Spirited performance earns deserved point
Margate 1 Enfield Town 1
Town competed well against play-off contenders for the second Saturday running, and this time there was some reward for their efforts at the final whistle.
On a still spring afternoon on Margate’s 3G surface, the hosts were on the front foot early on. Attacking the Hartsdown Road end, they almost took the lead after 5 minutes when a chipped cross from the left by Dave Martin was met by the head of Jay May, but the aerial challenge on him was sufficient to deflect the ball behind for a corner. Five minutes later, Martin was way off target with a skewed shot, but he made no mistake from a similar position after 12 minutes when another cross from the Margate left found him in space at the back post and he despatched the chance with aplomb with his right foot.
In the 20th minute, home keeper Lenny Pidgeley was called into action to punch the ball away from the head of Brad Wadkins, who ran tirelessly all afternoon. A couple of minutes later, a good cross from the Town right dropped to Aaron Greene, but he was unable to control the ball at a vital moment. Sam Youngs, returning from injury, replaced Jack Hockney, who had taken a knock, in the 28th minute. Then, just beyond the half hour mark, Joe Wright made a good save when he caught a Martin free-kick.
Town’s best chance of the half fell to Youngs, following a fine cross from Greene, whose shot was on target but was kept out by Pidgeley’s legs. Pidgeley then made a more conventional save shortly afterwards, grabbing the ball from a Dan Rumens header from a corner. Shortly before the break, Wadkins was just short of getting onto the end of through balls into the penalty area from both Samir Bihmoutine and Tyler Campbell.
Half-time: Margate 1 Enfield Town 0
The second half began with Wright tipping over a cross-cum-shot from Martin and, a few minutes later, Frannie Collin hit the side netting from a tight angle. Approaching the hour mark, Wadkins and Bihmoutine both went for the same high ball in from Campbell, and the danger was cleared. Town were now enjoying good spells of possession, with Margate seemingly relatively content to hold onto their slender lead. When they did get forward Jack Evans fired way off target and Town’s back line was called upon to make a couple of timely blocks.
The introduction of Dernell Wynter in the 65th minute pepped up the attack nicely and, ten minutes later, following a free kick on the right hand side, the ball was deflected past Pidgeley into the home net but the assistant’s flag had been raised for offside. Undeterred, after a great run, Greene then played in another attacking substitute, Simon Thomas, but the striker opted to dummy the ball rather than take it himself. But, with time ticking away fast, a late corner was swung into a crowded area and Wynter was on hand to apply the final decisive touch with a minute left to rescue a thoroughly merited point, courtesy of a never-say-die attitude, particularly in the second half.
Margate: Lenny Pidgeley, Jack Evans (George Essuman 89), Tom Wynter, James Rogers, Liam Friend, Tom Mills, Aaron Simpson (Matt Bodkin 68), Sam Blackman, Jay May, Frannie Collin (Lee Presscott 81), David Martin. Unused substitutes: Sydney Sollis, Patrick Lee. Booked: Evans.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Mickey Parcell, Samir Bihmoutine (Dernell Wynter 65), Dan Rumens, Mat Mitchel-King, Matt Johnson, Ryan Blackman, Jack Hockney (Sam Youngs 28), Brad Wadkins, Tyler Campbell (Simon Thomas 78), Aaron Greene. Unused substitutes: Liam Hope, John Kyriacou.