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Gate Secure Place In Chairman's Cup Final
By Evan Paris
Margate Ladies Reached the South East Counties Chairman's Cup final after a thrilling and tense semifinal against a spirited Burgess Hill Town.
The Blues flew out of the blocks and opened the scoring as Nicole Adams fine effort thundered past the Hill stopper with just 5 minutes on the clock.
The lead was doubled inside 20 minutes as strike partner Kara Richardson headed home a perfect cross from Adams to make it 2-0.
The visitors could of crumbled but they were up for the challenge and pulled one back ten minutes before the break, slotting home after a scramble in the gates area.
As the half time break approached a fine shot beat Lauren Watson only to come back off the post for an easy tap in and level the scores up after 45.
The second half was end to end and the blues retook the lead. Once again Richardson in the right place with good control and composure to slot home for her brace and Margate's third.
Shortly after a Burgess midfielder was sin binned for 10 minutes as she remonstrated with the official as a few tackles started to fly in.
Unbelievably with a player down the visitors again levelled with another scrappy goal.
Second half sub Grace Phillips-James restored the lead with a fine strike from the edge of the area but Burgess Hill's never say die attitude paid off on 80 minutes as once again they levelled at 4-4.
Although it wasn't a dirty game there was a lot of passion on display from both teams. A couple of yellow cards for the visitors and one for Adam's as she competed for a 50/50 ball.
Burgess Hill suffered as Shannon King was clattered when she broke from the half way line leaving the away team down to 10 as the ref produced a red and an uphill struggle going into extra time. The away manager was also shown two slices of cheese as he was sent from the dugout late on.
With a player up and a tiring opponent The Bluebirds dominated extra time. A free kick 35 yards out was despatched into the top corner from Adams to retake the lead once again and the game was put to bed as Wiktoria Bukowska was chopped down in the box.
The ref pointed to the spot and Bukowska blasted in the penalty and the last goal of the game giving The Gate a 6-4 win AET and a place in the final.
Sandra Nightingale, Lily Kemp, Becks Slevin and Kerry Grant worked tirelessly throughout the 120mins along with Lucy Paris who was given Player of the Match from our opponents in her first game back from injury in nearly four months.
The Cup Final will be against Sussex's Steyning Town on Sunday 5th April at Maidstone's Gallagher stadium with a 2pm kick off.
Monday, 24 February 2020
By Charlotte Richardson