Cheshunt Sports and Leisure LTD. Company registration: 07532736, VAT Number: 117532823.
Good Afternoon and welcome to Cheshunt Stadium,
We particularly would like to extend a warm welcome to the players, officials and supporters of Margate make their first return since winning 2-1 in the void 2019-20 season when Kadell Daniel grabbed a last minute winner from the spot to give the Kent men a 2-1 victory. That was his second of the afternoon after Dipo Akinyemi had given the Ambers a 21st minute lead. We would also like to welcome back, after a gap of 11 years, Reece Prestedge who made 23 appearances and scored 8 goals in our 2008-09 campaign.
Supporters will be interested to learn that the Hertfordshire FA have curtailed their County Cup programme this season due to worries about possible fixture congestion. For senior Clubs such as Cheshunt, this means only the Herts Senior Cup will take place this season, with the Charity Cup cancelled until 2022-23. More details available here
Enjoy the game and stay safe,
Please note Cheshunt FC operates a No Dogs policy. (except Assistance Dogs)
You are responsible for your own children on the site, unless they are participating in an organised event at the site with qualified staff.
Welcome everyone to Theoablds Lane, and a warm welcome to the players, committee and fans of Margate FC.
It’s been an unbeaten start for us so far but we have another two tough fixtures this bank holiday weekend. I was really pleased with the attitude of the players last week at Lewes, coming from behind twice to earn a draw.
What was also pleasing was the level of away support. It was the first time I’ve been to a local pub at an away game, and it was fantastic to see the pub full of Cheshunt fans! It’s something I could have only dreamed about a few years ago, and shows what great strides we’re making as a club.
Good results and competing at the right end of the table helps to attract support, and under Craig we are certainly doing that. We may only be two games in, but we’ve played as many friendlies in the same amount of time!
As you may have realised, Craig loves a friendly and we’ve had two good performances and results against good opposition in Dartford and Great Wakering Rovers recently. This has helped Craig give minutes to those not in the starting XI and the opportunity to impress.
All the players will need to pull together and be at their very best today to overcome a Margate side who are also unbeaten and yet to concede. It should make for a great game.
In other news I’m delighted to say that our u18s manager Ozgur is now out of hospital and recovering from Covid at home with his family. It has been an extremely stressful time and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.
Enjoy the match.
Firstly I’d like to welcome Jay, his team and everyone who has travelled up from Margate for today’s game. I’d also to extend that to our match officials and hope they have an enjoyable, trouble free afternoon.
It’s been a decent start for both teams today. For ourselves a pretty comfortable 3-0 home win against East Thurrock followed by a hard fought draw at Lewes.
The Thurrock game was one of those games you’d sooner have ten games in when things have settled down a little. It was one we were expected to win but the first day of the season is full of adrenaline and optimism so always difficult. I thought we handled the day very well. We looked a constant threat when we attacked and very solid at the back. A good all round performance.
We travelled to Lewes full of confidence but expecting a tougher time. We were pretty slow out of the traps and the first 15 saw our opponents dictate play. We tweaked our shape, bossed the rest of the half and should really have been a goal or two to the good at the break. They started the 2nd half well and opened the scoring. Being early season I said to Ugo and Curtis this is a good little test for us now a goal down and away from home. We responded very well and eventually we equalised with 10 or so to go. Then we decided to go too gung ho and got caught on the break although the goal was clearly offside as the videos showed.
Once again we dug in and got a very well deserved equaliser and had to settle for the point. We learnt plenty from the game which will stand us in good stead going forward.
Margate have yet to concede but hopefully we can change that. It shapes up to be a good game and hopefully an entertaining one with plenty of goals and three more valuable points.
Enjoy Your Afternoon.
C’mon You Ambers!
Margate Football Club History
The club was founded in 1896 and joined the Southern Football League in 1933. After a spell in the Kent League after World War II the team returned to the Southern League in 1959 and remained there until 2001 when they gained promotion to the Football Conference, the highest level of English non-league football. Their stay at this level saw the team forced to ground share with other clubs due to drawn-out and problematic redevelopment work at their Hartsdown Park stadium, and during the three years spent away from their own ground they were expelled from the Conference National and subsequently relegated to the Isthmian League.
After the Second World War the Gate continued to play in the Kent League under new manager Charlie Walker, who led the team to two Kent League championships but was then controversially sacked. The team slumped during a succession of rapid managerial changes which only ended in 1950 when Almer Hall was appointed manager, a post he was to hold for the next twenty years. Under Hall the team won a host of local cup honours and reached the rounds proper of the FA Cup on several occasions, but never managed to match this success in league competition.
In 1959–60 Margate returned to the Southern League after the Kent League folded, and in 1962–63 won the Division One championship and with it promotion to the Premier Division. Two years later the club turned full-time professional but this policy proved financially untenable when the team were relegated back to Division One in 1965–66. Nonetheless, they won promotion at the first attempt and returned to the Premier Division in 1967.
During the 1970s Margate endured severe financial problems and a series of mediocre league seasons but took part in two famous FA Cup ties. In 1971 the Gate lost 11–0 to Bournemouth, with Ted MacDougall scoring a cup record nine goals. Then, a year later, Margate beat Swansea City and Walton & Hersham to set up a third round tie against First Division Tottenham Hotspur, then UEFA Cup holders. A record crowd of over 14,000 packed into Hartsdown Park for a match which Margate lost 6–0.
In 1996, the club’s centenary year, the club appointed Chris Kinnear as manager. In 1997–98 he took the team to the first round proper of the FA Cup where they played Fulham in a home tie that drew a crowd of 5,100. Although the Gate took the lead, the Cottagers eventually won 2–1. The following season saw the club finally win promotion to the Southern League Premier Division, albeit only after an appeal was lodged against the league’s initial refusal to allow the team promotion due to the club failing to carry out necessary ground improvements in time. The Premier Division championship followed in the 2000–01 season, and with it promotion to the Football Conference.
The 2001–02 season was Gate’s first ever season of Conference football and they finished the season in eighth place. In the 2002–03 season the team began ground sharing at Dover Athletics’ Crabble while redevelopment work took place at Hartsdown Park, but various problems stalled the planned redevelopment. On the pitch, Margate enjoyed more success in the FA Cup when, after defeating Leyton Orient in the first round, they were drawn at home to Cardiff City in the second round, but lost 3–0 at Crabble. The following season, despite finishing sixteenth, the Gate were forcibly relegated one division due to the ongoing delays and problems with the redevelopment plans for Hartsdown Park.
Margate spent the 2004–05 season in the Conference South, now ground sharing at Ashford Town. Amidst ongoing issues with the redevelopment work, which at one point made it seem very likely that the club would fold completely, Margate were again relegated to the Isthmian League Premier Division.
After 10 years in the Ryman Premier Division Margate won promotion back to the Vanarama National League South after beating Hendon in the play-off final at the Earlsmead Stadium. Ryan Moss scored the winning goal as Terry Brown’s side celebrated promotion back to second tier of Non-league Football.
Margate’s first season back in the National League South was a rollercoaster ride with survival secured on the final day of the season despite a 2-0 defeat to Bath City. A run of 11 defeats from their final 12 games left Margate needing results elsewhere to keep them in the division and Weston Super-Mare’s 1-1 draw away at Havant & Waterlooville meant Havant were relegated.
Since the 2017-2018 season Margate have been in the Isthmian Premier League, where under new ownership the Club have installed a state of the art 3G Pitch, plans are in place to develop the stadium further and build a hotel on site. The Club narrowly missed out on the play offs in the 2017-18 season and after the departure of manager Steve Watt the Club went through a period of transition and were able to avoid relegation in the 2018-2019 season thanks largely to the presence of Jay Saunders as temporary manager. At the start of the 2019-2020 campaign fan favourite Jay became our permanent manager and and is still at the helm for season 2021/22, after season 2020/21 was made null and void.
Margate Football Club
Playing Squad 2021-2022
26 year old Mo Kamara joins us in the summer of 2021, having previously played for Ashford United FC and Herne Bay FC. A strong, versatile player who can play anywhere along the back line and also in midfield.
‘Swifty’ re-joins the Gate for a fifth season and fourth under Saunders. The young centre half was voted in the Kent Online team of the season in 2018/19 and will skipper the side for the third successive campaign.
Chris was part of the 2017-2018 squad but suffered a bad injury and missed the remainder of the campaign and the whole of the next season. He returned in 2019 and has signed on for another season with the Gate in 2021.
Jack Richards joins the club from Maidstone United having risen through the ranks of The Stones Kent Youth League teams before working with Manager Jay Saunders at the club’s academy. Richards made his debut at The Gallagher as a first-year academy player back in 2015 before departing earlier in the summer. This is Jacks third season under Saunders at Margate.
The experienced goalkeeper was added to Jay Saunders’ squad and staff as goalkeeping coach. Having played and managed at Hartsdown Park previously, news of Holloway’s return was greeted with delight by Margate fans. Holloway plays an influential role alongside Saunders.
A 31 year old with plenty of experience, starting his career with Fulham. Also had a spell with Lincoln City. He has also played numerous games at Non League level, mainly with Bromley and Maidstone Utd with his last club being with Welling Utd..
Experienced midfielder Reece joined the ‘Gate from Welling Utd in 2019, formerly of East Thurrock and Maidstone, Prestedge is reunited with boss Jay Saunders and adds guile and leadership to our midfield. This is Reece’s third season under Jay Saunders for the Gate and will be a player/coach
Ben Greenhalgh joined the ‘Gate’ in the summer of 2021 to team up with his former Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders. The 29-year-old can play as either a Midfielder or Striker and will provide extra firepower to the Blues. Greenhalgh shot to fame after winning Sky Sports reality show ‘Football’s Next Star’ where he fought off 20,000 other entries to win a six-month professional contract, which was then extended another further year upon its expiry. Despite never playing for Inter, Greenhalgh did impress whilst in Italy scoring eight goals in 12 games for Como. Back in England the 29-year-old played a crucial part in a successful Maidstone United side managed by Margate Manager Jay Saunders. Other clubs include Concord Rangers, Dartford, Tonbridge Angels and Hemel Hempstead as well as time spent in Scotland playing for Inverness and Stenhousemuir.
Midfielder Sam Blackman returned to Hartsdown Park in the summer of 2021 having previously played for the Blues during the 2017/18 season. The combative midfielder will provide manager Jay Saunders additional experience in the middle of the park. Blackman started his career at Leatherhead before moving to Hartsdown Park in 2017. After leaving the ‘Gate, Blackman moved to Concord Rangers for the first of his two spells at the Aspect arena, where he featured as a Concord Rangers player in his second spell in the delayed 2019/20 season FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium. Other clubs include Dartford and Hythe Town.
Jake Embery. The 21-year-old began his career at Herne Bay, where he scored more than 50 goals for the club in the Isthmian League South East Division. He then moved to his home-town Maidstone club in 2020 but suffered a bad injury. Jay Saunders then signed him for the Gate in the summer of 2021.
The 27-year old striker joins the Gate in the summer of 2021 from East Grinstead FC. Thompson started his career at Hampton & Richmond Borough making his debut at only 16 years old in 2011. He has had vast experience on the Non League scene with Tonbridge Angels, Dulwich Hamlet, Braintree Town & Kingstonian in particular.
Versatile Midfielder Ryan Palmer joined Margate in the summer of 2021. The 30-year-old has played a pivotal role in the success of Sunday YouTube team SE Dons, however he has also enjoyed considerable success in non-league football after enjoying spells with a range of non-league clubs such as Hythe Town, Ashford United, VCD Athletic, Merstham and Sittingbourne
Midfielder Montel Agyemang joined Margate in the summer of 2021 from National League South Welling United. Montel burst on the football scene at Leyton Orient where after being named on the bench in a 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers before making his senior debut as a substitute against Yeovil Town in 2014. Loan spells at Royston Town and Grays Athletic followed before he left Orient to join Maldon & Tiptree. Spells at East Thurrock United and Wealdstone before joining Welling United.
Winger, James Bessey-Saldanha signs for The Gate having played most recently at fellow Kent side, Sevenoaks Town. The 25-year old impressed in behind-closed-doors friendlies, so much so, Jay Saunders was quick to secure his services for the 2021/22 campaign.
28-year-old Lewis Knight joined the club in the summer of 2021 from National League side Billericay Town. The commanding centre-half has enjoyed spells with East Thurrock, St Albans and Maidstone and Billericay before making the switch to Hartsdown Park.
26-year old keeper who has previously played for Hungerford Town, Carshalton Athletic and Braintree Town.
Nkori (Vance) Bola
A striker who impressed in pre season who has previously played for Royston, Glebe, Tonbridge Angels and Sittingbourne.
Young local full-back whose Dad Paul is Development manager and also played for the Gate in the 90’s. George impressed Jay Saunders last pre-season and again this summer.
A young keeper with lots of experience, Owen has been involved with Margate FC since he was 14 years old and provides valuable back up to Pat Ohman.
Another local youngster who has an eye for goal and has impressed in pre-season games
Manager Craig Edwards
Reece Beckles Richards
Manager Jay Saunders
James Bessey Salda
Mr George Warren, Mr Tolga Inanc, Mr Maros Valko
I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to our visitors this afternoon and I hope they’ve had a safe journey up the M2 to join us in the sunny pastures of Hertfordshire. We may not have the sea and sands of the Kent coast, but we do have the M25 and the White Water Rafting centre should you suddenly decide your missing your normal aquatic landscape. Coming up from Margate you will have had to leave behind the kiss me quick hats and seaside donkey rides for our more sedate riverside pubs and the exclusive cuisine of George’s Boutique Burger Bar, but we sincerely hope you enjoy your afternoon with us.
Margate is a town that really has seen a transformation in the last few years. Its image of the Beano capital of the Kent coast is fast fading and you’re more likely to see a dealer in fine art than you are a sozzled Londoner trying to gastronomically float his fish and chips out into the English Channel.
I have been there a few times over the last few years, and I’ve really been surprised to see what’s happening in this lovely corner of Kent. There are vibrant pubs and bars, chic cafes and restaurants, and more hipsters than you can shake a stick at.
It’s nothing like the town I came to in the summer of 1973 for a day trip with me mum and dad and left with third degree sunburn and blisters the size of the millennium dome.
The arrival of the Turner Gallery to the west of the town centre seems to have drastically changed the social landscape of the town. The consequence of which has been a change in the population that I’m not sure is completely welcomed by a lifetime Margate population who often see the explosion of DFL’s (Down From London) as perhaps an unwelcome change in the social hierarchy of the town.
As someone who saw my area of London go through the same process of gentrification, they have my sympathy. Sometimes we can lose more than we gain.
The town still has the amusement arcades, still has Dreamland but now also has vintage clothes shops and various coffee bars selling an array of overpriced and overcomplicated coffee normally only seen in the niche little cafés of Shoreditch.
Is it for everybody? I’d very much doubt it.
Towns changing quickly like this can cause a rift in the population. They may initially appreciate the new array of social activities and outlets but in time it normally brings a degree of frustration as housing prices rise and locals feel alienated from the place they used to call home. All that said I do think in time Margate will once again become a real jewel in the crown of the Kent Coast.
Recently I spent a weekend there flat hunting with my DFL daughter and although no purchase has been made yet I’m pretty sure it soon will be. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and array of the housing in the town, and it won’t be long before she finds her own Margate Dreamland.
I look forward to my visits to her and to the home of Margate FC, perhaps I will get to stay at the new hotel.
Enjoy your day.
PS : I can’t be here today but look forward to my trip to Margate later in the season!
v Woodford Town
Thursday 28th August 1952
This afternoon we go back 69 years to the opening day of the 1952-53 season when the Ambers returned to Cheshunt Stadium after a two year stint at Brookfield Lane.
Owned by Pollards Nurseries, a significant name in the huge Greenhouse industry that dominated Cheshunt at the time, it had been the site of their workforces Sports and Leisure ground since 1939. It included bowls and tennis courts as well as football pitches and its pavilion had served as an auxiliary fire station during the war.
Cheshunt Stadium hosted its first match in October 1949 but was then astonishingly abandoned only a few months later as the Board took the decision to move a mile north to Brookfield Lane. A price of £13,000 was quoted with officials happy to say only £2,000 needed to be raised to complete the purchase from Pollards. All seemed well in the Ambers new home as 4,000 spectators crammed the banks of the New River to see them win the 1949-50 London League but soon that side began to break up and the Club took the ill-fated move into the Delphian League the following season.
Whether Cheshunt ever raised the £2,000 (the equivalent to £22,000 in 2021) is unclear but it is almost certain the Club never bought the freehold from Pollards as they unceremoniously moved back to the Stadium in the summer of 1952.
Tottenham Hotspur, who had been training on the London Co-op ground on Chingford Road, Walthamstow after the war and then, from 1948, Hoddesdon Town’s Lowfield ground and Hoddesdon Arena, bought the freehold to Brookfield Lane from Pollards in July 1952 for £11, 614.16s.7d and adapted it to their own requirements over the following years.
Meanwhile the Stadium homecoming was not a happy one as Woodford ran out 4-2 winners due to poor defensive lapses that left the crowd unhappy. Whilst a few of the big names from the 1950 championship side remained – Ray Spiller, Dave ‘Ginger’ Jones and Charlie Wickett – it was new faces Billy Unwin and Ian Bishop that scored for the Ambers that day (note, a 6pm kick off – floodlights wouldn’t arrive for another decade!).
An unremarkable season followed – 13th in a 16 team league – capped by the abandonment yet again of Cheshunt Stadium and a return to Brookfield Lane, though this time it would be as Tottenham Hotspurs’ tenants.
“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero-tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”