Monday 11th April 2005

Kinnear stays by the Gate

CHRIS KINNEAR has vowed to stay at Margate even if the club suffer their second successive relegation, writes Andrew Gidley.

Kinnear and assistant manager Kevin Raine are embroiled in their first relegation battle in 19 years together in management, but refuse to concede the inevitable with three games remaining.

He said: "We are under no illusions about how bad it looks, but I think 99 out of 100 clubs in our position would have gone under.  It's amazing how we have managed to continue.  Our problems are not football related, and we have been slapped around the face every week."

Asked if he would carry on if Margate went down, Kinnear added: "If the directors want me to stay I will.  Everyone has worked so hard to keep it going, and now we have got to look ahead, get back to Hartsdown Park and start again."

He paid tribute to his players and the supporters who cheered the team off the pitch at the end.

He said: "I can't believe how magnificent our supporters, turning up every week home and away.  I think the players appreciate their support, and that's why they have stayed, despite all the problems."

Margate's cause is not helped by a mounting injury list.  Greg Oates undergoes a knee operation on Friday and won't play again this season, while Peter Benevides (ankle) and Billy Edwards (groin) are both carrying knocks.

Former Gillingham youngster Mark Green is set to start his first game since breaking a leg last September in Tuesday's John Ullmann Kent Senior Cup semi-final against Folkestone Invicta at the Westbourne Stadium.

The winner of Tuesday's cup clash will face local rivals Dover Athletic in the May 2nd showpiece at a final to be decided.

Folkestone Invicta v Margate
John Ullmann Kent Senior Cup Semi-Finals
Tuesday 12th April 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Westbourne Stadium, Cheriton Road, Folkestone