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Margate manager Steve Watt says players let club down in FA Cup defeat to Leatherhead

By Mark Stokes

Steve Watt claimed his players let both themselves and the club down during the second half of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round defeat to Leatherhead.

The Gate boss accused his team of letting their standards drop during in the second 45 minutes which enabled their Bostik Premier rivals to secure a 2-1 victory at Hartsdown.

Sammy Moore’s excellent 75th minute strike broke the deadlock and Jack Midson doubled the Leatherhead lead before Harry Stannard scored Margate’s consolation.

Steve Watt Picture Don Walker

Steve Watt Picture: Don Walker

Boss Watt said: “It was bitterly disappointing, there’s no getting away from that.

"I felt we were in total control of the game in the first half, we had the bulk of possession and created some opportunities, but then for whatever reason we just did not go out and perform in the second half.

“The players dropped their levels and we effectively gave them (Leatherhead) the game.
“It’s the only time this season I don’t think the players have given their all.

“In other games even when we’ve not played as well as we can they’ve given everything, you can see players making last-ditch tackles, blocks and chasing lost causes, but that did not happen on Saturday.

“We only sprang into life once they’d scored but you have to give everything from the first minute to the last.

“By not doing that the players let themselves down and they let the club down because we were desperate to get into the first round proper.

“We wanted to be the non-league club making a name for ourselves, the focus was on writing a new chapter in the history of this club.

“However, we had a good chat afterwards in the dressing room and certainly I don’t expect to see that again, if I do I won’t hesitate to make changes.”

The Gate, 12th in Bostik Premier, return to league action at home to Merstham on Tuesday and Watt is expecting a reaction.

He added: "The good thing about football at this level is that the games come thick and fast. Saturday was disappointing but we move on and it's important we don't lose sight of the fact that we can still have a very successful season."

Striker Frannie Collin remains troubled by a groin problem while Watt reckons Liam Enver-Marum is still another week from being fit enough to join the squad.

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