Isthmian League Premier Division Fri 29 December Cheshunt Stadium

The manager made one change coming into this fixture with former Margate winger Vas Vasiliou coming in for defender Darion Furlong. This meant Billy Bates moved back into defence after two appearances at the base of midfield.

It was an end to end but quiet start to proceedings, until Cheshunt started to put the pressure on just before the ten-minute mark. Nnamdi Nwachuku threatened down the left, he cut in and put a dangerous ball in towards Vasiliou, but he was unable to get enough contact on it to get his effort on target.

The Ambers had a huge chance after a quarter of an hour, Nathaniel Orafu made a great run down the right, the ball found its way to Vasiliou in the box who made space for another pass. He picked out Alfie Pendlebury who unleashed a shot that looked like it was heading for goal, but it was blocked well by the defender. There was a scramble in the box afterwards, but the Gate cleared it out to safety.

A long ball over the top caught a deflection on the pitch and bounced in behind the Ambers defence. Steve Cawley was the first to react, but his scuffed volley went miles wide of Okonokwo’s post.

Nathaniel Orafu then went close after a brilliant start to the game. He started his run from deep in, but he couldn’t quite catch his shot and it went just wide. Sam Granville then went close after Vasiliou found him on the edge of the box, but he was denied by a strong arm from Harry Seaden.

Greenhalgh was looking threatening down the right for the Gate, he picked out Cawley in the box with a great ball, but the number nine was unable to divert it on target. They went close again as Greenhalgh played a great ball into the box from a freekick towards Sam Blackman, but he was unable to get any contact on it.

Cheshunt had the ball in the net just before the break as Vasiliou’s effort was turned in by Billy Bates, but the referee flagged for offside. It was a very well matched first half with chances at both ends.

HT: 0-0

Taylor Miles had the first chance of the second half. Taylor Miles retrieved the ball just inside his own half after a Margate clearance. He carried it up the pitch and let fly from 30 yards. His effort just rolled past the far post. Minutes later the Ambers threatened again after yet another run through midfield from Orafu. He picked out Nwachuku whose effort was blocked. The ball then came out to Granville who sent his effort just over the crossbar.

Margate took the lead through half time substitute Destiny Oladipo, a Ben Greenhalgh free kick from half way to the back post was headed into the six yard box,  Sam Blackman backed into the Ambers keeper forcibly with no intention to play the ball and it somehow found its way past Okonkwo and into the back of the net.  Cheshunt protested,  referee Barnett briefly hesitated, but gave the controversial goal.

Cheshunt started to create chances again after going a goal down; they got close when Billy Bates flicked on a header into the box. It almost fell to substitute Jack Roberts who was waiting to tap it in, but Margate keeper Harry Seaden was first to it.

Cheshunt continued to dominate most of the ball searching for an equaliser, but Margate were still an occasional threat. They went close from a corner with ten minutes to go and Greenhalgh went close as his strike from distance towards an open net after an Okonkwo clearance bounced just wide.

Cheshunt continued to chase an equaliser in the rain, Tomas Mendes went close with a header with three minutes remaining. Vasiliou and Kuffour had opportunities in the five minutes of additional time, but it wasn’t to be.

FT: Cheshunt 0-1 Margate


Photos are courtesy of Amy Eve Photography, and are Copyright.

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