Together Everyone Achieves More
Saturday 29th March 2014
—Margate FC U10’s 3 Galactico 2—
Before meeting up with Don who was kindly giving me a lift to the senior side’s game against Canvey Island later that day, Terry invited me down to her U10 squad’s last game of the season, against Galactico.
Talking to Terry’s son Arthur, who plays in defence for the U10’s, and has a superb memory on all things Margate – a future Statto in the making – he informed me that when the sides previously met, it was a humdinger of a game, with Margate eventually emerging as 5-4 winners.
Terry’s nerves were palpable on the day, although she was as friendly as ever – she was hoping for a good end to the season, which in fairness to her & the squad, has seen a marked improvement from last season.
In truth, I wasn’t planning to do a match report, as I was looking after Frankie’s son Tom at the time – he does tend to give me the runaround quite a bit – but in all honesty, this game was too good not to report on.
After a brief chat with Frankie, who was once again refereeing the game – the two teams lined up & shook hands, in what was a perfect day for a game of football.
Margate kicked off and were on the attack straight away, with Cam being unlucky to be thwarted by Galactico’s goalie. In truth, it was a game for the attackers, as both defences seemed to be having a shaky start, with a top 4 finish at stake, there was a fair bit riding on this game.
The game continued to swing pendulum-like, with both keepers making excellent stops, and Mikey proving a safe pair of hands as always. Reece & Tommy were providing some excellent play & workrate on the flanks, while Frankie & Cam toiled tirelessly up front.
Margate took the lead after winning a succession of corners – Frankie slotting home a terrific finish, which left the Galactico keeper helpless.
The game was still very open however, with Margate having Mikey to thank for some solid handling, as well as last ditch tackles from Arthur & Grant. One thing that was noticeable, was that both sides seemed to be misjudging the bounce of the ball, after the keepers had launched the ball upfield – both teams eventually adapted to this though.
As the halftime whistle blew, Margate went into the break 1-0 up, but the visitors still looked threatening on the break – I felt there were more goals on this, and so it proved.
With some substitutions made at halftime, Margate’s new-look defence seemed to struggle against the increasing Galactico attacks, and the visiting side equalised early on. Gate’s misery was compounded when Galactico scored a second goal, owing to a mixup in defence.
From 1-0 up to 2-1 down in the blink of an eye, this would be an extreme test of the boys’ character – and all credit to them, they dug in & refused to let their heads drop, or give up.
A superb ball from Arthur found Jake on the right wing, who was the victim of some shirt pulling & digs from the opposing defender – as the ball went out of play, the two youngsters could be seen giving each other the angriest of looks!
Cam & Frankie continued to harry the Galactico back line, who were looking distinctly uncomfortable with the pressure they were put under – although Galactico had a couple of shots that flashed wide, this half belonged to Margate.
Not long after Galactico hit the bar, Margate then hit the post – and their attacking dominance proved to be Galactico’s undoing, as shortly after, Frankie picked up a pass from Cam & slid a composed finish past the keeper, before indulging in a superb dance celebration, which left the crowd in hysterics. A boy of many talents!
Galactico were well & truly on the rack now, and the only question remaining was not if Margate would get a winner, but when.
With two minutes left on the clock, Grant, who had played his socks off throughout, received the ball in a central midfield role. Without even looking up, he hit a superb lob that seemed to hang in the air, before the back-pedalling keeper could only manage to parry onto his bar & into his net.
It is no exaggeration that this bore shades to David Beckham’s famous halfway line effort for Manchester United against Wimbledon, in 1996.
The watching Margate parents were in raptures, and so were Grant’s team-mates, as they all rushed to congratulate him on a frankly stunning strike.
Truthfully, the end of the game seemed to come by in almost no time at all, which was fortunate for me, as I felt my heart couldn’t take any more!
As the teams sportingly shook hands at the end, I spoke to Frankie, who deserved a lot of praise for letting the game flow – Galactico’s forte seemed to be some sneaky shirt-pulling, but Margate kept their composure to come away with a deserved win.
The best was yet to come, seeing Terry’s beaming smile at the end – I think all the parents that have been present at the games can agree that she’s done a terrific job as manager, instilling a passing game and sense of fair play & team unity into her side, with Chris helping as well – all credit to them both.
This can only bode well for next season – and I’d like to take the opportunity to wish Terry & her side luck when they play in the U11’s League next season. Before that, however, I believe they have a cup to compete for – all the best to them in that.
I didn’t ask Terry who received the Man Of The Match award – but in truth, I felt the whole squad deserved it, for a magnificent display and not letting their heads drop in the face of adversity. True, there were some standout players, but football will always be a team game – and the boys’ 3-2 win was very much a team effort.