Dartford FC (H) - 5th April 2022
Margate welcome Dartford FC to Hartsdown Park on Tuesday evening, as they bid to reach the Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final.
The Blues come up against the current holders of the competition after they lifted the trophy in Novembers delayed 2020/21 competition, by beating Whitstable Town 6-1.
The ‘Gate haven’t won this competition since 2005, but can move a step closer with a win tonight.
Doubts remain over whether Lewis Knight will shake off his illness, whilst on-loan Sam Odaudu will not be allowed to play against his parent club. Margate hope to be able to recall Sam Blackman and Louis Collins to the side after they missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Potters Bar Town.
The last time these two sides met was during the 2016/17 season when both sides competed in the Vanarama National League South. That year, the Darts comfortably beat the Blues both times, including a 4-0 away defeat for the ‘Gate.
Margate have overcome Cray Valley and Gillingham to reach this stage, whereas Dartford entered a round later, and beat National League Premier side Dover to set up this tie at Hartsdown Park.
The visitors are in the play-off places in the National League South as they look for a return to National League Premier football, therefore Manager Steve King may use a mixed eleven tonight, however they will be keen to retain their trophy.
Kick-off at Hartsdown Park is 7:45pm, but as always if you can’t be there then you can keep up to date at the clubs official Twitter feed @margate_fc from 7:30pm.
'Gate Exit KSC
Margate exited the Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday night to current holders Dartford FC 4-2, despite Jay Saunders side putting in a valiant effort against their National League South counterparts.
The Blues welcomed back Sam Blackman, Louis Collins and Vance Bola to the side, however were without on-loan Sam Odaudu who couldn’t feature against his parent club.
In what was an already tough ask, Margate fell behind in the 5th minute as a quick free-kick found Luke Allen on the edge of the box, he took the ball under his control and rifled home to put the visitors ahead.
The ‘Gate could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel in then, however fought back almost immediately as Harrison Hatfull swung a delightful ball into the box which was slammed home by James Bessey-Saldanha to level the scores again.
Both sides looked intent on nudging themselves ahead as Ben Greenhalgh and Blackman wasted chances for the Blues, either side of a Kieran Murtagh effort which was poked just wide.
It was the Blues who finished the half stronger as firstly Montel Agyemang forced Reece Charles-Cook into a fine save, shortly before Collins fired an effort narrowly wide of the post.
Dartford did have the ball in the net just seconds before the break, however Ade Azeez was adjudged to be offside.
It was the higher league opposition that started the second half in much better fashion as Allen struck the post, before Kalvin Kalala timed his movement into the box perfectly to put the visitors ahead.
Bola forced Charles-Cook into another save before Azeez finally got his goal to extend the ‘Darts’ advantage with a cool finish to effectively hand the visitors the win.
The Blues weren’t done yet though as Greenhalgh firstly fired a shot goalwards, before turning provider for Collins who superbly headed home, only for the flag to be raised in what was a narrow offside call.
Dartford added a fourth with 20 minutes to play as Ody Alfa skewed a cross which flew over Ben Bridle-Card and into the net to secure Dartford’s passage to the last four.
Bola managed to reduce the arrears in the 88th minute, however Margate’s run in the Kent Senior Cup was over, and they now return to league action on Saturday when they travel to Carshalton Athletic.
MARGATE: Bridle-Card, Hatfull, Anderson (Vaivada 66’), Agyemang (Soyemi-Oloade 79’), Knight, Lema 46’), Swift, Bessey-Saldanha, Blackman, Collins, Bola, Greenhalgh
Subs not used: Colmer, Rutherford
James Bessey-Saldanha 12’
Vance Bola 88’
Margate Man of the Match