Margate 3-1 East Grinstead Town - The FA Cup is a special competition and let's hope we can do well in, says Margate boss Steven Watt

Saturday 02nd September 2017
Margate 3 – 1 East Grinstead Town
Location Hartsdown Park, Hartsdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 5QZ
Kickoff 02/09/2017 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Saturday 2nd September 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Hartsdown Park

MARGATE manager Steven Watt says his side should have scored a lot more goals during their comfortable win over East Grinstead Town in The FA Cup.

Margate went into this First Qualifying Round tie sitting in ninth-place in the Bostik Premier with eight points from five games, while East Grinstead Town arrived at Hartsdown Park in the bottom four in the Bostik South with one point from their opening four league outings.

Margate were the more dominant force during the entire game and raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 24 minutes, courtesy of winger Harry Stannard and striker Jordan Chiedozie.

Chiedozie, the former Concord Rangers striker who has recovered from a knee operation, bagged a third early in the second half.

East Grinstead Town scored a late consolation when Marcus Elliott rifled home his fifth goal of the season from the penalty spot.

“I thought from minute one onwards we set the stall out,” said Watt, 32, after winning his first FA Cup tie as a manager.

“We spoke about that before the game, about starting in the right manner and we let them know that this afternoon wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon for them.

“I think we did that from minute one.  As a manager you always want more, I was the same as a player.  You still have to think we only got three, we should’ve had a lot more goals today but look, three very good goals and a very pleasing performance.”

Margate were so comfortable today that East Grinstead Town didn’t look like causing an upset.

“I’ve been a part of giantkilling’s myself in the past and have been a part of losing games we shouldn’t have lost so we spoke about that before the game,” explained Watt.

“We made a point of that on Thursday night saying if we take this team lightly, they are a good side, they move the ball around well and they do create chances and we spoke about it’s important to start quick. We got an early goal. We should’ve scored a lot more but it was a comfortable afternoon.”

Dominant Margate set the tone from the first whistle as Matt Longhurst set up with a five-man defence and both sides diamond formations ensured there was a lack of width.

The Wasps gifted Margate an early free-kick which Frannie Collin, who was playing at the tip of the diamond, stroked narrowly over the crossbar with his right-foot from 19-yards, with only 100 seconds on the clock.

“If I’m being honest, I thought it was maybe a penalty,” said Watt.

“It looked like Jordan was clean in.  It looked like he was body-checked in the box but I couldn’t see form my angle.  You’re talking about a yard or two so I’ve got no problems over there.  I thought it was possibly a penalty.

“That’s what we spoke about, it was a clearance forward, we chased everything down. We didn’t give them time in their half and Jordan did that and we got the free kick and that set the tone from minute one.”

But East Grinstead Town winger Leo Mazzone skipped past Margate left-back Tom Mills to cut the ball back to lone striker Dean Bown, who swept his shot from 18-yards into Lenny Pidgeley’s hands to comfortably gather inside six minutes.

“Every team is going to have an opportunity, it’s important that we make opportunities as difficult as we can and I think when you’ve got a ball cut back and there’s bodies between the striker outside your box, it was comfortable defending,” said Watt.

Former Folkestone Invicta central defender Liam Friend played a long ball over the top to put Chiedozie through on goal but giant keeper Oshane Brown rushed off his line to smother at his feet.

Margate took 17 minutes and 21 seconds to smash through a resilient East Grinstead Town back five.

Friend won the ball in midfield and slipped the ball forward to Mills who released winger Matt Bodkin down the left, who cut inside and delivered a deep cross towards the far post for Stannard to hook his shot across the keeper into the bottom far corner from six-yards.

“It was a great ball from Bods,” said Watt.

“They switched over wings for the time being and then Bods cut in. A great overlapping run from Mills to give him space to cut onto his right foot and deliver a great ball to the back post and Harry does what he does. He’s made a great run in between defenders and he’s got his body in between the wing-back and the centre half and it’s a great finish.

“He was under a bit of pressure at the back post from the covering player and it was a great finish from Harry.”

Margate had a foot in the next round as early as 23 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock, as Chiedozie grabbed his chance with a fine finish.

Collin arrowed a ball into the right channel for Stannard, who played Chris Sessegnon on the overlap, who whipped in a quality low cross into the corridor of uncertainty for Chiedozie to dink his first time shot over the advancing Brown from six-yards.

Watt said: “I thought Sessegnon was fantastic today! I thought he was excellent at right-back and caused them all sort of problems, getting forward and defensively sound as he always is.  We asked him to go on a little bit more to give us more of an attacking threat and he did today.

“It was a great ball, it was a great move.  Frannie dropped deep to pick it up. Frannie, at the minute, it’s not happening for him in front of goal but his contributing a lot elsewhere on the pitch. It was great build-up play, great move and a great finish from Jordan.”

A great start from your side on your FA Cup managing debut for the Aberdeen born boss.

“To be fair, everything went to the game plan.  We spoke about taking an early lead and if we get a lead to then go for the second because we felt we could get a couple of goals and we couldn’t see them come back from that deficit and that’s what we did.”

Collin, who was dropping deep to collect passes, played the ball to James Rogers who threaded the ball into Chiedozie, who held off Jahmmahl King, cut inside and stroked a low drive from 25-yards with his right-foot, forcing Brown to get his big frame low to his right to parry the ball to safety.

Pidgeley’s big kick forward was brought under control by Bodkin’s chest before he fed Chiedozie, who this time shrugged off Chidi-James Williams-Agunabor and Brown was called into action again.

Wasps’ right-back Callum Wilson was booked for clipping Stannard’s heels from behind and Brown used both outstretched hands to palm over Chiedozie’s right-footed free-kick from 19-yards, a tad wider than Collin’s earlier free-kick.

Watt said: “It was a good free-kick. Frannie had one earlier – Jordan had a go and it was a good effort. 

“Jordan’s been a great addition to us and he’s given us something extra going forward, a different dimension and I think he showed today he can be a handful for any defence.”

East Grinstead Town can count themselves lucky that they were only 2-0 down by the time they created a glorious chance in the 42nd minute.

Wilson found Mazzone in a pocket of space just outside the Margate box and he floated over a lovely cross for Daniel Mobsby to plant his diving header towards goal, which forced Pidgeley to dive to his right to parry.

“It was a lapse of concentration on our behalf.  We didn’t track the runner and then we didn’t track the midfield player, so two errors on our behalf and it’s a comfortable save from Lenny,” said Watt.

“It’s a free header, he should do better but from our point of view we switched off but we allowed them that chance. We spoke about it at half-time and we restricted them to very, very little in the second half.”

Holding midfielder Steve Sargent then whipped in his side’s fourth corner of the game and the otherwise quiet Elliott sent his free header across the keeper and narrowly past the far post from five-yards out.

When asked his thoughts at half-time, Watt replied: “More of the same!  We stressed about the importance of starting properly, starting fast again in the second half, which I didn’t think we did fairly well but we got the third goal.

“Two-nil is always a difficult scoreline to be in. We’ve been here before, 2-0 up at half-time,  cruising against Leiston and we let that slip so we reminded them about that and addressed that side of it.”

East Grinstead Town started the second half on the front foot and they should have pulled a goal back during this spell.

Bown showed strength as he drove his way through towards the edge of Margate’s box before playing the ball inside to Sargent, who dragged his first time shot harmlessly wide from 22-yards.

Williams-Agunabor, formerly of Bromley and Cray Wanderers, played a ball out of defence to put Bown through on goal but after getting the better of Ben Swift he drilled his shot just past the foot of the near post from 16-yards.

Watt said: “Ben Swift’s recovering position was good. We forced him to take a shot on his weaker side, again, a lapse of concentration.  Sometimes you get caught cold in the second half and we did there. We let him in, they’re on the shoulder but Swifty’s recovery position was very good and forced him there in a lost effort.  It gave us a little wake-up call we needed.”

Chiedozie was a constant pain for the Wasps’ defence and his chip was caught by Brown after he latched onto Pidgeley’s big kick upfield.

Margate sealed their progress with their third goal, timed at seven minutes and 4 seconds, which killed the game off.

Friend’s range of passing out of defence was inch-perfect as his through ball put Chiedozie through on goal.  It appeared that the striker was in an offside position when he received the ball but the flag stayed down and he kept composed to cut into the box and smash the ball past Brown.

“No! He was right in line with me,” claimed Watt.

“There were two players playing him on so it looked as though it was (offside) but Jordan himself was in line with me.  The right sided centre half, I don’t know where he went!  He gave Jordan the space just to run in and score.

“That’s what Jordan gives you, he’s always on the shoulder, always wants to get behind and if you do switch off as a defender with Jordan on that pitch he’s going to cause you problems.

“Jordan’s not anywhere near match fit, coming back from an injury, he’s only going to get better and better and I think today he’s showed us what he’s going to give us and what he’s going to bring.  It’s great that in his first two games he’s got a return of three goals. It’s only his second start for us at the club but I’m very excited.

“He was with Concord Rangers (in National League South) last year but in the summer he had a knee op just to clean out a bit of his cartilage. He’s still not up to match fitness, he’s still two or three games away from being where he should be.”

Margate should have buried a fourth goal when James Rogers’ quickly-taken free-kick put Orlando Smith through on goal but the substitute winger drove his shot past the near post, despite keeper Brown leaving a massive gap to slot the ball into at his near post.

“I brought him on to freshen up things a little bit to give us a little bit more legs and he came on and he was unlucky with that effort. It was a great quick free-kick from Rogers and I think the lad will be disappointed,” said Watt.

East Grinstead Town also went close within a minute when Wilson advanced into the final third down the right and delivered a deep cross for substitute Luke Saggers, who drilled his low shot just past the foot of the near post.

Visiting keeper Brown stuck out his long right leg to prevent Chiedozie scoring his deserved hat-trick in the 72nd minute.

Collin, once again in a deep position, lofted the ball out wide to Stannard on the left and his low cross was met by Chiedozie, as another decent Margate chance went begging.

Watt said: “I think a fitter Jordan gets a bit more composed, I think he’s got a bit more time, takes a touch and finishes that! 

“I think he’s rushing that because when you’ve been out for a period of time and not played, you lose your instinct, if you like, around the pitch, the time you’ve got and the people around you.  I think Jordan’s still getting used to that. Once he gets fitter and he’s in that position, he’ll just take a touch, compose himself and finish but look, it was good football again, another chance we should score!”

Margate right-back Sessegnon enjoyed his over lapping runs and he played the ball inside to Smith, who drilled his shot into the foot of the side netting from eight-yards.

Brown was caught out by Dave Martin’s in-swinging corner form the left and Friend had a glorious chance to cap off a good display with a goal, but he poked his shot past the right-hand post.

Referee Jonathan Creswick awarded East Grinstead Town a chance to score a consolation when he pointed to the spot after Will Hoare’s shot was charged down inside the box with seven minutes left.

Elliott stepped up and rifled his right-footed penalty high into the roof of the net in the middle, sending Pidgeley diving to his right to keep up his early goalscoring form.

“I don’t think it was a penalty,” insisted Watt, after the referee penalised Swift.

“Their player played a handball, it wasn’t our player so the ref, I believe, got that wrong!

“Luckily for us it didn’t mean anything in the course of the game. It’s disappointing, we didn’t keep a clean sheet because we spoke at half-time that we wanted to keep a clean sheet.

“I don’t think they necessarily deserved a goal because of how dominant we were and the chances we were creating but it was disappointing but I do feel the ref got that one wrong!”

Collin should have scored his second goal in six games with Margate’s final chance.

He played the ball out to Stannard on the left and he cut the ball back to Collin, who drilled his shot across goal and past the far post.

“It’s just not happening for Frannie at the minute, he’s snatching at things a little bit because he’s desperate for that goal but it will come,” said Watt.

“He knows himself as a striker you’ve got periods of scoring, you go through periods of what he’s going through at the minute and I feel for him a little bit in terms of in front of goal but I can’t question what he’s giving us, everything he’s got. He’s back winning diving headers from corners, he’s putting his body on the line for us.

“The pleasing thing is he’s getting these opportunities. Fran will be the first to tell you if he’s not finding himself getting a chance in a game he’ll be more worried but he’s getting chances, it’s a matter of time he starts putting them away.”

Watt takes his side to Bognor Regis next Saturday to tackle bottom-of-the-table Worthing, who have lost all five of their league games so far this season and they were dumped out of The FA Cup after going out 3-2 at league rivals Dorking Wanderers today.

“It’s good to be in the next round, hopefully we get a winnable tie,” added Watt.

“The FA Cup, to me as a person means a great deal. I made my full debut at Chelsea in The FA Cup.  I had a great run with Maidstone in it a few years ago so we had a couple of good times.

“I just want to try to recreate that here. This club has got a good history, I just want to recreate these moments here.  With the squad we’ve got it’s something to be excited about. The FA Cup is a special, special competition, anything could happen in the Cup so you never know. You need a little bit of luck in games and you need the luck in the draw. Let’s see who we get in the next round.

“I’ve never been a player or a person, I certainly won’t as a manager, look anywhere further than the next game and that’s what I look at now so what The FA Cup brings on Monday, it brings but I’m very much focused now on Worthing.

“But The FA Cup is a special, special competition and let’s hope we can do well in.”

Margate: Lenny Pidgeley, Chris Sessegnon, Tom Mills, James Rogers (George Brown 70), Liam Friend, Ben Swift, Matt Bodkin (Orlando Smith 62), Lee Prescott, Jordan Chiedozie (David Martin 77), Frannie Collin, Harry Stannard.
Subs: Tom Wynter, Louis Lawlor, Jack Evans

Goals: Harry Stannard 18, Jordan Chidozie 24, 53

East Grinstead Town: Oshane Brown, Callum Wilson, Connor Gales, Steve Sargent, Jahmmahl King (Allan Tait 74), Chidi-James Williams Agunabor, Leo Mazzone (Will Hoare 74), Daniel Mobsby, Dean Bown (Luke Saggers 65), Marcus Elliott, Tariq Staker.
Subs: Daniel Hogan, Oshaye Giraud-Hutchingson, Michael Wilson, Jack Wingate

Goal: Marcus Elliott 83 (penalty)

Booked: Callum Wilson 37, Connor Gales 54

Attendance: 458
Referee: Mr Jonathan Creswick (West Byfleet, Surrey)
Assistants: Mr Gareth Mays (Epsom, Surrey) & Mr Jonathan Bolland (Egham, Surrey)

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