By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Hastings United (0) 2 vs Ramsgate (0) 0
72 Ben Pope 72
90+2 Lloyd Dawes
The Rams headed to East Sussex yesterday (December 18) for a crucial 3rd vs 4th encounter at The Pilot Field (which is also acting as a walk-in vaccination centre on match days) with free entry for those receiving a jab, with the Rams on an unbeaten run of 8 games. Hastings was certainly expected to be tough opposition.
The hosts started brightly, enjoying some corners and long throws from Ollie Black in the opening 10 minutes to put pressure on the Rams, who defended stoutly keeping Hastings restricted. The Rams settled and got more into the game as the half progressed but at the interval there was still no score and no clear cut chances for either side. The Rams defence certainly absorbed most of the pressure and stood up to the task.
The 60th minute saw the best chance of the game as Peck passed the keeper and tried to pass the ball home into what appeared to be an empty net rather than putting his laces through it, only for a Hastings defender to get back and clear off the line. The stalemate continued until the 72nd minute, when Ben Pope hit a powerful volley from a Lloyd Dawes ball into the bottom corner of Russell’s goal. Rams manager Matt Longhurst made a couple of changes introducing Bradley Ryan for Ollie Bate and Callum Emptage for the carded Jerald Aboagye as the Rams chased a point, but despite Rams battling the advantage remained with the home side.
Into time added on 90+2 the Rams were beaten again as defender and keeper got in each other’s way, the ball broke free to Dawes to fire home a second and thus ended the Rams run of games. Pushing Hastings up to 3rd & the Rams drop to 5th.
On the balance of play the hosts certainly deserved the win.
Hastings Maroon & White
Louis Rogers, Ollie Black, Ryan Worrall, Finn O’Mara, Craig Stone, Tom Chalmers, Jack Dixon, Ben Pope 1 (Kenny Pogue 90’), Sam Adams, Knory Scott (Kane Penn 76’), Dave Martin (Lloyd Dawes 53’)
Unused Subs: Sam Hasler, Andrew Sesay
Ramsgate all Yellow
Jacob Russell, Jerald Aboagye (Callum Emptage 85’), Jake McIntyre, Ben Fitchett, Jamie Coyle, Denzelle Olopade, Oliver Bate (Bradley Ryan 77’), TJ Jadama, Callum Peck, Ashley Miller, Joshua Ajayi
Unused Subs: Beckham Kennelly, Nico Cotton, Harry Maher
Ram of the match as voted by the RFSA: Denzelle Olopade.
Entertainment value: 3*
Bookings: Rams Aboagye(43) / Emptage(89)
Rams next in action:
27th Dec Home Hythe Town 3pm
1st Jan Away Whitstable 3pm
3rd Jan Home Ashford United 3pm