The leaves have gone orange, the temperatures are falling, and autumn has well and truly arrived. The league season, in contrast to the weather around us, is really hotting up, and we enter Matchweek 15 for the Blues, relishing the prospect of a visit from Margate, knowing that three points could lift us up to fifth in the league and into the playoff places, results dependent.
Margate will need little introduction for many Blues fans, as they have been a regular fixture for us since their relegation into this division from the National League South in 2017. Since then, they have established themselves as an upper mid-table side, with last year’s 17th place finish a low water mark for the club over the last decade.
The team from Kent are experienced at this level, and this season’s current position of 14th will be one they are looking to kick on from as the season really comes into its own
Head To Head
Last season’s results against the Gate don’t make for too happy reading, such was the fact that they did the league double, winning 3-1 at Hartsdown Park early in the new year, which was a follow up to the 2-1 victory at the MRS; on that occasion, it was a very late goal from Harry Hudson which proved telling.
Beyond last season, Margate have enjoyed relative success against the Blues, managing to avoid defeat at the Maurice Rebak Stadium since 2017, when a lone goal from Reece Beckles-Richards was enough to confirm the points for Wingate. Ola Williams and Luke Ifil were playing that day, as was boss Ahmet Rifat. Our last victory at Hartsdown Park in 2021 was also a 1-0 victory, with Dylan Kearney scoring the goal that day. Ben Goode, Alkeo Bani, Luke Ifil, and Matty Achuba were all on the pitch that day
Last Time Out
The Blues delivered a very impressive away performance at Lewes last weekend, emerging victorious by two goals to one. Anointed Chukwu and an Ahmet Biler assisted own-goal proved the key contributions, while Ben Goode and the backline held firm in the face of a determined Lewes attack, roared on by their home crowd. The result lifted us into eighth in the table, and Saturday’s game against Margate will be an opportunity to really stamp our top-half credentials on the league.
Margate, for their part, were denied three points away at Dulwich by a last gasp equaliser, having themselves scored a late late goal that looked like it would be the winner. It meant dropped points and a 2-2 final score. It was their first away game in the league in six, having previously played five consecutive home games on the bounce, a run that is not dissimilar to that experienced by the Blues. They have been much happier at home, winning just once on the road this season, away at bottom side Concord.
Players To Watch
The Blues will be looking to whoever is picked in the nine shirt to lead the line. It has largely been a role filled by Anointed Chukwu this season, but Zack Newton started there last weekend, and all eyes will be on how the Blues line up against Margate. Either way, the Blues’ 26 goals this season is the third most in the league, behind only Enfield and Hornchurch, and so confidence will be high that they can score goals no matter who is picked in the starting eleven.
Margate’s Ben Greenhalgh, who is their Assistant Manager as well as goal threat, has scored five times for the Gate already this season. He is ably supported in the goals department by top scorer Steve Cawley, who joined from South League side Hitchin, and has 9 goals to date.
Because of the international break, we are offering half-price tickets for all PL & EFL season ticket holders, and so we are looking forward to welcoming those who need their football fix this weekend to the Maurice Rebak, where our usual burgers and bar will be open all afternoon.