Margate 2, Lowestoft Town 1

Lowestoft Town were knocked off the top of the early Ryman League Premier Division table yesterday after suffering their first defeat of the season in Kent.

The Trawlerboys looked like they had done the hard work, kicking into a strong wind and going in at half-time 1-0 up.

However a much improved second half performance by Margate, and some poor defending by Lowestoft, saw the tables turned, with the hosts ending up narrow winners.

Lowestoft were playing all in red and the only change from Saturday's line-up was Michael Frew coming in for the injured Lee Smith.

Dale Cockrill went close for Lowestoft early on while Margate conjured up two good first half chances but both Rook and Whitnell guided their efforts wide. Lowestoft would have been happy to reach half-time level but went ahead in the 43rd minute. Great play down the left ended with Chris Henderson crossing and Jack Defty prodding home from close range.

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You could sense the hope amongst the travelling supporters as the second half got under way and with Defty heading over early on the writing looked to be on the wall.

That was not to be though, as a much improved Margate settled and started to put some slick football. They went ahead after a calamitous mix up between the defence and keeper Jake Jessup, with Whitnell ghosting in to slip the ball home on 62 minutes.

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The defending for Lowestoft then went from bad to worse four minutes, with the impressive Long being allowed to come in from the right touchline by Robert Eagle and stroll into the area with ease to slot under Jessup and send Margate into the lead.

Lowestoft had a great chance in the dying minutes with Nathan Stone nodding down and Scott Mitchell shooting just past the post but the whistle soon followed and it was a day to forget for the visitors, who were replaced at the top of the table by Hampton and Richmond.

They will be looking to bounce back at home to Harrow Borough on Saturday.

• Margate: Holloway, Pooley, Avery, Beales, Ball, Corneille, Rook (Alalie, 89), Whitnell, Murphy, Long, Stubbs. Subs; Starkey, Bodkin, Rhodes, Dolby, Alalie

• Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Gleeson, Crane, Mitchell, Eagle, Frew, Cockrill, Jones (Gaughran, 79), Francis (Cunningham, 64), Henderson (Stone, 84), Defty. Subs; Ainsley, Stone, Gaughran, Cunningham, Saker

• Attendance: 440

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