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Home / News / Interview / Friend Looks Back On Easter Derby

Friend Looks Back On Easter Derby

Friend Looks Back On Easter Derby

Margate defender Liam Friend praised his team mate’s battling qualities over the Bank Holiday weekend but admitted the squad needs to pick up some victories to sustain their play-off push.

Speaking after The Gate’s trip to Folkestone, the reliable centre-back felt his team deserved more from the encounter.

“I think it was the best we had played for a while. We had some really good chances and probably could have been two nil up by half time.”

“I thought we deserved the win but with some poor penalty decisions, it wasn’t to be.”

Friend’s experience in big Kent derbies was evident on Monday afternoon, alongside a back four who put on an organised and accomplished display to supress one of the Bostik League's most ruthless attacking line ups in open play.

With various injuries and suspensions throughout the season, Friend has partnered with a number of different centre-backs.

With 20 year-old George Essuman returning to the club for a second spell following injury to Ben Swift, Friend is pleased to pass some of his experience on to the young loanee.

“I think George has shown his quality as a player and why he is at Dover. Since he’s come in, he’s keen to learn and listen off of older players - which is a bit of a worry as that includes me ! - but he listens and manages to play really well.”

With a free-kick and spot kick the only two methods of breaking down The Blues over the Easter schedule, Friend added:

“Credit must go to Wynter and Millsy as well as I think they gave us real strength in the wing back areas.”

Whilst Folkstone enjoyed an extra day’s rest following the postponement of their trip to Leiston, Margate faced the reality of a gruelling schedule plus a 60 minute workout with 10 men just 24 hours before the Easter derby. 

It was a challenge Friend brushed off as part and parcel of the game.

“I was so tired, I forgot about Saturday! It’s one of those things really, sometimes you can go a few games and your opposition are down to 10 men.”

“It was tough but it would have been a different story if we had to go down to 10 for another 60 minutes but it was only the 20 today [Monday]!”

Margate’s 1-1 draw at Folkestone extended the club's run without a win, yet The Gate have lost just once in 17 games. 

Friend offered a balanced reflection on the sequence of games and the significance of points gained, especially on the road.

"In those draws, we have away points from Leiston, Hendon and Folkestone; they’re three of the form sides in the League, especially at home and to get results there is positive.”

“Added up with the other draws, it’s not great but before we went to these clubs we'd have taken a draw against them. And I’m sure teams would come to us and be happy to take a draw and they have done.”

“We want to be winning games, we need to be winning games but sometimes it’s not that easy.”

Wednesday, 04 April 2018
By Charlotte Richardson

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