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Boss Nikki Bull slams Margate's defending after throwing away first half lead before Christian Jolley's late winner

By Andrew Gidley

Nikki Bull slammed Margate's defending as totally unacceptable and admitted they were lucky to beat 10-man Maidenhead 3-2 in Vanarama National South at Hartsdown Park.

Christian Jolley maintained boss Bull's unbeaten home record since taking charge, with the 86th minute winner, after Gate lived dangerously in the second half conceding a 2-0 half time lead inside five minutes of the restart.

Ebbsfleet loanees Sean Shields and Matt Johnson put them in front, only for visiting half-time substitute Sam Barratt to score twice.

Margate FC striker Christian Jolley. Picture: Martin Apps
Margate FC striker Christian Jolley. Picture: Martin Apps

The Berkshire side then had skipper Alan Massey dismissed for a second yellow card soon afterwards, but Gate goalkeeper Chris Lewington who admitted he could have done better for both goals, kept his side in the game, before Jolley popped up to win the game, scoring his long overdue first goal of the season.

The victory maintained Bull's unbeaten home start since taking charge but he was far from happy.

He said: "If we had defended the first 15 minutes of the second half properly, it would have been a comfortable game, winning 2-0, maybe 3-0 on the break, and it was totally unacceptable."

"We gave them a lift, then another one, and suddenly we are staring down the barrel of a game we were totally in control of.

"I am not going to blame the wind as an excuse, we play here every week, we all know what it does here. my players should know how to deal with it, and we didn't.

"I was pleased with the character of the side, despite the adversity of potentially losing the game, they did find a way of winning it, so I have to commend them for that, but we got ourselves in a position we should never have been in."

Bull revealed that Johnson could be staying at the club, with a meeting planned with the board on Sunday to discuss the situation.

However he hinted it was unlikely that the club will extend Shields' loan.

He said: "I hope to wrap up a deal for Matt early next week, Sean is more difficult, purely on the finances.

"I am meeting the chief executive and the board, and if it makes sense we will do it, but I am not here to tax the owner's pocket, I am here to balance the books and give him more value for money.

"I am happy with the squad I have got, and am only going to bring people in if they are going to add something."

Bull also says Lewington is set to sign a contract which will keep him at the club for the rest of the season.

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