Gate Knocked Out Of Senior Cup
By Tom Morris
We were back in action for a second successive Tuesday night game where an experimental and youthful ‘Gate side lost 4-1 to Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior County Cup.
With so many fixtures this month manager Jay Saunders opted to rest several first team players and field several academy players form Herne Bay High and Soccer Elite. Margate started the game on the back foot as Ben Allen capitalised on a sloppy back pass and curled home past Craig Holloway who was deputising for the rested Joe Tupper. Our visitors looked to press home their early advantage and saw an effort cannon off the crossbar in the 7th minute before they did double their lead in the 17th minute as the impressive Allen collected the ball on the edge of the box and hit the ball with the outside of his boot into the opposite corner of Holloway’s goal.
Things went form bad to worse for Margate as a scuffle in the 29th minute resulted in a straight red card for William Risdon with Abnett and Phillips picking up cautions, now we were 2-0 down and a man light. Striker Elliott Reeves was as always full of running and chased down a Leighton long ball but visiting keeper was alert and came off his line to scoop up the ball. The half came to an end after O’Shane Stewart went on a mazy run, taking out three defenders but he couldn’t find the pass to Reeves and the attack fizzled out.
The second half started with Phoenix Sports controlling possession and the ‘Gate looking to hit them on the counterattack, Reeves went closest to pulling a goal back when he stung the keeper’s gloves and won a corner form an Essuman through pass. At the other end Holloway was alert to free kick and made a number of smart saves. However, he was powerless to stop Allen completing his hat-trick in the 61st minute as a quick breakaway from a defensive error left the striker with the simple task of shooting into the open side of the goal from 8 yards.
3 minutes later the score was 4-0 as Jeff Duah-Kessie collected a long pass and beat our fullback, powering into the box and scoring with a fierce drive into the corner of the net, Alfie Eyles came to replace Dan Johnson and from the kick off Elliott Reeves scored a delightful consolation goal, chipping the keeper from 25 yards after pinching the ball off their centre back. 4-1 and still 25 minutes to go.
The atmosphere was subdued inside Hartsdown park and there were few chances of note in the final 15 minutes aside from a superb triple save from Holloway as he expertly kept the Sports attackers at bay following another incisive attacking play. There was just time for George Essuman to see his half volley bounce against the cross bar before referee Liam Victoria called the match to a halt with our visitors progressing to the next round of the County Cup.
Margate: Holloway, Abnett, Davies, Stewart (Weston), Johnson (Eyles), Essuman, Hatfull, Risdon, Reeves (Thornby), Leighton, Sanusi.
Subs: Barnard, Porter.