Margate 1 Millwall 1 We will be fitter before the start of the league season, insists Trott

Saturday 08th July 2006

Saturday 8th July 2006
Pre-Season Friendly
Stephen McCartney reports from Hartsdown Park

Steve McKimm opened his Margate account as the Ryman Premier League hosts drew a youthful looking Millwall side at Hartsdown Park.

The former Gravesend & Northfleet star scored from six yards, scooping down to head Lee Protheroe’s whipped in cross from the right into the bottom corner.

Millwall had opened the scoring after just seven minutes when skipper Kevin Braniff’s cross from the left was met by a smashing 20-yard half right-footed volley from Will Hendry, which flew into the roof of the net.

Before that though, the impressive crowd of 704, saw the Thanet side, tipped for success this season, struck the woodwork through Paul Abbott’s header following Jimmy Jackson’s free kick.

Margate’s player-manager Robin Trott had signed four players from Nationwide Conference side Gravesend & Northfleet during the summer.

McKimm, Jackson and Protheroe were all in action today, but Justin Skinner (holiday) was unavailable and Protheroe had only just returned from his holiday last night.

Tralist goalkeeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens, 20, played for Ashford Town (Middlesex) last season and has also turned out for Watford, Rushden & Diamonds and Mansfield Town.

Former Welling United striker, James Pinnock also played and Trott will play local talent if their good enough with Aaron Robinson, who played for Deal Town in the Kent League last season, given a chance to impress along with Alex Hallett, Danny Whisker and Lewis Smith in his eighteen-man squad.

Lining up in Margate’s starting eleven were former Lions Danny Hockton and James Donovan.

Trott, meanwhile, admitted he wasn’t happy with his players’ fitness, having played their first game after just three training sessions.

They do, however, have two more weeks until their next game, which is against Nationwide Conference South newcomers Fisher Athletic here at Hartsdown Park.

“It was definitely early but I think the boys prefer a game really than training,” said Trott.

“It’s just a different scene and stops them from getting bored really.

“Hand it to them, Millwall are very lively. Obviously you don’t get a lot of time on the ball and you’re chasing shadows. When you get the ball you tend to give it away a bit.”

Assessing his players’ fitness, the Orpington based builder said: “They’re not fit. They’ve come back, they’ve had a good break but give it 4-5 weeks they’ll be fit.

“We had no pattern of play, we’ve done the basic stuff as we’ve only had three training sessions so with all the new people in the squad we’ve got 4-5 weeks to get it together.”

Trott was, however, pleased with the trialists on show, and added: “We want a bit of youth in there and those four look quite good potentially.”

He admitted he will be happy with the players available in the middle of the park, but he needs more cover up front and at the heart of his defence.

“We should have a very strong midfield this year,” he said. “You can win the game through there so I’ve got no worries about the middle of the park.

“But I’m looking for another centre half just to ease the fans’ worries. I’ve told James Donovan as well. I don’t expect us two to hold the fort especially with no cover.

“I’m looking for someone to start to be a first team challenger and I’m talking to a couple of players at the moment.”

But it’s his team’s lack of fitness that’s concerning Trott, whose still not tasted defeat in the six games he’s been at the helm after taking over from Chris Kinnear in April.

“I just want the fitness sooner rather than later,” he said. “I don’t want to concentrate on fitness and take my eyes of the football.”

And if anyone falls out of line, they’ll know what to expect, as Trott aims for a promotion place.

Although he came off the bench during the second half, Lawrence Yiga is on the transfer list, but Bertie Brayley and Hasim Deen, who are also available for transfer, didn’t feature.

Explaining why the trio are on the transfer list, Trott said: “It was about budget and personally I don’t think they were good enough.

“I don’t muck about with my words. In their eyes they think their good players but I’ve put them on the list for a reason.

“With Hasim Deen it’s a bit different. I don’t want to go into it but he was in my squad but he’s decide to leave so it’s down to him at the end of the day.

“He was going to be here so that’s why I’m looking for a replacement for Hasim Deen.”

Trott then explained the situation with Brayley. “He came here for the first day (of training) but he’s got to do what he wants to do. But if he let’s himself down, he lets himself down at the end of the day.

“I wouldn’t do it as a player. I’d get on with it. I’m a hard working man.

“I’ve got rid of the players who are the whingers out of the team and I want people who are going to dig in and are going to be head strong for the team,” he insisted.

“It’s a long season and if we don’t get off to a good start I want the people around us to dig in and get it right quickly because I can’t wait, this club can’t wait, and I won’t tolerate to wait - we will move on.”

Trott ended spelling out his aims for the new season.

He said: “Anything lower than the play-off’s then I will be absolutely disappointed - gutted. But I can’t see it with the players we’ve got.

“It’s going to be a tough league this year, don’t get me wrong.

“A lot of teams are throwing money around. I’m not saying Margate are throwing the money around - they’re not

“We are just using the budget we can and they’re helping me about very well. It’s going to be a harder league this year than last year.”

Margate: Scott Chalmers-Stevens, Greg Oates, Dean Standen, James Donovan, Robin Trott, Paul Abbott, Steve McKimm, Pat Gradley, James Pinnock, Danny Hockton, Jimmy Jackson.

Subs: Lee Protheroe, Lawrence Yiga, Osman Sesay, Alex Hallett, Danny Whisker, Aaron Robinson, Lewis Smith.

Goalscorer: Steve McKimm 38

Millwall: Alan Brooks, Andrew Callaghan, Jack Obersteller, Will Hendy, Ben Payne, Michael McLeary, Ali Fuseini, Michael Phillips, Greg Palmer, Kevin Braniff (Capt), Ross Gaynor.

Subs: Joe O’Rourke, Tom Crowther, Danny Phillips, Billy Jefferies, Michael Moore, Gary Noel, Sam Higgins.

Goalscorer: Will Hendry 7

Attendance: 704
Referee: Mr Phil Knight
Assistants: Mr Richard Joss & Mr Saul Kay



GOAL:  Steve McKimm (on ground) heads home Margate's equaliser -

For those fans unable to get to Hartsdown Park, Steve Wells will be providing live coverage of the game via his Matchday Live Service.   More details on