Gate Get Off To A Winner
The opening day of the delayed 2020-2021 saw the ‘Gate take on our furthest league opposition as we travelled 122 miles into Essex to take on Brightlingsea Regent. Manager Saunders handed competitive debuts to keeper Bailey Vose, defender Josh Steele (who replaced the suspended Ben Swift), midfielders Moncur, Evans and attackers Carey and Ufuah.
After a cagey opening few minutes where both teams played conservatively waiting for a chance to development a free kick allowed Jack Richards to put the ball into the home teams box; it bounced around and almost fell to a ‘Gate boot before the referee blew for a foul against us.
The first goal came after 13 minutes, the energetic John Ufuah got to the byeline and aimed a cross to the back post where Luke Carey poked home his, and our first, goal of the season. 1-0 Margate!
The early goal seemed to galvanise the team as in the following 10 minutes we had several half chances. Evans put through Ufuah with a delightful pass, the winger appeared to be pulled back, but nothing was given. Then moments later Luke Carey found himself in a shooting position but dragged his shot wide of the post.
John Ufuah continued to threaten, having a close rage effort blocked on 20 minutes before forcing a good save from Turner in the 26th minute. Our next effort on goal wasn’t until the 40th minute as a Sessegnon cross was volleyed into Turners arms by Conor Evans and the final chance of the half fell to the hosts as Oti found himself in a good shooting position but Bailey Vose was equal to his effort. 1-0 Margate at the break.
The second half started with an enforced change for the ‘Gate as Toby Bancroft replaced Jack Richards (who suffered a groin injury). Toby’s first contribution was to collect a yellow card for a late tackle in the 50 minute but he would make amends later in the match.
Brightlingsea almost drew level in the 50th minute as Vose parried a deflected effort off the line before Oti fired the follow up against the post! Not to be outdone with ‘efforts against the woodwork’ Ufuah ran at the home defenders in the 55th minute and watched his shot hit the outside of the upright!
In the 66th minute we had another goal to cheer as Toby Bancroft was in the right place to collect a pass from John Ufuah after Carey’s corner found the frontman and fire the ball home into the corner of the goal! 2-0 Margate.
The 30 or so travelling fans were still singing when Rocha collected a pass and fired home from 20 yards. 1-2 now and still 24 minutes to play.
Jay Saunders made his second change of the afternoon replacing goal scorer Luke Carey with youngster Archie Burnett in the 73rd minute as he looked to see out the remainder of the match. The hosts threatened with several corners and half chances in 75th and 78 minute and had their best chance in the 88th minute as Byrne-Hewitt hit the post with a well-timed shot on the turn.
The final minutes saw Freddie Moncur slip through the defence and poke the ball home, but the flag went up for offside and shortly after this the referee blew for full time. 3 points for the ‘Gate on the opening day of the 2020-2021 season.
Margate: Vose, Sessegnon, Porter, Prestedge ©, Friend, Steele, Carey, Moncur, Ufuah, Evans, Richards
Subs: Kallmeier, Coyle, Burnett (Carey 73”), Bancroft (Richards 45”), Lamb.
Margate are next in action on Tuesday night as we take on Hayes & Yeading in the FA CUP first round qualifier, at HDP, kick off 19:45. Tickets are available from our online shop. Please note this game is pre-purchased tickets only.