Margate held to a draw by Tooting and Mitcham
MARGATE were held to a draw by already relegated Tooting and Mitcham United on Saturday who gave a performance that belied their position in the drop zone.
In reality, Tooting could consider themselves unlucky not have taken all three points. Margate shaded the opening half and went into the break a goal to the good but Tooting stepped up a gear in the second half and could easily have won the game after they equalised.
Manager Chris Kinnear started with the same 11 as against Cray the week before and the Blues started well with John Beales shooting over from a Matt Bodkin corner.
Tom Bradbook was causing the Tooting defence a whole manner of problems in the first half but was unable to convert his chances – a theme which would continue for the striker throughout the rest of the game.
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The Blues took the lead just before the half hour mark.
Matt Bodkin got the better of Tooting defender Jordan Binns who then brought the winger down on the left-edge of the box. Bodkin dusted himself down and lifted the free-kick into the far top corner of the goal to give Gate the lead.
Tooting then started to exert some pressure and the Blues were thankful to Laurence Ball (twice) and Overland for somehow keeping out a number of the home sides efforts on goal.
Bradbrook should have doubled Gate's lead just before half-time after a misunderstanding between defender and keeper but the Maragte striker didn't hit the ball well enough and it was hacked off the line.
Five minutes in to the second half, Tooting got the equaliser that their higher energy and tempo deserved.
Gate lost the ball midway inside the Tooting half and the ball was picked up by Lee Hall who ran the best part of 50 yards before curling a brilliant shot past Overland into the top corner from just outside the box.
Tooting were now enjoying more possession but Margate looked dangerous going forward, Bodkin stinging the palms of Tooting keeper Campbell that prevented Gate taking the lead.
Tooting were playing with the freedom of an already relegated side but Gate did have the ball in the net late on through Burchell who had replaced Bradbook but it was ruled out for offside.
Margate: Overland, Pooley, Hill (Robinson 68), Avery, Ball, Beales, Bodkin, Corneille (Sherlock 87), Bradbrook (Burchell 77), Murphy, Stubbs.
Subs not used: Cloke, Lamprell.