Margate assistant Mike Sandmann: The presusre is on Bath!
MARGATE assistant manager Mike Sandmann says the pressure will all be on Bath City when the two sides lock horns in The Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round Replay on Tuesday night.
Steven Watt’s side came away from Twerton Park with a goal-less draw last Tuesday to give his club a second bite of the cherry against the 12th place Vanarama National League South outfit.
“After a very long journey on a Tuesday night the players produced a performance of the season and reduced Bath to limited chances,” recalled Sandmann.
“Bath have some very good players and started the game as we expected but I thought after their initial threat we adapted and limited them to few chances.
“We went there to win the game and should have come away doing so. We had the better chance and we were all disappointed not to finish the job there.
“I thought the performance signalled everything that our group is about and why we are unbeaten in 11 matches. Huge credit to the players for this and more than matched a team in the league above.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow night’s replay, Sandmann said: “We know the replay is going to be extremely tough but we believe that if we can perform the way we did last Tuesday, then we have a chance of going through.
“Bath are expected to come and win the game, it’s as simple as that! They are a league above so all the pressure is on them but it’s going to be a long journey on a Tuesday night for them and we will be looking at making the journey home even longer!”
Margate go into the game sitting in seventh-place in the Bostik Premier with 31 points from their 18 league outings, only four points adrift of the play-off zone.
The Blues came away from Burgess Hill Town with a point at the weekend, courtesy of a 1-1 draw.
“Burgess Hill is a difficult place to go and they are very good at what they do and unfortunately we didn’t do anywhere near enough to win the game,” admitted Sandmann.
“I think the trip and performance at Bath took a lot out of the players and you could see that in our performances on Saturday.
“It’s unlike us to concede in the manner that we did but again credit to the players for their response in getting something out of the game.”
Ironically, if Margate get past Bath City tomorrow, then they will travel to fifth-placed Hendon in the First Round on 16 December.
However, Margate will welcome Gary McCann’s side to Hartsdown Park in a Bostik Premier fixture this coming Saturday.
“Hendon are a very good side and we know we will need to be at our best to beat them,” Sandmann said of the league fixture.
“It’s a massive game in terms of closing the gap on the play-offs and being in a good position for the Christmas period.
“First of all, we focus on Bath on Tuesday then we will start our preparations for Hendon on Saturday.
“As always we will look at their strengths and areas in which we feel we can exploit but it will be about how we perform and look at getting three points.”
Meanwhile, Margate’s Ladies side welcome West Ham United Ladies of FA Women’s Premier League South Division to Hartsdown Park in the Isthmian League Women’s Cup Quarter-Finals on Tuesday 12 December (19:45). There is FREE ADMISSION to this game.
“This is our biggest game in our short history and we need all the support we can get,” said a spokesperson for the team.
“At half-time a bucket collection will be going around and we ask you all to give any spare change.
“We are self-sufficient and rely on local businesses and donations throughout the season.”
Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk
Margate v Bath City
The Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 5th December 2017
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Hartsdown Park, Hartsdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 5QZ