By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Whitstable Town (0) 1 v Ramsgate (1) 4
85 Cham 54 Bate
A warm welcome in more ways than one was received by the visiting Rams fans at the Belmont Ground with the overly warm winter climate. With just a slight chill and breeze in the air both sets of fans were expectant of a classic Christmas derby feast as a majority home support welcomed the Rams with all the Christmas cheer!
The game commenced with the Rams attacking the Town end. Rams won an early corner with just 2 minutes on the clock, the ball played over with an acrobatic effort from Coyle just wide of the Oystermen’s goal.
Almost immediately Rams were back on the attack and Miller went one on one with Eason in the Oystermen’s goal, saving well at close range. The 5th minute and a ball played over the Oysterman’s defence putting Jadama in, he volleyed powerfully across a despairing Eason into the right-hand corner of the net, giving Rams a well earnt early lead.
The Oystermen put together a really good move down the right with Gaggin cutting inside, breaking a couple of tackles and getting away a low shot to Russell’s left, he was down fast and saved well.
The game was a little dull heading toward the midway point. It was the Oystermen that were probing, winning multiple corners and threatening the Rams goal although the defence is resolute. At the 27th minute Rams broke out and Miller had the opportunity with a one on one with Eason. He stayed strong and blocked with his feet. Miller linked up with Bate as we approached half time and some last ditch defending jointly by Baker and Thomas kept the ball away with little action to half time and Rams the happier at 0 – 1.
The Oystermen made a sub, Goodger replacing Darboe, as they got us underway in the second half. Rams Fitchett was involved in a challenge and had to be subbed due to injury, meaning the introduction of Chapman at 52 minutes. The Rams seemed to be spurred on with Ajayi coming down the left, beating his man for pace, looking across the line and seeing Bate running in a perfect cross. Bate smashed in the Rams second.
Following a dull first 45 the Rams were now shining with the front three moving well and Olopade breaking up the Oystermen’s midfield.
At the 58th Bate broke free down the left, pulling the ball back to Miller in the middle, one touch to set the ball and it was in the back of the net – clinical finishing from a man in form.Rams were in control at 3 up.
Ajayi was brimming with confidence, going up against Eason and beating him to the ball but was forced wide and unable to get a clear shot as Eason recovered to make a good low save.
At the 65th Bate burst through and, twisting and turning in the box, he saw Ajayi unmarked, laying on a perfect pass for Ajayi to crack in the Rams fourth.
In the 71st Oystermen had one of their best opportunities of the game but the Rams defended stoutly to keep them at bay.
The 85th minute and the Rams couldn’t hold on to the clean sheet as Cham, who came on as a sub, turned inside beating a couple of defenders and mis-footing another, opening up sufficient space to fire home a late consolation goal.
90th minute, the Oystermen had a wide free kick on the right and elected to shoot to Russell’s left post, he made good ground to save, another good late save by Russell as Goodger got through to shoot, this time saved by his feet.
Full time Whitstable 1 Ramsgate 4.
Whitstable all Red
1Dan Eason, 2Jake Mackenzie, 3George McIlroy, 4Junior Baker, 5Will Thomas, 6Tom Mills, 7Alex Gaggin(off73), 8Danny Walder, 9Kemo Darboe(off45), 10Stephen Okoh(off60), 11Montrell Deslandes
Subs: 12Muhammed Cham(on60), 14Tom Carlton(on73), 15Harry Goodger(on46), 16Callum Watts, 17Luke Griffiths
Ramsgate White with pale blue, white shorts
1Jacob Russell, 2Jerald Aboagye, 5Ben Fitchett(off52), 6Denzelle Olopade, 12Beckham Kennelly, 9Oliver Bate, 10Ashley Miller(off75), 14Joshua Ajayi, 16Jamie Coyle, 19Jake McIntyre(off86), 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 3Nico Cotton(on86), 8Mitchell Chapman(on52), 11Harry Maher, 7Callum Peck(on75), 18George Baker-Moran
Cards: Rams 83 McIntyre, 90 Peck.
RFSA Ram of the match: Ollie Bate
— Ramsgate Football Club (@RamsgateFC) January 1, 2022
Entertainment: Dull first half, action packed second