Margate lifted the DFDS Kent Senior Cup for the first time since 2005 on Wednesday evening as they overcome Chatham Town on penalties at the Priestfield Stadium.
Manager Reece Prestedge was without talisman Ben Greenhalgh as he awaited the imminent birth of his third child, whilst Ade Cole, Ruben Soares-Junior and Fyn Rutherford all missed out, allowing a start for Margate Youth prospect Henry Young.
Margate started brightly with Harvey Smith looking to get in behind a resolute Chatham back-line, however the Isthmian South-East Champions were keeping Margate at bay until the 16th minute saw a quick break away from a Chatham corner to allow Nathan Wood to fire home and round off a swift Margate move in the 16th minute.
Margate had to be wary of the threat Andy Drury and Danny Kedwell were offering, with Kedwell seeing a strong header well saved by an impressive Daniel Jinadu. Chatham looked to be using Kedwell as their main threat, however the Blues back-line and Jinadu were keeping the former EFL striker quiet as the ‘Gate went in at half-time with a 1-0 lead.
It was Chatham that started much the brighter as former Blues midfielder Jack Evans saw a fierce effort whistle over the bar. Chatham continued to pepper Jinadu with crosses, however the young ‘keeper continued to impress.
With minutes ticking away, Chatham continued to push forward with Callum Peck firing a fierce shot straight at Jinadu. With stoppages in play, the 4th official added seven minutes of additional time. Margate withheld another Chatham onslaught until the 97th minute when a free-kick in the box was headed home by Reece Butler to send the game to penalties.
A perfect four rounds of spot-kicks followed before Kedwell saw his effort saved by Jinadu, leaving Harry Hudson to fire home the winning penalty to spark wild celebrations on the pitch and amongst the Margate fans.