Hendon 2 Margate 3
Three goals in seven minutes ensured Margate’s FA Cup journey this season began with a win at Hendon in the First Qualifying Round on Saturday.
Hendon play in the Southern League South Premier, which is equivalent in status to Margate’s division so this was a testing tie played within sight of the Wembley Stadium arch.
The home side were on top in a difficult first half for Margate with frequent Hendon attacks down the right flank. Early on, Margate keeper Harry Seaden was required to touch a goalbound header by Joe White over the bar.
Hendon took the lead on 20 minutes following a counter-attack; Shaun Lucien received the ball on the right, advanced on the backpedalling Margate defence and his low cross was met by Hamza Semakula at the far post who scored.
Margate rallied just before the interval with efforts on goal by Sam Blackman and Ben Greenhalgh but few would have foreseen what was to unfold in the second period.
The equaliser came on 63 minutes when Greenhalgh’s deep corner was met by Harry Hudson; his header hit the bar and Blackman forced the ball over the line.
Three minutes later it was 2-1 – a long pass from Greenhalgh saw sub Fyn Rutherford race into the box and lob Hendon keeper Matt Kerbey.
A third goal for Margate came on 70 minutes. Greenhalgh’s pass into the box saw Steve Cawley evade his marker, he then controlled the ball and fired into the net.
A goal by Hendon’s Niko Muir with a quarter of an hour to go ensured Margate could not relax in the closing stages but they saw out the win to take their place in the next round, which is on 16 September.
Margate’s next home game is in the Isthmian League against Potters Bar on Saturday 9 September.