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Margate manager Reece Prestedge expects Italian Roberto Ratti to offer something different to their frontline

Roberto Ratti will offer something different to Margate’s frontline, manager Reece Prestedge believes.

Blues fans got their first glimpse of the Italian who was introduced at half-time in Saturday’s 1-0 friendly defeat at National League South Tonbridge and found the net - only to be denied by the offside flag.

Frontman Roberto Ratti, seen here in Ashford United colours, right, has joined Isthmian Premier Margate. Picture: Ian Scammell
Frontman Roberto Ratti, seen here in Ashford United colours, right, has joined Isthmian Premier Margate. Picture: Ian Scammell

The 24-year-old counts Dover, Tonbridge, Ashford and Herne Bay among his former clubs and has played alongside Gate player-assistant Ben Greenhalgh previously.

Prestedge said: “He has bags of energy. He has got quality and works hard.

“Obviously, he’s different from the other wingers we’ve got.

“It will be good to get him some more minutes and get him right for the start of the season.”

The Margate manager was without skipper Sam Blackman and Steve Cawley for their clash with Jay Saunders’ Angels, midfielder Tommie Fagg netting the only goal.

“It was a good game to be fair,” noted Prestedge, who gave minutes to youngsters George Lamb, Fyn Rutherford and Rory Sutcliffe.

“It was a good test.

“Tonbridge are a very good outfit. I know Jay well and his teams are always going to be hard-working, and they had quality in their side.

“I think we have to take the positives out of a 1-0 loss to a team in the league above and who I expect to finish in a good position next year.”

Margate registered a 3-2 pre-season comeback victory at Southern Counties East Premier Division Corinthian last Tuesday. Greenhalgh claimed three assists, two for Cawley and one for Blackman.

Prestedge reflected: “That’s the positive we have to take out of it, the character we had to come back when it became a bit of a feisty game.

“Obviously, we worked hard. It was nice to see Steve get a couple of goals.

“Even when you’re not playing well as a team, you can get the ball in the box and he will score.”

With their opening-day Isthmian Premier home match against Whitehawk on August 12 rapidly approaching, Margate are due to visit Erith & Belvedere tonight and are set to host fellow Isthmian South East side Sheppey on Saturday as they go through final preparations.

Prestedge said: “That’s how I look at the next two games. People will be getting longer minutes and there will not be as much chopping and changing.

“We want to build some momentum into the first game.”

There’s plenty of uncertainty at Sheppey at the moment, though, with manager Jack Midson and chairman Matt Smith having left this summer.

“Nothing has been said to us about not playing it,” revealed Prestedge. “But we just have to wait and see.

“Hopefully, it goes ahead and it will be a good finish to pre-season.”

Winger Muhammed Cham, who has featured for the Blues in their pre-season schedule, has now signed.

Margate Women had been due to play Tonbridge in a weekend double-header but Gate had to withdraw from the fixtures due to several injuries.

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