The Blues Defeated At King Georges Field
By Tommy Park
On Saturday the 11th of December The Blues travelled to face Kingstonian at ‘King Georges Field’ in their 18th Isthmian League Premier Division match.
This weekend The Blues were still weakened by injuries within their starting XI as well as missing manager Jay Saunders, but they travelled to face Kingstonian looking to take home some points and strengthen their position in the league.
The start of the match was very back and forth with both sides holding the ball and trying to attack with pace. Margate struck first with an opening goal in the 10th minute. Martial Godo created a great chance when he cut past his defender and ran down the left wing, then crossed the ball to Calvin Ekpiteta who headed it down for Ben Greenhalgh to slot home.
Kingstonian 0-1 Margate
Both sides were right back at it and Kingstonian were tenacious in their pressing tactics and control of the ball. Despite the home side's best efforts to control the game The Blues had multiple close chances in the first half. Notably a close chance in the 18th minute when Calvin Ekpiteta crossed the ball in and some confusion between the Kingstonian defence let the ball run to Martial Godo who was inches away from snatching the ball.
The Blues came agonisingly close to doubling their lead in the 23rd minute when Godo skipped past the defenders and into the box only to get taken down and awarded a penalty. Ben Greenhalgh stepped up to take the penalty. Greenhalgh hit the ball well but Rob Tolfrey chose right and saved the shot, only for Bola to run in for the rebound and strike it again but again Tolfrey makes an astonishing save with his fingers to put it over the bar.
Kingstonian were finding their feet more and more as time went on and they had their first significant chance in the 26th minute when Elliott Buchanans shot hit the post of the Margate goal.
The hosts were increasing the pressure more and more towards the end of the first half but Margate kept them at bay and they had no significant chances. The Blues were struggling to keep them out however and the pressure was mounting as they worked hard to stay ahead.
Margate were ahead going into halftime with the score Kingstonian 0-1 Margate.
The hosts were back on the attack right from the whistle putting the pressure on The Blues and they scored their first goal just four minutes into the second half. In the 49th minute
Nyren Clunis ran down the wing on the overlap and crossed the ball into Buchanan who slotted it away to equalise for Kingstonian.
Kingstonian 1-1 Margate
The hosts kept up the pressure and shortly after equalising they went ahead. In the 58th minute a Kingstonian low cross came in fast and just flicked off defender Ben Swift's leg as he attempted to block it, dipping the ball over Ben Bridle-card.
Kingstonian 2-1 Margate
Both sides continued to fight for control but the hosts were gaining momentum and The Blues were struggling to stay in the game, despite this Margate were still strong on the counter with some close chances but they couldn't bring themselves back into the match.
The Blues came close in the 70th minute with their best chance of the second half when a well timed long ball put Martial Godo through on goal but he had to beat the keeper to the ball, he got to the ball just before a flicked it over the goalie but also just over the bar.
In the 74th minute the hosts won a free kick right on the edge of the box and to the right side. Buchanan stepped up and swung it over the wall and passed the Margate players into the goal.
Kingstonian 3-1 Margate.
Both Margate and the hosts had some close calls towards the end of the second half with Bridle-Card making some great saves, however Margate could not get themselves back into the game.
The match ended Kingstonian 3-1 Margate.
Margate XI: Ben Bridle-card, Crossley Lema, Joe Anderson, Montel Agyemang, Lewis Knight, Ben Swift(c), Martial Godo, Sam Blackman, Vance bola, Calvin Ekpiteta, Ben Greenhalgh,
Subs: James Bessey-Saldanha(78’), Dan Colmer, Fyn Rutherford, Ryan Palmer(58’), Dan Thompson(75’).
Goalscorer: Ben Greenhalgh(10’).