Brightlingsea Regent may sound like a made up place, a fictional setting to a terrible sitcom perhaps? Or to a reader of a certain age and computer game habits, Brightlingsea Regent may read like an alternative unlicensed name for Brighton and Hove Albion FC on Pro Evolution Soccer. Brightlingsea Regent I can confirm is a real place and their football team were the very real opponents for Margate FC on Saturday (October 23) and 411 were attendance to prove as much.
Margate fielded new signing Lema who was part of a slightly tweaked defence of Gurung (a centre mid) alongside club captain Swift and the industrious Anderson. The defence had the pleasure of time on the ball as the lads from Brightlingsea hardly hurried in their attempts to press. It was from the exact lack of pressure that Swift made the most of, looking up and picking out Bola whose shot was saved but Thompson, who is fast becoming Margate’s Inzaghi, was alive in the six yard box for another tap in. 1-0 Margate.
Thompson loves a tap in, in fact I imagine if you were to total the distances of all his goals this season you’d barely make it out the box. The game was young, only four minutes old when the latest tap in from the Thompson catalogue went in and the celebrations were tinted with caution as the Margate faithful remarked ‘well we went up early again Lewes’. Margate didn’t sit on that lead, peppering the goal with shots from Palmer and Greenhalgh. Gurung who enjoyed time on the ball looked solid and played a precise ball forward right on to Thompson’s chest whose hold up play was on point, linking with Bola who looked certain to score but somehow failed to double Margate’s lead.
Margate’s defence weren’t exactly busy but when called upon they showed they were capable. Swift led by example making a crucial block that preserved the lead and forced a corner.
“Take the corner, take the corner, take the corner up the R’s. Take the corner up the R’s” was the crude shout from the so called ”red and black army”. An army of three fans who had braved the queues at Dartford Tunnel on their pilgrimage to Hartsdown Park. The constant chants of “up the R’s” were reminiscent of Mary Portas and Tracey Emin’s advertising slogan: ‘for a dirty weekend come to Margate”.
The R’s may have been planning a dirty weekend as they certainly weren’t leaving with a clean sheet and Margate really did exploit the holes in R’s defence. The Gate finally doubled their lead with a belter from Palmer. 2-0.
RP7 put in a great shift, providing the stopovers and trickery that we’ve come to expect from him. Margate really did look the better side and had quite a few golden chances to put the game to bed and take the points away from the toothless Rs. When that third didn’t arrive and Brightlingsea Regent pulled one back with nineteen minutes to play there was an air of the inevitable late suffering. 2-1.
When Margate’s fans aimed the song of ‘shops at baby gap, baby gap, shops at baby gap’ to the superb rhythm of KC & The Sunshine Band’s ‘Give It Up’, towards Brightlingsea Regent’s short number 12. I could only forecast one ironic outcome which was number 12 out-leaping all the Margate defenders with a salmon like jump and heading in a last minute equaliser. Thankfully that didn’t happen and Margate earned themselves three points, how we only scored two is baffling but hopefully we’ll score a few more on Tuesday night against East Thurrock who were stuffed 8-0 by Enfield. The advice to the Gate to the tune of KC & The Sunshine Band’s banger is “lace up the shooting boots, shooting boots, lace up the shooting boots”.