'Gate Held in Season Opener By Gareth Anstice plus Rhod Mitchell report
'Gate Held in Season Opener By Gareth Anstice plus Rhod Mitchell (West Briton) report
'Gate Held in Season Opener By Gareth Anstice
A Nikki Bull penalty save helped earn ten man Margate a point on their return to the National League South, as they drew 1-1 with Truro City.
A frenetic second half saw Danny Green open the scoring for the hosts, before Aaron Dawson equalised soon after. David Hunt was given his marching orders for a foul on Isaac Vassell in the box only for Bull to pull off a superb save from Edward Palmer's spot kick, as both teams had to settle for a point.
Margate dominated the opening half, with Christian Jolley surging through and slotting home early on, only to be given offside.
Jolley then saw Martin Rice save well with his legs, as he received a great through ball from Lewis Taylor and shot low at goal.
Ryan Moss headed wide of the target from 18 yards and hit a stunning bicycle kick off target as Margate kept up their high intensity play.
Late in the half Truro twice came close, as Nikki Bull had to race off his line to deny Vassell from close range and then Glenn Wilson cleared off the line from Shane Krac in added time.
Just five minutes into the second half, Danny Green opened Margate's account for the season with a fantastic goal, flicking a near post header into the far corner, from Nathan Green's sweeping left wing cross.
The 'Gate were inches away from making it two, when Jolley cut across the box and rasped a shot just wide of the far upright.
Truro made the most of that lifeline. equalising just a minute later, when a deep cross from the left found Aaron Dawson ghosting in at the backpost, who headed high past Bull.
The lively Vassell then somehow managed to miss an open goal from an acute angle soon after and then saw a brutal shot pushed away by Bull moments later.
He was the hauled down in the box, after bursting from the halfway line, by David Hunt soon after, who was sent off for his troubles, but Bull kept Margate in the game, diving to his left to deny Palmer from 12 yards.
Truro substitute Cody Cooke could have won the game for the late on but firstly blasted over the bar from 10 yards and then, astonishingly, rattled the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Margate also came agonisingly close in injury time, when Moss rose highest, only to nod a header against the far post, with Luke Moore heading just wide when the chance was recycled.
Margate: Bull, Wilson, N Green, Hunt, Goodman, Johnson, L Taylor, Taiwo (Moore 75). Moss, Jolley (Wills 82), D Green. Subs not used: Cash, J Taylor, Rents.
Truro City: Rice, White (Brett 75), Riley-Lowe, Ash, Farkins, Palmer, Dawson, Krac (Cooke 60), Wright (Duff 83), Vassell, Green. Subs not used: Pugh, Afful.
Margate Goal: D Green (50)
Truro City goal A Dawson (65)
Man of the Match: Nikki Bull
Margate 1 Truro City 1
City began life back in National League South with a well earned draw at Margate, but were left ruing missing a second half penalty which would have given them all three points.
After an even opening 45 minutes at a sweltering Hartsdown Park, the home side took the lead early in the second half when Danny Green netted with a near post header from Nathan Green's deep cross.
But City were back on level terms 15 minutes later, when summer signing Aaron Dawson headed home from man of he match Isaac Vassell's cross.
The visitors then wasted a golden chance 11 minutes from time to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty, which saw the Kent club's David Hunt sent off for bringing down Vassell.
But Ed Palmer saw his spot kick comfortably saved by home keeper Nikki Bull diving to his left.
In a frantic finale, both sides could have stolen a winner with Coody Cooke hitting the bar for City and Ryan Moss heading against the post for Margate, but in the end honours ended even leaving the visitors to contemplate what could have been on the long trip home.
However, City boss Steve Tully was delighted with his team's display.
He said: "I was delighted with the performance and we deserved to win the game against a side with one of the biggest budgets in the league. I thought we were outstanding in the second-half and showed great spirit."
City are next in action at home to Hayes and Yeading on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).
MARGATE: Bull (capt); Wilson, N Green, Hunt, Goodman, Johnson, Taylor, Taiwo (Moore 75), Moss, Jolley (Wills 82), D Green. Subs (not used): Cash, Taylor, Rents.
Red card: Hunt (79),
Yellow cards: D Green (19), B Johnson (86).
CITY: Rice; White (Brett 75), Farkins, Palmer, Riley-Lowe; Dawson,, Ash (capt), Krac (Cooke 60), Green; Vassell. Wright (Duff 83). Subs (not used): Pugh, Afful.
Yellow cards: Farkins (18), Palmer (51).
Goals: D Green (50) 1-0, Dawson (65) 1-1.
Referee: Paul Kelly