Report by Andrew Warshaw
The mood on the team bus back from Margate on Saturday was unsurprisingly sombre after a stoppage-time defeat that left the management team fuming.
Arguably the better side for the best part of an hour and having taken the lead, Town looked like at least ending up with a point, only to succumb to a 92nd-minute Gate winner with virtually the last kick of the game to send us down to sixth in the table.
With Lee Chappell missing through injury, the versatile Percy Kianenbeni was pushed into a more defensive role and quickly imposed himself with a driving run, only to scuff his finish.
In an entertaining first half of few clear-cut chances, Manny Maja flashed a 25-yard just wide and Mo Faal’s snapshot was saved by the legs of Pat Ohman.
But Margate played their part too, with good movement off the ball and several dangerous crosses, none of which were thankfully converted.
Margate haven’t lost at home this season and were keen to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat last Saturday. But without regular striker Daniel Thompson they failed to turn their neat approach into too many scoring opportunities and there was little indication in a goalless first half that they would end up with all three points.
A home victory became even more unlikely when we took the lead on 55 minutes. Shortly after a Sam Youngs turn and shot had brought a smart save from Ohman, Adam Cunnington’s flick-on found Faal whose goalbound effort deflected off a Gate defender and looped over the keeper.
That should have been the cue to go on and win the game. Instead three minutes later we were pegged back. Nathan McDonald did well to keep out Montel Agyemang’s shot but Ben Greenhalgh followed up to score with what looked like another deflection.
Suddenly Margate looked the more likely side, winning most of the second balls and spurred on by an eye-catching performance from the superb Agyemang, who joined the club in the summer from Welling United after bursting on to scene at Leyton Orient.
Agyemang’s strength and power through the centre of midfield constantly had us back-pedalling as he set up a series of Margate chances. From one of them, Vance Bola blasted just over, from another Greenhalgh saw his shot clip the crossbar and from a third Greenhalgh missed an open goal by skewing his shot inches wide.
We also continued to threaten at the other end and Sam Youngs could easily have restored our lead if he had better controlled a weakly struck chip.
But by now we were starting to tire, no doubt partly as a result of Tuesday night’s cup exertions.
Not even the introduction of a couple of subs helped out cause but just as it looked as if we would come away with a draw, Margate were disappointingly allowed to get behind our left flank and substitute Martial Godo stabbed home Ryan Palmer’s cross to spark wild celebrations among the home fans in the 451 crowd.
The games come thick and fast of course and we have an immediate chance to bounce back at Bishops Stortford on Tuesday – no easy task after their 7-0 demolition of Leatherhead on Saturday.
This report cannot be completed without referring to the disgraceful scenes behind one of the goals that greeted Margate’s winner. Police had to be called following the unsavoury disturbance and it is understood two Margate fans have now been banned by the club.
McDonald; Kiangenbeni, Bray, Gyebi, Smith; Youngs, Maja, Thomas, Taafe (Della Verde 73) ; Cunnington (Bricknell, 73), Faal
|25/09/2021||3:00 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2021-22|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
KO 73 73 FT