Concord Rangers (A) - 19th August 2023
By Josh Cole
The Isthmian Premier Division continues with the ‘Gate facing a trip to Concord Rangers for our third game and second successive away day on Saturday afternoon.
In our first away trip last Tuesday, we fell to a 4-1 defeat in Essex at the hands of Hornchurch. Despite the result, manager Reece Prestedge felt the performance didn’t reflect the scoreline. You can watch the full interview by clicking here.
Margate will welcome back experienced centre-back Tyrone Sterling after he missed Tuesday’s game against Hornchurch through injury. New boy Harry Seaden is available to play in goal for the ‘Gate after signing on Friday Morning! Roberto Ratti continues to miss out due to injury.
Concord, also known as The Beach Boys, were founded in 1967 and play at The Aspect Arena. The Beach Boys were relegated last season from the Vanarama National League South, and they know what its like to go up from the Isthmian Premier Division as they were playoff wines in the 2012/13 season. They are currently managed by Rob Small, who has been in charge since October 18th 2022, previously he was manager at Bowers & Pitsea. A player to look out for is young striker Harrison Day who was the shining light in a very dim day for Concord at home to Hashtag on Tuesday as they fell to a 4-1 home defeat.
Margate have started the season with one win (2-1 vs Whitehawk at home) and one loss 4-1 away to Hornchurch. Compared to The Beach Boys, who have struggled so far with two defeats against Enfield Town away 3-0 and Hashtag United at home 4-1. This leaves Rangers down in 21st place in the league whilst Margate sit in 12th.
The ‘Gate and The Beach Boys have played eight times since October 2012 with Margate winning one, Concord winning six and one game ending in a draw. Despite the Head-to-Head record sitting firmly in favour of Concord it was the ‘Gate who won the last encounter at Hartsdown Park in Septenber 2019 winning 3-1in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round.
The officials for the game are Christopher Hastings (Referee), Sam Jones (Assistant Referee), and Rhys Collins (Assistant Referee).
Unable to make it to the game? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! You can follow along with all the live action via our match updates on our official twitter account @margatefc_ from 2:15pm onwards!
The Aspect Arena
'Gate Record Impressive Victory
By Dylan Smith
The Blues were on the road again on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to Canvey Island to play new boys Concord Rangers in the Isthmian Premier Division.
Goals from Sam Blackman and Steve Cawley were enough to win on the road 2-1, leaving the ‘Gate with six points from an available nine so far.
Margate came out of the blocks firing, as they looked to rectify their loss during the week away at Hornchurch. With Concord also starting off the pace, the ‘Gate were able to capitalise and break the deadlock in the second minute through Blackman.
Ben Greenhalgh found the captain with a free kick at the back post as he took the ball down elegantly and slotted it into the bottom right corner, giving Margate the perfect start to the game on two minutes.
The ’Gate would continue their electric start as some excellent build up play led to Phil Roberts receiving the ball on the edge of the box. The left winger would go on to beat his opposing full back and shoot across goal, however, the ball bounced of the keeper’s palms, leaving Cawley to open his account for the season and smash home from two yards; giving the Blues a two-goal advantage inside ten minutes.
The ’Gate’s blistering start had begun to cool as the half continued. The Beach boys seemed to have brushed off the two knockout blows and were now striking back. The Margate defence managed to stand firm with Salmon clearing regularly during another impressive display from the centre-back.
Sadly, the half-time team talk had to be changed on the brink of the break. Concord managed to find themselves a way back into the game, through a Harrison Day header. A lofted ball from the right back found the striker at the back post, where he was able to head the ball past Harry Seaden.
The ‘Gate would go agonisingly close to retaking their two-goal lead back in the second half with Harry Hudson’s header being cleared off the line. Cawley also nearly doubled his tally as a curling effort from the edge of the box went just over the bar as Margate looked to seal the win.
Despite the Beach Boy’s best efforts, they couldn’t break the Blues wall down which stood in front of them. Excellent performances from the defence would limit their momentum to very minimal chances. Furthermore, Harrison Hatfull put his body on the line as he would block a shot that would have potentially hit the back of the net, leaving the defender to have to leave the field with suspected concussion.
Archie Johnson would nearly put the icing on the cake after a good all-round performance from the ‘Gate as he won the ball high, drove into the box but couldn’t convert the chance.
This wouldn’t matter in the end as the ‘Gate would be travelling home with the three points, after a solid 2 – 1 win against one of the sides who had just come down from the sixth tier.
Margate will return to Hartsdown park on Friday evening, as they face Cheshunt in the Isthmian Premier Division.
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:45pm, and tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
Seaden, Hatfull (Smith 82’), Johnson, Agyemang, Salmon, Hudson. Blackman, Cawley, Roberts, Greenhalgh, Rutherford (Duncanson 66’).