Bowers and Pitsea
After an 11-day break, Margate return to action this Saturday hosting Bowers and Pitsea at Hartsdown Park in the BetVictor Isthmian League.
Last weekend’s league game at Leatherhead was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch meaning there has been some time for players including Liam Friend and loanee Jimmy Witt to recover from injury.
Assistant Manager Mike Sandmann will return to the technical area this Saturday, following a one-match suspension.
Manager Jay Saunders will however be without three key personnel with Ben Swift, Noel Leighton and Kadell Daniel all suspended.
There really is very little to separate the two sides currently sitting in 13th (Bowers) and 14th place (Gate) in the League. With a game in hand, Margate lag just three points behind their opposition, making a win this weekend all the more important to assist with The Gate's charge for a higher League position.
Saturday's visitors come to HDP in good form, having gone unbeaten in their last five league outings, they will be looking to record a third win a row following two impressive victories including a 7-0 thrashing of Brightlingsea Regent.
The Gate meanwhile will be looking to start the month with three elusive points. February proved win-less and Saunders' side will be desperate to record their first league win since beating Haringey Borough 4-2 on Saturday 25 January.
Previewing the game, Manager Jay Saunders believes his side will have to dig deep to take a further three points from the side they beat 1-0 earlier this season.
“They’ve got some good players and a good togetherness about them. We have to match that and hopefully show some extra quality.”
"Our squad is light at the moment with suspensions and injuries but we will stick together, having back-to-back games at home is positive because we have the boost of our home supporters. They'll be opportunity for players to step up and be counted and six points we want to add to our tally."
Tickets for Saturday's fixture can be purchased in advance via our online Club Shop.
Visitors planning their trip to Hartsdown Park may wish to take a look at our food and drink specials this Saturday by clicking here.
Late Winner Seals Three Points
By Tom Morris
Our first home game in March saw Essex rival Bowers and Pitsea travel to Hartsdown Park in the Isthmian Premier League. Our Visitors started the afternoon one place above us and ended the day in the same position albeit on the same points as Elliott Reeves late strike secured all 3 points for ‘Gate.
Reeves got his first sight of goal after only 2 minutes as Richards played him in behind and under pressure from two markers the striker managed to shoot on target only for Chafer to make the save. The first 15 minutes saw both teams share possession with Margate passing the ball around patiently, Prestedge went closest with a direct free kick and our visitors saw half chances come and go with several corners.
As the half continued the industrious Lamb saw a header well saved by the keeper from Jack Richards volleyed cross and Reeves stung the gloves of Chafer with a snapshot from out wide. At the other end Manor went close with a header but the best chance of the half fell to Richards in the 37th minute when set by Sessegnon who curled over from 20 yards.
The second half started with Bowers & Pitsea on the front foot but the ‘Gate defence weathered the storm and created a good chance in the 56th minute as Sessegnon charged down the right but fired his cross to the near post out of play.
Ramadan picked up a booking for a late challenge and Warner went close with a direct free kick moments later, but Tupper made a great save. A succession of corners came and went, and the game was heading for a 0-0 draw with both teams opting to retain possession than seek out the winning goal.
That changed in the 88th minute as skipper Prestedge chased down a weak goal kick, he won two challenges and helped see the ball through to Reeves who was lurking 12 yards from goal. Striker Reeves curled the ball first time into the bottom corner of the goal and the Gate had that vital goal. 1-0.
The last three minutes saw Bowers and Pitsea throw everything at our defence but the players held firm and secured all 3 points. A vital win in the BetVictor Isthmian Premier League.
Tupper, Sessegnon, Porter, Prestedge, Johnson, Friend, Lamb, Robins, Reeves, Richards, Ramadan,
Subs: Holloway, Abnett, Witt, Geddes, Gallagher.