Bognor Regis Town (A) - 26th March 2022
Margate travel to Sussex again on Saturday, as they face Bognor Regis Town at Nyewood Lane in the Isthmian Premier Division.
Having successfully navigated their way to the Velocity Trophy Final on Tuesday evening after a 3-2 win away at Haringey Borough, the Blues travel to Sussex in high confidence, however, probably aware that this will be a defining moment in their hopes for a play-off place this season.
The ‘Gate find themselves 12 points behind the top five with only seven games remaining, so will know that anything other than three points will all but end their play-off hopes.
Manager Jay Saunders will again have to do it with a depleted back-line with concerns still over Lewis Knight, Joe Anderson and Crossley Lema, whilst the Blues know they will definitely be without Captain Ben Swift who will serve the final game of his three match suspension.
The hosts on Saturday have just appointed former Premier League striker Robbie Blake, who has featured in the past for Burnley and Leeds as their new permanent Manager after Club legend Jack Pearce stepped down a fortnight ago.
Recent form for Bognor has been disappointing having only won twice in their last eight games, which has seen ‘The Rocks’ slide to 11th in the current league standings.
Despite the ‘Gate progressing on Tuesday, two back to back away defeats in the league means they travel to Bognor having not won away since their 2-1 win at Brightlingsea Regent in early March.
When these two sides met at Hartsdown Park earlier this season, it was Bognor who took the three points in a 2-1 win. Goals from Craig Robson and Ashton Leigh gave the visitors a 2-0 lead, before Sam Blackman halved the arrears, but to no avail.
Last time the ‘Gate travelled to Bognor it ended in a 2-0 defeat in October 2020. Margate haven’t won at Nyewood Lane since April 2015, as they recorded a 1-0 win thanks to a Kane Wills strike.
Kick-off at Nyewood Lane is 3pm, but as always if you can’t be there then you can stay right up to date at the clubs official Twitter feed @margate_fc from 2:30pm.
Blues Beaten by Bognor
Margate fell to their third straight away defeat in the league as they were humbled 4-1 by Bognor Regis Town at Nyewood Lane on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues were able to welcome back Lewis Knight at centre-half, but were still without Crossley Lema and Joe Anderson through injury, and Captain Ben Swift through suspension.
In truth, Margate never really got going in Sussex as a bumper crowd gathered to celebrate Non-League Day, as well as the hosts being managed for the first time by former Burnley and Leeds striker Robbie Blake.
The Blues fell behind in just the seventh minute as Nathan Odokonyero curled a neat effort around Ben Bridle-Card to give the hosts the lead, as Margate bemoaned a handball decision that wasn’t forthcoming.
Benas Vaivada, Margate’s hero on Tuesday night almost levelled the game just minutes later as his fierce shot was fired narrowly over, as the Blues looked to bounce back quickly.
Bognor were rejuvenated under their new boss and doubled their lead in the 22nd minute after some nice play down the flanks allowed the ball to be crossed into the path of Charlie Bell, who calmly slotted home to give Margate a tough mountain to climb.
Calvin Davies almost put the game to bed just before the break, as he picked up on a rebound from his own free-kick before firing a shot that grazed the post of Bridle-Card, as Margate just looked to get to the break without falling further behind.
Despite Manager Jay Saunders introducing Ben Greenhalgh at half-time, unfortunately for the ‘Gate and their travelling fans, the game was put to bed just six minutes into the second half as Davies this time saw his free-kick get over the wall and past Bridle-Card to make it 3-0.
Things went from bad to worse just past the hour mark as Alfie Bridgman fired home from a tight angle to make it 4-0 to Bognor Regis.
Knight saw a header deflected wide, and Vance Bola almost got on the end of a Greenhalgh cross, otherwise it was a miserable afternoon for the Blues, however they did grab a consolation goal in added time as Greenhalgh stroked home a penalty to reduce the arrears.
Margate return to action on Tuesday night as they return to Sussex to face play-off chasing Lewes at The Dripping Pan.
MARGATE: Bridle-Card, Hatfull, Lamb, Agyemang, Knight, Odaudu, Bessey-Saldanha (Greenhalgh 45’), Blackman, Feyi (Bola 63’), Collins (Soyemi-Ololade 72’), Vaivada
Subs not used: Colmer, Rutherford
Ben Greenhalgh 93’ (Pen)