Margate Avenge Cup Loss With Victory
By Tommy Park
The blues were away on Tuesday night to face Merstham for the first time since their defeat in the FA Cup at The Whiskey Bible Stadium.
Right from the get go the blues were on the attack, holding the ball and keeping possession with simple play and clinical decisions. After not getting the result they wanted on Saturday, you got the sense losing isn't an option and Margate were here to win.
The first half was a battle of attrition, although the blues were on the front foot they knew this would be a hard fought victory as Merstham put up a solid defence and Margate couldn't quite find the final product.
The blues showed tenacity on the attack with Vance Bola running riot amongst the Merstham defence looking for that first goal. 12 Minutes in it looked like Bola was about to get on the scoresheet early when he got on the end of a pass from Greenhalgh, turning the defender but his shot was taken wide from a deflection. No doubt captain Ben Swift saw his name in lights when he got on the end of the corner with a bicycle kick but this time it goes over.
Margate would keep the pressure on with multiple close attempts in the first half, with Blackman and Bola coming close to scoring.
In the 45th minute Margate would be awarded for their determination as Vance bola received the ball from Bessey- Saldanahs cross and took a shot that found its way into the bottom corner via a deflection.
Margate went into halftime with the score 0-1 at Merstham.
The second half starts and Margate get stuck in early, determined to keep the intensity up making sure they stay ahead. Merstham showed some tenacity on the attack but Blackman and Montel put up a staunch defence screening the Margate back line from oncoming attacks, with the back 4 clearing up everything that managed to get through.
Just 11 minutes into the second half Vance Bola would strike again, picking the ball up on the wing and cutting inside carving a path towards goal between the Merstham lines, and after a quick glance at the goal he strikes it from 30 yards out lobbing it over the goalie and into the net, 0-2 Margate.
In the 68th minute the hosts would find luck with their fast paced counters when a ball lofted deep into the box was poked home by Adjei-Hersey.
With Saturday's loss fresh in the minds of the Margate players they were not about to let this one go, winning by just one goal they would keep the pressure on and the defence would tighten up to ensure victory. The entire back 4 defended waves of long balls from Merthams counter attack but would keep them from equalising.
79 minutes in and Margate consolidated their lead with another goal. This time coming from Blackman after a long pass to the edge of the box is touched through by Swift with surgical precision cutting into the Merstham defence and finding its way to Blackman who slots it home to make it 1-3.
Merstham would try their luck in the last minutes of the match, desperately trying to get a shot away that could bring them back into the game, however to no avail as Ohman kept them out and the score would stay 1-3 until full time.
Margate XI: Pat Ohman, Ryan Palmer, Joe Anderson, Montel Agyemang, Lewis Knight, Ben Swift(c), James Bessey-Saldanha, Sam Blackman, Daniel Thompson, Vance Bola, Ben Greenhalgh.
Subs: Jake Embery, Bivesh Gurung(76’), George Lamb, Reece Prestedge, Martial Godo(85’)
Goal scorers: Vance Bola (45’) (56’), Sam Blackman (79’)