There’s another busy day in store at the Camping World Community Stadium this Saturday as the Hornets return home after three weeks away with a match against mid-table Margate.
Back-to-back wins over Bowers & Pitsea, on their last match on home ‘soil’, and at Potters Bar Town a fortnight ago, put Dom Di Paola’s side back on top of the BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division and that’s where they remain, despite the disappointment of last weekend’s postponement at Kingstonian.
By contrast Margate, who just over a decade ago were playing National League football against the likes of Yeovil Town and Forest Green Rovers, have struggled to find true consistency, winning just six of their 16 matches thus far. Victories over Conference South Concord Rangers in the FA Cup, and high-flying East Thurrock in the league, give hint of The Gate’s capabilities this season but at the opposite end of the spectrum they were recently humbled 6-1 at home by Bognor Regis Town while late goals conceded in their last two matches against Bishop’s Stortford and Potters Bar have cost them three important points.
But Jay Leader’s side, who were tipped by some as potential title winners, have a good mix of experience and exciting youngsters that, Di Paola feels, are sure to start climbing the table soon enough. “For whatever reason, some clubs just start the season slowly and that’s what seems to have happened at Margate” said the Hornets’ boss. “But look at the talent in the squad and they’re quite capable of putting a run together and moving up the table. Kadell Daniel should be playing at a higher level, Jack Richards has been in the Conference with Maidstone, Noel Leighton was at Dagenham & Redbridge, and they have another four or five who are capable of hurting you so we won’t be taking anything for granted.”
It is more than seven years since we last faced Margate in a competitive fixture, when goals by Dean Hill and Tom Bradbrook rendered Kery Kedzie’s reply a mere statistic in a 2-1 loss at Goring’s Mead. That reverse was very much in keeping with results between the two sides at the start of the current decade in which the Hornets failed to win any of five successive meetings, including a 6-1 thrashing at Hartsdown Park in 2010 that remains the biggest margin of victory by either side.
Overall, though, results are much closer with Margate having won five and Horsham four of the 12 matches to date. Can the Hornets draw level on five wins apiece? Get yourself down to the Camping World Community Stadium this Saturday and find out!
The match kicks off at 3pm but early arrivals will be able to enjoy live coverage of the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City from 1230pm on the clubhouse’s big screen. Still want more for your afternoon out? Then stay with us after the final whistle when we can not only offer you all the live action from St Mary’s where Southampton host Watford but we will be launching our brand new darts competition from 6pm.
We can’t imagine ANYONE will want to miss this one but, if you’re one of the unfortunate few unable to get down to Hop Oast then you can follow the game through our regular Twitter updates @HorshamFC