By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Haywards Heath (1) 1 v Ramsgate (0) 1
29 Cooper 90+3 Ajayi
Haywards Heath win 7 – 6 on penalties
The game got underway at the Hanbury stadium which is in the middle of a housing estate.
Ramsgate kicked right to left, the conditions were fair but just prior to kick off there was a short downpour which made the grass surface nice and slippery with the ball moving freely across.
The early action saw Heath on the offensive, winning a couple of early corners but the Rams defended in a slightly changed line up to the normal first team, however the experience was there on the bench.
In the 10th minute Rams attacked down the middle, ball played out to Peck on the right just out of reach of his stretched leg, Rams were growing in confidence and a run through the middle and shot deflected for Ram,s first corner the Heath clear.
In the 21st Heath, with a speculative looping cross from the right over Russell in the Rams goal, hit the bottom of the post and luckily it dropped to Rams defender to clear. Although not that far a shot, it fired in and deflected for another corner which was put behind on the opposite side for another corner.
At the 29th Heath took the lead with Cooper, Russell parried a sharp shot out straight to his feet and he had the simple task to fire home. Rams responded well, going behind as the rain started to fall, Peck with a good effort saved and cleared. The game was lacking in spirit with little commitment from either side, maybe the weekend exploits had taken a toll. Half time whistle blew with Heath 1 Rams 0.
Rams were out early for the start of the second half, having a quick huddle, early subs for the Rams coming on Ajayi and Prescott for a good bright start to the half. Baker Moran broke free from his marker looked up, saw the keeper off his line and tried the lob which hit the top of the crossbar in the 49th.
Rams attacked down the right, winning a free kick at the 53rd. Cotton played the ball in, Jadama rose and heads toward the goal and the keeper dived to his right making the save.
Rams attacked more since the changes. The game was now lacking real spirit and desire, neither side looked like they really want to take the game by the scruff of the neck and force themselves upon it.
In the 71st a shot fired in at close range, Prescott turned his back and the ball hit. The Ref awards a penalty, up stepped Rowe hitting his shot but there is a great save by Russell, pushing the ball out to his right. Heath player first to the ball and went down under the challenge. The Ref awards a second penalty and Russell saved again from Craoid.
Rams sub Baker-Moran for Miller. With Russell keeping Rams in the game Matt Longhurst must have felt the Rams had a chance. There was another sub as Kennelly went off and Takalobashi came on. Towards the end of the game Ajayi fired in a shot pushed out by the Heath keeper Freeman. Rams were creating chances but not converting, A great goal by Ajayi was put through with just the keeper to beat. In the 90th he opened his body and fired to the far corner to level for the Rams, slotting past the keeper. Full time score 1 – 1 and it went to a penalty shoot out.
A dramatic penalty shoot out as Rams scored their first 4 penalties and Heath missed their first as we came to the 5th round Rams missed and Heath scored to take us to sudden death. The next two for each side were scored, Rams 9th penalty crashed in to the crossbar and Heath’s Christie stepped up to win the match for The Heath 7 – 6 on penalties.
Haywards Heath white with blue block
Sam Freeman, Kieran Rowe, Tom Cadman, Byron Napper, Nathan Cooper, Sinn Christie, Davigildo Cravid, Jordy Ndozid, Liam Benson, Andrew Briggs, Luke Robinson
Subs: Josh Clack, Sam Remfry, Jerson Dos Santos, Ben Holden, Billy Collings
Ramsgate all yellow
Jacob Russell, Jerald Aboagye, Beckham Kennelly, Jake McIntyre, Vinnie Medhurst, Harry Maher, Tijan Jadama, Nico Cotton, George Baker-Moran, Denzelle Olopade, Callum Emptage
Subs: Jamie Coyle, Joshua Ajayi, Ashley Miller, Lee Prescott, Sammi Takalobighasi
Ram of the Match: Jacob Russell