By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Ramsgate (0) 1 Hythe Town (0) 1
46 Miller 47 Alford
Hythe Town win 5 – 4 on penalties.
It was a freezing cold evening at the WW Martin Community Stadium, with a lively, expectant crowd, as both sides fielded virtually full strength teams.
Rams got us underway attacking the Airport end of the ground right to left. After a very nervy start it was Rams making the first foray towards goal with Ajayi working some magic and space to shoot, just grazing the outside of the right hand post with Harris beaten in the Town goal.
The early exchanges were predominately in the midfield with neither side taking an advantage. In the 15th we saw Town start to pressure, winning back to back corners, needlessly given away by the Rams. The second corner floated over, the ball dropping perfectly for Walmsley who’s shot blasted over Russell and the crossbar. Rams seemed to be struggling with the final ball, many of which were going astray and straight back to Town’s midfield men.
A speedy run from Ajayi in the 36th down the right beat a couple before being brought down by Town’s Gilbert who received a yellow card. The resulting free kick lofted into the Town’s box, the ball came loose and was smashed up field by Cheek.
At the 39th Miller took a brilliant reverse pass to Jadama who lobbed the ball across to the back post for a waiting Ajayi who controlled and shots in one move but Harris was there to save. A goalless first half and certainly not the most entreating of matches.
Second half started with a bang straight from kick off, Rams were on the attack and played through to Ajayi who beat two crosses to the back stick for a waiting Miller to slot home a 46th minute goal. Town responded immediately as the ball broke to Alford, he looked up and hit an absolute belter to beat Russell and put the scores level in the 47th minute.
Fans were at this point really involved and expectant of more to come but alas this was not to be as both sides just cancelled each other out.
There were a few opportunities but nothing troubling either keeper. In the 75th Cheek got his marching orders, straight Red card. We would have expected the Rams to take advantage playing against 10 men but the best chance fell to Town sub Sterling as he rounded a shot but this was deflected wide for a corner. The game came to an end and immediately went to penalties.
Rams lost out for a second time in a shoot-out this season, going down 4 – 5 with Town’s Mayhew scoring the winner.
Ramsgate all Red
1Jacob Russell, 3Karn Miller-Neave, 5Callum Emptage, 10Ashley Miller, 11William Hoare, 14Joshua Ajayi, 17Ben Fitchett, 18Bradley Ryan(off88), 8Mitchell Chapman(off73), 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 6Denzelle Olopade(on73), 12Nico Cotton, 15Vinnie Medhurst, 25Tom Bradbrook(on88), 26Harry Maher
Hythe Town White & Blue
1Shannon Harris, 2Liam Smith, 3Jack Mayhew, 4James Rogers, 5Scott Doe, 6Connor Cheek, 7Jacob Gilbert, 8Alex Brown(off68), 9Jordan Sarfo(off46), 10Tom Walmsley(off58), 11Riley Alford
Subs: 12George Crimmen, 14George Sibley(on68), 15Jack Nelson(on58), 16Tyler Sterling(on46)
Rams: Y 58 Jadama
Town: Y 36 Gilbert, R 75 Cheek Y 89 Sterling
RFSA Ram of the match: Ashley Miller
Ramsgate next in action:
29 Jan Home Herne Bay Town
05 Feb Away VCD Athletic