By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
VCD Athletic (0) 2 v Ramsgate (0) 1
53 Williams 81 Bate
It was a dull chilly day, with a blustery wind, at the Oakwood ground and with the temperature due to drop we were hoping for some heat on the pitch as the Rams, 2nd in the table, went into battle for another 3 points.
Our hosts have had a mixed season thus far but still remained in contention for a playoff spot, sitting 9th. In the reverse of this fixture back in October VCD came out winners 1 – 2.
The game commenced with Rams playing right to left from the club house end. A few early niggly fouls broke up the early play with neither side able to break the other down. Vickers won an early free kick, fired in and Gorham Vickers centre half got a strong shot away, forcing a good early save from Russell in the Rams goal.
The Vickers defence appeared to be stopping at any cost, especially Jadama and Ajayi the Rams creative danger men both being brought down on a regular basis each time they got the ball, the resulting free kicks however came to nothing as the Vickers held firm.
Midway through the first half with very little goal mouth action, Vickers won a corner. Rams cleared quickly with Emptage spotting Peck out on the left free, playing a perfect long ball for Peck to take in his stride, beating the defender, shooting but straight at Mott in the Vickers goal. There were far too many needless free kicks being given away by both sides and it was ruining what should have been a good game.
The strong wind was having a major effect and made it difficult to judge passes. In the 37th Peck broke through, went down in the area, appealed for the foul but the ref saw it differently and booked Peck. Rams were certainly pressing, in the 39th a cross shot from wide left by Olopade saw Mott back peddling to just push the ball over the bar. We went in honours even at half time.
Second half started much the same as the first with little action until the 52nd minute when Vickers attacked and the ball was blocked out for a corner. There was some pushing and shoving in the area, the ref intervened and it resulted in a couple of bookings Russell for the Rams and Black for Vickers. In the 53rd came the corner and a scramble ensued. It was Williams poking the ball home to give Vickers the lead. Vickers seemed to be building a head of steam and in the 59th a cross from the wide right saw an unmarked Dawson rise and glance home a second for the Vickers.
Rams were really up against it, playing into the strong wind. Vickers were really putting on the pressure and Rams were struggling to stop the crosses, although Rams were working hard they were still finding it very difficult to break Vickers down.
Gorham at the centre of Vickers defence was marshalling his team with some authority. In the 74th minute Russell in the Rams goal was forced into action again, making a stunning save to keep Rams hopes alive.
At the 81st Rams forward line put a move together as sub Miller broke down the right, looked across to see Bate running in and a perfect cross on to Bate’s foot which he slides home, side footed from 8 yards, to set up a grandstand finish. The Vickers defence still well marshalled to the end held out and it was 3 well earned hard fought points for VCD Athletic.
Vickers: 28 Y Dythe, 52 Y Black, 65 Y Williams, 84 Y Bamba
Rams: 37 Y Peck, 53 Y Russell, 59 Y Aboayge
VCD Athletic Green & White strips
1Sam Mott, 15Theo McKenzie, 14Andrew Dythe , 4Ben Gorham, 6Kiki Oshilaja, 7Anthony Adesite, 8Lea Dawson, 9Jeff Duah-Kessie(off50), 16Sonny Black , 10Ayman El-Mogharbel(off80), 11Youssef Bamba
Subs: 12Jamie Watson, 3Ashley Probets, 17Charles Etumnu(on80), 18Jason Williams(on50) , 20Courtney Barring
Ramsgate All Red
1Jacob Russell, 2Jerald Aboagye , 4Lee Prescott(off63), 5Callum Emptage, 6Denzelle Olopade, 7Callum Peck(off63), 9Oliver Bate, 14Joshua Ajayi, 16Jamie Coyle, 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 3Karn Miller-Neave, 8Mitchell Chapman, 10Ashley Miller(on63), 11William Hoare(on63), 18Nico Cotton
RFSA Ram of the Match: Denzelle Olopade
Entertainment value 3*
Ramsgate next in action:
12 Feb Away Burgess Hill Town
15 Feb Away Haywards Heath Town
19Feb HOME Corinthian.