Billericay Town (H) - 25th November 2023
by Josh Cole
League action returns to Hartsdown Park after three consecutive away games as we take on Billericay Town for matchday 16 on Saturday afternoon.
In our last match, an 87th minute strike saw Horsham take a 1-0 win at the Camping World Community Stadium. You can read our match report by clicking here.
OPPONENTS SEASON SO FAR
The away side are sat in 4th place with 26 points from 14 games, a massive improvement from last years 10th place finish. A lot of change occurred over the summer, with the biggest being a change of manager with Gary McCann taking the helm at New Lodge. Three 1-0 wins from the first three games of the season set the tone that Billericay should not be discounted from the play-off race. Their next five games saw two wins, two losses and a draw with another two clean sheets in that batch. After their heartbreak loss in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round to Sheppey United, they bounced back going unbeaten in four games which included Hastings, Enfield and Chatham who are in and around Billericay in the table. They come into this game with two losses on the bounce against Folkestone and Hashtag United so Margate will have to be weary that they will be looking to put those results behind them and come out firing. With only ten goals conceded and seven clean sheets, the boys from Essex have the best defensive record in the league, showing their grit as a team.
You can view the full league table by clicking here.
LAST FIVE: MARGATE
Win vs Lewes, home (2-0) League
Draw vs Haringey Borough, home (1-1) League
Draw vs Dulwich Hamlet, away (2-2) League
Loss vs Wingate & Finchley, away (1-0) League
Loss vs Horsham, away (1-0) League
LAST FIVE: BILLERICAY
Win vs Chatham Town, home (2-0) League
Loss vs Folkestone Invicta, away (1-0) League
Loss vs Hashtag United, away (2-1) League
Win vs Tamworth, home (3-1) Izuzu FA Trophy 2nd Round
Draw vs Walthamstow, away (2-2) Essex County Cup 3rd Round (Walthamstow win 4-2 on penalties)
There are nine meetings dating back to December 2013 with Billericay dominating the record with five wins compared to the ‘Gate’s two, with two ending in draws. The last time the two teams met at Hartsdown Park was last season on December 2nd as we played out in a 0-0 draw. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking here.
The referee will be Joseph Dann-Pye and the two assistants will be Jamie Turner and Samuel Hall.
Not able to make it to Hartsdown Park on Saturday? Follow all the action through our official X account @Margate_fc starting from 2:15pm!
UP THE ‘GATE
Blues Beaten By Billericay
By Riley Finch
A clinical display from visitors Billericay Town meant all-three points head back to Essex in a 3-1 victory over the ‘Gate at Hartsdown Park.
Billericay scored early and late in the first-half through Bradley Stevenson and Frankie Merrifield to give the away side a comfortable lead going into the second-half.
Stevenson ran in behind the ‘Gate defence to slot the ball past Harry Seaden just nine minutes in and Merrifield curled the ball into the side netting in what was the last action of the first-half.
Somewhere in between the two goals however, a period of dominance created a number of chances for the ‘Gate which not only left us questioning how we were not level but in fact if we should be leading by the end of the first half.
Ben Greenhalgh cleverly found his way to the by-line after, a long, floated ball in behind and his wicked cross was headed over the bar by an on rushing Sam Blackman in the six-yard box.
Blackman would again fail to keep his effort on the right side of the bar heading just over and it would take a stunning save from Dan Wilks to prevent Lewis Knight’s glancing header from making the score level.
Billericay’s number one was also called upon to deny Steve Cawley in what was the chance of the half for the ‘Gate.
Returning Loanee Olly Box’s darting run found Cawley unmarked in the centre of the box but his low driven shot was saved brilliantly as the keeper just tipped the effort onto the heel of the post.
In a second-half which presented little opportunities, the ‘Gates chance of a comeback looked slim and in the 71st minute a third goal from Billericay all but confirmed another defeat.
Cawley coolly dispatched a 79th minute penalty after a push on Greenhalgh but our top goal scorers 7th of the season resulted in just a consolation.
Captain Sam Blackman spoke after the game: “After their goal, the next fifteen-twenty minutes is the best I’ve seen us on the ball all season.
“We had our chances, myself included, and then they score against the run of play.
“It’s tough to take.
“But at the end pf the day you’ve conceded three goals, you can’t make any excuses.”
The loss drops Margate to 16th yet still just three points from the top-half of the table.
Margate travel to Bognor Regis Town in their next test, a game which feels a must win after a string of tough results.
“Bognor is a tough place to go to, they play on a grass pitch and they will be up for it.
“But we have to go there and get the job done and put right what went wrong today.”
Margate Xl: Seasden, Hatfull, Johnson, Poku (Rutherford 76’), Sterling, Hudson, Blackman, Cawley (Bowman 84’), Greenhalgh, Box, Knight (Gordon 61’)
Subs not used: Duncanson, Mazzone
Steve Cawley 79’ (Pen)
Man of the Match