By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Ramsgate (1) 2 v Sevenoaks Town (1) 1
34 Coyle 18 Coyle (og)
It was a chilly but sunny welcome to the WW Martin Stadium as the Rams hosted Sevenoaks Town, all the local talk was about Joshua Ajayi following his trials at Tottenham Hotspur this week, and numerous scouts were in the crowd to have a look at our Ramsgate man.
Rams came into this game in 6th place in the league and with only a few points between separating the sides chasing promotion. They were looking for a performance similar to that in September when they came out 5 – 0 victors away at Sevenoaks.
Teams were in huddles as the ref called the captains forward for the toss. Rams won the toss and attack the airport end in the first half right to left from the press position. The temperature rose slightly but was still chilly as we got underway. In the 8th the best chance so far fell to Ajayi, cutting inside and forcing a great save from Colmer in the Oaks goal, saving to his left. It was a good 15 minutes for the Rams forcing the play although their passes were not connecting and their play was not linking as they would have liked.
In the 18th it all went wrong for the Rams, against the run of play Sevenoaks was awarded a penalty for handball, Olopade jumping with a hand in the air. Oaks’ Collins struck the ball, a cracking low save by Russell, followed up the ball hit the bar dropped down and Coyle in his effort to clear put the ball into the back of his own net to give Oaks the lead.
The way the game had gone so far saw the Rams unable to gel, in the 34th they forced a move down the right, winning a corner, Miller fired over and Colmer in the Oaks goal made a hash of it dropping the ball at Coyle’s feet for him to crack home the equalizer.
Rams were not playing anywhere near their standard the supporters have become accustomed to, maybe the players were feeling the pressure of all the scouts looking on? We headed toward half time with plenty of midfield play but very little goal mouth action, as both sides attacks faltered. Half time we went in with honors even.
The Oaks got us underway at the start of the second half, the Rams looking a little more urgent from the start and passes going to the right players and moving the ball far quicker. There were a couple of good opportunities for Olopade who seemed to have been moved into a more attacking midfield role and was bursting through.
As we entered the 60th there was a real pantomime in the Oaks goal with plenty of Oohs and Ahs as Miller shot, Colmer saved, Bate shot and hit the bar, Olopade shot and Rogers cleared off the line.
Rams were back on the attack straight away, winning a free kick out on the wide right, Miller over the ball fired in the cross, Jadama rose above the defense to head across the goal and into the far corner to give Rams the lead.
The game was really open at that point as Oaks were chasing to get back into it, however a plethora of substitution seemed to disrupt the game and the flow disappeared. As we entered time added on a couple of great chances fell to the visitors, forcing Russell to make a great save and an off the line clearance for the Rams to take the 3 points, keeping them in the hunt for the play off position.
RFSA Ram of the Match: Jakob Russell
Ramsgate all Red
1Jacob Russell, 2Jerald Aboagye, 4Lee Prescott(off88), 6Denzelle Olopade, 3Karn Miller-Neave, 9Oliver Bate(off85), 10Ashley Miller, 14Joshua Ajayi(off77), 16Jamie Coyle, 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 17Ben Fitchett(on88), 8Mitchell Chapman, 12Tom Bradbrook(on85) , 7Callum Peck(on77), 18Bradley Ryan
Sevenoaks Town White & Blue
1Daniel Colmer, 2Jonathan Pilbeam, 3Jason Fregene, 4Joseph Bingham, 5Freeman Rogers, 6Steve Smith, 7Bobby Dunn, 8Luke Leppard(off84), 9Kyle De Silva, 10Louis Collins, 11Dominic Welsh(off80)
Subs: 12Danny Devine, 14Stephen Ikpeme(on84), 15Kweku Ansah(on80), 16Lamin Bah, 17Harvey Welford
Rams Y Bradbrook (86)
Oaks Y Smith (2)