Friday 10th December 2004

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Margate propose to use a "3rd generation playing surface" at new Hartsdown

Nationwide Conference South Margate are pleased to confirm that all detailed planning and business case material, required by the Council in order to meet the deadline of 4pm, 10 December 2004, imposed by the Cabinet at their meeting on 10 November 2004, has been hand delivered to the Council Officers today, writes Stephen McCartney.

The production of their application, within the very onerous timescale, results from the total commitment of the club's Design Team who have worked 24/7 to meet the deadline. 

A special thank you must go to the team's Project Co-ordinator, Gerry Connolly and Project Architect, Jon-Marc Creaney who have been the driving force to ensure delivery.

The detailed proposal includes a number of design changes (none of which will have any planning implications) the most fundamental being the clubs proposal to use a 3rd generation playing surface instead of grass in the main stadium. 

This surface was recently approved by FIFA and UEFA for club competition and the club have made a formal application to the Football Conference requesting permission to include this new surface into the re-build programme.

The detailed proposal further sets out the programme which must be met if the club is to return to Hartsdown Park for July 2005 and any delays now would see that window disappear.

If the Leader of our Councils comment to the press that he is confident that football will return to Hartsdown Park for the start of next Season is to come true, Margate must expect an announcement from the Council within the next few days that our proposed programme can go ahead.

Meanwhile, back on the pitch, Chris Kinnear's side travel to Hayes for a Nationwide Conference South fixture, writes Steve Wells.

Back in September, Margate recorded their third win of the season at Homelands against Hayes by a 3-1 margin.

The game was memorable not only for the win, but also Mark Green's injury that has of course kept the promising youngster out of the side ever since.

Aside from Green's injury, it was a gutsy performance to start with, but one that and ended in assured fashion with free second-half goals in reply to the West Londoners first-half opener.

Initially it looked as if Gate would struggle even Gottskalksson’s unavailability and Greg Oates unable to start through injury.

But when Mark Green had to be carried off to hospital with a broken leg, the task looked even tougher. And when the visitors went ahead on 24 minutes through Josh Scott, it looked as if another defeat could be on the cards. But Gate battled on through the rest of the first half and into the second.

On 66 minutes, Gate pulled level. Man of the match Adrian Clarke, hit a perfect cross from the left, and Che Stadhart was on hand at the near post to head the ball into the net for his first goal of the season.

Then five minutes later, Rocky Baptiste chased down a long ball forward. The Hayes defence failed to clear the danger, so Davies came to try to collect the ball but Baptiste - showing power and strength - forced the ball (and keeper) over the line to put Margate ahead.

As full time approached, Margate sprung the Hayes’ offside trap, Peter Benevides breaking through the centre and into the area before slotting his effort out of the keeper’s reach and just inside his right hand post.

With two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six league games, Gate are currently ranked 10th in the form table. Inconsistency (both within games and across fixtures) continues to be the barrier to progression towards the targeted play-off places.

The Blues, however,  do look capable of competing against all the teams in the division, but not converting pressure and possession into goals and the occasional defensive error are preventing the potential being fully realised at the moment.

With Darren Watson looking most effective from the bench, he seems likely to hold onto that position at the start against Hayes.

Manager Chris Kinnear may have the luxury of accommodating Adrian Clarke after injury into the midfield. That could mean one of Peter Benevides, Pat Gradley and John Keister having to settle for a place on the bench.

Hayes’ reasonable start to the season has largely deserted them and they currently sit three places and four points above the relegation zone. On current form, the Missioners have accumulated one more point than Margate through two wins, three draws and a single defeat – last time out against Carshalton.

But in 19-year-old striker Josh Scott with seven goals to his name, Hayes do have a striker worthy of respect.

Hayes v Margate
Nationwide Conference South
Saturday 11th December 2004
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Church Road, Hayes, Middlesex