TOP - A view across Margate's Main bay from The Turner Contemporary Gallery steps
BOTTOM - Margate's famous Harbour arm.
Regular readers of TheColdEnd will know my family and I love to spend a summer's week or two in Kent - Last season I managed to watch Deal Town v Ramsgate and Herne Bay v Tonbridge Angels in pre-season friendly games (2018 link), Ramsgate v Greenwich Borough in the Kent Senior Cup in 2017 (link) and Whitstable Town v Oakwood in the FA Cup in 2016 (Link).
This year was no different as I'm very fortunate to have a very understanding wife! If you haven't spent time in Thanet and the surrounding area I can highly recommend it - They have some of the best beaches in England in my opinion.
I was able to watch two games with my lad as we took in Margate v Brightlingsea Regent on the opening day of the Betvictor Isthmian Premier Division season and Ramsgate v Chichester City on Saturday 17th August in the South-East Division.
SOME OF REGENT'S LOYAL SUPPORTER'S WHO MADE THE TRIP TO KENT FROM ESSEX
The bookmakers had Margate odd's on favourites to win the game versus Brightlingsea Regent - The Gate have made some impressive signings under manager Jay Saunders. It was former Dover Athletic forward Kadell Daniel (who has joined the club on a full time basis after being on loan for some of last season) who caught the eye in the first half. He was a constant threat on the right wing with some great skill and pace. Right-Back Chris Sessegnon (older brother of new Spur's signing Ryan) also looks a great addition to the squad at Hartsdown Park.
Regent were a resilient, tenacious and hard working team - they grew into the game on a very blustery day by the Kent seaside. Billy Hunt held the ball up very well up front with Josh Gould and Matthew Cripps in the centre of defence tireless.
Kadell Daniel, who has full International caps for Guyana, should of scored at least once but it wasn't to be and the game ended 0-0 with the away side very good value for their point. Regent would of enjoyed their 100 mile + coach journey home to Essex - perhaps The Gate could sail across to Essex in a boat in the return fixture which is only around 30 miles in distance.
It was no surprise to read Daniel scored the two goals in Gate's 2-2 draw against Hornchurch in their next game.
Hartsdown Park is easily reached from the train station and the pubs and bars on the seafront are only a short stroll away so I would say it's a great place to visit especially if the sun is shinning.
A VIEW OVER RAMSGATE'S ROYAL HARBOUR
It was Ramsgate v Chichester City on Saturday 17th August with the visitor's playing their first ever game at Step Four of the non-league ladder after winning the Southern Combination Premier Division last season. This was my second visit to Southwood, it's a lovely ground with all the staff and volunteers always giving you a wonderful friendly welcome - the well stocked club and programme shop is brilliant.
The ground is always easily accessed by a short walk from the train station although my advice would be get to the town early and visit the only Royal Harbour in the United Kingdom - There are some very nice pubs, bars and restaurants to visit here. The Royal Victoria Pavilion Weatherspoon pub is huge with the outside area overlooking the beach and harbour a brilliant place to sit and watch the world go by.
THE COLIN HILL STAND IS A GREAT PLACE TO WATCH FOOTBALL FROM. IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO THE MAIN STAND AT FAVERSHAM TOWN
CHICHESTER CITY DEFENDER RYAN PEEKE WAS SUBBED IN THE FIRST HALF AFTER A CLASH OF HEADS WITH A RAMSGATE PLAYER. HOPEFULLY HE'LL BE BACK FOR THEIR NEXT GAME.
The Rams, like their local rival's Margate, have also made some impressive signings over the summer months and are looking to improve on their 11th place finish last season. Aaron Lamont (who made 41 appearances for Kingstonian in the Premier Division last season) started for them in midfield - He has also played for Truro City and Hampton & Richmond Borough and came through the academy ranks at Queens Park Rangers. They also included defender Jack Morrell (on loan from Gillingham) in their starting line up.
In the opening half an hour it was The Rams who looked the better side with City giving the ball away in midfield and relying too much on the diagonal ball from left towards Callum Overton on the right hand side of midfield. The home side took a deserved lead after 8 minutes when Ollie Guy finished from close range. The vistors grew into the game and had a few chances to equalise before the half time break but went in 0-1 down. They did make it 1-1 when they broke forwards thanks to a cheeky nutmeg from Jamie Horncastle and then some great work from centre forward Scott Jones to put in the Matt Axcell who slotted home from the edge of the box.
Ram's substitute William Johnson-Cole showed some good touches and skill on the left hand side of midfield/attack - He was making his debut for the club after stepping up from Step Five side Punjab United - He also played for Sevenoaks Town last season.
It was in the last minute that Chichester broke forward and Kaleem Haitham was brought down by Ram's keeper Will Godmon for a penalty to be awarded - there were no arguments from the home side.
Matt Axcell stepped up and capped a Man of The Match performance by confidently scoring the spot kick right down the middle of the goal to seal a memorable 1-2 victory for City.
Ramsgate's scheduled midweek game on Tuesday at Ashford United has already been postponed as the home side have problems with their floodlights. City host Whyteleafe on Tuesday evening - they drew 2-2 with Herne Bay in their opening game.
The Rams next game is in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round when they travel to West Sussex to play Steyning Town who play in the Southern Combination Premier Division - the same step 5 division that Chichester City won last season. Steyning Town were promoted from Division One after finishing runner's up last season.
JUST THE GOALS
A FEW MORE HIGHLIGHTS