Published: 00:00, 19 January 2018
Steve Watt admits Margate’s performances against Bostik Premier title contenders Billericay and Dulwich Hamlet have left him with mixed feelings.
The Blues were just minutes away from beating Billericay in their 1-1 draw on January 6 and on Saturday defeated leaders Hamlet 1-0 in front of a bumper crowd of 860 at Hartsdown Park.
Watt said the two performances had left him ecstatic but he also admitted he could not help thinking what more the Blues could have achieved without the number of injuries they have had.
The Gate boss lost Alex Flisher to injury before the league season started and has seen a host of other players including Chris Sessegnon, Tom Mills, Jay May and Lenny Pidgeley sidelined for long periods.
Watt said: “Those two results should give the players a lot of confidence but it also makes you think ‘What if?’
“What if ‘Flish’ doesn’t get injured. What if Lenny is fit? What if Millsy doesn’t get injured, or Jay May, Chris Sessegnon?
“On the one hand I’m ecstatic (with those results), I know the squad is good enough, but you will get found out every now and then in games because you are missing these key players.
“It makes you think, you look around the league and I don’t see other teams having as many injuries to one area of the pitch as what we’ve had to deal with. For us to still be in touch with the play-offs is a massive credit to the boys.”
Margate's goalless draw with Leatherhead at Hartsdown Park on Tuesday extended their unbeaten run to four games and Pidgeley is line to make his return in Saturday's home match with Tooting & Mitcham.
The experienced keeper had been on compassionate leave but has been part of the squad for the past fortnight and is available for the Tooting match after loan signing Sam Sargeant returned to National League Leyton Orient.
The 20-year-old has been recalled by The Os ahead of their trip to Halifax this weekend having kept clean sheets in each of his last two Gate appearances.
Boss Watt said: "We're disappointed to be losing Sam and would like to thank him for his professional attitude and application during his time with us.
"Hopefully he has enjoyed the run of games and it will help him in the future.
Welcoming Pidgeley back into the fold Watt added: "Pidge will be back for the game this weekend and we will be looking to consolidate our recent run of form and good defensive displays.
"It will be another testing match for us but we always look forward to the games at Hartsdown Park and will be preparing to put on another good performance for fans."
Margate added to their squad on Friday when they signed 18-year-old full-back Aaron Simpson on loan from League 1 Gillingham. He goes straight into the squad for the Tooting game.