By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Phoenix Sports (0) 0 vs Ramsgate (1) 2
A floodlit Phoenix Sports stadium greeted fans with the pitch showing the wear and tear of the recent weather. The ground was rather bumpy and extremely slippery at the goal mouths and already looking like there had been a complete season resulting in heavy mud and virtually no grass.
The game got underway with Rams kicking off, playing towards the clubhouse end, players slipping at the start showing that a long stud was required in the surface. Rams were straight on the attack with Bate going down the right, he cut inside Martin in the Phoenix goal slips and saw his opportunity to get his shot away low and hard. Martin recovered to save with his feet, giving Rams an early corner. Phoenix immediately responded as Barnett (10) broke free of the Rams defence, firing his shot just wide. Play had been a little rushed up to this point. Entering the 10th minute there was a Phoenix attack with the ball played through the Rams, falling to Ogunseye who hit low and hard, stinging Russell’s hands. The ball recovered puts Rams straight on the attack.
In the 16th Barnett broke free from his marker and shot but Rams blocked it out for a corner. Overcoming the corner and a goalmouth scramble ensued with neither side either shooting or clearing the ball.
Eventually Rams cleared the ball up field and were on the attack, beating the offside trap Bate’s shot was blocked.
In the 22nd young Rams Ryan and Bate link up, moving the ball quickly and accurately between them with Bate getting another shot away which is blocked for another Rams corner.
Rams were not really creating chances from the corners as Phoenix Kaffo (4) and Adeyemi seemed to win everything in the air.
Rams kept attacking but there was always a threat when Phoenix pressed and Barnett was a real thorn in the side up front for Phoenix.
In the 26th a ball came in from the Rams, right onto the head of Bate, who could only direct his header on to the crossbar. The game ebbed and flowed until the 41st minute when Baker-Moran out wide right looked up, saw Ryan in the middle, crossed and Ryan took the shot. The keeper couldn’t hold it and the ball landed at Bates feet to fire home for the Rams. Half time Phoenix 0 Ramsgate 1.
The second half started all very kick and rush with niggling fouls breaking up the momentum of play.
In the 49th Phoenix had a free kick in a dangerous position on their right, it was a training ground move with a quick ball played to the dangerous Barnett who beat his man and crossed.
Rams held firm and clear and moments later it was Barnett again going through, forcing Russell to save again.
Rams settled and started to play some very nice football, moving the ball swiftly forward to Bate out on the left. He jinked and weaved, beating a couple of defenders he took the shot and Martin could only push the ball back out, straight to Bate who shots again, this time saved by Martin with his feet.
In the 60th Phoenix broke through again, Barnett forcing another good save from Russell. Phoenix won a free kick on the wide left, the ball came over, Russell rushed forward to claim the ball, collided with Ogunseye on the way. Phoenix shouted for a penalty but the ref waved it away. Comments were made from the Phoenix bench and there was a booking and dismissal from the coaching staff. Jadama who had come on as a sub added some pass from mid field and caused problems in the Phoenix defence, getting a golden opportunity that grazed the post.
In the 77th there was great work by Ryan on the left, beating all comers. Baker-Moran unmarked in the middle got the ball on a plate for him to tap in and make it a little more comfortable for the Rams to complete a victory in a thoroughly entertaining game.
Phoenix Sports Green & black
1Charlie Martin, 2Ryan Andrews, 3Thomas Cousins(off80), 4Mohammed Kaffo, 5Toib Adeyemi, 6Josh Dorling(Y87), 7Lee Bird, 8Johan Tabima-Alvira(off60), 9Samuel Ogunseye(off70), 10Chaka Barnett, 11Felix Ahorlu
Subs: 12Tario Turay(on60), 14Henry Douglas(on80), 15George Whitelock(on70), 16Danny Kemp
Ramsgate Pale blue & White
1Jacob Russell, 3Nico Cotton(Y), 5Callum Emptage, 15Vinnie Medhurst(off64), 12Beckham Kennelly, 8Lee Prescott, 11Harry Maher, 9Oliver Bate(off58), 16Sammi Takalobighashi(off85), 18George Baker-Moran, 26Bradley Ryan
Subs: 23Liam Wilson(on85), 20Tijan Jadama(on58), 19Jake McIntyre(on64), 6Denzelle Olopade, 7Callum Peck
Ram of the match: Ollie Bate
Rams next in action
18 Dec Away Hastings United
27 Dec Home Hythe Town – with the winter wonderland