Early Penalty Condemns Gate To Defeat
By Tom Morris
Margate suffered a disappointing defeat on the road courtesy of an early penalty from Epkiteta.
Manager Saunders secured the services of Jimmy Witt from Gillingham on loan and he was given his first start for the ‘Gate alongside Jordy Robins who also returned to the starting eleven in place of Kieran Monlouis, who returned to Dulwich Hamlet this week.
Both teams started tentatively but it was Margate who had the first chance; Noel Leighton brought down a Kadell Daniel freekick and laid the ball back for to tricky winger, but his shot went wide of the post. In the 10th minute Jimmy Witt almost got a toe to a Leighton cross after a nice through ball from Lamb, but the defender stepped across to clear the danger.
Whittingham went close for Merstham with an effort in the 19th minute before a misjudged tackle from Tupper brough down Ayoola and presented the hosts with the chance to score from the penalty spot. Epkiteta stepped up and sent Tupper the wrong way to put Merstham 1-0 up in the 21st minute.
The goal galvanised the hosts and they created the better chances in the next 15-20 minutes, first Whittingham had another sighter from range which Tupper saved before same player skied the ball over the bar from 15 yards in the 39th minute. The half finished with Tupper making one final save to deny Whittingham and the teams went back to the changing rooms with Merstham one goal to the good.
Early in the second half we produced the move of the match a Witt, Leighton and Daniel combined to set Robins up with a shooting opportunity; he duly obliged and fired a rocket at goal that hit the keeper and went out for a corner. As the ‘Gate went in search of the equalising goal, Saunders brought on Reeves and Ramadan for Witt and Robins, but their introduction failed to produce any chances of note.
As frustrations grew, Leighton and Prestedge picked up needless bookings and the former was replaced by Sessegnon with 15 minutes to play. Our hosts defended well as they looked to see out the game, after 5 minutes of added time, there were jubilant celebrations as they collected all 3 points.
Jay and the players will be looking to bounce back at home to Corinthian Casuals on Saturday 8th February at Hartsdown Park
Margate: Tupper, Abnett, Porter, Prestedge, Friend, Swift ©, Lamb, Robins (Ramadan 65’), Leighton (Sessegnon 61”), Daniel, Witt (Reeves 65’)
Subs: Holloway, Johnson