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Margate looking to upset the Welsh
MARGATE'S league form continues - like most of the sides in the Nationwide South division - to be variable, writes Steve Wells.
As yet unable to secure three successive wins, the Blues have risen from a worrying 19th place at the end of August to 14th - having been 12th before the defeat to Redbridge.
Looking to secure a fourth home win of the season, victory against Welsh side Newport County could see Gate just make the top half of the table.
Margate are ranked 11th in the current form table with three wins from six games - accumulating two points more than Newport in that period.
While last week's 2-1 FA Cup victory over Waltham Forest was far from a classic, it was comfortable for Gate.
The return to the side after suspension of John Keister was a key factor as was Moses Jjunju's performance from the bench.
Che Stadhart (family bereavement) and Dean Beckwith (not released by Gillingham) should return to the starting line up with Daniel Bulley and Alex Charalambous making way.
Greg Oates, however, is a doubt having left the field at half time with a recurrence of his knee injury, but Peter Benevides returns to the squad after suspension and could deputise.
Visitors Newport County qualified for the Nationwide South by finishing seventh in last season's Dr Martens Premier Division - winning more games away from home than at their Spytty Park home.
This season, the Exiles look to have reversed that trend with just a single away victory. On current form, County have taken seven from a possible 18 points - including wins over Bognor Regis Town and St Albans City.
Following the sacking of former Crystal Palace man Peter Nicholas after just eight games of the current season, former Swansea City and Wales midfielder John Cornforth has been named as Newport County's new manager. Cornforth enjoyed early success as the Exiles recorded a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup at Corsham Town last weekend.
One to watch for the Exiles will be 33-year-old Jamie Moralee. Signed from Forest Green Rovers back in January, his Football League career included spells at Crystal Palace, Millwall, Watford, Crewe Alexandra and Brighton & Hove Albion. His strike rate is pretty good this season - scoring a goal every other game.
The clubhouse will be open for fans to watch the live televised international between England and Wales straight after the other battle between both countries in the Nationwide South.
Margate v Newport County
Saturday 9 October 2004
Kick Off 1:00pm
at Ashford Town FC, Homelands, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth,