Margate vs Cray Wanderers – Isthmian Premier – Monday 1st April, 2024 – Match Report


Margate                                        1

Knight 27

Cray Wanderers                           1

Muwonge 8 mins

Cray Wanderers confirmed another season of Isthmian Premier league football next season after a Easter Monday draw at Margate which also kept their chances of avoiding the drop alive. 

Cray began the game on the front foot and took the lead in the 8th minute when Enoch Muwonge scored his first Wands goal when he slotted home down the right of the area.  Margate fought their way back into the game and levelled in the 27th minute through Lewis Knight and both teams came close to winning the match through Steve Cawley for Margate and Gary Lockyer in stoppage time for Cray.

The point leaves Cray on 47 points after 37 games while Margate moved on to 30 points in 19th place, six behind Cheshunt who were beaten at Enfield Town.

The Wands were looking to build on Good Friday’s 2-2 draw with Chatham Town and from the side which started that game came Anthony Cook in place of George Porter.  Margate were unbeaten in two games and from the side which won at Cheshunt on 26th March came Kadell Daniel for Toby Stevenson.

Before the game there was a minute’s applause for Margate’s Supporter’s Club Chairman Andy Everson who recently passed away which was impeccably observed.

On a bright if slightly blowy Easter Monday Cray began the game confidently and Margate looked fragile and the Wands came close when Anthony Cook down the right saw a shot blocked and Enoch Muwonge shot over the top.

However, in the 8th minute Cray took the lead when Muwonge was played through down the right of the area and with the angle tightening rolled the ball into the net for his first Cray Wanderers goal.

Margate looked to get a foothold in the game and from a free kick Ben Greenhalgh saw a shot deflected behind for a corner.  Then for the Wands, Cook fired over from a free kick and Emmanuel Kwatchey’s cross found Ellis Brown but his effort was blocked.

In the 20th minute Margate came close when down the right of the area top scorer Steve Cawley was denied by a blocked save by Shaun Rowley.

Margate made an early substitution with Jeremiah Pinder coming n for Yaser Kasim and in the 27th minute levelled when a left wing cross missed the onrushing Sam Blackman but at the far post fell to Lewis Knight to fire into the net.

Shortly after Blackman saw an effort saved and from a free kick down the left of the area Greenhalgh’s ball into the box was steered wide of the right post by the head of Cawley.

Cray had the ball in the net through Jack Holland when from a free kick from Frankie Raymond was glanced on by Tom Bonner but the flag was raised for offside.

Before half time from a corner Bonner saw an effort blocked and then from another corner, the ball came to Raymond whose strike was saved by Harry Seaden.

HT:  1-1

After a lively first half the second was a bit quieter with Cray perhaps having the better of the game but not quite able to convert the chances created.

Firstly, in the 52nd minute a free kick from Raymond out on the right was headed on target by Tom Bonner but held.   Margate came close when Pinder set up Greenhalgh for a shot which went fractionally past the left post and then a minute later fired wide again.

For Cray, Muwonge who had a very positive game for the Wands put over a cross for the head of Gary Lockyer but just lacked sufficient power and was claimed by Seaden.

The game went through something of a lull with Cray bringing on Josh Hallard and Tom Beere for the latter stages of the match.

In the 75th minute, Hallard down the right laid over a cross which came to David Ijaha whose strike from the edge of the area was held by Seaden.

Then with five minutes to go Raymond’s fine pass found Muwonge but his shot again from the edge of the area was saved.

With Margate perhaps content for a point, Cray almost grabbed a winner in stoppage time when Hallard’s left wing cross came to Lockyer whose header was met by a fine one handed save by Seaden and held onto the ball on the line

Then Muwonge was played through but Seaden did well to block any potential shot and in the end the game finished in a draw which probably suited both teams with Cray’s confirming safety from relegation after a difficult start to the season and Margate with five games to go gaining a point which keeps their hopes of staying up alive.

Cray in 14th place now go into the last five games of the season looking to end with a flourish and next face in-form Hashtag United on Friday, 5th April, 7.45 pm.

Margate: Harry Seaden, Yaser Kasim (Jeremiah Pinder, 23), Harry Hudson, Lewis Knight, Teddy Perkins, Fyn Rutherford, Mohammed Kamara, Sam Blackman, Kadell Daniel, Ben Greenhalgh, Steve Cawley (Louie Atkins, 78)

Booked: Daniel 51, Rutherford 59, Knight 89

Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Emmanuel Kwatchey, Jack Holland, Tom Bonner, Sam Wood, David Ijaha, Ellis Brown (Josh Hallard, 59), Frankie Raymond, Anthony Cook (Tom Beere, 78), Enoch Muwonge, Gary Lockyer: Subs:  Alfie Evans, Charlie Paye, Archie Johnson

Booked: Muwonge 13, Cook 41, Bonner 89

Referee: Kane Dempster

Assistants: Christopher Cannon, Freddie Young


Attendance: 336