Saturday, February 03, 2007

Steve Claridge

What a game today!

The ultimate example of a game of two halves. First-half, Harrow Borough rubbish, Margate sublime. 3 first-half goals for Robin Trott's blue & white army, 2 by ace striker Danny Hockton.

Sky Sports pundit, Millwall's ex-manager and journeyman striker, *Steve Claridge at 40 years of age, scored the equalizer for Harrow B. on 15 minutes to the delight of their fans. Claridge thought he would be clever by celebrating his goal, a tap in from 1 yard, by pulling off his red shirt and exposing his Marks & Spencer white singlet. He was promptly booked by the efficient referee, 37 year-old, Gavin Muge. Harrow's fans, all 87 of them, barely managed a roar. They were eclectic mix of OAP's, chavettes (showing a bit cleavage), cocky male teenagers, who attempted to goad Margate's fans, and peculiar looking stewards all of whom reguarly turn up to the Earlsmead "Stadium" somewhere in a Middlesex postcode called HA2. The ground reminded me of Ramsgate's ramshackle ruin called Southwood.
The travelling Margate supporters on the other hand, were in ecstatic mood as da 'Gate bulldozed their way through Harrow's limp defence on numerous occasions. If it wasn't for Harrow's goalkeeper, Keiron Jimmy ( who once played for some team called Brook House), hapless Harrow would have been 5 down at the break.

Despite suffering from a vile sore throat, I was in reasonably good mood whilst downing my cuppa and was looking forward to seeing the Margate forwards teach Harrow a footballing lesson. Just after the break, Danny Hockton was put clean through with just the goalkeeper to beat but sadly his well drilled shot scuffed an upright and went out for a goal-kick. Almost immediately, Margate goalie Charlie Mitten seemed to fumble a free-kick and there was Steve Claridge on hand to slide in the rebound. 3-2. No problem one would think. But as the second half went on, Harrow grew in confidence and managed not only to equalize but had the temerity to score what looked like a match-winning fourth. A sickening silence fell about Margate's supporters. Still the 'Gate drummer boy and his young friends were soon back in song and with just a couple of minutes to go, striker Danny Hockton secured a point for Margate from the penalty spot after a Robin Trott header was handled on the line. Final score 4-4.

(Margate drew 4-4 against Northwich Victoria in the Conference some 5 years ago. Charlie Mitten was also at fault for an oppostion goal that day. He fumbled a Jimmy Quinn shot. Margate clawed back from a 4-1 deficit at half-time. History always repeats itself!)

* The last time I saw Claridge, he was playing for Weymouth at Margate's temporary home of Ashford FC in Kent. The Terras won 1-0 that day and I interviewed him for BBC Radio Kent after the match. A former Margate player thought that Steve Claridge was "egg & chips" i.e - ordinary.


Anonymous said...

Some pictures from this game are now available @
Once all the pictures have been edited they will be uploaded to

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm not a sports fan but the way you write about it had even me excited!

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Tx. Not all of my rib-tickling stories of the opposition goes down well!

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"its that bloody steve claridge. gives gypsies a bad name with all that travelling he does".

A Claridge joke from a Margate Fan

Anonymous said...

Steve Claridge rocks.

I wonder how high that former Margate player, who rated him as eggs and chips, rose? I sure if she wrote a book about her playing days it would have been called

"Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Premiership"


Jeremy Jacobs said...