Gate Comeback Causes Cup Upset
By Tom Morris
The ‘Gate recorded an emphatic 3-1 victory over National League South side Concord Ranger to progress into the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Rd.
Margate welcomed Concord Rangers to Hartsdown Park for what turned out to be a fantastic end to end game of football, there were 4 goals, 8 bookings and action at both ends straight from the kick off, literally, as after 120 seconds Aron Pullock headed in a corner at the back post to put the visitors 1 up. Within 2 minutes Noel Leighton equalised; scrambling the ball home after tenacious work in the box, 1-1.
Things went from good to excellent for the Gate as Elliott Reeves chased down a long pass, dribbled into the box and set Adem Ramadan to score from 12 yards with a fierce drive in the 7th minute. 2-1 Margate. The next 20 minutes were relatively tame compared to the previous 7 as Concord started to dominate possession, they hit the bar twice but failed to break through the Gate defence. Their best chance came on 31 minutes when Lemar Reynolds managed to put a free header over the bar from 6 yards after Tupper pushed out a free kick. Concord did have the ball in the net on 37 minutes, but the assistant referee raised his flag and the goal was disallowed. Margate were a constant threat on the counter and a clever flick from Daniel on 40 minutes released Leighton, but his low shot has easily saved by Haigh in the Concord goal.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first with Concord pushing forward for an equaliser, Reeves almost chipped the keeper from out wide and Leighton thought he’d won a penalty in the 72nd minute but neither team were able to find another goal. Michael Abnett replaced the hard-working Harrison Hatfull on 78 minutes to make his competitive debut after injury ruled him out our previous 8 fixtures.
All that changed in the 88th minutes as substitute Jack Richards played a cool one-two with Elliott Reeves and slotted the ball home, 3-1 Margate, the fans (who were in great voice all afternoon) went wild in celebration and the noise continued through 5 minutes of injury time until Referee Andrew Bennett blew the final whistle.
Margate: Tupper, Hatfull, Porter, Prestedge, Johnson, Fernandez, Ramadan, Anau, Reeves, Leighton, Daniel,
Subs: Holloway, Richards (Ramadan 45), Jeffrey, Abnett (Hatfull 78), Ababio