Soccer

Per specs tinted blue

Chichester City 0 Margate 1

With brief involvement in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy, and currently in a lower mid-league position, Margate’s best hopes of success this season appear to lie in the two minor cup competitions.

One is the Kent Senior Cup (a home game with Sheppey takes place on November 15), the other is the competition where we reached the final last season – the Velocity Cup, the league cup competition of the Isthmian league.

One of the pleasures of following a non-league football team is visiting towns and villages that you wouldn’t otherwise encounter.

Our first Velocity Cup tie this season saw Margate travel to West Sussex’s charming cathedral city of Chichester on Tuesday.

The main concern before kick-off was the continuation of the game? With considerable rainfall in recent days, and more so on match day itself, those traveling from Thanet inevitably feared a wasted trip.

Arriving at the Chichester pitch, however, the pitch appeared in good condition, given the circumstances, without a puddle or muddy area to be seen.

The home side are a division below Margate and Chichester’s starting XI have seen a number of changes from their previous league game, while the visitors have fielded just about the strongest squad available . Despite the higher quality, it was not an easy game for Margate and the first half was a midfield battle with hardly any chances at either end.

Half-time saw the introduction of substitute Montrell Deslandes up front, replacing defender Ethan Kaiser. Deslandes’ pressure on the home defenders when they had possession helped Margate become more dominant as the game progressed.

It was Deslandes who provided the decisive moment in the 76th minute. Sam Blackman received the ball in the center circle, ran forward and threw in a pass to send Deslandes clear of the home defence. He shot low to the right of the keeper into the corner of the net – 1-0!

Chichester lacked the guts to seriously threaten to equalise. Margate saw the rest of the encounter without a scare and will be at home to Folkestone in the next round.