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Margate manager Steve Watt says win at Thurrock was perfect way to start Bostik Premier campaign

Steve Watt hailed Margate’s 1-0 opening day Bostik Premier win at Thurrock as a perfect start.

Frannie Collin’s early second-half strike claimed the points for injury-hit Gate, with new striker Liam Enver-Marum ruled out after damaging foot tendons in training on Thursday night.

The former Ebbsfleet and Maidstone striker joins fellow new-boys Alex Flisher (knee) and Harry Stannard (ankle) on the Hartsdown Park casualty list.

Margate manager Steve Watt
Margate manager Steve Watt

Better news for boss Watt was Chris Sessegnon playing 90 minutes, after hamstring and knee problems in pre-season, while Orlando Smith started on the bench after passing a late fitness test on his hamstring injury and came on in the second half.

Lee Prescott and Liam Friend, both back from holiday, started the game.

Gate boss Watt said: “Three points, and a clean sheet was the perfect start and we looked sharp.”

He added: “We are not where we should be fitness wise and that showed late in the game, when we sat back and soaked up pressure to see out the game and get the result.

“There were some tired bodies out there at the end but the spirit the guys showed and the way we played was tremendous.

“We should have been out of sight at half time and restricted Thurrock, who scored a lot of goals in pre-season, to only one or two shots on target.”

Flisher was due to get the results of the scans on his knee injury – suffered in stoppage-time against Ramsgate on August 4 – earlier this week, while Enver-Marum’s absence was another setback Watt could have done without.

He said: “We were going through our normal pre-match preparation, Liam went into what looked a normal tackle and injured his foot.”

Gate are due to play their first home game on their new 3G pitch, against Tonbridge on Tuesday before hosting Leiston on Saturday (3pm).

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