10-Man Gate Frustrate Town

Margate 1 Enfield Town 1

Report By Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town extended their unbeaten league run to eight games but left the Kent coast largely frustrated after playing 84 minutes against ten men.

A mixture of wrong options, the woodwork and Margate throwing bodies on the line prevented us leaving with another maximum haul though in truth the home side had their chances as they battled for their lives in  a thoroughly absorbing contest fully worthy of Non-League Day.

Having played just 41 hours earlier, Town rested just two players and needed all the breaks they could get.

They appeared to have a huge one very quickly. As debuts go, Margate’s new signing from Dover Destiny Oladipo had one to forget – sent off for two yellow cards inside six minutes.

First he was cautioned for an over-the-top tackle on Taylor McKenzie, then was handed another yellow for a high studs-up challenge in the face of the same player whether or not it was intentional, giving Town an early one-man advantage.

Unfortunately we couldn’t make the most of it and despite hitting the post twice, on balance a draw was probably fair given 10-man Gate were coming up against a side third in the league.

Early doors, Ollie Knight volleyed over after a neat exchange with Joe Payne and his next contribution on 16 minutes put us in front, finishing coolly (pictured) after being set up by Marcus Wyllie turning his marker and feeding the ball through.

As the hosts tried to rally, the home crowd cheered their every counter-attack and to be fair, for long periods of the first half it didn’t look as if we had numerical advantage.

Indeed the Gate had the two best chances, first when Ben Greenhalgh somehow shot wide, then when Rhys Forster pulled off a fantastic save

Margate’s efforts paid off just before half-time, however, as attacking substitute Steve Cawley sent Forster the wrong way with a penalty, awarded after Sam Youngs caught ex-Towner Lewis Knight with a flailing leg in trying to clear.

In first-half stoppage time, Jonathan Hippolyte so nearly restored our lead as his shot across goal struck the upright and bounced to safety.

H- 1-1

Whatever was said at halftime, we came out with more urgency and the chances came one by one.

Payne lashed wide and over, Knight hit the side netting and on as sub once again, Jake Cass drove past his marker, only to see his shot blocked on the line.  Then, on 68 minutes, the post rescued Margate again as Youngs’ sublime curling effort had Harry Seaden in goal beaten all ends up.

Margate, needing the points just as much for different reasons, still threatened on the break.

 Forster got a strong hand to another Greenhalgh drive and with two minutes of normal remaining the Gate midfielder he had a golden chance to win the game yet again missed the target when we were exposed at the far post.

Cue a final Town foray in seven minutes of stoppage time during which both Teddy Perkins and former Towner Lewis Knight heroically cleared off the line.

 And there was still time for one more chance each, Lewis Knight firing inches wide and Seaden tipping a fierce Wyllie drive over.

“Two dropped points no question but we could also have lost the game,” said Gavin Macpherson.  “We created enough chances and second half got some structure into the game.”

“You have to give Margate credit. They put in a hell of a shift for their manager but when you play against 10 men you have to try and make the pitch big. It’s a collective responsibility and at times we had a bit of a mental block. There were some very tired legs out there after playing Thursday night. Hence some tired final balls but we’re not losing games at the moment. I’m not too down because it’s in our own hands.”


Forster; Payne, Tanner, McKenzie, Parcell; Knight, Youngs, Alves (Turner, 81), Taaffe; Hippolyte (Cass, 60), Wyllie