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/ Gate Draw East Kent Derby
Gate Draw East Kent Derby
Margate took a point off of local neighbours Folkestone Invicta but could have had all three in a game full of talking points on Bank Holiday Monday.
Manager Steve Watt tinkered with his starting eleven ahead of the derby. Lenny Pidgeley recovering from illness to start whilst Jack Evans was introduced to central midfield and Jay May brought up top to partner top-scorer Jordan Chiedozie.
The visitors had the game’s best opening opportunity after two well-timed, crunching tackles from Liam Friend and then Evans set the tone of Margate’s intent, and set Dave Martin on his way down the left.
Martin’s delivery from the left hand side found Chiedozie’s run and the forward’s glancing header was gathered by the Folkestone keeper.
The hosts showed their threat up top when Johan Ter Horst wiggled his way between Friend and George Essuman to craft space in the area. His shot failed to trouble Pidgley, blasting well wide.
Margate enjoyed the best attacking moves of the opening period. Chiedozie agonizingly close after getting himself in a dangerous position to slot a Frannie Collin delivery just wide.
Minutes later, Chiedozie’s quick feet left the Folkestone defence in a tizzy with a clumsy challenge bringing The Gate striker down. The away fans, anticipating a penalty, saw otherwise as the referee brandished Chiedozie with a harsh yellow card.
Chiedozie did get the ball in the net after another fluid attacking move left the Folkestone defence exposed. Martin’s left foot finding Chiedozie once more. His clinical finish came yards offside.
Margate should have taken the lead before half-time. Chiedozie successfully beating the offside trap before driving towards goal and cutting a perfect ball along the six yard box.
May was in the right place at the right time to try and convert with the goal at his mercy but his effort went wide.
Margate had to remain organsied for the final few minutes of the first half as Folkestone won a handful of free-kicks and corners but the deadlock could not be broken.
The hosts started the second spell the brighter. Friend defending the Margate goal brilliantly, physically denying Folkestone’s number 10 with any opportunity to launch a shot, despite his galloping run.
Folkestone had a penalty shout of their own as a goal mouth scramble was once again dealt with by the formidable combination of Friend and Essuman.
The Margate back four showed their experience and skill: and why many teams in the Bostik League find it hard to score past The Blues in open play.
Organised, proactive and committed, the Margate defensive unit ensured whilst Folkestone enjoyed spells on the ball, clear-cut chances were limited.
As the visitors rode their toughest spell of the game, they took the lead. Collin ruthlessly dispatching the ball into the roof of the net, volleying home from a Martin corner.
The rain began to pour but the atmosphere did not dampen, with both team’s pushing forward on a difficult playing surface.
Pidgeley was forced into his first real save of the game, a great block denying the hosts but only for a matter of seconds.
As a shot from the edge of the box hit Tom Wynter on the line, the referee adjudged the defender to have handled the ball.
A straight red for the influential defender and a penalty for Folkestone. The spot kick drew Margate's opponents level courtesy of a well-taken penalty which left Pidgeley with little chance.
Margate searched for a winning goal and had another strong penalty claim when substitute Sid Sollis delightfully spun his marker to march towards goal.
On a slippy surface, a rather reckless looking challenge appeared to bring the forward down.
The penalty appeals were loud but it was not to be as the match petered out with neither team able to nudge ahead in front of a bumper East Kent crowd.
Margate: Pidgeley, Mills, Wynter, Friend, Essuman, Rogers ©, Evans, Martin (Simpson), Collin (Blackman), May (Sollis), Chiedozie
Unused subs: Lee, Bodkin
Monday, 02 April 2018
By Charlotte Richardson