/ Match Report
/ Margate Grab Last Minute Point At Leiston
Margate Grab Last Minute Point At Leiston
A late minute equaliser from Jack Evans helped nine-man Margate secure a well-deserved point on the road at Leiston on Tuesday evening.
Predicted to be a tough fixture beforehand by Manager Steve Watt, the hosts showed exactly why in the opening minutes. Margate goalkeeper Lenny Pidegley called into action early on to make two vital touches denying Leiston a lead.
Both teams enjoyed good spells of possession during an even, open 15 minutes. An early chance fell to Liam Friend who managed to head an effort just off target from a pinpoint Dave Martin delivery.
As the hosts began to apply further pressure, The Gate’s organised and robust defence denied any real clear-cut opportunities.
Centre back pairing Ben Swift and Friend positioned themselves well during a difficult spell for the visitors, to make a string of important blocks.
Sam Blackman had The Gate’s best opening opportunity, after some great link up play between Martin and Jordan Chiedozie presented the Margate midfielder with some time and space to launch a powerful effort on target. Leiston’s goalkeeper producing a good fingertip save to push the ball over the crossbar.
Margate’s next opportunity came after some first-class work by Evans down the right-hand flank, leading to a strong penalty shout as Swift looked to have been upended by a clumsy piece of defending.
The referee waved away any appeals but Margate continued to enjoy their strongest spell of the game, Chiedozie forcing a smart save from a tight angle.
Just before the half time whistle, Matt Bodkin broke the deadlock in spectacular style. Picking the ball up 30 yards from goal, a sweet strike left the keeper with no chance and gave Margate a slender advantage before the break.
The second half began much like the first ended, a tenacious battle between two teams throwing everything at the fixture. Margate captain James Rogers putting his body on the line to help disrupt passages of play, as Leiston struggled to break down a resilient display from their visitors.
Margate continued to nullify any threat, until Swift was adjudged to have made a foul after a clearance rebounded off the referee. The subsequent set piece delivery was dropped into a sea of bodies and headed beyond the outstretched palm of Pidgeley.
The equaliser propelled the hosts forwards as they strung together a sequence of attacking moves. They could have taken the lead when a whipped in set piece fell nicely to a player with time on the edge of the box, but his shot blasted over.
As The Gate came under increasing pressure, Pidgeley produced a fine save, getting down low to palm a long distance effort wide. The subsequent corner was smartly punched away as Margate endured their toughest spell of the 90 minutes.
The visitors had their best chance of the second half when substitute Jay May positioned himself totally unmarked from a corner to tee up a golden opportunity within the six-yard box, only to mis-kick the ball.
From the resulting miss, Leiston counter attacked which led to a good attacking move, wrapped up with a tap in from six yards.
The Gate’s evening took a turn for the worst moments later, when Blackman picked up a second yellow for an adjudged simulation.
Down to 10 men, Margate showed their resilience when Evans showed expert composure and a class finish to draw the game level, after some good work by Chiedozie.
A manic final 10 minutes of a close encounter turned sour when The Gate were reduced to nine men, after leading goal scorer Chiedozie was shown a second yellow card for laughing at his opponent, which was judged to have been unsporting behaviour.
Margate saw out the final few minutes with the remaining nine men defending resolutely to see out the game for a valuable point.
Margate line up: Pidgeley, Evans, Swift, Friend, Rogers ©, Wynter, Bodkin (May), Blackman, Chiedozie, Collin (Prescott), Martin (Mills)
Unused subs: Lee, Simpson
Tuesday, 06 March 2018
By Charlotte Richardson