London Road (A) - 19th November 2023
By David Hansen
Sunday afternoon see’s the Margate Women take to the road as they travel to Chatham to take on London Road at The Victory Academy, with victory putting the ‘gate within one point of the hosts with a game in hand.
This will be the first time these teams will take to the pitch against each other with London Road entering the South-east Counties Women’s Football League this season. The team play their football out of the 3G surface at the Victory Academy in Chatham.
Heading into this game the hosts have had two draws, including a loss in the League Cup on penalties against Maidstone United where after 90 minutes it ended 2-2, but were defeated 4-3 on penalties. Most recently in SECWFL action, London Road let a 3-0 half-time lead slip in the 2nd half as visitors Woodcoombe earned themselves a point after coming from behind.
Margate have played their last two fixtures at Hartsdown Park, starting with victory against current league leaders Tunbridge Wells Foresters 3-1 in the League Cup including a brace from Paige Godden. Last Sunday saw Margate and opponents Sevenoaks Town play out an entertaining 4-4 draw which included a two-minute double for top assister this season Rebecca Niblett.
Magpie Hall Road,
'Gate Graft To Away Win
By David Hansen
A cold and windy afternoon in Chatham saw the Margate Women come from behind to earn three points against London Road at the Victory Academy to take the ‘Gate within one point of the hosts with games in hand.
Conditions for the game were difficult, especially for Margate in the 1st half with the wind against then which allowed for London Road to have the better of the game in the early moments. With the 1st chance coming from a long ball which caught the wind to trouble the Margate backline before Wood was able to deal with the danger.
Early on the ‘Gate were looking to play out through Charman and Speller as they looked to break through down the right and create an attack, but the London Road defence did well to thwart any attempt at trying to break the lines and keep Margate pinned in.
The first real chance fell to London Road forward Beth Shrubsole as she found space from an attacking throw in before pulling the trigger, but her shot was just wide of the goal giving keeper Jasmine Wood nothing to worry about.
Ultimately the wind would play its part in the opening goal, as a corner taken by Kirsty Hampton-Goodall caught the wind again and swung into the back of the net past Wood and caught all the Margate defenders off guard to open the scoring at the Victory Academy.
Going behind gave Margate some energy to start going forward themselves with their first chance coming from Katy Hyde as she received a pass from JJ Speller after a nice bring down following a long ball and placed her shot low but too near the keeper who was called into action for the first time to deny Margate an equaliser.
Another chance would come Margate’ way when captain Becca Slevin broke through the London Road backline, but her shot was low and well saved by the keeper to yet again thwart Margate from getting the goal back in the 1st half.
The final chance of the 1st half fell the way of London Road who really should have doubled their lead when another ball catching the wind helped the hosts get in behind, but the shot was just wide of the far post to keep the score at 1-0, but Margate had been given a fright right at the end of the half.
With the wind now in favour of Margate it took only three minutes to find the equaliser. Abigail Greetham put in a nice corner which was met by the head of Slevin who’s header was saved very well but the rebound was put in by the stooping head of Harri Chapman from only a couple of yards away from the goal.
Margate now had their tails up and quickly made another big chance when Hyde skipped past 2twoplayers to find herself in the box, but her shot again was saved by the keeper who was having a very good game in between the sticks.
The pressure Margate had been putting on London Road in the 2nd half paid off as they were able to take the lead. The ball was looped up into the air and was brought down well by Chapman inside the area before finishing well into the far corner to give herself a brace on the day and give Margate the reward they deserved for their constant pressure.
With the weather becoming more wet and windier, neither side managed to create any further clearer chances and it would be Margate who would earn the points on the road against London Road at the Victory Academy, coming from behind to show the determination and the heart of the squad to come back from adversity in difficult conditions.
After all the games played in the SECWFL on Sunday Margate find themselves in 6th place on 11 points, one place behind London Road and games in hand against most teams above themselves.
The Women return to SECWFL action next Sunday afternoon where they take on 10th place Woodcoombe at the Murston Recreation Ground with an opportunity to go 3rd in the division.
Wood, Charman (King 63’), Kemp, Coltham-Lai, Nightingale, Slevin ©, Chapman, Budd (Scales 45’), Speller (Harrington 80’), Hyde, Greetham,
Harrington, King, Scales
Opposition Player of the Match: