Margate 3-0 AFC Wimbledon - I'm so delighted with what we've got here, says Margate boss Terry Brown
MARGATE 3-0 AFC WIMBLEDON
Saturday 12th July 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Hartsdown Park
MARGATE manager Terry Brown hailed his side’s performance out of this world after they pulled off a shock result to stun AFC Wimbledon at Hartsdown Park.
Margate finished in eleventh-place in the Ryman Premier League last season but they humbled AFC Wimbledon, who finished in the bottom five in the League Two table.
Margate chairman Bob Laslett has provided the funds for the former AFC Wimbledon manager to get the Thanet club out of the Ryman Premier League in his first full season in charge.
Margate, who used seventeen players, went in at the break with a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a slice of luck from left-back Sam Rents, 27.
Central defender, Brett Johnson, 28, who played for the Dons between 2009-2012, punished poor defending to double Margate’s lead.
And another former AFC Wimbledon player, Luke Moore, 26, slotted home a third during the early stages of the second half as Margate won their first game of pre-season after going down to a 3-0 defeat away to Irish Premier League side UCD Athletic on 30 June.
“The performance was just out of this world for me,” said Brown, 61, afterwards.
“I was so delighted with what we’ve got here. We’ve got a group of players who are hungry.
“It’s alright saying well they’re the highest paid players in the league. Yes, I wouldn’t dispute it for a minute, but we’ve managed to get together a young, hungry side that want to play for Margate and want to take this club a lot higher than what it is now.
“To date, apart from the injury we’ve sustained to Mitchell Nelson, the game absolutely went our way.
“We had a few bounces, the luck went our way, but some of the football we played out there today is hopefully an indication how we’re going to play this year.”
Brown, who said yesterday that he is targeting promotion this coming season, saw his side create the first opening inside two minutes.
Rents cut a free-kick back to right-back Mitchell Nelson, who blasted his right-footed shot over the bar from 25-yards.
Nelson, who was providing some good crosses from the right, was stretchered off through a suspected knee injury later on in the half.
Brown said: “We think he’s knee cap came out and went back in. He was in a lot of pain.
“They’ve released him from the hospital so it doesn’t look at the minute….in fact I’m not going to guess because it’s not right to guess. We’re not sure at the minute, we’ll see how it settles.”
AFC Wimbledon went close inside the opening seven minutes through a quickly taken free-kick from right-winger George Francomb, which sailed narrowly over the crossbar when goalkeeper Nikki Bull was still trying to organise his wall.
Margate called AFC Wimbledon keeper Ross Worner into action with a slick move.
Rents clipped the ball forward to targetman Jason Prior, who flicked the ball to release his strike partner Ryan Moss down the left.
The former Kingstonian striker played the ball in to Lewis Taylor, who spread the ball out to Nelson on the right and he floated over a cross towards the far post for Moss to plant his header into Worner’s gloves, high above his head.
Brown said he was pleased with his front two, which was minus former Maidstone United striker Zac Attwood, who was nursing a calf injury.
“I think that combination (Moss and Prior) could be really good for us because they’re two different players,” explained the manager.
“Ryan Moss likes to run in behind. Jason likes to show up and is a conventional target man.
“We’ve got Zac Attwood to add to that who’s got pace, power and strength.
“We’ve got three players that would’ve played, Zac Attwood, John Beales and Luke Williams and they’ve got to fight to get into the side now.”
Margate keeper Bull released Charlie Allen who raced from box-to-box down the right before cutting the ball back out to impressive central midfielder Kane Wills, who drilled a right-footed shot harmlessly over the AFC Wimbledon crossbar.
Nelson clipped another ball up field for Prior to hook his shot into Worner’s gloves before Luke Moore released Rents on the overlap to cut the ball back for Wills to drive in a cross and Prior’s towering header was saved by the visiting keeper.
Adam Cash – the son of assistant Stuart – slotted in at right-back after a number of stewards helped Nelson off on a stretcher and into an ambulance to go to hospital.
Brown said: “Young Adam Cash came in and done a wonderful job today. Really chuffed with him but hand on heart if Mitch is not right, I’ve got to just get some cover in.”
Rents issued AFC Wimbledon a warning when he clipped his left-footed free-kick on top of the roof of the net from 25-yards, before he scored Margate’s first goal of pre-season in the 43rd minute.
It was a sweeping move from the Ryman Leaguers and Willis swept the ball out wide to Rents, who cut into the penalty area before whipping in a left-footed cross.
However, Worner was left red-faced as he could only watch the ball sail over his head and dip into the top far corner.
Brown admitted it was a cross from the former Sutton United defender.
“I have to say without that piece of fortune, I have to say the move was lovely and warranted a quality finish, but that had a quality cross and that went in and again we rode our luck at times today. We had the rub of the ball today.”
AFC Wimbledon responded through midfielder Harry Pell – one of the players who featured in George Howard’s Benefit Match in June – drilling a left-footed shot past the post from 35-yards.
But Margate doubled their lead with their only corner of the game, exactly four minutes into first half stoppage time.
Rents played a short corner in from the right and received the ball back before whipping in the ball into the penalty area.
Pell tried to play the ball out of his penalty area, but Johnson (who was still up for the corner) stole the ball off the Dons central midfielder, took a touch before steering his shot into the bottom left-hand corner past Worner.
Brown admitted: “That was a shocking goal from their point of view!
“If you have a centre half there you would’ve just cleared it but a midfield player wanted a touch and fair play Brett Johnson was in the right place at the right time.”
When asked whether Johnson enjoyed scoring against an old club, Brown replied: “I think he did! All of the former players would’ve got a buzz in the same way that I got a buzz, it’s natural. It’s your old team you love and you’ve got a lot of affection for but when you’re out there on the pitch, you want to win.”
Margate made half of their six substitutions during the interval, while AFC Wimbledon made ten changes at the break.
Neal Ardley’s side started the second half with the tempo of a League Two side and they should have pulled a goal back inside 91 seconds through Deal resident Sammy Moore.
Chris Arthur – AFC Wimbledon’s best player in the second half – was quick to progress down the left on a number of occasions – and he whipped in a brilliant cross towards the near post but the former Dover Athletic midfielder planted his header narrowly over the crossbar.
AFC Wimbledon were killed off through former Ebbsfleet United striker Luke Moore in the 53rd minute.
A fine pass from Charlie Allen found Luke Moore, who danced his way into the penalty area before slotting his shot underneath substitute goalkeeper James Shea to find the back of the net to score against his former side from fifteen yards.
The Margate fans started to hail the name of the chairman, who has made his mark during the close season, including the erection of an uncovered 318 seater stand behind the goal at the “Coffin End,” and new floodlights.
Brown added: “The finish was a bit wobbly, but again the movement was a really good move.
“There were a few exceptional performances out there today. I think (central defender) Charlie Wassmer was exceptional, Charlie Allen and Kane Wills were brilliant for us today.”
AFC Wimbledon created a chance just before the hour when Sammy Moore swung in a corner from the right and Will Nightingale came up from the back to loop his towering header over the crossbar.
The Londoners improved after the hour-mark and a fine run down the right wing from Kevin Sainte-Luce resulted in Sammy Moore drilling his left-footed shot over the bar.
Former Crystal Palace defender Matt Parsons – who got through the most minutes for the visitors – pumped the ball into the Margate box for striker Matt Tubbs to cut in before cracking his left-footed shot over.
AFC Wimbledon’s best chance came in the final twenty minutes.
Arthur drilled a brilliant left-footed shot from 35-yards, which swerved in the air and Margate’s substitute keeper Tom Beadle dived low to his left to make a fine save at the second attempt to prevent the ball nestling into the bottom far corner.
Brown added: “They battered us for most of the second half and we were honest to do the ugly side and I was pleased with that.
“On another day they had two or three chances they would have stuck in but it’s the first game of pre-season. Everyone’s rusty.”
Brown was full of praise for the former Millwall stopper, 18.
“He came on at half-time. We weren’t going to make that change because Nikki Bull’s a brilliant keeper for them. We thought he’d be busy second half but he picked up a nasty injury in the first minute so we were able to make that change but he done well to keep a clean sheet.”
Central midfielder Joshua Donnelly, 17, received a warm welcome from Margate fans, when he was given a sixteen minute cameo towards the end.
It can be argued that over the years Margate do not give local talent a chance and ship players in from all over the place.
Brown said: “It was nice to be able to bring on a Margate boy because it’s difficult for any young Margate boy to force his way into this side because we’ve captured from all the South (of England), the best players we could.
“It was lovely for him (to come on). He’s done really well in training and we hope that he kicks on.”
When asked whether Donnelly will feature in his first team squad, Brown replied: “We’re looking at him. He’s got to have a few more games and then we’ll look to see where we go.”
AFC Wimbledon continued to press to score a consolation goal but Beadle was having other ideas.
He made a fine block from Andy Frampton’s downward header and was to deny Sammy Moore a goal in his own back yard (almost!).
After emerging from the home dressing room, Brown walked across the pitch to the Hartsdown Park end of the ground to greet AFC Wimbledon fans.
Brown took charge of the Dons on 15 May 2007 and guided the club from the Ryman Premier League to League Two.
In May 2011, Brown led AFC Wimbledon to the Football League for the first time in the club’s history, beating Luton Town 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Conference Premier play-off final.
Brown was sacked by the club on 19 September 2012, before taking over at Hartsdown Park on 12 December 2013,
“They’ve always been brilliant to me,” said Brown.
“I loved my time I had there and it’s a fantastic club. If we’re looking to take lessons about how to build a club you wouldn’t go further than Wimbledon. They’ve done it in an ethical manner, a fantastic attacking way. It’s a great club.”
When asked whether he expected his Margate side to beat his former side 3-0, Brown said: “Not in a million years! I would have bit your hand off for a draw today, absolutely bit your hand off!
“I wanted a performance today so we got the performance and with a rub of the green, we got the win as well.
“I don’t think we’ve ever won anything in July, by July 12th. If (our fans) are happy on May 12th then I’ll be a very happy manager.”
Margate travel to Dover Athletic – who won 4-1 at Canvey Island today – next Saturday.
Former Margate boss Chris Kinnear guided the Whites to promotion to the Conference Premier last season after beating Sutton United (4-1 on aggregate) and Ebbsfleet United (1-0) in the play-offs after finishing in fifth-place in Conference South.
“Just try not to injure too many, we’ve got a lot of knocks and a lot of injuries,” said Brown.
“Again, the results don’t matter, they really don’t matter and we have to look at whose fit and is able to play against Dover.”
Margate: Nikki Bull (Tom Beadle 46), Mitchell Nelson (Adam Cash 32), Sam Rents, Charlie Allen, Charlie Wassmer, Brett Johnson (Jamie Stuart 46), Lewis Taylor (Anthony Riviere 68), Ryan Moss, Jason Prior (Tom Phipp 46), Luke Moore (Joshua Donnelly 76).
Sub: John Beales
Goals: Sam Rents 43, Brett Johnson 45, Luke Moore 53
AFC Wimbledon: Ross Worner (James Shea 46), Tom Beere (Barry Fuller 46), Jack Smith (Will Nightingale 46), Harry Pell (Dennie Bulman 46), Matt Parsons (Tom Beere 69), Alan Bennett (Andy Frampton 46), George Francomb (Kevin Sainte-Luce 46), Jake Nicholson (Sammy Moore 46), Chace Jacquart (Matt Tubbs 46), Adebayo Akinfenwa (Adebayo Azeez 46), Sean Rigg (Chris Arthur 46).
Referee: Mr Rob Whitton (Braintree, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Dan Bonneywell (Herne Bay) & Mr Daniel Proctor (Dartford)
Fourth Official: Mr Jamie Macleod (Welling)