Thursday 01st September 2005

Margate scrape through

Saturday 24th
September 2005
FA Cup
Second Qualifying Round
Stephen McCartney reports from Hartsdown Park
Margate 1 Ellis Remy 5
Carshalton Athletic 0  

Margate manager Chris Kinnear admitted "it wasn't the greatest game", but Ellis Remy's fourth goal of the season saw the Thanet side progress into the FA Cup third qualifying round at Hartsdown Park today, writes Stephen McCartney.

Former Bromley manager Dave Garland faces an uphill task at Colston Avenue, having replaced Jimmy Bolton at the helm at the end of last week.  His new side lacked firepower today and are still winless (with only three points) at the foot of the Nationwide Conference South table.

But the Surrey side started brightly, that is, until the fifth minute when Remy scored the only goal of a drab encounter, which lacked the blood and thunder of a passionate FA Cup tie.

The impressive Daniel Sacha - who joined Margate earlier in the month, having moved from his native Poland in the summer, playing for Okocimski Brzeko - a club near Krakow in southern Poland - swept in a free kick into the middle of the penalty area and Remy got across his marker to head home from 12 yards.

Charlie Mitten, the Margate goalkeeper, was called into action after 11 minutes, diving to his left to parry Marlon Patterson's stroked shot goal, and Dean Standen was there to clear their lines.

Former Wimbledon star, Peter Fear, took the visitors setpieces and it was from his 16th minute corner, that gave Ellis Hooper a chance at the far post, but the central defender steered his header wide.

Not an entertaining display from both sides but Margate were happy to lead at the interval.

We were hoping for a better second half to entertain the 773 crowd, and Remy had a couple of chances in the first 16 minutes.

His first shot, from 25-yards flew wide of the right post, and ten minutes later, the former Lincoln City striker, who was snapped up in October 2003 by Grays Athletic in a £5,000 transfer fee, drilled a shot towards goal but didn't trouble goalkeeper Stuart Searle.

The two assistant referee's Messrs Conlan and Hatzidakis must be suffering from arm ache tonight as their flags were raised on a frequent basis!

Sacha, however, went close with two shots from just outside the penalty area late on and at the other end Carl Wilson-Dennis' long range shot, which flashed wide of the foot of the post, had the big striker on his backside - which really summed this dour game up really.

But as Welling United manager Adrian Pennock said to me last week, "it's not about the performance it's all about getting into the next round," and this was the case for Margate today.

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Kinnear was pleased the club are in Monday's draw - and two wins away from a place in the first round proper.

"Yes, very pleased, as you say it wasn't the greatest game, but again our side keeps changing, we just can't play a settled side," he admitted.

"I think we deserved to win, we had the most chances and Charlie (Mitten) didn't have a lot to do, what he did he makes it look easy doesn't he?"

"We've gone through, we needed that. We've still only been beaten once this year, now we have to start killing sides off when we do get on top."

5,418 fans have flocked through the turnstiles in the first six matches played back at Hartsdown Park this season - averaging 903.  Sadly, though, their two FA Cup ties against Cowes Sports (672) and today (773) have been their two lowest.

"It will be nice to have a run (in the FA Cup)," said Kinnear.  "The supporters would like it.  All of a sudden they haven't seen us for so long, they are watching FA Cup and (Ryman) League games and it's great support."

And like every manager, Kinnear wants a home draw in the next round.  "So the supporters get used to coming here and hopefully it gives us a chance to get one or two new faces in.  That's our aim really, to add to our squad and improve and get ourselves up the league."

Margate have collected £6,000 in prize money from their FA Cup run so far - and Kinnear wants that money to improve the team.

"But we've got to find the right ones," he said.  "There's a good spirit amongst the lads.  But because we didn't play well, we've got a few experienced players but they hung on in there and in the end we finished the stronger, we looked fitter, with so many injured players.

"It's money that is needed by the club," he added.  "I'm talking to managers and players and it's just a matter of trying to get them believing that things are happening here.

"One of the players asked if he could help to get us back where we came from - that's what we have to let people know that's what's going to happen here."

Speaking about the support, Kinnear added: "The crowds are still higher than all the Conference South games, I would think. 

"There's only (AFC) Wimbledon that get more than us outside the Conference (South).

"No, I'm not disappointed, just thankful that people are coming through watching us.

Despite breaking his leg last season, former Gillingham defender, Mark Green, 20, is pleased he is playing football again, and was satisfied with today's win.

"I'm really enjoying it," he said.  "I'm just glad we've got through to the next round.

"It was a tough game for us, we got the goal early and we just sat back for 90 minutes, letting them pressure us.  They didn't cause us any problems at all.  I reckon it should have been more."

Green, however, admitted he is wearing the captain's armband on a "part-time" basis due Pat Gradley's injury.

Still, with Bromley, Cray Wanderers (well, they should beat Camberley Town at Hayes Lane tomorrow), Folkestone Invicta, Margate, Ramsgate, Tonbridge Angels and Welling United in Monday's draw - and with Gravesend & Northfleet coming in the fourth and final qualifying round - Kent football is well represented in this year's competition.

And I predict a Kent derby in the next round (8th October) - who need's England?

Margate: Charlie Mitten, Greg Oates, Mark Green (Capt), Bill Edwards, Hasim Deen, Warren Ryan, Jermaine Brown, Daniel Sacha, Ian Hillaire, Ellis Remy (Leon Braithwaite 72), Dean Standen.  Subs: Paul Egan (GK), Gavin McGowan, Osman Sesay, Darren Watson

Carshalton Athletic: Stuart Searle, Stephen Symes (Daniel Platel 82), Stuart Booth, Bradley Pritchard (Danny Hunt 70),  Ellis Hooper, Dave Richards, Mark Marshall, Peter Fear (Capt), Carl Wilson-Dennis, Daniel Nwanze, Marlon Patterson.  Subs: Lee Richardson, Laurent Hamici, Jonathan Venter

Attendance: 773
Referee: Lee Vennamore (Maidstone)
Assistants: Mr T Conlan & Mr C Hatzidiakis