Up For The Cup(s) – Part Two
Saturday 2nd November 2013
—Margate FC 4 Clevedon Town 1—
I awoke yesterday morning after an excellent night at the MFC Halloween fundraiser for the youth teams – well organised by Sarah Egan & many others who contributed – namely Ted Pittman & the dedicated MISA members – I can only apologise if I’ve missed anyone out, as I’m still getting to know people’s names – my apologies again and no offence meant – the night really was a superb effort from all involved.
Getting out of bed with a green chin (owing to my zombie pirate costume) was unexpected, as was the sunny day I woke up to, the weather having taken a turn for the worse, having had a slight downpour the night before.
As the game drew nearer, I confess to feeling quite apprehensive – not knowing what to expect from Clevedon Town, who we hadn’t played since our time spent in the Southern League, according to Neil Wyatt’s programme notes! Some notable facts also included that Clevedon had two well known Bristol City stalwarts in their club, both Scott Murray & Mickey Bell being involved in some capacity (although Murray didn’t play against us – a relief as I had identified the 39 year old as one to look out for!) Mickey Bell is Clevedon’s player-manager, and named himself on the bench.
Margate named what can only be described as a fantastically strong lineup, the management duo of Craig Holloway & Simon Osborn clearly identifying this competition as one to be taken seriously – with the cash prize of £3,250 for the winners of the tie, an amount not to be sniffed at!
Charles Ademeno & Phil Walsh were recalled in attack, and Jack Sammoutis was also in the starting lineup alongside Cesc Fakinos. Our bench also looked full of strong options, with names such as Paul Vines, Warren Whitely & Richard Avery ready to be called upon if needed – Gary Vizzard also made the bench after notching his first senior goal against Folkestone in the previous game.
In recent weeks, observations have been made (including by joint manager Simon Osborn) that we seem to start off too slowly, thus giving ourselves a mountain to climb. This was not a criticism that could be levelled at the squad this week though, as they shot out of the blocks in a similar manner to Usain Bolt, getting into Clevedon right from the first whistle.
With Gate dominating, Charles Ademeno was having one of the games that we all know he’s capable of, terrorising the opposition defence and making several marauding runs down the flanks, his just reward coming after only five minutes as he slotted in following a scramble in the box.
Far from taking their foot off the pedal, Margate continued their pressurising and fluent link up play that really is a joy to behold when the lads get into their rhythm, and proceeded to go 2-0 up when a poor back pass left the Clevedon keeper exposed – however, Ademeno’s finish was truly a spectacular one, a dainty chip over the stranded custodian giving him his second of the game. The Choir, ably led by Stu who was bravely battling off a hangover & excellently assisted by the mini shark lads, were in great form, their support inspiring the lads to add a third with just over half an hour gone – a powerful Walsh header from a trademark corner from Matt Bodkin. I think it’s fair to say we managed to exhaust our quota of Poznan celebrations!
Clevedon however, gave Gate a timely reminder not to write them off just yet, as our defence got caught out of position – their player taking advantage of the momentary lapse by sliding a finish under Craig Holloway on the stroke of halftime to make it 3-1. As the half time whistle blew, the heavens opened – but nothing could dampen the spirits of the Gate faithful, whose general consensus was that there were more goals to be had in this game. My own personal feeling was that if we carried on playing with the same tenacity, we would be even more of a force to be reckoned with in the second half.
Clearly the management team had similiar ideas, as not long after the restart, Clevedon’s somewhat ungainly number 9 crudely went through the back of Ademeno, giving the former Salisbury striker the chance to put the game out of sight and notch a hat trick into the bargain. Unfortunately, he blazed his spot kick high over the bar, followed by a look of disgust at himself.
Credit to Charles for his constant battling though, as he seemed to be the target of an increasingly niggly Clevedon team, our striker having to contend with some ugly challenges to say the least! The game was eventually sealed thanks to another trademark Phil Walsh header, which put us 4-1 up, cruising to victory, and guaranteeing us a place in Monday’s draw for the next round, as well as the aforementioned £3,250 prize money.
Unfortunately, this seemed to be the catalyst for Clevedon to put in some shameful ‘tackles’ (I use the word loosely!) on our players, the upshot being a melee between the two sides which started owing to a whack that Kinchy received on the back of his head from their number 10 – Paul Vines, not long after entering the fray, was shown a straight red for reasons as yet unknown, although Clevedon seemed to feel this was down to an elbow. Truthfully, in the style of a certain French Arsenal manager, “I did not zee eet” – so am sadly unable to comment.
One thing I did notice (that Arsene Wenger vision again!) was one of the worst tackles I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing in my 21 years of attending various football games – Charles Ademeno being cynically scythed down in what can only be described as common assault on a football pitch – he was lucky to still be walking, let alone playing after a horrific challenge from their number 3 – an absolute disgrace of a player who then proceeded to abuse the Margate fans at the side of the pitch, who quite rightly admonished him about his conduct.
Sadly, the game ended on a sour note with the enforced substitution of skipper John Beales, who was said to have incurred a painful looking knee injury – which led to him being stretchered off the pitch – all the best for a swift recovery to an all round good guy & an inspirational captain.
As the final whistle blew, the general feeling was that it was a good day at the office, however the dark clouds on the horizon will undoubtedly be Paul Vines’ suspension, and Bealesy’s injury.
Take nothing away from the lads today though, as a competent & clinical performance saw them through to the next round, with some excellent linkup play too. In short, the Margate we all know and love – the lads truly looked on song.
As ever, Terry & Mel’s review of the opposition keeper is included below –
Terry & Mel’s Away Keeper Arse-O-Meter –
“We gave him a 1 today, felt a bit wrong doing it as he looked about 14!”
Arse-O-Meter – 1 out of 10
It was also a weekend to remember for the man that they call Casanova – Dan ‘The Man’ Boyle cementing his place in the hearts of Thanet’s womenfolk – as well as Terry & Mark’s amazing costumes from the MFC Halloween party. Pictures included below (credit to Ivesy for his excellent photography skills)