Gillingham (H) - 1st March
Margate will look to progress to the Quarter-Finals of this seasons Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday evening as they welcome SkyBet League One side Gillingham to Hartsdown Park.
The Blues set up this tie after convincingly beating Isthmian South East Division side Cray Valley (PM) 5-0 at Hartsdown Park in the first round in November.
This will be Gillingham’s first game in this seasons competition. Last season the Blues crashed out at the first round after a 4-1 home defeat by Phoenix Sports, whilst the Gills ended up being Semi-Final losers to Whitstable Town. National League South side Dartford won the delayed competition in November by beating Whitstable 6-1.
It is expected to be a mixture of U18, Academy and first team players that travel to Hartsdown Park. Whilst it will be difficult to predict which Gills side will arrive, the club have seen a resurgence in recent weeks after the arrival of new manager Neil Harris. Saturday saw the Gills close the gap to safety in League One to just three points after a 2-0 away win at Lincoln City.
Margate could also mix things up from their 0-0 draw against Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday. Midfielder Sam Blackman could come back into contention after serving a two game ban for collecting ten yellow cards so far this season, whilst Manager Jay Saunders hinted there could be starts for George Lamb and Fyn Rutherford after Saturday.
It was March 2015 the last time these two sides met in this competition. Margate held their League One opposition to a 1-1 draw that night thanks to a Freddie Ladapo goal, however the ‘Gate were defeated on penalties.
Supporters should note that as this is a cup fixture, all supporters should purchase a ticket as no Season Tickets or Youth passes will be permitted.
Kick-off at Hartsdown Park is 7:45pm, 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 7:30pm.
'Gate Progress On Penalties
Margate progressed into the Quarter-Finals of this seasons Kent Senior Cup on penalties, after a thrilling 2-2 draw in 90 minutes against Gillingham.
The Blues gave starts to youngsters George Lamb and Fyn Rutherford against a Gills side that included a mixture of fringe first team players, U18’s and Academy players.
The ‘Gate started on the front foot as Vance Bola and Rutherford called Gills ‘Keeper Tom Crump into early action. It was indeed the hosts who had a glorious chance to take the lead as Rutherford rounded Crump in the 24th minute only for Freddie Carter to get back and challenge Rutherford as he was about to put the ‘Gate ahead.
It was the hosts who continued to press forward as James Bessey-Saldanha forced his way into the box, before forcing Crump into another superb save.
It took Margate just six minutes to break the deadlock in the second half as Rutherford netted his first competitive goal for the ‘Gate as he stroked the ball into the far corner to give the hosts the lead.
Despite the Gills making changes in personnel and formation, it was the hosts who continued to defend resolutely, as well as catch the visitors on the break as Bessey-Saldanha danced his way forward, but saw his low drive deflected wide.
The visitors caught Margate out though a minute later, as substitute Ronald Sithole latched onto a Josh Chambers cross to level things up. Almost against the complete run of play, Margate found themselves behind in the 87th minute as promising Gills striker Charlie Kelman tapped home to give the visitors a late lead.
Margate were not to be undone though as they refused to give up, and they were rewarded in the dying moments as they were awarded a penalty, which Ben Greenhalgh coolly dispatched to send the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
In the shoot-out, Greenhalgh, Montel Agyemang, Bessey-Saldanha and Benas Vaivada scored for the Blues, whilst the Gills two goalscorers on the night, Sithole and Kelman missed their spot-kicks, as Margate progressed 4-3 on penalties.
MARGATE: Bridle-Card, Hatfull, Odaudu, Lamb, Knight (Agyemang 46’), Swift, Bessey-Saldanha, Blackman, Bola (Greenhalgh 69’), Rutherford, Vaivada
Subs not used: Kallmeier, Nzinga, Prestedge
Fyn Rutherford 51’
Ben Greenhalgh 89’
Margate Man of the Match