Blues Held By Erith & Belvedere
Margate continued their pre-season schedule on Thursday evening as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Isthmian South East side Erith & Belvedere at Park View Road.
Due to a waterlogged pitch the night before, Prestedge named a young starting eleven, with more experienced players on the bench with less than a 48-hour turnaround for the Blues final pre-season game on Saturday.
It was Margate that started the brighter with winger Mo Cham racing forward, only to see his shot deflected into the home ‘keeper’s arms. Fyn Rutherford was next to cause problems for the hosts, however after racing through on goal he dragged his shot well wide of the post as the scores remained 0-0.
Margate did take the lead moments later though as they were awarded a penalty after the lively Cham was hauled down in the box, giving Harvey Smith the chance to dispatch from 12 yards which he duly obliged as the Blues looked comfortable with their 1-0 advantage.
The ‘Deres’ began to create chances soon after as a mix-up between a trialist and Damian Niemczycki almost saw the hosts level. It wasn’t long until the hosts were ahead though as some nice link up play saw a Erith & Belvedere striker fire the ball home to level the scores at 1-1.
It was the hosts that started the second half much stronger with sustained pressure on the Margate backline with several corners back to back, however the experience of half-time substitute Tyrone Sterling was showing through as he repelled the home sides attacks.
Margate were going through Cham for their best attacks as the winger again turned on his pace to force another fine effort which was superbly saved to deny the Blues retaking the lead.
An entertaining game continued as both sides looked to grab the win, and the Blues felt they should have been awarded a second penalty with five minutes left as Ben Greenhalgh was dragged to the floor, however the referee played on despite the Blues protests.
There was to be no late drama as both sides settled on a 1-1 draw.
Margate conclude their pre-season schedule on Saturday as they welcome Sheppey United to Hartsdown Park for a 3pm kick-off.
Tickets for the game can be purchased by clicking here.
Harvey Smith 22’