Margate match report
Match report by Eli Haidari
Wednesday night marked a drab affair for the K’s as Spencer Knight’s men succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against a spirited Margate side. Shortly after the full-time whistle, the club announced that Knight would be stepping down from the dugout for ‘personal reasons’ but will remain in the role until a new appointment is found.
The highlight of the evening for Kingstonian arguably happened prior to kick off as keeper Rob Tolfrey was acknowledged for his remarkable 600th appearance for the club, unfortunately for the veteran, his teammates were unable to inspire a win to mark the occasion.
It was evident only two places separated the sides heading into the contest as a cagey 45 minutes was played out.
Margate looked the likelier of the teams to open the scoring as a fierce corner whipped in from Ben Greenhalgh inside seven minutes eluded everyone and clipped the top of the bar on its way over for a goal kick.
The Gate skipper looked composed in the middle of the park and sent another warning sign moments later as a bursting run down the right was followed by a teasing ball into the box just missed by the outstretched leg of Phil Roberts.
The K’s responded with some nice football played down the flanks including a bursting run from Isaiah Jones but were ultimately unable to muster any chance of note as Margate pushed on seeking a goal before half time.
Nathan Wood showed quick feet to beat a couple of K’s challenges as the ball went out for a corner and a dangerous ball in could only be headed back across the face of goal as Jonathan Bolland brought the opening 45 to a close.
The start of the second half mirrored that of the first as both teams struggled to break each other down, but a lapse of concentration from Jake Eales on the hour mark led to the K’s centre half brining down Freddy Barton in the box after a smart one-two with Harrison Hatfull.
Despite the efforts of the Kingstonian faithful to put off Greenhalgh, Margate’s number 11 kept his composure and sent his spot kick into the bottom right corner sending Tolfrey the other way.
One nearly became two moments later as Jones misjudged a Margate ball into the box with it falling kindly to Wood, but the wingers’ effort was saved well by the ever- reliable Tolfrey.
A lack of conviction in the final third continued to trouble the home side as they pushed for an equaliser and with five minutes to play of normal time, Wood found himself through on goal and calmly slotted home to put the game to bed.
A disappointing night was topped off with the K’s finishing the final 5 minutes with 10 men after Dwight Pascal was shown a second yellow after getting into a scuffle with Emmanuel after a late tackle on the full back.
There was still time for Tolfrey to add another remarkable save to his collection deep into injury time as the 600 – capped stopper denied Wood from point blank range.
Kingstonian, who will now begin a managerial search to replace the departing Knight, turn their attention to an away trip to Lewes on Saturday, hoping to end a four-game winless streak in the league.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Isaiah Jones, Dwight Pascal, Jake Eales, Danny Dudley, Tyrese Owen, Iker Noguera Leon, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Great Evans, Jacob Bancroft, O'Shane Stewart.
Subs: Lee Lewis, Kwesi Ntim (for Sean Bonnett-Johnson, 77m), Michael Abnett, Marco Haigh (for Iker Noguera Leon, 77m), Junior Mboglem.
Margate: Daniel Jinadu, Harrison Hatfull, Cameron Brodie, Harry Hudson, Phil Roberts, James Bessey-Saldanha, Ben Greenhalgh, Freddy Barton, Peter Ojemen, Emmanuel Oke, Nathan Wood.
Subs: Taylor Fisher (for Harrison Hatfull, 89m), Sam Blackman, Matty Macarthur (for Phil Roberts, 58m), Rory Sutcliffe, Henry Young.
Red card: Dwight Pascal (87m, second yellow)
Goal scorers: Ben Greenhalgh (57m pen, 0-1), Nathan Wood (85m, 0-2)
Photo of Rob Tolfrey with Isthmian League Chairman Nick Robinson (right) and Kingstonian Chairman John Fenwick (left): Simon Roe (website here)