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Chatham Town 2-1 Margate
Chatham Town 2-1 Margate

Rowan Liburd’s second goal for Chatham Town heaped more misery on Margate boss Mark Stimson as the Medway side edged the Kent Derby to maintain the pressure on league leaders Hornchurch. 

With the scores locked at 1-1 after Tyrone Sterling had cancelled out Jamie Yila’s first half strike, Liburd was fastest to react as Gate keeper Harry Seaden produced a stunning save to keep out Simon Cooper’s effort from a corner.

Yet despite the home side having so much of the ball and so many of the chances, it took a sensational late clearance from Jamie Mascoll to deny Gate top scorer Steve Cawley a tap-in and an equaliser. 

For Stimson, it is now ten games without a win since his arrival at Hartsdown Park, but the former Gillingham boss would have been pleased with his sides efforts as they matched their hosts for long periods without having the killer touch when it was needed.

Chats boss Kevin Hake meanwhile would have been delighted with the way his side recovered from their midweek defeat at Wingate & Finchley on a day when of all the promotion and Play Off chasers, only the Chats and the leaders won. 

Before the game, the home side introduced three new signings, keeper Mitchell Beeney (son of former Gillingham and Sittingbourne keeper Mark), Mascoll and Sid Nelson, and it was the keeper who was first called into action as he kept out Kadell Daniel’s efforts with his legs. 

The new keeper though so very nearly began his Chatham career with egg on his face as moments later, he completely mis-judged a back pass and was the most relieved man in Medway to see the ball roll past his right post and behind for a corner. 

Beeney was again called into action making a fine save to beat out Cawley shot before the home side finally woke up. Jamie Yila picked the ball up wide on the left and he cut inside before curling a simply magnificent effort into the top corner of Seaden’s net to give the home side a half time advantage courtesy of his 12th goal of the season. 

Yila turned provider just after the break, but Khale Da Costa could not keep his header down. 

The home side looked comfortable without getting anywhere near top gear, but they were given a real fright when Sterling got on the end of a fabulous knock down from a free kick to hammer the ball past a despairing Beeney to level the scores. 

It had the desired result for Hake’s side though and they were soon back in front, but it really was tough on Seaden. The Gate keeper pulled off a smart save to keep Cooper’s shot through the crowd out and the ball fell straight to Liburd who buried the chance with glee. 

Seaden again came to Margate’s rescue with a truly remarkable double save to deny Yila and Liburd before Kareem Isiaka blasted over – the keepers first save from Yila was good, but the follow-up block was truly remarkable. 

The visitors thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Cawley got on the end of a great cross yet somehow at the very last second new signing Mascoll whipped the ball off the toes of the Margate top scorer and the chance and Stimson’s hope of getting anything on his return to the Medway Towns went with it. 

CHATHAM TOWN – Beeney, Mascoll, Butler, Dunne, Evans, Kedwell, Da Costa (Isiaka), Yila (Robins), Cooper, Liburd (Dickson), Nelson 

Subs – Scarlett, Nzala 

MARGATE – Seaden, Panyi, Stevenson, Kasim (Rutherford), Sterling, Hudson, Vose (Bowman), Cawley, Daniel, Greenhalgh, Kamara (Knight) 

Subs – Hobbs, Ahmed 

REFEREE – Mr Langley 

Images courtesy of Chatham Town FC