Collin Brace Collects Point At Met Police
Margate continued an unbeaten March after a Frannie Collin brace secured a 2-2 draw on a snowy afternoon at Metropolitan Police.
Manager Steve Watt was forced into a number of changes, with midfielder Sam Blackman and leading goal scorer Jordan Chiedozie both serving suspensions, meaning there were call ups for youngsters Henry Ikeje and Bradley Rudd onto the Margate bench.
In freezing conditions, the first half proved a rather tepid affair itself. Despite the hosts enjoying more attacking opportunities in the opening period, it was Margate who got the ball into the back of the net first.
A delightful chip over the back line was gathered by an equally delightful first touch from Collin, who slotted beyond the Met keeper, only to have his celebrations cut short by the linesman’s flag for offside.
As both teams searched for the game’s opener, it was Met Police who took the lead. A good counter attack unlocking the Gate defence, with a great cross from the left-hand side headed beyond Lenny Pidgeley.
Margate had the crossbar and Jack Evans to thank minutes later as the hosts looked to double their advantage.
There was a further sigh of relief as the Met Police had strong appeals for a penalty waved away. This propelled The Gate into action, as they went on to dominate the rest of the half, showing attacking intent to try and draw level before the break.
Aaron Simpson’s pace down the wing looked a good outlet for Margate to pinch an equaliser, and the Gills loanee tried his luck from the outskirt of the penalty area, showing quick feet to craft space to launch an effort on goal.
The visitors came inches close to scoring when an in-swinging corner from Collin found the move of centre forward Jay May, whose glancing header went agonisingly wide.
Following this, Dave Martin forced a smart save from the Met goalkeeper as his free-kick strike was parried away, when it looked destined for the back of the net.
The Manager made a half-time change, introducing Tom Mills to the back four and slotting Tom Wynter into the centre back role. The experienced defender tasked with helping keep the Met Police front two quiet for the second period.
And The Gate did just that for long periods whilst enjoying a flurry of opportunity themselves, pressing for a goal. The front four looked dangerous in open play but it was a penalty that Margate their merited equaliser.
Right back Evans was clearly upended in the box and won his side the chance to draw level. Collin stood up and coolly picked his spot to make it 1-1.
Collin got his – and Margate’s - second minutes later. Martin with an outstanding pass, cut the Met Police in two, perfectly finding the run of Collin.
The Blues goal scorer showed great skill to bring down the pass, navigate his way forward and shake off the sandwich of defenders around him to clinically finish and put Margate ahead.
A good battle between the teams ensued and the hosts were lucky not to go down to 10 men, when their skipper lashed out at Martin off the ball.
They fortune increased further, minutes from time when a plucky effort 25 yards out sailed in to make it 2-2.
Margate responded instantly with Lee Prescott coming close with a thunderbolt strike from 25 yards out but time ran out for a winner and The Gate had to settle for a point instead.
The result means Margate increase their unbeaten run to three games, having lost just twice so far this year.
A tough month away on the road concluded with a point - which could have been more - the boys now turn to home comforts next Saturday welcoming Enfield to Hartsdown Park.
Team line up: Pidgeley, Evans (Bodkin), Swift (Mills), Friend, Wynter, Simpson, Prescott, Rogers ©, Martin, Collin, May
Unused subs: Lee, Ikeije, Rudd