly out of site in the 77th minute as a deep cross from the left hand side was poked home by Dave Martin at the far post to make it 3-1.
The visitors weren’t to roll over though and got straight back into the game a minute later as a soft header back to Lee in the ‘Gate goal was too weak and a hesitant Lee was beaten to the ball by Dave Diedhou whose outstretched foot tapped the ball home to set up a nervy 12 minutes for the Margate faithful.
Thankfully for the Gate Hendon couldn’t find the equaliser meaning Margate’s unbeaten run in 90 minutes in all competitions extends to 13 games.
Margate: Lee, Evans (Fox 45’), Wynter (Bodkin 88’), Rogers, Friend, Swift, Haysman (Chiedozie 90’), Prescott, May, Collin, Martin
Subs Not Used: Mills, Enver-Marum