XL (H) - 3rd December 2023
By David Hansen
A huge match in the South-Eastern Counties Women’s Football League as Margate Women welcome high-flying XL to Hartsdown Park in what is set to be a massive fixture within the division with both teams aiming high.
Looking at the visitors last three matches it reads very well for them as they have picked up four points from a possible six in the league as well as advancing in the SECWFL cup where they beat King’s Hill on penalties after drawing 1-1 in regular time.
XL did drop points at home against Glebe where they had to come from behind to get a point thanks to a goal from Gabriella Buddle-Smith making the result 1-1. Most recently XL picked up a routine win on the road against Bromleians where they won 5-0 including four goals for already mentioned Buddle-Smith, meaning she has netted five times in the last two games and now leads the top scorer charts in the division with 14 goals.
Margate themselves have had some quality wins in recent weeks as they’ve beaten London Road and Woodcoombe away from home both by scores of 2-1. The standout player of these fixtures is midfielder Harri Chapman as she has scored three in her last two games.
Looking at the league statistics, Margate have so far scored the most goals in the league with 45 which is 9 more than 2nd place Tunbridge Wells Foresters and 13 more than opposition XL.
XL 0-1 Margate Women - (28/05/23)
Goal: Abbie Greetham, assisted by Steph Meek
Margate Women 4-6 XL - (04/09/23)
Goals: Nicole Adams x2, Shannon King x2
Kick-Off for the match is scheduled for 3pm at Hartsdown Park with entrance available from the side gate next to the turnstiles. Ticket Prices are £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Women Suffer First Home Loss Of The Season
By David Hansen
A wet and cold afternoon saw league leaders extend their lead at the top of the South-Eastern Counties Women’s Football League as they defeated Margate 3-1 at Hartsdown Park.
Both teams knew the significance of the fixture and so the first 20 minutes of the game were uneventful with the only highlights being some nice defensive work from winger Rebecca Niblett and some good claims by goalkeeper Jasmine Wood.
The first breakthrough came just after 20 minutes as a free kick was converted by league top scorer Gabriella Buddle-Smith Her curling effort from just outside the area found the top corner out of the reach of diving keeper Wood.
After the goal Wood was being worked more often, including a long shot from XL captain Neve Conner which she was able to turn for a corner, keeping the score at 1-0.
Margate were able to fashion multiple shots on target in the closing minutes of the first half, one of which came in the 42nd minute from winger on the day Abigail Greetham, as her free kick from around 30 yards was well held by XL keeper Lacey Campbell.
The last action of the half came when Charlotte Scales picked up the ball after some nice feet from Harri Chapman. She set herself the shot which looked destined for the top corner but was saved with a superb stretching dive from keeper Campbell.
Margate came out of the blocks in the 2nd half forcing Campbell into an early save as a strike from Chapman looked to find the back of the net. Shortly after which a penalty claim was turned away by the referee just nine minutes into the half.
Following these chances XL started to go through the gears as they had a massive chance to double their lead. A challenged ball fell to Buddle-Smith, but her shot was wide of the far post. Only moments later however the visitors did double their score when Freya McKenzie put a ball across from the wing which beat Wood high at the near post.
Margate didn't give up and kept making good chances starting with a nice strike from captain Becca Slevin which went agonisingly wide of the goal. Just moments later Chapman won a knockdown from a corner, but her strike was saved well by Campbell, who was having a superb game in between the sticks.
In the 85th minute XL put the game to bed when Buddle-Smith found herself through on goal, with some nice composure she rolled the ball past Wood for her 2nd of the afternoon and her 16th of the season.
In the 90th minute Margate grabbed a deserved consolation as a nice cross to the back post by Greetham was bundled home by Slevin giving the supporters in attendance something to cheer.
However, only moments later the game was over, and Margate would suffer their 1st home loss of the season, keeping the ‘Gate in 5th place, while XL extend their lead at the top of the table to 2 points over Tunbridge Wells Foresters.
Margate Women return to action on Tuesday Evening when they face Deal Town at Hartsdown Park under the lights in the Combined Counties Cup.
Wood, Coltham-Lai, Kemp, Charman, Scales, Slevin ©, Chapman, Godden, Kew-Stroud, Niblett, Greetham.
Harrington, Duff, Speller, King, Mann
Slevin © x1
Player of the Match:
Charlotte Scales & Neve Conner