Margate Club Profile
Before last season Margate were a club only the older Yeovil fans (like us at Ciderspace!) would have had any recollection of. They finally reached the Southern League Premier Division in 1967 and stayed there, less one season's relegation, until 1979. However they never did much - a couple of seventh spots were the best achieved - and as the Alliance was formed were slipping into the depths. From 1981 to 1989 even the name of Margate disappeared, and they played as Thanet United. More years in the doldrums followed until 1998-99 when they achieved a second spot in the Southern League South to get back into the Premier Division. They were third in the premier in their first season, and then defied the bookies (and everyone else) who expected Burton Albion to take the title by gaining promotion to the Conference. In their first Conference season they carried on upsetting the odds by not only surviving comfortably in non-league's top flight, but by positively thriving, going top at one point before finally finishing in a creditable 8th position.
In the Cups their history is not much more exciting: a Third Round replay in the Trophy is the furthest Margate have got; and for a Third Round appearance in the F.A. Cup one has to go back to 1973. They beat Swansea on the way, the fifth and final League club scalp to date, but went down 0-6 to Tottenham Hotspur.
Margate moved into Hartsdown Park for the 1928-29 season and the ground has remained essentially unchanged since - and it shows. The club were forced to spend £175,000 getting it up to scratch for Conference football, though as things turned out they may as well not have bothered with it being deemed completely unsuitable for the new tougher regulations being brought in by the Conference in 2004. Accordingly Margate are groundsharing with neighbours Dover while Hartsdown is being improved by a bulldozer and the wrangling over a new site for a new ground is completed with the local council.
The Gate aren't finding things quite so easy in the Conference this season, which is no surprise really. Promoted teams who have a good first season often struggle in their second term (Boston being the exception that proves the rule, and they cheated) as other teams suss out your style of play and danger men and at the time of writing Margate find themselves at the wrong end of the table only a few points away from the danger zone. Having to play their home games in front of small crowds 20-odd miles away in Dover can't be helping matters either. They rely very heavily on the pace and finishing ability of striker Darren Braithwaite and the feeling persists that stop Braithwaite and you stop Margate..... Having said that they should still have just enough about them to keep out of the bottom three, or in other words we think there are three worse clubs in the Conference. Final position: 19th!
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We've Met Before ...
|Margate : We've Met Before|
|Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Margate
|26/09/1936||Home||SL||W||4-2||Attley, Halliday, Doncaster, Smith|
|07/11/1964||Home||SL||W||4-1||Hirst, Pounder, Taylor, Withey|
|04/12/1965||Home||SL||W||2-1||Own Goal, Pounder|
|18/09/1971||Away||SL||W||4-1||959||Bayliss, Cotton, Weller, Clancy|
|25/11/1972||Home||SL||W||3-1||Housley, K Thompson(2)|
|13/11/1976||Home||SL||W||5-1||1734||Plumb, Brown(2), Leigh(2)|
|30/11/2002||Home||Conf||W||2-1||4147||El Kholti 21, Crittenden 73|
|22/03/2003||Away||Conf||W||2-1||1083||Jackson 70, 83|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Margate
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|25/03/2003||Doncaster Rovers||Away||Conf||L||1-3||2888||Sigere 75|
|05/04/2003||Halifax Town||Home||Conf||W||2-1||509||Saunders 37, Leberl 55|
|12/04/2003||Southport||Away||Conf||W||2-0||768||Saunders 58, Keister 90|
|26/04/2003||Scarborough||Home||Conf||W||3-1||525||Sodje 20, Sigere 47, Braithwaite 74|
Highest League Attendance: 1415, vs Gravesend and Northfleet, 01/01/2003
Lowest League Attendance: 385, vs Telford United, 09/11/2002
Average League Attendance: 685
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win: ||0
||Games Without A Home Win: ||0
|Games Without An Away Win: ||1
||Games Without Defeat: ||1
|Games Without A Home Defeat: ||3
||Games Without An Away Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Draw: ||2
||Games Without A Score Draw: ||17
|Games Without A No-Score Draw: ||2
||Games Without Scoring: ||0
|Games Without Conceding: ||0
||Home Results Sequence: ||WDLWDW
|Away Results Sequence: ||LLLWWL
||Overall Results Sequence: ||WWWDLW
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Kent CT9 5QZ
Telephone Number : 01843 221769
Fax : 01843 221769
Chairman : Keith Piper
Press Officer :
Fixtures Secretary : Ken Tomlinson
Team Manager : Chris Kinnear
Capacity : 6,000
Seated : 360
Covered Terrace :
Record Attendance : 14,500 (v Tottenham Hotspur 1972-73, F.A. Cup, Round Three)
Nickname : The Gate
Midweek Games Played : Tuesday
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Directions To The Ground
Margate is further than you think. However far you think it is, think more. The road in is dismal. The same road out is only enlivened by the fact that you are leaving. The good news however is that we don't have to go there because this season Margate are groundsharing at The Crabble with Dover whilst Hartsdown Park is improved with the aid of a bulldozer. Directions to The Crabble are as follows:
Dover's ground is two or three miles outside Dover Town Centre, on the North West
side of town, in an area called River. Unless you are coming from Canterbury, the best
way to reach it is from Dover Town Centre, doing up a long suburban hill known as London
Road, part of a huge one-way system. London Road eventually turns into Crabble Hill, you
come out of the one-way system, and at that point you are nearly there.
River and The Crabble are signposted from the top of the hill.
From the M20
Follow the M20 until you reach the beginning, the road name changes
to the A20 and you will pass through a tunnel. Proceed along the A20 for
about 10 minutes until you reach a set of roundabouts. Go over the first 3.
At the fourth roundabout (with a nightclub called "NUAGE" on your left,
turn left. A the next roundabout go straight over. You will pass the town hall
on your right. Go straight over at the traffic lights outside the town hall and
over the following set. At the end of this road you will come to a set of traffic
lights (with Hollis Motors infront of you) with the option to turn left or right. Turn
left and follow the road until you reach the next set of traffic lights. Do not
go straight over, but down the hill to the left. Follow the road until you come
to a right hand bend. We are on that bend. (Look for the Daihatsu Signs)
From the A2
Follow the A2 from Canterbury until you pass the Forte Posthouse
Hotel on your left and approach a roundabout with McDonalds's drive
through resturant and an Esso petrol station on the left. Turn right, signposted
to Town Centre and go down the hill. At the mini-roundabout at the bottom
of the hill turn Left. At the next set of traffic lights turn right and follow the road
under the railway bridge. The ground is up the hill on your left.
Road directions courtesty of The Official Dover Athletic FC Website.
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Food & Drink
Better declare my prejudices here before we start. In the humble opinion of this author Margate is a festering boil tacked onto the arse of England. It's a seedy run-down tip with no discernable merit whatsoever. The best to be said in its favour is that it's not easy to get to. Last time there the main feature at the laughingly named Leisure Park was some scrap metal revolving globe thing that originated from the Vienna of the late thirties, and had the Nazi insignia badly scratched out. The food was 'British Seaside' at its worst, the pubs had as much atmosphere as the moon, and there was not a decent pint for miles. Those trapped in this Gormanghast of a town shuffled and snuffled disconsolately along the sea-front, eyes down-cast, as the life-force was sucked from their bloated bodies. Edvard Munch spent an afternoon in Margate before painting The Scream. Fortunately, we're going to Dover! So.....
Club Bar :
Dover's club bar is situated inside the ground, to the right of the main turnstiles, and
is a flat, single level hut with a long room. The bar contains a good pool table, and
service is friendly. The entrance furthest from the actual bar itself, in theory lends
itself well for disabled access, although this needs to be put into practice to be certain.
There is no membership charge for entry. One of the beauties of
Dover's bar is that it's large windows look directly out onto the side terrace, and the
bar does not shut during games, meaning that it is quite possible to sit in the bar for
the entire duration of the game without losing too much view of what is going on in the
game. Not that we've ever tried this; oh no, not us!
Queuing for a pint, in our experience, has been in general not too bad, probably
because people do start heading to the bar before the half time and full time whistles
blow, knowing that they will miss little of the action. Their television in the bar
usually features all the final scores and ceefax is available.
Tea bar food is on the whole good, although we've found service a little slow. The main
tea bar is just to the right of the drinks bar.
If you choose to take the long walk from Dover Priory station, up London Road and
Crabble Hill, there is a veritable feast of pubs awaiting you between the
the ground. The annoying thing is that they are all rather too average but
somewhere there may be a gem, so let us know if you spot one!
You pass all of these if you are driving to the ground from the A20, coming out
of the town centre. Note that if you are driving back from the ground, into the Town Centre,
you will not pass the London Road pubs, due to the one-way system.
The Priory Hotel can to be tentatively recommended in the afternoon, and
is a good place to meet if you are waiting for someone to get
off a train. Not much in the way of real ale - in fact for our
visit two years ago they were all off :-( -, but a reasonable
atmosphere, if a little over-smokey (when you're sat next to HHH anyway). Under new management when we called in for a final pint to eek out the tinnies whilst waiting for the train home last season we'd just say the welcome was er less than cordial, though of course we were verra verra drunk.
Still close to the station, running about five or ten minutes walk east,
is the Eight Bells. It's a Wetherspoons pub. Given that the Wetherspoons chain is normally of a consistent standard, this was whereCiderspace ended up for a pre-match half - or 10 when we found Spitfire at £ 1.29 a pint.
Once you near the ground, The Gate Inn
(pictured) can be found on your right hand side. Quite frankly, do us a favour and
give this one a wide berth. They used to, in years gone by, serve
the Shepherd Neame real ales made by the local brewery in Faversham. Now it appears
to be a diet of fizzy shit, and the sort of clientele that turn around, stare at you
as the place goes quiet when you wander in. Don't stay, we didn't!
The nearest bar is
The Cricketers (also pictured), which sits appropriately enough, at the foot of the
cricket ground, just before you head off Lewisham Road up to the football ground. It looks
to be a very quaint pub from the outside, but is furnished with a pool table in the left
hand bar once you get inside, and is a fairly down to earth relaxed place.
When we went in there the season before last (January 2000) their food service was completely up
the proverbial. Their deep fat friers were up the spout, their cheese burgers had run
out of ... err, cheese, and were served undercooked inside stale bread rolls without any salad or
relish. Mmmm, nice! Apparently, it was a bad day for them. Whether you believe that or
not is your own choice. Let's put it this way - we've eaten elsewhere since!
You'll find that few or none of these pubs go to much lengths for their food; there's
just too many Fish and Chips, Chinese and Indian takeaways on London Road, that if you are
getting peckish, your best bet is one of the takeaways or the club tea bars. The
tea bars tend to be a little bit packed, although whether that was down to the largish
crowd, or everyone piling out of the Cricketers in search of decent quality food, we're
not rightly sure.
Priory Hotel, Priory Station Approach, Dover, Kent, CT17 9SB Tel: 01304 211365
Eight Bells, 19, Cannon St, Dover, Kent, CT16 1BZ Tel: 01304 205030
The Sportsman, 238 London Rd, Dover Kent, CT17 0TA Tel: 01304 208411
The Bull Inn, 168 London Rd, Dover Kent CT17 0TG Tel: 01304 204500
The Old Endeavour, 124, London Rd, Dover, Kent, CT17 0TG Tel: 01304 204417
The Gate Inn, 79, Crabble Hill, Dover, Kent, CT17 0RY Tel: 01304 206121
The Cricketers, Crabble Avenue, Dover, Kent, CT17 0JB Tel: 01304 206396
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :
Remote. Everyone you are likely to meet in Margate was either over seventy-five before they arrived or has become so within a few hours of getting there. All right dear - cup of tea and a bun?
Leave as soon as possible.
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Last Updated 23rd November 2002