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Margate joint boss Mike Sandmann says his side will benefit from a Saturday off

By Mark Stokes

Mike Sandmann believes that not having a game this weekend is probably something of a blessing for Margate.

The Gate joint boss admits it would be nice to try and build on Saturday's encouraging 1-1 home draw with Worthing, but concedes that bodies are a bit thin on the ground at Hartsdown.

The withdrawal on Friday of Alex Flisher with a hamstring injury meant the Gate were down to just 10 fit first team players prior to the signing that afternoon of striker David Smith, on loan from National League Dover.

Margate joint boss Mike Sandmann Picture: Don Walker
Margate joint boss Mike Sandmann Picture: Don Walker

Sandmann explained: "We knew 'Flish' was struggling on the Thursday, that he was touch and go, and when he said Friday he wouldn't be fit it left us with 10 first team players,

"David's loan at Sittingbourne had just come to an end so we jumped at the chance to bring him in. We also had Sid Warden, who was back for Christmas from America where he's been doing really well, and a couple of the under-23s.

"If I'm honest the break this weekend probably comes a good time because it will give us the chance to get a few players back as well as resting one or two players who have been playing with niggles and knocks.

"Hopefully 'Flish' will be back and it will also give us a chance to try and get James Rogers up to speed so that perhaps he can be involved in some way for the game at Haringey (on January 19).

"Rogo is desperate to get back out there, if anything we've had to rein him in a bit but that's what you want as a manager, someone who is desperate to play."

Sandmann felt his team were well worth their point against Worthing, secured by Frannie Collin's 88th minute penalty which cancelled out 's 53rd minute opener for the visitors. Warden had earned the spot kick after drawing a foul in the box.

Sandmann explained: "I thought the performance was good against a very good side, they move the ball really well but we limited them to very few chances which was pleasing.

"We switched off for their goal which knocked the stuffing out of us for 10 minutes but we carried on probing and I don't think anyone could question the players' workrate or desire.

Margate's new signing David Smith in action against Worthing Picture: Don Walker
Margate's new signing David Smith in action against Worthing Picture: Don Walker

"We've said let's make it a turning point in our season. Until Saturday we've been the team conceding late on in games, dropping points when we should be getting all three so we're hoping that moment can signal a change in our fortunes."

Smith has joined from Crabble on a month's loan and Sandmann says the big front man made a good impact against Worthing.

He added: "David is someone I tried to sign in the summer but he went on trial at Dover and did really well.

"He only met the rest of the squad on the day but for his first game I thought he did really well. He's quick and strong with good attributes and he caused them problems."

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