Margate FC



Ashford Town (Middlesex)


Ryman League Premier Division,
Hartsdown Park, Margate
5th September 2009

Ashford visited Margate FC on Saturday, the new home of former Tangerines manager Mark Butler, who has embarked on a re-building programme at the Kent club and wasted no time in announcing his intentions of raiding his old club for players. At this time though, he has just one former Ashford player, the popular Anthony Joseph, who had left the Middlesex side around six months prior to Butler’s departure.

So, with resentment running a little high within the Ashford camp, the players arrived to find the pitch in good order and the rain holding off, although there was a strong bitingly freezing wind blowing down the ground. Jamie Lawrence, Butler’s successor, named a strongly attacking side with himself taking the forward midfield role, Byron Harrison and Brian Haule up front and the pacy Warren Harris and Jermayne McGlashan wide on the flanks.

It was McGlashan that created the first real chance of the game as he zipped past Aaron Lacey and crossed to Brian Haule whose header was parried out by Matt Reed as far as Scott Weight, but the  Margate keeper foiled Weight as well with a fine save.

The home side had a good chance of their own, shortly after. Anthony Joseph ran on to a through ball from midfield and managed to beat the on-coming Ashford keeper Paul Burgess but Guy Hollis had anticipated the move and got round the back of his keeper to clear off the line.

After Margate had rattled the Ashford bar, Hollis relieved Joseph of the ball to start another attack but Warren Harris’ cross was deflected behind before, in the 18th minute, the visitors took the lead. Weight found Ricardo Joseph on the Ashford left, Joseph whipped in a pin-point cross for Brian Haule to head decisively past Reed for his 8th goal of the season.

A period of domination ensued for the visitors, with Margate restricted to the occasional sporadic attack, but they were unable to profit. The nearest they came was in the 26th minute when Byron Harrison tamed a difficult ball with his first touch before sliding the ball into the path of Harris who skipped past the challenge of two defenders to get his shot away but Reed saved with his feet.

A minute later, at the other end, Anthony Joseph headed over when unmarked and, shortly after, Hollis made another tremendous covering tackle on Joe Taylor to break up a promising Margate attack.

If the ball managed to get past Hollis there was the ultra reliable Russ Canderton mopping up.

A cross from the right by Lacey was punched out by Burgess with Brett Cooper completing the clearance then, in the 42nd minute, the hosts equalised. A free kick from the Margate right was played in by Lacey where Sam Groombridge, despite considerable pressure from Hollis, managed to get a toe to the ball to deflect it past the advancing Burgess.

Ashford should have regained their lead, two minutes later. McGlashan burst past two challenges down the left before firing a low cross across the face of the goal but no Ashford players had got into position to capitalise.

The visitors played the second half with the considerable wind at their backs and you would have been forgiven for anticipating a barrage of shots from range at the Margate goal, but inexplicably this did not happen. One thing that did happen though was the employment of the huge throws of Guy Hollis, something that would not have been a surprise to Mark Butler.

Reed did well, on the hour mark, as a deep corner from Weight found Haule at the rear post, Reed again saving with his feet.

Player/manager Jamie Lawrence showed promise for the 62 minutes he was on the pitch, until he gave way for the introduction of new signing Jamie England from Carshalton Athletic.

The visitors had the better of the wind-affected second half and their hosts were obliged to defend for long periods. A surging run from Cooper looked promising as he slipped the ball wide to Harris but his cross was cut out just before it could reach Harrison, then the same pair combined again but Harrison’s shot was deflected for a corner.

Scott Harris joined his brother with a quarter of an hour left and immediately set about the Margate defence in his usual enthusiastic and muscular manner, goal scorer Brian Haule being the man to give way as Jamie Lawrence looked to inject a little more urgency in his side.

Wayne Wilson fired wildly over Burgess’ bar before McGlashan left two defenders in his wake on the left flank but crossed slightly behind Scott Harris, but Harris readjusted his stance, turned and cracked a powerful effort against Reed’s bar.

The match ended a goal and a point apiece, for the visitors McGlashan showed in flashes that he is one to look out for and the partnership at the back between Hollis and the excellent Russ Canterton looked solid and polished.