This evening I decided, after having such a good experience at Dover last Saturday, to follow it up with another East Kent derby game. I travelled to the Belmont ground to watch Whitstable, of the Isthmian League, South East division, (Step 8 of football’s pyramid) play in a preseason friendly against Margate Fc, a league higher (Step 7 of the pyramid) in the Isthmian league, Premier Division.
Margate are currently managed by Jay Saunders, ex-manager of Maidstone United. Whitstable are managed by Lloyd Blackman.
The Belmont ground holds 3000 and although the crowd of 330 this evening were nowhere near that amount, the stands were busy and the Margate drummer, behind the goal, made quite a noise!
The Belmont ground has lots of character, with a clubhouse resplendent with bar, large screen televisions, a fine and well-stocked trophy cabinet, as well as two mannequins complete with the club kits!
There is one medium sized covered stand, with seating and two stands behind the goals, with covered standing provision. There is a refreshment stand, as well as the bar in the clubhouse.
The game started well, with both teams having chances. There was a lot of battling in midfield and neither team could seem to find a way through, to break the deadlock. The game was well fought and held the attention, without it feeling like either team would score. The Margate number 4, Montel Agyemang, seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, keeping his side in the slight ascendency going into the half time break.
The second half continued in the same pattern as the first. Whitstable pushed harder than Margate but despite free kick chances for both sides in the final quarter of the match, the score remained goalless at the final whistle.