Home   Thanet   Sport   Article

Margate manager Mark Stimson not expecting any favours in Isthmian Premier survival bid this Saturday against old club Hornchurch - less than 48 hours after away game with Potters Bar Town

Manager Mark Stimson isn’t expecting any favours from his former club in Margate’s Isthmian Premier survival bid.

Gate, now unbeaten in four games after their 3-1 victory at relegated Kingstonian last weekend, will host champions Hornchurch this Saturday - less than 48 hours after an away match against Potters Bar.

Margate's Ben Greenhalgh - bagged a brace in their weekend 3-1 win. Picture: Randolph File
Margate's Ben Greenhalgh - bagged a brace in their weekend 3-1 win. Picture: Randolph File

While Hornchurch already have the Isthmian Premier title secured, Stimson, who enjoyed an FA Trophy-winning five-year stint with the Urchins before he left last summer, knows they will be in no mood to rest on their laurels.

Ahead of a crucial double-header, Stimson, also frustrated with the Potters Bar match not starting until the slightly later time of 8pm tomorrow night, said: “Potters Bar are mid-table and they have a game on Tuesday so, hopefully, that can help.

“Hornchurch have wrapped the title up but, because of my connections with that group of players, they’re winners.

“It won’t matter if they have won the title or if they have got 10 games to go, they will still want to win.

“That’s going to be a difficult one, especially after our boys are playing on Thursday night and probably not finishing until 10pm.

Tyrone Sterling, of Margate, is unlikely to feature again this season due to injury. Randolph File
Tyrone Sterling, of Margate, is unlikely to feature again this season due to injury. Randolph File

“Obviously, you think of their recoveries, getting home, getting up for work the next day and then they have got to play again against - by far - the best team in the league.

“But we will give it our best shot. The squad is going to be needed.

“We had five substitutes on Saturday and two players who weren’t even involved who have played a lot of football recently.

“Thursday-to-Saturday, you might see four or five changes.”

Gate’s game against Potters Bar will be played on Haringey’s 3G pitch to ensure the match goes ahead.

“It’s a long journey, whichever way,” stated Stimson. “One is astro-turf, one is a grass pitch.

“It might just be better to play on the astro-turf than a muddy grass pitch at the moment. That might be a plus from the fact it’s been moved.”

Dual-registered young Dartford winger Jeremiah Pinder put Margate ahead at Kingstonian before playmaker Ben Greenhalgh bagged a brace - his second a late penalty - either side of the hosts pulling one back.

But Margate remain six points behind Cheshunt after their relegation rivals eased to a 4-0 home win against Lewes.

On Pinder’s performance, Stimson said: “He was excellent.

“I thought he was probably our best player on Saturday.

“He’s someone who wants to take people on and get behind people. That’s a major thing in modern-day football.

“Not being comfortable with passing the responsibility to other people, he committed people, scored one, set up one, so it was a fantastic full debut.”

Greenhalgh has now moved to 12 goals for the campaign.

Stimson said: “Ben is someone we encourage to shoot.

“He was really unfortunate not to score a couple more from long range.

“But to get two goals - one good finish, one nice and calm penalty - was very good for him and the team. We want him to chip in, but other people as well.

“At the moment it doesn’t matter who scores. As long as we get these wins, that’s the most important thing.”

One player unlikely to feature again this term is experienced defender Tyrone Sterling.

“I don’t think we will see him this season,” confirmed Stimson. “He has got a hamstring problem and it looks as though he won’t be available for the rest of the season.

“But the rest of the group, fingers crossed, is in good health.”

Grenada international Sterling is, not only one of Gate’s more experienced heads, but
the 36-year-old offers an option at centre-half and left-back.

“He has been very good since I have been at the club,” added Stimson. “He has been one of the better defenders.

“When we found out it looks as though he won’t be playing for the rest of the season, yes, that was a blow. Touch wood so far, the boys that are playing are playing well.

“I think bigger challenges are to come because of the teams we have got to play - Hornchurch, Wingate & Finchley and Billericay - there’s some good sides there.

“It’s a challenge but we know what we need to do. All we can do is keep doing what we are doing.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More