Concord 2 Margate 1

In typical bank holiday weather Concord entertained Margate at the Aspect Arena and the Beachboys got back to winning ways in a tough contest writes Chris Clark.

The rain constant throughout the day made the playing surface quick and the challenges were flying in a tightly contested first half.  Margate started the more impressive of the two sides, but despite good wing play by Jolley on the left, and Taylor on the right they were unable to create a chance of note in the opening 15 minutes.  Concord slowly eased into the game, with King and Wood in the centre of defence strong and sturdy in the challenge and James White domineering in the centre midfield.

Concord took the lead on 24 minutes, and it was the expert set piece delivery of Ben Greenhalgh who created the goal.  If there was a non-league fantasy football, you’d had Greenhalgh in it, he is an assist machine.  A whipped in corner found the captain James White unmarked and he bulleted his header home from eight yards.  Concord were in front, Margate could feel hard done by…but you’ve got to make possession count.

Margate were concentrating down their attacks down the left, but time and again when well placed Christian Jolley chose the wrong option, or spooned his crosses into the stand.

On 32 minutes, Margate created their best chance of the half.  Danny Greene slipped in Freddie Ladupo on the right hand side of the box, the big front man fired his shot from sixteen yards, and McNamara in the Concord goal turned the shot wide for a corner.  It was a magnificent save.

The rest of the half was hotly contested in midfield with neither side giving an inch.  Soloman Taiwo of Margate was booked for scything down Joe Gardner, in the last action of a tight first half.

Concord 1 Margate 0

The second half began as the rain finally relented and again the game was played at a furious pace in midfield.  There was a flashpoint in the 54th minute as Keaton Wood held back Danny Greene as Margate broke away.  Glenn Walker took umbrage at this foul, and threw his toys out of the pram.  This lead to both sides squaring up to each other.  Wood was rightly booked for the original foul, and Walker was always booked for his petulance which led to the melee.  Due to the weather conditions the ball was incredibly slippery, and a perfect example of this was in the 56th minute as Margate whipped in a corner and Ben McNamara punched the ball against his own post.  It was a close shave for Concord, but Margate were knocking on the door.

Margate got a deserved equaliser on 65 minutes.  Ladapo earned a free kick 25 yards from goal, and Soloman Taiwo stepped up and curled the free kick home into the top right hand corner.  It was a lovely strike.  Concord immediately made a change, and Bertie Brayley who had ran himself into the ground up front was taken off, and Steve Cawley was brought in.

After Margate equalised, Concord sprung back into life, an enterprising run by Joe Gardner found Taaffe in the box, and his shot was deflected away for a corner.  The resulting corner fell to James White on the edge of the box, who half volleyed at goal and it was cleared away on the line.

The game was now going from end to end as both sides pressed for the winner, Ladapo with a great turn on the edge of the Concord box and he was in…one on one with McNamara…Ladapo struck the ball hard and low, and McNamara turned it over the ball.  A decisive moment in the match.

Into the final ten minutes, and the assist machine Greenhalgh was at it again.  Ben broke from midfield and he found Steve Cawley on the left hand side of the penalty area unmarked twelve yards out…Cawley calmed side footed the ball in off the far post to give Concord the lead.  Cawley ran to the home fans to celebrate with them.  Could Concord now hold onto a vital lead?

Margate poured forward looking for an immediate response and the full back Walker turned inside the Concord penalty area on 85 minutes, he hit a curling effort which looked like all the world that it would nestle in the far corner, but it went agonisingly wide. Into the last minute, and Steve King brought down Danny Greene in exactly the same spot Taiwo equalised from…could he repeat the trick?  Taiwo stepped up…and tried the left hand corner this time…it went wide.  Concord defended resolutely for the final minutes of injury time to hold on for a vital win.  The boys were back to winning ways!

Full Time

Concord 2 Margate 1

Concord line up

McNamara, Walker, Lee, King, Wood, White (capt), Cornhill, Greenhalgh (off 85mins), Gardner (off 90mins), Brayley (off 65mins), Taaffe

Subs – Morrison-Derbyshire on 90mins, Cawley on 65mins, Doyle on 85mins.

Not used – Fox, Duyile.