Saturday 23rd August 2014
—Margate FC 5 Billericay Town 1—
To say that the last week has been a delight for Margate fans is probably the understatement of the century – I’m still smiling even now!
Margate put East Thurrock to the sword in midweek – a 3-1 victory in a game which literally had everything.
Nik Hayward introduced his airhorn and the Choir & Mini Shark Lads cheered on the team with everything they had – the highlight of the game was definitely Ryan Moss scoring his first two goals for the club – well deserved, down to the effort & work-rate that he puts in.
Sadly, Terry was still away in Cornwall for the midweek fixture, although she still made her presence felt by asking me to give the Choir a hug from her (I just settled for telling Mark Baker that she said hi – something tells me he’d be a bit bewildered if I randomly hugged him!) & also sent her congratulations to Ryan Moss on scoring his brace – he kindly sent his regards & said he’d try to score some more for her on Saturday – these words turned out to be very prophetic!
To round off other highlights of the East Thurrock game, great fun was had by all as the half-time music carried on into the second half, which gave a jazz-hall like feel to the match, and Jim Dow capturing this great image of Terry Brown in his post-match interview with Press Officer Ryan Day – is there any chance we can get this image on a flag or some t-shirts?
Moving on to yesterday’s game, and I felt this would be a very different contest from our game against East Thurrock – Billericay are definitely one of the Leagues more ‘physical’ sides, and I must admit to wondering if our passing game would have to be sacrificed – how wrong could I be?
The game also saw the return of Billericay manager Craig Edwards, & I fervently hoped that he hadn’t stumbled upon my blog post of last season, where I remarked that he looked like Emperor Ming…
We had someone even more prodigious to welcome back to Hartsdown Park, however – Terry & her son Arthur returned after a brief sojourn in Cornwall, and the ground was alive with her banshee-like shrieks yet again – as Terry Brown says, she really is Mrs Margate!
I’d made the journey up to Hartsdown Park by cab with Dan (and Gary Gator, who was stowed in the boot) – and we’d literally just got out of the cab when I was papped carrying Gary Gator by Club Safety Officer, Peter Cove (if any photos of me and Gary crop up on Facebook, I can assure you all that it’s not what it looks like!)
After dumping Gary in the corner of the bar, me and Dan were lucky enough to have a brief chat with Lewis Taylor and Ryan Moss, who were watching the Aston Villa / Newcastle game.
Displaying my lack of tact, I casually remarked that Newcastle’s defender Jack Colback looked very much like a ginger version of our very own Sam Rents – the two players burst into laughter, and informed me that they’d be texting him that! (Sorry Sam!)
I also enjoyed catching up with Beth Marshall, and listening to her hopes for her U13 side (good luck in their friendly against Betteshanger today) was a pleasure – Mel Williams & Larry Lemur arrived soon after, and they very kindly gave me an early birthday card & present, which is displayed below – it really meant the world!
After Terry, Arthur, Stu & the other usual suspects had arrived, Ivesy gleefully informed me that coach Simon Pridmore was taking on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – a brilliant cause, and many of the first team squad followed suit – indeed, I think Ivesy has the joys of that to come himself (this might explain his look of happiness as he doused Pridders at half-time – enjoy it while you can, mate!)
I’m getting ahead of myself here – by the time this charitable cause happened, we were already three goals to the good – 3-0 up in twenty minutes really was the stuff of dreams!
Zac Attwood started this by curling in arguably the goal of the game, with Ryan Moss & Charlie Allen getting in on the act – all this, with some superb football played – Terry Brown’s style of passing football really is a joy to watch, and it had the crowd almost drooling with glee – to borrow a phrase about the Dutch international side of the 70’s, it definitely was total football!
Half-time mainly involved me walking about in a happy trance, which Ryan Day helped even more by wishing me an early birthday over the tannoy system – truly honoured!
While queuing for a burger with Arthur, I got chatting to a couple of Billericay fans, who were charm personified – even when our fourth goal went in.
It was a pleasure to meet them, and they fondly regaled us of the time when they won the League at Hartsdown Park – “Bit different now, though” said one of the chaps ruefully, as Ryan Moss netted his second of the game.
Unfortunately me & Arthur missed that goal, but we did see a contender for ‘Most Random Tattoo Ever’ as illustrated below – not sure who the guy was, but he must really like Marmite!
After picking up Arthur’s burger, we made our way over to the Coffin End, where most of the half involved talking to Billericay custodian Billy Lumley – I didn’t ask him if he was any relation to Joanna, although I was tempted! Billy’s questions involved the Accrington Stanley / Luton game, as his brother plays for the former.
For any interested (or confused) onlookers, this might explain why I was standing behind the goal yelling “Billy! 2-2!” for a short space of time.
Billericay did pull a goal back late on, with a well placed header from a corner, but credit to Margate, this stung them back into action, and after a Billericay defender had somehow cleared a thunderbolt of a shot from Lewis Taylor off the line with his face, Charlie Allen wrapped up a superb victory with an emphatic finish, late on.
It really was a brilliant day all round – and the attendance of 799 (can we count Gary or Larry to make the 800?) only added to the feel-good factor around the ground.
Our next game sees us make a Bank Holiday Monday journey to Lewes – and with the 53-seater coach virtually fully booked (hoping there’s room for Gary!) plus many more fans making their way up via train or car, it promises to be a brilliant turn-out from the Margate faithful once again – here’s hoping we can bring back another 3 points to the Kent coast.
Up The Gate!
Terry & Mel’s Away Keeper Arse-O-Meter
Terry – “Keeper was a 6.5 on arse alone – add more for banter – seemed OK, but I was too far away second half! 7 out of 10”
Mel – “Goalie gets a 4 – quite miserable in 1st half, but quite funny him asking for the Accrington Stanley score! 4 out of 10”
Terry’s Pies Review (she was also kind enough to try the Chicken & Mushroom one, too)
“Pies were very good, with nice pastry and plenty of meat in both the Steak & Kidney and Chicken & Mushroom – objectively lovely pies! 8 out of 10”