Sittingbourne Women (A) - 3rd September 2023
By David Hansen
Sunday afternoon sees the return of league action for Margate Women as they kick off their campaign in the SECWFL Premier division with a visit to Sittingbourne.
With a full pre-season behind them the squad will be wanting to bring what they have learnt through the summer onto the pitch for the first competitive fixture. With players finding chemistry and applying themselves in the squad, the team are motivated and looking forward to taking on the challenge of Sittingbourne.
The Blues announced three new signings to the squad ahead of the opening day fixture in the form of Full-Back Abbey Duff, Midfielder Abbie Luby and holding midfielder Ruby Mann who will all look to add depth to the squad and give the management more options going forward into the season.
Margate began their pre-season schedule with an entertaining 4-3 win over Deal Town before being on the reverse of that scoreline against Herne Bay. The ‘Gate then travelled to Woodcombe where they picked up a fantastic 8-0 win to boost morale ahead of the back-to-back games against Betteshanger Ladies and Millwall u18’s Lionesses, where they picked up a 6-2 win and a 4-4 draw respectively.
The game will be taking place at Woodstock Park in Sittingbourne and kick-off is scheduled for 2:00pm. Be there to support Steph Meek and George Websper’ side as they begin their charge for SECWFL Premier division supremacy!
Women Share The Spoils In League Opener
By David Hansen
Margate Women began their campaign in the SECWFL Premier Division with a thrilling 3-3 draw away against Sittingbourne, where a 94th minute equaliser helped Sittingbourne to share the points on the day.
It was a humid day at the Jarman Solicitor Stadium with temperatures more than 24°c, it was always going to be testing for all involved.
Sittingbourne had the better of the play in the first 20 minutes as a shot from distance just went over the bar and another shot which was well held by Jasmine Wood. With the ‘Gate under pressure early the drinks break came at the right time.
The break in play helped the ‘Gate as Steph Meek and George Websper were able to motivate the team and help pick up the intensity of their football. Two minutes after the restart Niblett picked up the ball in the middle of the park and played a delicious pass through the Brickies backline to send Godden through who slid her shot into the far corner to put the ’Gate 1-0 up.
After the goal the action was quite even with neither team creating any real clear-cut chances, with most of the attacking from both teams came from corners which were all well defended. The ‘Gate were able to double their lead before the break in 1st half stoppage time as Speller played a through ball from out wide and Kew-Stroud managed to evade the offside trap and take the ball around the Sittingbourne ‘keeper and pass her shot into an empty net.
Sittingbourne started the 2nd half much better than they ended the 1st as they started to knock on the door, as a long ball found the striker whose shot was narrowly wide. However, the hosts were able to half the deficit as a ball which was knocked down from a corner towards the edge of the box and was struck well and true and had too much power for Wood as the ball found the top left corner.
After the 2nd drinks break Sittingbourne equalised as a ball which was initially cleared was picked up on the edge of the area and the forward drove into the box and rounded Wood and managed to poke the ball into the unguarded net to level up the game. The ‘Gate needed to re-engage...
Re-engage they did, as a ball which picked out Speller was crossed well towards the back post and substitute Enright directed the ball into the back of the net to restore the Margate lead just two minutes after the Sittingbourne equaliser.
The ‘Gate had an opportunity to kill the game of late as Enright was played through, but her shot was straight at the keeper which managed to keep Sittingbourne alive as the game entered stoppage time.
Margate were stung late as Sittingbourne equalised yet again, as a long ball was brought down in the box and passed across to the other forward who had an open net for Sittingbourne to earn themselves a point in the 94th minute.
The ‘Gate will now be preparing for their first qualifying round of the FA cup as they take on Maidstone United Ladies at Hartsdown Park this Sunday coming as they continue into their second competitive match of the season.
Wood, King, Kemp, Coltham-Lai, Charman, Kew-Stroud, Adams, Greetham, Speller, Niblett, Godden.
Ashby, Enright, Mann, Conabeer