Margate match report
Match report by Taimour Lay, photos by Simon Roe
A statistic stolen from Michael Cox: there have been 10,500 Premier League matches and on only one occasion has there been two hat-tricks scored by players on opposing teams.
How many times it has happened in Isthmian Premier football is a matter I will leave to Tim Wells – but, remarkably, Saturday saw one hat-trick from Louie Theophanous and one from Margate’s Kudus Oyenuga which resulted in a 3-3 draw.
Since Louie’s third goal, a sumptuous 25-yard free-kick, hit the net in the 56th minute, a quarter of an hour before Oyenuga converted a penalty to complete his own treble, convention appears to have dictated that it was the K’s No9 who was entitled to keep the match ball, as confirmed by a Saturday evening Instagram photo of the yellow ball sitting in the passenger seat of his car alongside a bottle of sparkling white wine. Manager Hayden Bird even got Louie’s team-mates to sign it.
It was a day of threes. This was K’s third point of the season in their third game and a third draw in a row. It would also be fair to say that the “three” component in Bird’s 4-2-3-1 formation has yet to function to its full potential. On this occasion, Youssef Bamba struggled in his first start of the campaign, Dan Bennett never got into the game and Fabio Saraiva was mostly on the periphery.
So Louie took it upon himself to get the team going after Oyenuga’s header had opened the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute.
The equaliser arose after a mix-up between Margate’s keeper and a defender, leaving an easy tap-in for Theophanous. In two crazy minutes just before half-time, Oyenuga then made it 2-1 before Louie scored a sublime second, evading three defenders and dispatching the ball past Jon Miles.
After the break, K’s took the lead through the best goal of the game - the direct free-kick (which took a slight deflection off the wall) - but, frustratingly, Jerry Puemo – who has been filling in admirably at centre-back while Ollie Cook serves a four-game suspension – soon gave away a penalty and the Gate’s own hat-trick man, formerly on Spurs’ books, wasn’t going to miss.
Louie may have snagged the ball but the points were shared.
Subs: Calum Davies (for Youssef Bamba, 68m), Dan Thompson (for Dan Bennett, HT), Lewis Pearch, Dan Hector, Jon Tadafe.
Margate: Jon Miles, Giani Ashley, Jay Porter, Chris Sessegnon, Dan Johnson, Ben Swift, Jack Richards, Jordan Robins, Kudus Oyenuga, Noel Leighton, Kadell Daniel.
Subs: Craig Holloway, Harrison Pont (for Giani Ashley, 69m), James Jeffrey (for Noel Leighton, 63m), Adem Ramadan, Harrison Hatfull