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Match Guide - Margate (A)

After a gritty 1-0 win in the North London sunshine last weekend, the Blues are back in action on Saturday with a final away game of the season; a trip down to the Kent coast to face Margate. The Gate are attempting to complete "The Gate Escape" and can't afford to lose at the weekend as they chase safety. For the Blues, Saturday's trip to Margate could well be a "jolly boys' outing", with Wingate & Finchley needing just a point, regardless of other results, to secure a playoff spot this season.

Elliot Long on the ball against Haringey Borough

Our Opponents

At the turn of the century, Margate were a Conference National side, before subsequent relegations saw them back in the Isthmian Premier League. In 2014/15, Margate were promoted from the Isthmian Premier League via the playoffs, beating Dulwich Hamlet and Hendon on their way to promotion. Margate stayed in the National League South on goal difference, before succumbing in 2016/17, finishing bottom of the table. Back in the Isthmian Premier League, Margate have found themselves unable to replicate their previous achievements, regularly finishing around mid-table, last season finishing 17th, their lowest finish since their return to this level.

This season, Margate have struggled, despite a solid start which saw the Gate in mid-table after the opening 12 games, they only managed to secure 8 points in their next 20 league matches between November and the end of February, culminating in Margate dropping into the relegation places. In recent weeks, however, Margate have picked up a number of useful wins meaning they now sit 3 points behind 18th placed Cheshunt with 2 fixtures to play.


Did you know?

During Margate's lean mid-season spell, they brought in new manager Mark Stimson. After starting out at Spurs as a youngster, Stimson's playing career included the likes of Newcastle United and Portsmouth in the 1990s. As a manager, Stimson can count a League Two playoff success on his CV for Gillingham and a National League South title with Grays Athletic as well as four FA Trophy successes to his name.

Head To Head

Back in November, Wingate & Finchley secured all 3 points in a 1-0 win over Margate thanks to a Billy Cracknell header at the Maurice Rebak Stadium. Last season saw Margate do the double over the Blues, with a 3-1 win at Hartsdown Park after a 2-1 win at the Maurice Rebak Stadium, Dernell Wynter scoring the single goal in each match for the Blues. The Blues will be looking to reverse that trend and secure all 3 points on Saturday. The last victory for the Blues in Margate came in December 2021, Dylan Kearney scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win.

Loic Hernandez defending against Margate at the Maurice Rebak Stadium

Last Time Out

Margate have had an upturn in fortunes in recent weeks, with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat in their last 6 league matches with wins coming in the form of a 1-0 win over relegation rivals Cheshunt, a 3-1 win over relegated side Kingstonian and an incredible 3-2 comeback win over Potters Bar, scoring 3 goals in the last 12 minutes of the game, and the only defeat in this period being a narrow 1-0 loss to champions Hornchurch.

For the Blues, we have only lost once in our last 10 league matches, and come into this game off the back of two solid home results; a 1-0 win over Haringey after securing a 2-2 draw against Hastings last Tuesday.

Alex Solomon's shot fired into the net against Hastings

Players To Watch

Ben Greenhalgh has been Margate's main attacking threat since the turn of the year, including a hat-trick against Canvey Island and a couple of braces in recent weeks. Greenhalgh is the club's assistant manager and also won TV programme Football's Next Star in 2010, seeing him awarded an Internazionale contract. Despite not playing for the Milan-based giants, he did have a successful loan spell at Calcio Como while in Italy.

Meanwhile West Ham academy graduate Harry Hudson was responsible for both Margate goals in the Blues' last trip to Hartsdown Park and has been a regular in the Margate defence this season.

For Wingate & Finchley, Rhamar Garrett-Douglas was named man of the match on Saturday in his return to the starting XI. His excellent work down the right flank allowed him to lay the ball on a plate for Anointed Chukwu in the game's only goal. He will be looking to add to his assist tally again on Saturday.

Join the Blues by the seaside as we look to secure a playoff spot this season!

A reminder that supporters can now vote for their player of the season here - the winner will be announced after our game against Carshalton on Saturday 27th.

Photos courtesy of Martin Addison.


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