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Home / News / Management News / Saunders Delight With First Win

Saunders Delight With First Win

Saunders Delight With First Win

There was praise a plenty from Margate Manager Jay Saunders as he marked his return to Hartsdown Park with three points against play-off hopefuls Brightingsea Regent.

A Ben Swift header proved enough to earn Margate’s first victory since December rounding off a productive first week in the hot-seat for Saunders.

“It’s been a good week, starting with the point away at Tonbridge who are flying at the moment and a win here against a side on a good run, looking at getting a play-off place. So it’s a good four point return but most importantly starting off with a home win and a good buzz to build on.”

Margate came out the blocks well and could have taken the lead earlier when new signing Noel Leighton stepped up to take a penalty.

Whilst a golden opportunity for Gate’s new number nine to get on the scoresheet, Saunders suspects it won’t be too long until opens he opens his account for the club.

“It was a good save. Flish would have taken it had he been on but he was receiving treatment and not allowed back.”

“I thought Noel connected with it well but the keeper has just managed to go the right way. I feel for him as his performance deserved a goal but one thing I will say is he didn’t let his head drop and kept going which is what I wanted. He came in today not knowing anyone and I give him credit for stepping up.”

Margate eventually broke the deadlock with Swift getting his second goal in seven days and two in two under his new manager.

“It was a great header and a great delivery. I was really pleased with the front four overall. I thought we created a lot.”

“Over the last few weeks, in the games I have watched, we have not created much in the final third but today we created a hell of a lot and another day we win 4-0. But the main thing is we created those chances and I think Kadell, Noel and Flish will get sharper and there’s good grounding and options there.”

The Rs visited Hartsdown Park as one of the League’s in-form sides. After a consistent display of impressive performances and results, the win proved all the more sweet for Saunders.

“You could tell by their bench how disappointed they were. I thought defensively we were marshalled superbly by Friendy and Swifty and our full backs were excellent. Connor Dymond has been brilliant again at right-back and with Louis behind them we have looked really solid and limited them to shots from distance which is always good.”

“In front of that Rogo and Jordy were really disciplined which enabled our front four to go and cause them problems. I saw some interviews with their players who were confident they could make play offs and carry on their good run and so I think you have to give us credit to keep them quiet and we can build on that.”

The three points combined with a clean sheet made it a pracically perfect afternoon for Saunders and his return to Hartsdown Park all the more special.

“It was really nice and it’s been a while since I’ve heard ‘Super Jay’ down here, it reminds me of being young! I must admit I was as nervous as I have been for a long time and was desperate to get three points. It kept me awake last night thinking about certain things and Mike and I met early to go through things.” 

“Everyone has made me feel really welcome and it has been good working with Mike and Timmy but everyone – from the kit men to the supporters – have been brilliant.”

Saunders added,

“We just want to win as many games as possible, especially at home as I know we’ve had a disappointing season here so far so I want to give supporters something to cheer and come back for.”

“There’s no better feeling than being in charge and getting three points. I get more of a buzz from it than when I played. It’s good to be back.”

Looking ahead and Saunders will enjoy working with the group ahead of two very important games.

“We’ve got Corinthian Casuals away before hosting Carshalton Athletic so it’s a big week as both teams are in and around us.”

“We are looking to get a couple of players in within budget. We will have Dave Martin back, Frannie back in training this week and hopefully with one or two additions coming in, we will have some options.”

“Having those options is so important as that competition is important and I don’t think that’s been here yet. As a player, you want someone pushing you so hopefully with those additions it is up to people to keep their shirts.”

Monday, 18 February 2019
By Charlotte Richardson

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