Isthmian Premier Division Sat 5 January Hartsdown Park
  • Collin (88')
  • Ajiboye (52')

With the recent departures of Reece Myles-Meekums and (temporarily) Rhyle Ovenden, Hinsh’s hand was forced, somewhat, into making one or two tweaks to the side that beat Corinthian Casuals at home last week. Ricky Aguiar came in for Darren Budd and Alex Parsons returned to the fold, as Aarran Racine took his place on the bench – but this time, with his playing kit on – alongside Jasper Pattenden, who was in for the unwell Joe Clarke.

It took just two minutes for the visitors to signal their intent, when Ollie Pearce pounced on a loose clearance by Ben Swift, only to find the safe hands of Louis Wells in Gate’s goal.

Jesse Starkey bravely blocked from Chris Barnard, although the hosts failed to capitalise, as Jack Paxman couldn’t keep his cross in play.

David Ajiboye was at the heart of Red’s next two chances; first heading wide from Aguiar’s right wing delivery – after Sam Rents had back-heeled a free-kick into his path – then getting the faintest of touches to his ball in from the opposite flank, as it drifted wide. Before Ricky himself had a shot, which took a slight deflection off Connor Dymond on it’s way through to Wells, once Rent’s corner had been headed away by Frannie Collin, but only as far as the loitering midfielder.

However, a set-piece at the other end nearly proved to be The Westerners undoing, as the aforementioned Collin played it to his left to allow Dave Martin a free run into the area, where he unleashed a powerful drive that flew millimetres over the bar.

The Boys in Blue continued on the attack, with Collin controlling a long ball just inside the byline and pulling it back to Tom Mills, whose delicately dinked ball across to Barnard was steered marginally the wrong side of the far post by the number seven’s bonce.

Margate came even closer to breaking the deadlock a few minutes later, after a spell of head tennis eventually ended with Ben Swift locating an unmarked Collin, who smashed home from an offside position.

Worthing’s response derived from the boot of Callum Kealy but, his effort was blocked.

The second period commenced with Ajiboye receiving Starkey’s long, hooked pass down the left touchline and subsequently twisting and turning past Liam Friend, to pick out Parsons in space, over on the right-hand side of the area, where, despite taking a touch, the wing-back wasn’t able to keep his shot down.

Then, in homage to last Saturday’s opening goal, Pearce latched onto Racine’s long ball from the back and held off the attentions of Paxman, before this time, teeing up Ajiboye to curl home past a motionless Wells into the bottom corner of the net.

Aguiar volleyed a sidewinder over, as the visitors looked to increase their lead but they almost found themselves pegged back, when Swift beat teammate Dymond to a corner but headed fractionally over the crossbar.

The next fourteen minutes or so contained as much action as BBC One’s ‘The Greatest Dancer,’ until Parsons attempted something similar to Aguiar, which resulted in the same outcome.

With eight minutes to go, Ajiboye left Swift for dead and surged towards the box, where Friend’s tackle fell kindly for Aguiar to fire a deflected effort over and out, for a corner.

Racine so nearly marked his return to the team with a goal, only to watch on helplessly as his header was cleared off the line, using the same part of his anatomy, by Collin.

The corner that followed produced the save of the match from the otherwise, largely underemployed, Wells; flying to his right to push away Joel Colbran’s thundering header from Aguiar’s flag-kick.

Three minutes were left on the clock when Paxman took down Well’s huge clearance and cut in from the right touchline, looked to play a one-two with substitute, Sid Warden but the attempted return pass was intercepted by Rents, whose second touch was a heavy one and he brought down the recently introduced replacement, for a stonewall penalty. The spot-kick was slammed home by the experienced Collin, leaving Perntreou with no chance.

The final opportunity of the afternoon emanated from Aguiar’s corner in stoppage time that, unfortunately, evaded everyone in the six yard box.