Isthmian League

Match Preview | Margate (H)

Well, New Year’s Day was quite the ride. And, for Shaun Saunders, who was quietly delighted with his side’s performance after claiming a 1-0 win at Horsham, he will hope it’s just the start of a positive run of form as we enter 2024.

Charlie Harris sent the travelling Hawks into raptures after firing home from just inside the box against his former club, as they claimed their first league win since October 24. It was a fine three points as the rains disappear and The Enclosed Ground opens for the visit of struggling Margate on Saturday afternoon.

The Opposition

It’s been a difficult few months for ‘The Gate’ who, having not won since early November, opted to dismiss manager Reece Prestedge in the beginning of December. Experienced manager Mark Stimson, who has won the League Two play-off final and four FA Trophy finals, was confirmed as the new boss shortly after, but has yet to see a victory after two draws and two defeats from his opening four matches.

Occupying 18th position, just two points safe of a relegation place, Stimson will be hoping to instil some of that wisdom sooner rather than later as he is tasked with keeping his new Margate side in the division. On the road they have won once this campaign, with that coming at Concord Rangers in August.

One to Watch | Steve Cawley

One of the few who has been firing for the Thanet club, Cawley has found the net 13 times this season, though has scored just once since the last days of November.

The 31-year old arrived in the summer, bringing a wealth of experience with him to Margate’s attacking line, having enjoyed successful spells at Hitchin Town, Hemel Hempstead, Bishop’s Stortford and, most memorably, Concord Rangers in the National League South.

Recent Form – LLDDL

5/12 | Whitehawk (A) | Lost 3-1

9/12 | Carshalton Athletic (H) | Lost 1-0

16/12 | Kingstonian (H) | Drew 2-2

26/12 | Cray Wanderers (A) | Drew 2-2

1/1 | Folkestone Invicta (H) | Lost 2-0 

Previous Meetings

The two sides locked horns on the opening day of the season, where a Phil Roberts brace sandwiched between a Jack Dixon strike handed the Hawks their first defeat of the season.

The clubs have a rich recent history of facing each other, with 11 matches in the past ten years. August’s result was just the second Margate win in that span, with the Hawks claiming six victories.

And that sixth victory arrived on last month, when goals from Lloyd Dawes, Charlie Harris and Josh Nandhra sealed a 3-1 Velocity Cup win at The Enclosed Ground.

How to Follow

If you can’t make it to the first home fixture of 2024, then you can follow the action via our X (Twitter) channel, which can be found here.


Tickets can be bought at The Enclosed Ground on the day of the game for the following prices:

Adult: £13 

OAPs/Students/NHS: £8 

U18s: £5

Under 13s: FREE (must be accompanied by a paying adult)

Dogs welcome! But they must be on a lead at all times

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