Margate FC, kicked off the new season in style on Saturday afternoon with a comfortable 5-2 win at home to Corinthian Casuals in the Bostik League Premier Division.
The Gate, in front of a 500-plus crowd at Hartsdown Park, took the game to the Casuals from the off and were two goals to the good inside the opening 20 minutes courtesy of Baselle Astride and Tom Wynter.
Having announced a new shirt sponsorship deal with The Libertines, the Gate continued to rock the park with further goals from Alex Brown (2) and Frannie Collin, all in a devastating first half.
They could have added more after the interval as well but Casuals struck back late on via efforts from Mfula and Carvalho which prompted joint manager, Mike Sandmann, to say after the game: “The message before the game was we wanted to come away with points.
“We wanted to start the season in the right manner and for 45 minutes we were excellent and thoroughly deserved the victory.
“The game was won at half-time and you saw with some of the chances we created and football we played in the first half, of signs to come.
“It’s always difficult, you very rarely find yourself in the position of being five goals up at the break as much as you try and replicate that, it’s hard.
“Players don’t want to get injured, we’ve got a lot of games coming up thick and fast, so naturally – as much as you don’t want them to – players step off, they don’t go for 50/50 tackles, don’t get as tight to players or look as sharp but the first 45 was enough and very pleasing for us.
“We’ve said from the start, we won’t be at our best until five or six games into the season.
“You’ve seen the signs of when we’re at a it and our work ethic is high that we’re going to be a hard team to beat this year.
“But the message today, and I’m pleased it happened, is that if we do step off and don’t work as hard, then we can be punished. But massive credit to all the boys to get us off the mark.”
Ramsgate meanwhile fell to a 2-1 reverse in their season opener away to VCD Athletic, Tom Chapman notching late in the second half by which time they were already two goals behind.
They go again on Wednesday night in the First Round of the Kent Senior Cup away to Cray Wanderers whilst Margate are on league duty away to Dorking Wanderers.
Thanet United Ladies have a few weeks to wait before they kick off their new season, at home to Teynham in the SECWFL Kent Division One (September 9) and will be looking to start afresh, with a bang.
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Report Peter Mann