Kinnear: We are not making up the numbers
|Pre-Season Friendly||Stephen McCartney reports from the Betterview Longmead Stadium|
|Margate||1||Sylvester Nnamudi 75|
|Margate got their pre-season programme
underway with a victory, beating Ryman League Division One side Tonbridge
Angels at the Betterview Longmead Stadium, writes Stephen McCartney.
The only goal of the game came two minutes after Angels' boss Tony Dolby replaced his impressive goalkeeper Jerome John.
The stopper signed from Fisher Athletic was replaced by 28-year-old Slovakian, Michal Czanner.
And it wasn't too long for the trialist to be picking the ball out of his net. Margate midfielder Pat Gradley, out on the right, rolled the ball to substitute Sylvester Nnamudi, and despite treading on the ball inside the box, he kept his composure to round Czanner to stroke the ball past Steve Aris, who tried to clear the ball off the line, and into the back of the net.
"There's a few we haven't seen before and we don't look bad defensively," Kinnear told www.kentishfootball.co.uk after the game.
"Charlie (Mitten) looks very safe, which is nice but we're a bit light upfront but there is something to work on. We looked a bit more positive."
Although Kent sides have just returned to action, with many more playing their first game this weekend, Kinnear was expecting a competitive game against the Angels, who opened their campaign seven days earlier with a 1-0 win over Nationwide South club Sutton United.
"We are probably a week or two behind," he said. "But there's still four weeks to go before the season starts so we didn't want to go to quickly, and just to get a game under our belt.
"We knew Tonbridge would be competitive, they are a very ambitious club so it was an ideal game for us."
What a difference a year makes. This time last year Kinnear only had a couple of players signed up, but with a return to Hartsdown Park in time for their opening Ryman Premier League game with Maldon Town on 20th August, he can build his team.
"But this time last year we only had two players," he said. "Mind you a week to go we only had two players so of course it's a lot more positive off the field as well, as people have signed early this year because they know we've got a future."
And Kinnear insists his side aren't just going to be making up the numbers.
"We are not just going to make up the numbers now. We really have to get ourselves going. Next week hopefully more good news but once we get back to Hartsdown we are back home, it will be a transformation for sure.
"It's a lot different from last year. Last year was doom and gloom and this year it's a lot more positive.
"It's back to maybe three or four years ago when we were thinking lets get into the Conference and let's give it a go, which we did for a couple of years before we kept moving around.
"Now we are getting that stability back that's the only way we can go forward. Maybe in the long run, even though its been a hard couple of years, it might be all for the best and the right thing?"
Earlier in the game, John made a low save down at his near post to deny Gradley's long range effort in the 18th minute.
And three minutes later, Charlie Mitten, who has signed from Welling United, plucked a 20-yard shot from Dolby out of the air.
But the goalkeeper was tested twice in a minute just before the break, saving shots from the edge of the box from Jon Heath and Jay May.
Leroy Huggins had a good chance when he latched onto a pass from Dolby, who fought to get the ball of Margate's player-coach, John Keister, but the former Bromley and Fisher Athletic striker dragged his shot wide of the far post, but from a difficult angle.
Both sides had a couple of chances during the second half but Nnamudi's goal settled matters.
|Teams listed (substitutions not
Tonbridge Angels: Jerome John (Michal Czanner 73), John Beales, Jon Heath, Tony Dolby, Steve Aris, Michael Cramp, Ian Parkes, Warren Haughton, Jay May, Nick Barnes, Leroy Huggins. Other subs: Dennis Busulwa, Phil Cramp, John Farley, Tim Hambley, Jon Sinclair.
Margate: Charlie Mitten, Tope Arojogan, Mark Green, Bill Edwards, Aaron Barnett, Danny Chapman, John Keister, Pat Gradley, Ian Hillair, Moses Jjunju, Dean Standen. Subs: Sesay Osman, Denver Birmingham, Paul Egan (GK), Sylvester Nnamudi, Jamie Omoragbon, Dexley Fidyk
Referee: Gary Johnson
Assistants: Ronnie Albert & Ian Fissenden