Deal Town - 8th July 2023
By Josh Cole
FOOTBALL IS BACK for another season at Hartsdown Park as we kick-off our pre-season schedule facing Deal Town. The game is a DOUBLE HEADER with Margate Women taking on Deal Town Women at 12pm before Margate Men play Deal Town Men at 3pm!
In a recent interview, manager Reece Prestedge said he was feeling “quite confident” ahead of the first pre-season fixture against Deal Town. “I’m feeling quite confident to be honest, the squad is gelling nicely, we’ve got a bit of togetherness about us already which gives us a bit of a bonus as we know we are doing stuff right”.
The ‘Gate held an open training session last Saturday where fans could go and watch how the squad trained in preparation for this match against the Hoops. Margate have a number of new faces at the club this year: Tyrone Sterling (Centre-back), Damian Niemczcyki (GK), Fyn Rutherford (Attacker), Roberto Ratti (Attacker), Steve Cawley (Striker), Montel Agyemang (Midfielder), and Archie Johnson (Left-back). Fans should also expect to see trialists appear on the squad lists throughout pre-season as the ‘Gate look to bolster numbers.
Deal Town will be playing in the SCEFL Premier Division (two steps below the ‘Gate) after missing out on promotion last season as they finished third, one point off second place. The Hoops have already started their pre-season campaign where they faced Minster FC and picked up a 5-0 win at the Charles Ground, so they will 90 minutes extra preparation in their legs before taking on the Blues.
Entry for the first pre-season game is FREE with the gates opening at 11am for the DOUBLE HEADER so come down and support both the Women and Men as we embark on our pre-season journey for 2023/24!
You can buy tickets for the rest of our pre-season games at Hartsdown Park by clicking here.
Blues Start With Thrilling Draw
Margate started pre-season with a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Deal Town at Hartsdown Park on Saturday afternoon in sweltering conditions.
Reece Prestedge named a mixture of new signings and trialists as he prepares for the 2023/24 Isthmian Premier League campaign. New signings Damian Niemczycki and Tyrone Sterling featured alongside retained Sam Blackman, Harry Hudson, Rory Sutcliffe and Harvey Smith.
It was the visitors who started brightly as they created two chances in the opening eight minutes of the game. Deal continued to look stronger and they opened the scoring in the 19th minute as they bundled the ball home at a second attempt.
Margate almost levelled immediately as a trialists unleashed a fierce effort which was superbly tipped onto the bar and away for corner. Blues winger Sutcliffe was next to force a chance as he dribbled forward but saw his shot dragged wide.
Deal doubled their advantage just seconds before the break as Alfie Foster forced the ball home as Margate went in 2-0 down at half-time.
Prestedge introduced regular full-backs Archie Johnson and Harrison Hatfull as well as Ben Greenhalgh and new striker Steve Cawley in the second half as they looked to get back into the game. It was another trialist though that almost halved the deficit as a thunderous header crashed back off the crossbar.
Margate did get a goal back in the 54th minute as Hatfull squared a decent ball back to another trialist who slotted home to reduce the deficit. Ben Greenhalgh saw a good opportunity well saved before the ‘Gate did level as Fyn Rutherford delivered a beautiful cross which was wonderfully headed home by Cawley.
Cawley had the ball in the net moments later, however the linesman’s flag denied the striker a second goal of the afternoon. Despite a dominating period of play from the Blues, the visitors retook the lead in the 73rd minute as a loose ball in the box was smashed home to put them 3-2 ahead.
Assistant Manager Greenhalgh was not to be denied his goal though as he linked up with a trialists before perfectly slamming the ball home to level the game with seven minutes remaining.
There was to be no further action as both sides settled for a draw in humid conditions.
Margate are back at Hartsdown Park on Tuesday night as they face Canterbury City with kick-off at 7:45pm. Tickets for this game can be purchased by clicking here.