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Margate manager Steve Watt wants his side to kick their habit of conceding late goals

By Mark Stokes

Margate manager Steve Watt questioned the mentality of his players after they conceded a 93rd minute equaliser at Harlow on Saturday.

Jay May’s 31st minute header looked like being enough to secure the Gate’s fourth away win of the season in the Bostik Premier, only for Alex Read to bring the home side level.

Watt described Read's strike as probably the worst goal the Blues have conceded this season, and said his side’s habit of letting leads slip late on is one they need to address.

Margate manager Steve Watt Picture: Don Walker
Margate manager Steve Watt Picture: Don Walker

It was the third time this season the Blues have seen three points become one right at the death having previously surrendered home leads against Leiston (2-2) and Harrow Borough (1-1).

Watt explained: “I’ve not had the best of weekends, I can’t lie.

“Frustration is probably the best word to use. I pointed out to the boys after the game that it’s the third time this has happened to us in 12 league matches and for me that’s not good enough.

“I can’t fault the effort of the boys because, in horrendous conditions we executed the gameplan superbly until they scored, but I did question their mentality and ask are we willing to do what we need to win games.

"The goal was probably the worst we've conceded this season, there was a whole list of things that were wrong. They had a free-kick inside our half which was just kicked into our box.

"It was not aimed at anyone but no-one went to try and win it, we then allowed the striker to get the ball down in our box and there was no desire from anyone to try and block the shot.

"I've got a lot of experienced players in the squad and maybe that's it, maybe they all expected someone else to do those things. Whatever the reason it's something we need to look at."

Gate have now gone five games without a win, taking just two points from a possible 12 during that run dropping them to 14th, but Watt said there is certainly no panic at Hartsdown.

He added: “We're not where we want to be at this stage, but I’ve got some good characters in the dressing room and I know how quickly things can turn round.”

The Gate host Corinthian Casuals at Hartsdown in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday and while Watt still plans to include several under-23s he might now field a slightly stronger side than he originally anticipated.

Margate travel to league rivals Staines in the FA Trophy first qualifying round on Saturday.

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