Gate Knocked Out Of Emirates FA Cup
Margate slipped to a 2-1 defeat as Oxford City’s early brace settled an entertaining FA Cup 4th Qualifying Rd tie.
The ‘Gate travelled to Oxford knowing that victory would mean an first appearance in the 1st Rd proper of the FA Cup since 2002 but after a bright start and a half chance for Elliott Reeves found ourselves 2-0 down inside 15 minutes. The first goal came after 10 minutes, Oxford City were comfortable in possession and put a cross into the ‘Gate penalty area, where after a couple of bounces and a failed clearance, striker Nana Owusu controlled the ball and smashed it beyond Tupper. Things went from bad to worse for the ‘Gate as 5 minutes later as our hosts pressed forward, played a smart one-two on the left-hand side of the box, and Kyran Wiltshire was on hand to bundle the cross into the net at the back post.
Margate tried to regroup and get a foothold in the match, first Kadell Daniel floated a cross field ball to Jack Richards whose control was perfect, but his shot lacked accuracy and went over the bar. Elliott Reeves was once again a willing runner by the ‘Gate seemed unable to find the killer pass that would’ve created a goal scoring opportunity. Our best chance of the half came on the stroke of half time as Essuman rose to meet a Richards cross but put his header just wide with the keeper beaten. The referee ended the half after 4 minutes of injury time as Noel Leighton took a knock on the ankle that would end his afternoon prematurely – being replaced by Adem Ramadan at the start of the second half.
The ‘Gate began the 2nd half with much more purpose and drive as we looked to get forward quickly and create something for our forwards to finish. Several poorly delivered corners came and went before in the 57th minute Daniel lined up a free kick from 35 yards. It seemed too far out to shoot but shoot he did, and the ball beat the keeper and rebounded off the post; luckily for Margate O’Shane Stewart was ideally placed to tap the ball into the empty net, 2-1, game on!
The equaliser was almost scored 5 minutes later as Kadell Daniel tricked his way into the box and fired a low drive inches wide of the post. Ramadan was having a very influential half and linked up well with Abnett and Richards in the 66th minute, setting Reeves free in the box but his low cross/shot tickled wide of the post, another chance, but no goal at the end of it. Prestedge had a header loop over and 2 more corners were delivered into the box but eluded the head of a ‘Gate player, time was running out and Oxford were sitting deeper and deeper in their own half.
The final 10 minutes came and went and despite the best efforts of the players the game finished Oxford City 2-1 Margate. Our FA Cup adventure was over for another year and our attention turns back to League action as we welcome Merstham to HDP on Tuesday.
Margate: Tupper, Abnett (Sessegnon 84), Porter, Prestedge ©, Johnson, Essuman, Richards, Stewart (Anau 87), Reeves, Leighton (Ramadan 45), Daniel
Subs: Holloway, Swift, Hatfull.