Swift Bullet Header Earns Point
By Tom Morris
Another game under the lights at Hartsdown Park and a second successive come back from the Gate to secure a point in the Isthmian Premier League.
Hornchurch were the visitors on Tuesday evening and started brightly. A through ball (5’) almost put Stimson one on one with Vose but Sessegnon got back and recovered well. Both keepers had early touches as the game was played at a fast pace with both sets of attackers having plenty of the ball. Our first chance came from a corner (15’); Swift rose highest and headed towards goal but Hayles got back to clear the ball off the line!
John Ufuah was running the channel well and found he had the full back for pace, his cross for Bancroft (20’) found the young winger at the back post but his effort was defected away from goal. Hornchurch looked equally dangerous from set pieces and caused a panic in the gate box (22’) as a corner dropped amongst the players before Prestedge took charge of the situation and hooked the ball clear.
Our best chance of the half came in the 38th minute. Moncur played a delightful through ball that Conor Evans got onto and ran clear of the defence, but his powerful shot went just wide of the goal with the keeper stranded! There was just time for a Hornchurch free kick (44’) that Vose collected before the referee blew for halftime. 0-0 at the break.
Our visitors started the second half the brighter and got a deserved lead after 53 minutes. Joe Christou capitalised on a weak headed clearance and smashed the ball into the far corner from 12 yards. 1-0 Hornchurch. There was almost an instant reply as Bancroft skipped though a number of challenges (55’) pulled his leg back to shoot but had the ball taken off him at the last moment!
Jay Saunders made a change in the 67th minute as Jack Richards replaced Archie Burnett (the midfielder was subject to a nasty challenge but didn’t sustain any lasting injury) and Jack was almost immediately into the action running at the Hornchurch defence (68’) and wining a corner from his cross to Ufuah.
Moments late the game was level. Richards won another corner (69’), took it himself and found the head of skipper Ben Swift who was charging in and powered the ball home! 1-1 and still 20 minutes to play. Margate looked galvanised and pushed forward for a winner, John Ufuah sat his marker down (73’) when running through on goal but could only aim his shot at Wright who saved with ease.
There was a brief pause in play (77’) as Vose went down injured after another strong tackle went unpunished by the referee but thankfully, he was able to continue. That, and a long-range strike from Evans (85’) was as close as either team came to a goal and after 4 minutes of injury time the match ended. A point apiece and third league game undefeated for jay Saunders and the players. Margate sit 9th in the Pitching-In Isthmian League with 5 points from 3 games.
Margate: Vose, Sessegnon, Porter, Prestedge, Friend, Swift ©, Evans, Burnett, Ufuah, Moncur, Bancroft.
Subs: Kallmeier, Richards (Burnett 67’), Carey, Steele, Hatton.
The Gate are next in action on Saturday 3rd October as we travel to Leatherhead in the Isthmian Premier League before we welcome Cheshunt to Hartsdown Park on Tuesday 6th October.