Wednesday 16th February 2005

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Football is coming home to Margate, at last!

MARGATE will be back playing at Hartsdown Park for the beginning of the 2005-06 Nationwide Conference South season, writes Stephen McCartney.

Work should start immediately on building a temporary ground that meets their current league's criteria, after the club's developers agreed to fund it.

It's nearly three years since Margate Football Club were based in the town.  Home matches are currently played at Ashford Town's Homelands ground and prior to this campaign they spent time at Dover Athletic.

The announcement means the football club and Thanet District Council have more time to come to an agreement over plans to develop the stadium to full Conference standard in the near future.

Margate don't yet have permission to build other parts of the project, but they're hoping to get that sorted soon.

Club captain Adrian Clarke says it's good news for all the players - and they celebrated on Tuesday night.  Goals from strikers Rocky Baptisite and Che Stadhart sealed a 2-0 win against Maidenhead United - in front of their lowest crowd of the season when only 133 came through the turnstiles at the Homelands.

Long serving and suffering Gate boss Chris Kinnear said: "It's very good news, it's something we've been waiting for, for a long time.

"We've got to start now if we want to be at Hartsdown Park for the beginning of next season.

"You know, even though I believed something would happen eventually, it just drags on and wears you down.

"Hopefully now, the players and supporters and everyone within the town will be uplifted."

Victory over the Magpies was their fourth win in their last five games and they will be looking for a good crowd when Sutton United are the visitors to the Homelands on Saturday for a Nationwide Conference South fixture.

Margate v Sutton United
Nationwide Conference South
Saturday 19th February 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Homelands, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford