More Questions Than Answers
Saturday 8th March 2014
—Margate FC 1 Kingstonian 2—
Sitting down to type this the morning after, I still have a lot of conflicting feelings & emotions – although a large part of that might be down to the large Doner Kebab & chips with extra chilli sauce I had last night, in a vain attempt to cheer myself up.
The day had started so well too – I was up at 7AM as Terry had kindly offered me a lift to the ground – and this also included watching her U10 side take on Dawes Herne Hill Herons. In an entertaining game, Terry’s Margate side had come back from a two goal deficit to square it up at 2-2, only to find themselves unlucky to lose 4-2.
After a short break, in which Terry dropped Frankie & Tom home, and I cursed wearing my padded jacket on a warm sunny day, Terry, Arthur & myself made the short walk up to Hartsdown Park.
Catching up with Harvey, Dave & Keith Lewis was a pleasure, as was looking after Arthur while Terry helped out selling SuperDraw tickets. She also entrusted me with food duties, which is why I can only apologise for putting sugar on her chips, instead of salt. Schoolboy error!
My pre-match preparations mainly consisted of getting heartily slapped on the back of the head by Stu, who’d bought his girlfriend Shannon to the game. Although the result wasn’t the best, it appears we have a new fan, as apparently she can’t get the Margate songs out of her head!
I also discovered through a late look at Twitter, that we had signed Charlie Allen, the ex Gillingham player & son of Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Allen. Charlie had made a lot of appearances for Gillingham in the season they won the League Two title, and came with an impressive pedigree.
Before long, the teams were out, Margate applauding the fans before changing ends. In truth, it was a fairly equal beginning, although Margate did look a lot more dynamic then they had been in previous games, stringing some nice moves together while noisily encouraged by the Choir. With twenty minutes on the clock, Gate took the lead in what could be termed as poetic justice.
Charles Ademeno was scythed down as he made a surging run into the box, but the referee (whose name was given as To Be Announced on the programme – hastily shortened to Toby) ruled it was just outside, and in a baffling decision, opted to book the Kingstonian centre back, when a red looked like the only option.
Sam Rents stepped up, amid ominous mutterings from George that he planned to use my head as a shield if required, and curled a delicious free kick past the despairing dive of Rob Tolfrey. Cue the celebratory Poznan, and all felt good in Hartsdown Park.
The game seemed to trail off a bit after that, although Charlie Allen showed flashes of class, particularly nutmegging a defender before scuffing his shot wide. Also, Kingstonian’s goalie showed a terrific bit of control in his attempt to prevent a corner – unbelievable tekkers!
Oddly, the Choir seemed very quiet yesterday – although I put that down to the younger members still recovering from their lack of sleep the night before, as well as a draining game in midweek for their school team, in which they sounded very unlucky to lose.
Sadly, our defensive demons came back to haunt us, as a few minutes before halftime, Kingstonian equalised out of nothing, Nikki Bull helpless to stop a header from an unmarked player.
Halftime came & went – with someone unbelievably feeling the need to boo – and the flat feeling around the ground continued to persist – this wasn’t helped by the poor performance of the match officials, and Kingstonian seemingly being intent to play for a point and kick lumps out of our players in equal measure.
As the game wore on, tempers & patience wore thin – the Jefferson Louis debate came up again – whether his lackadaisical performance was down to lack of service, or that he felt content to spend his Saturday afternoons strolling round like a vicar at a tea party, while looking disinterested. I confess to missing Phil Walsh playing for us – although there were a lot of opinions about his best position on the pitch, he always put a great shift in & actually looked like he cared.
Kingstonian grabbed a winner in the 75th minute – their top scorer Andre McCollin having the simplest of tap-ins, after Gate were caught on the break. McCollin was sent off not long after for a two footed lunge on Anthony Riviere, but there was no change in the scoreline, and yet again some boos rang out at the final whistle, which I was disappointed with.
It was a frustrating game, and judging from manager Terry Brown’s fury on the touchline, he wasn’t too happy either. It pains me to type this next sentence, but I genuinely feel that too many of the players that have been brought in seem to lack passion & commitment for the club, and are content to just pick up their wages each week.
Although progress is always good, I feel that players like Joe Vines & Phil Walsh deserved to stay – both on performances & effort. As it is, the old guard like John Beales & Matt Bodkin, as well as youngster Jack Sammoutis, seem to be the only ones with any fire in their belly.
Clearly much more work is needed to be done – but I have every faith in Terry Brown & Stuart Cash – and they, as well as the club & supporters, deserve players who fight for the cause.
With a week off, here’s hoping for some positive news before our next game, away at Billericay. I’m happy to say that my mini bus seat is booked & that I’ll be joined by both Terry & Dan – I think Mel will be making an appearance at the game too – from Bruges to Billericay!
Another away day, but hopefully a positive result & performance this time round.
Keep the faith.
Terry & Mel’s Away Keeper Arse-O-Meter –
“6 for his arse, but added up to 9 due to tekkers & banter – 9 out of 10”