The Home Straight
Tuesday 15th April 2014
—Margate FC 0 Wealdstone 1—
I can only apologise for this being somewhat of a catch-up blog, as I was hoping to have a bit more to write about this time round, following a fairly dull 1-1 draw with Lewes last weekend – a game that was noticeable for an impressive debut from U21 keeper Aaron Kilbourn, who stepped in following Nikki Bull’s one-match ban, & Luke Medley’s wayward finishing, earning him the nickname ‘Smallsy’ from Mike Bassett: England Manager fame.
In truth, this isn’t the most flattering nickname, given that the character in the film hasn’t scored for 2 years – however Luke has surpassed this feat by not scoring for 3. I sincerely hope that he breaks his duck with us however, as he puts a lot of effort in, and in truth – I feel guilty nicknaming him Smallsy – I can only pray he hasn’t watched the aforementioned film!
Smallsy (sorry, I mean Luke) had a couple of chances last Saturday, but sadly these were blasted straight at the goalkeeper, and into a tree at the Coffin End. He did however, show a good workrate, and I hope he makes me eat humble pie before the season is over.
With a failure to take our chances (I think we must’ve had about 20 corners!) Margate’s profligacy in front of goal came back to haunt them, as after being 1-0 up through Jefferson Louis, Lewes equalised out of virtually nothing in the second half, and we had to settle for a point.
Last night saw us take on Wealdstone, and it’s safe to say that after witnessing some of their fans behaviour on Twitter, I wasn’t looking forward to the game at all.
In truth, a game that had a lot of people worried beforehand about any possible scuffles or skirmishes went relatively smoothly – although a large part of this might have been down to the rather beefy security men that were present at the game!
I got talking to an elderly Wealdstone fan who urged me not to take any notice of the few fans that do let their club down – and I have to say he was charm personified.
The Wealdstone Raider even made an appearance at this game, where it was discovered that he was even smaller than Ivesy. He looked surprisingly jovial, and as far as I know, he didn’t ask anyone whether they wanted some.
Another highlight of this game was Mark Sandwell drawing out various fans teams for the World Cup Sweepstake – having felt flush, I’d invested in both the £2 and £5 sweepstakes (last of the big spenders!) and was handsomely rewarded, as the Margate legend proceeded to land me with both Switzerland & Japan, who I feel could well be the dark horses of this summers tournament.
The game itself saw a good turnout – and credit has to go to the Choir & Mini Shark Lads who valiantly attempted to outsing the 250+ travelling Wealdstone support.
We also had Mel on our side, who was in an extremely musical mood – I wasn’t sure if Dan had introduced her to the delights of his blue WKD’s, but she was on great form, along with Larry Lemur & new addition Rufus The Red Lemur. Also heard from the Coffin End, were Terry’s encouraging yells, which bought great comfort to us all – an amazing feat making herself heard all the way from the Sponsors Lounge!
Margate started well, and honestly put in a performance that they should be proud of – we could’ve gone in at half time 1-0 up, but a chance managed to evade both Charles Ademeno & Jefferson Louis respectively. I can honestly say that if we perform that way in our next three games (with improved finishing) that we should finish the season in flying form.
Halftime came & went, and with Hampton & Richmond beating Bognor, Wealdstone were assured of the title regardless of the result. Feeling charitable, some of the crowd informed the friendly Wealdstone keeper and ex-blogger Jonathan North of this fact, but sadly he didn’t believe us, and chose to illustrate this fact by sticking his fingers in his ears and replying “La la la, I’m not listening!”
All credit to him though, he was a friendly chap, and even found time to pose with Larry before the start of the second half.
As Wealdstone mounted attack upon attack in the second half, chances for Margate were few & far between – although Jefferson Louis was unlucky to see his header go just wide. As the game entered the final ten minutes, a draw, I felt, would’ve been a fair result – unfortunately fate conspired against us here, as Charlie Penny proved his worth (ahem) by rounding Nikki Bull & slotting home the winning goal.
As the final whistle blew, I chose to pretend not to see the cavorting Wealdstone fans on the pitch, and instead admired the speed at which Stu & Ivesy picked up the corner flags & goal-nets, just to be on the safe side.
A quick conversation with Terry followed, before me & George disconsolately made our way home (although seeing Finney the dog in a Margate shirt did make me smile!)
Our next two games are against already-relegated teams in Carshalton Athletic & a Bank Holiday Monday game against Cray Wanderers (where we’re likely to see the return of ex Gate players Paul Vines, Cesc Fakinos, & Moses Ashikodi – if he hasn’t been suspended for apparently biting an opponents finger at Billericay) – so here’s hoping we can finish the season with a flourish!
Our last game sees us return to Harrow to play Hendon – I can only hope we won’t need to make use of Steve Furlong’s Star Gazer app this time.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank MISA for hiring a minibus for our away games at Carshalton & Hendon – they really have been a godsend – and also to wish Terry Scott’s U10 Margate side luck against Dawes Herne Hill Herons in their cup semi-final, after they beat Sturry Kings 5-3 last weekend in a thrilling encounter.
The last word however, goes to Mel & the Away Keeper Arse-O-Meter.
Mel’s Away Keeper Arse-O-Meter
“Not much of an arse – he gets 5, but an extra 2 for good banter, so a 7 out of 10”