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Margate manager Mark Stimson wants side to keep showing same fight in Isthmian Premier survival bid after 1-1 draw against Cray Wanderers and 1-0 win at Cheshunt

Manager Mark Stimson wants resurgent Margate to keep showing the same level of fight they have done in their last three matches as they attempt to close in on relegation rivals Cheshunt.

Gate breathed fresh life into their Isthmian Premier survival bid with a much-needed 1-0 win at Cheshunt through striker Destiny Oladipo’s goal last Tuesday.

Defender Lewis Knight - scored for Margate in a 1-1 draw at home to Cray Wanderers on Easter Monday. Picture: Randolph File
Defender Lewis Knight - scored for Margate in a 1-1 draw at home to Cray Wanderers on Easter Monday. Picture: Randolph File

Stimson’s side then extended their unbeaten run to three matches with a 1-1 draw at home to Cray Wanderers on Easter Monday after last Saturday’s scheduled trip to Potters Bar was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Boss Stimson said: “We beat Cheshunt and then we got a point on Monday.

“So we have taken four from six, they (Cheshunt) have taken none from six.

“It’s about the next two games now. If we can take another four and they again don’t take any, then, wow, it’s interesting.

“We have got to keep fighting until we cannot fight any more.

Skipper Sam Blackman - has returned from suspension in Margate’s last two games. Picture: Ian Scammell
Skipper Sam Blackman - has returned from suspension in Margate’s last two games. Picture: Ian Scammell

“The good thing is that the boys are doing that. I cannot fault that.

“Just, sometimes, I wish we had a little more quality.”

Margate’s victory was a particularly poignant one at Cheshunt. They dedicated it to supporters’ club chairman Andy Everson, who died last month.

“It’s not about us - this is about the football club,” stated Stimson, with a minute’s applause being held before kick-off against Cray Wanderers.

“We want to keep this football club in this division because there’s so many good people at the football club. Unfortunately, we’ve lost one of them.

Margate manager Mark Stimson. Picture: Randolph File
Margate manager Mark Stimson. Picture: Randolph File

“The boys put in a great performance to get the win at Cheshunt and then, on Monday, there was a minute’s applause.

“That’s probably not long enough. But it’s certainly something which is fully deserved for someone who put so much time and effort into the club.

“He probably would have been proud of the performance on Monday. It’s what you expect at non-league level - with real heart and desire.”

Gate fell behind in the eighth minute as midfielder Enoch Muwonge got his first goal for Cray Wanderers. But Stimson’s side responded through Lewis Knight just before the half-hour mark.

Stimson said: “I think Lewis would admit himself that, for someone of his size, he should be a nuisance in the penalty box. He’s a big lad.

“It’s nice to see him getting involved. He won us the penalty (against Enfield last month) and then, on Monday, scored. Hopefully, he can continue doing that.”

Positive results in Gate’s last two games have coincided with the return of skipper Sam Blackman from suspension.

Stimson said: “I’ve spoken about it probably too often when he wasn’t available, just saying how much of a miss he has been. It just shows.

“He has started four games for me and we’ve had one loss, one win and two draws.

“That goes to show how big he is as an influence but suspensions and injuries have killed him, and killed us to an extent.

“Fingers crossed he stays fit for the remainder of the season.”

Margate visit second-bottom Kingstonian this Saturday, with their weekend hosts all-but relegated.

But Stimson warned: “We have to respect the opposition - no matter what their position is - and we have got to do our job.

“If we do our job, like we have in the last three games, I think we can get more points.”

Gate’s squad is also looking much stronger. Oladipo will return from his one-match ban at Kingstonian while left-back Toby Stevenson is also expected to make his comeback.

“We have taken a lot of young boys to bolster the squad,” said Stimson.

“We still only have 13 senior players and we didn’t have Toby Stevenson on Monday because he had a commitment, so he couldn’t make the game.

“We have taken some young players from Dartford, we have taken some younger ones from our own under-23s, and what the young boys do is they come on with real energy and they have got no fear. Sometimes, in these situations, they can be good.

“But there’s experience, as well. There’s a good blend.”

While Gate’s form has undoubtedly improved, there are only five league fixtures left for them to play and their revival may all have come too late.

Stimson knows every point they can collect could prove vital.

He said: “We’re going for 15. As close to that as possible we can get, that’ll give us the best chance.

“The Cheshunt game was big because, if we’d lost that one, the gap was huge. But we won that and then gained another point on Monday.

“For me, we cannot look too far ahead. We have to look at the next game. We play Kingstonian away, Cheshunt have Lewes at home.”

Margate’s trip to Potters Bar has been rearranged for next Thursday.

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