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Margate manager Steve Watt looks ahead to 'pivotal' game with Staines Town

By Mark Stokes

Margate travel to Staines on Saturday for a match which could prove crucial to both clubs’ chances of making the Bostik Premier play-offs.

The Gate's 2-0 home defeat to Kingstonian on Tuesday left Steve Watt’s side in fifth, three points clear of Leiston, four ahead of Leatherhead and five in front of Staines who drew 4-4 at home to Folkestone Invicta in their third game of the week on Thursday.

Staines have two games in hand on the Blues and Gate boss Watt admits the promotion picture could be a lot clearer by the end of the weekend.

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

Watt, who watched Staines lose 5-3 at Billericay on Monday, said: “They must look at this week and see it as pivotal, I know I would if I were their manager.

“They’ve got games in hand but their margin for error is getting less.

“We know it’s a big game on Saturday but I’ve got a team who are confident of beating anyone in this league when they play to their full potential.

“It will be whoever turns up on the day and we’ve proved this season that our players enjoy playing in the big games.

“Often it’s the games we’re expected to win when the mindset isn’t right.”

Watt felt that was the case against Kingstonian, telling the club's website that he thought the players looked tired.

He said: “We never looked like we were going to get going, we looked lethargic. We looked like a tired team for whatever reason and at this stage in the season, it’s not acceptable to put out performances like that.

"We were able to come out of it on Saturday (when they came from 2-0 down to beat Harlow 4-2 at home), we had enough chances to do the same tonight but it wasn’t to be.”

For the fourth game running, Gate finished with 10 men after defender Ben Swift was sent off following an incident in which he appeared to jab Kingstonian's Monolis Gogonas with a corner flag.

Watt had no sympathy saying: “ It was a moment of madness and I don’t know what Swifty was thinking. It’s a problem now, as we seem to be struggling to get through a game without going down to 10 men which cannot continue to happen.

“Some of the other recent red cards have been unlucky but tonight’s was silly and indefensible.”

George Essuman’s red in Saturday's win over Harlow means he’s unavailable for the trip to Staines and fellow defender Tom Mills also misses out through the final game of his three-game ban.

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