To Margate, a fixture that’s always marked in the calendar of fans who love micro-breweries, the smell of freshly vinegared chips and good hidings. Last season’s 6-2 win at Margate was Cool Box Tone’s finest hour, including a five-goal second half and Ollie Tanner’s best performance in a Rooks shirt. Could they do the same again? Well, for 45 minutes, they gave it a bloody good go.
Last season we went behind before anyone had a chance to take the head off their Guiness and it was exactly the same this time around. A free-kick from wide was launched into our box and our defence all collected Spotters Badges as Sam Blackman headed it home.
Not to worry, because precisely 13 minutes later we were level. Someone (I’m blaming my rain-spattered glasses for the lack of detail here) put a cute ball through to Tyrique Hyde who lashed it home from a tight angle.
Of course, our lads had studied the script carefully, and so Margate were once again allowed to take the lead. A corner into our box wasn’t cleared and Ruben Soares-Junior profited from a scruffy tap-in to put the hosts ahead on 20 minutes.
Now everyone in the away end breathed a sigh of relief, because the next five goals were all scheduled to be Lewes strikes. Happy days. And when the equaliser came on 34 minutes, it had the added bonus of being an absolute cracker.
The Great Gondoh drifted to the byline down the left and cut a lovely ball right across the box, which Joe Taylor deftly backheeled into the net. It was a lovely bit of Bastarding.
That prompted what I think my friends in The Youth Wing would describe as “scenes” with a hint of “limbs”, with the Rooks masses all surging forward to celebrate with Joe. And at least one of our longest standing fans enjoyed it. “I was right at the front of that surge,” said Supporters Club stalwart PJ. “I think I technically had sex with someone.”
“I hope we score a couple more in the second half,” he added.
Sadly for PJ’s libido, that was the end of the scoring. A combination of Margate’s pathetic time-wasting and our desire to make sure everyone had touched the ball at least six times before shooting brought an end to the excitement. We didn’t make their keeper make a save in the second half. Instead he spent all of his time kicking the ball out of play and adjusting his GoPro camera to make sure it captured exactly where he was booting it out for a throw.
Honestly, I’ve seen nectarines with more ambition than the home side. Margate are at the wrong end of the table, but they’re in no real danger of relegation. Yet, they clung to their point as if their lives depended on it. At one point their no. 14 feigned injury, spent two minutes rolling on the plastic while their giggling physio – who looked suspiciously like Omar Sharif (ask your dad Youth Wing) – smothered him in more spray than a Banksy artwork. And then when he finally got back to his feet, he walked back onto the pitch to delay the restart.
And this nonsense is considered cracking entertainment by the Margate reporter in The Non-League Paper:
Even PJ would only have given it three stars, at best.
And so with Enfield and Cray taking a point each in North London, it’s as you were, except we’re a game closer to the end of the season.
We’re going to need something of a resurrection to close out what is effectively a five-point gap to Enfield in the four remaining games. Thank Christ it’s Easter.
Lewes: Carey, Olukoga, Salmon, Champion, Mundle-Smith, Pritchard, Young, Hyde, Gondoh, Coleman De-Graft, Taylor
Subs: Hall, Murrell-Williamson, Huckle, Moore, Tamplin
Supporters Club man of the match: It’s The Bastard for the quality of that second-goal finish and for lighting PJ’s flame.