Margate match report
match report by Phil Murphy
Rob Tolfrey’s first-half heroics proved key as Kingstonian overturned a half-time deficit to secure a hard-earned thee points against Margate at King George’s Field.
With the visitors already a goal to the good Tolfrey saved from the spot and the rebound that followed to keep K’s within arm’s reach. A second half double from Elliott Buchanan and a Ben Swift own goal helped the Hoops to a 3-1 victory.
Hayden Bird stuck with the same lineup who fell to defeat at Hornchurch but despite early K’s control, the visitors drew first blood. Tolfrey did well initially, saving an Ekpiteta effort but the ball landed in the path of Greenhalgh who slotted home.
The Gate had a golden opportunity to double their lead in the 24th minute when Martial was felled by Clunis, leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot. Tolfrey rose to the occasion, saving first from the initial kick and then spectacularly from the rebound when Greenhalgh looked destined to double the lead.
The off-the-hook Hoops continued to have the better of first-half possession and could have equalised when an Akono Bilongo run from the left led to some penalty box pinball. Fortunately for the visitors the post came to the rescue.
Ben Bridle-Card saved smartly from Daniel Ajakaiye on the stroke of half-time to ensure the visitors entered the break with the lead.
Half-Time: Kingstonian 0-1 Margate
Perhaps relieved to be only 1-0 down, K’s started the second half with renewed intent and made the perfect start when Elliott Buchanan bundled home from close range following a dangerous cross from Nyren Clunis.
With the half not even 15 minutes old, K’s completed the comeback. Murrell-Williamson drove forward, Clunis crossed and with the aid of a deflection off defender Ben Swift the ball flew towards the net past the hapless Bridle-Card.
K’s were in complete control and could have put the game out of sight on 68 minutes. Akono Bilongo picked out Buchanan who had two bites at the cherry but the Margate defence stood in the way and scrambled clear.
Sixteen minutes from time Bridle-Card handled outside the box to give K’s a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box. Hopeful appeals for more than a yellow card fell on deaf ears.
From the set-piece that followed however Buchanan’s in-swinger took flight towards the back post and evaded everyone, including goalkeeper, Bridle-Card, to nestle in the bottom corner and put K’s in command.
Hayden Bird’s men had chances to it put the game beyond doubt, but first Ajakaiye was denied by the acrobatic Bridle-Card and later Clunis went close after good work from Banton.
The visitors will rue what might have been in the first-half but in the end it was a rather comfortable 3-1 for Kingstonian who hit their stride in a dominant second half performance.
Next up for Kingstonian is the visit of East Thurrock United to King George’s Field on Wednesday night.
Margate: Ben Bridle-Card, Crossley Lema, Joe Anderson, Montel Agyemang, Lewis Knight, Ben Swift, Martial Godo, Sam Blackman, Vance Bola, Calvin Ekpiteta, Ben Greenhalgh.
Subs: James Bessey-Saldanha (for Lewis Knight, 79m), Daniel Colmer, Fyn Rutherford, Ryan Palmer (for Calvin Ekpiteta, 60m), Dan Thompson (for Vance Bola, 76m).
Goal scorers: Ben Greenhalgh (10m, 1-0), Elliott Buchanan (50m, 1-1), Ben Swift (59m og, 2-1), Elliott Buchanan (75m, 3-1)