Bishops Stortford (H) - 26th February 2022
Margate welcome high flying Bishops Stortford to Hartsdown Park on Saturday, with both sides looking to continue their impressive form.
The Blues head into their final game of February having not lost yet, as well as progressing through to the last eight of this seasons Velocity Trophy. Stortford are equally impressive in February, having remained unbeaten which includes winning their last three.
Margate know they will be up for a tough test against a side that currently sit second in the Isthmian Premier Division standings. The Hertfordshire based side have only lost once in their last 23 games, and almost as impressively have not conceded an away goal in nearly 400 minutes of football. The last time they conceded away from home was 8th January at Hornchurch.
Conceding at Hornchurch twice that day led to their first defeat since September when they were beaten by Bowers & Pitsea.
Despite Stortford’s fine form, Margate have plenty of reasons to be confident that they can win all three points at Hartsdown Park on Saturday afternoon. Jay Saunders side have an equally impressive defensive record recently having only conceded twice in their six games throughout February. Also unbeaten this month, Margate will host Stortford with both sides in the top six of the current form table.
If recent meetings are anything to go by, the visitors will have an extra spring in their step as they recorded a 1-0 win over the ‘Gate back in October. The last time the two sides met at Hartsdown Park was November 2019, due to COVID, which the visitors won that evening in a thrilling seven goal encounter, with Stortford taking it 4-3.
Margate will be without Sam Blackman who will serve the second game of his two match ban after collecting ten yellow cards so far this season.
Kick off at Hartsdown Park is 3pm, but as always if you can’t join us then you can stay right up to date on our official Twitter feed @margate_fc from 2:30pm
Solid 'Gate Shut Out Stortford
Margate remained unbeaten for the month of February as they held high flying Bishop’s Stortford to a 0-0 draw at Hartsdown Park in the Isthmian Premier Division on Saturday afternoon.
Despite our fine form in February, Stortford were one of few teams that enjoyed a better February record, and in fact had only lost once in their previous 23 games in the league.
With only two goals conceded between them in the month of February this was always going to be a battle of the two defences, and that showed in the opening stages of the game with neither side creating much.
In an opening 45 minutes with not many chances, it was the visitors who probably saw the best chance go their way as Jason Banton saw his effort hit the side netting. The hosts weren’t without the occasional charge forward, however their best chance of the half fell to Defender Lewis Knight who saw his half volley narrowly go over the bar in the 40th minute.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the 55th minute as Jack Thomas fired home, only for the referee to adjudge that ‘Gate Keeper Ben Bridle-Card had been fouled in the lead up.
Manager Jay Saunders introduced returning striker Ken Feyi and youngster Fyn Rutherford, and it was the former who almost broke the deadlock as he saw his header saved by Jack Giddens from a decent Rutherford cross.
In truth that was probably as good as it got for the hosts in an attacking sense, however they had Bridle-Card late on for saving them a point, but not before the visitors smacked the post in the 87th minute.
Substitute Oliver Peters picked up on some desperate ‘Gate defending but saw his effort rebound off the post.
The moment of the match was saved for the 91st minute though as the visitors looked to have won it, only an incredible save from Bridle-Card preventing them. Darren Foxley was played clear and got ahead of the Blues backline, only for Bridle-Card to pull off some heroics to keep the score level.
Margate return to action on Tuesday evening at Hartsdown Park as they continue their Kent Senior Cup campaign at home to Gillingham for a 7:45pm kick off.
MARGATE: Bridle-Card, Lema (Rutherford 73’), Odaudu, Agyemang, Knight, Swift, Vaivada (Feyi 59’), Hatfull, Bessey-Saldanha, Bola, Greenhalgh
Subs Not Used: Lamb, Kallmeier, Nzinga
Margate Man of the Match