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We open our 50th consecutive season tomorrow in the top flight of the Isthmian League with a seaside trip to Margate. So why not make a day of it, have a day by the coast and hopefully see the Greens start the season on a positive note.
Margate's manager Chris Kinnear has made a number of new signings during the summer as they look to improve on their 15th place finish last season. They have a new face in goal in the form of Craig Holloway, who was a teammate of Dean Cracknell at Welling United last season. Defender Phil Starkey has signed during the summer from Dover Athletic, midfielder Sam Long has joined from Cray Wanderers, winger Alex Rhodes was with Canvey Island last season, experienced striker Carl Rook ended last season with AFC Hornchurch and fellow prolific striker Tommy Whitnell was another who was at Cray Wanderers last term. All these signings have added some much needed depth to the Margate squad, and many are tipping them to be challenging at the top of the table this season.
Gary McCann and his backroom team have been working very hard with the squad over the past few weeks to make sure that they are fit and raring to go and ready to build on the 7th place finish last season.
Last season, the away team came out on top in both games, the Greens winning 2-0 at Hartsdown Park in September with goals from Jamie Busby and Kevin Maclaren, whilst at Vale Farm, two goals from Tom Murphy and one from Tom Bradbrook earnt Margate a 3-0 win over an injury & illness ravaged Hendon. In fact, there has been no win for the home side in fixtures against Margate since we won 1-0 at Claremont Road in April 2007. Another strange statistic from games against Margate is that Hendon have been awarded a penalty in each of the last seven league meetings!
The game at Hartsdown Park kicks off at 3.00pm, admission for adults is £10, for concessions is £7 and for under 16s is £3. Under 10s accompanied by an adult will not be charged. Matchday programmes will be £2.
We all saw how much the support at the Olympics spurred Team GB on to numerous excellent performances, so lets all concentrate on getting behind the team throughout the season, and hopefully cheer them on to many victories during the campaign.