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Margate manager Reece Prestedge urges out-of-form players to string 90-minute performances together consistently ahead of Isthmian Premier trips to Bognor Regis Town and Enfield Town

Manager Reece Prestedge has urged Margate’s out-of-form players to string together complete 90-minute performances consistently - and concedes they must start doing so quickly.

Gate are only four points clear of the Isthmian Premier relegation zone after they lost 3-1 at home to promotion-chasing Billericay on Saturday, despite striker Steve Cawley’s second-half penalty.

Margate boss Reece Prestedge – his side will aim to end a five-game winless run tonight. Picture: Randolph File
Margate boss Reece Prestedge – his side will aim to end a five-game winless run tonight. Picture: Randolph File

For Margate, who also lost 1-0 at Horsham in the league last Tuesday, it was a third successive defeat which extended their winless streak to five matches.

Reflecting on their recent poor form, Gate’s boss said: “The performances have been all right.

“Unfortunately, the defensive side let us down on Saturday. But we have spoken about it and they know.

“We just need a complete performance, if I’m honest. We just need our performance to be the same in the first half and the second half, and we need to be good on the ball attacking-wise and good defensively.

“Everything just needs to mould together - and it’s got to happen quite quickly because things in football can quickly change.”

Margate will now look to start turning their fortunes around on the road. They visit another side in the play-off places, Enfield, this Saturday, having been due to travel to Bognor Regis tonight.

Prestedge said: “To be fair to our fans, they have still been brilliant, cheering the boys on. They get loud for us.

“Even when we’re away, we do get a little bunch that come away and they’re brilliant. They’re there for every away game.

“We just need to go into these away games, be confident and start picking up some results.

“If you win on Tuesday and win on Saturday, then you’re back up in the mix of it.”

Prestedge was disappointed with his side’s defending against Billericay, conceding the second on the stroke of half-time after ex-Gillingham and Herne Bay midfielder Bradley Stevenson had put the visitors ahead on eight minutes.

He reflected: “We started off, for the first couple of minutes, very well - but then we had a 15-minute or 20-minute spell of just being all over the place defensively, really.

“We got a foothold in the game, started moving it about and started creating chances. Then, from our corner, their keeper gets hold of it, we don’t get players running back and they score with the last kick of the half.

“That kills you just before you’re going in at half-time.”

One positive for Gate from the Billericay game was the return of on-loan young Dartford midfielder Olly Box after briefly being recalled by his parent club.

“He gives us energy up there,” noted Prestedge. “He knows how to play the sort of role we asked him to play, despite being a young lad.

“Olly helps Steve quite a bit, to be fair. He was one of our more creative outlets on Saturday and gave us a real push going forwards.”

Defender Lewis Knight is set to miss the Bognor match through suspension while other members of the squad were due to have minor injuries assessed.

Prestedge added: “Other than that, we just need to start pulling together because it feels like someone is out every week at the moment.”

Margate also are set to travel to Whitehawk in a rearranged Velocity Cup Third Round clash on Tuesday.

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