By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Burgess Hill (1) 1 v Ramsgate (0) 2
16 Finney 55 Bate
It was a freezing but sunny welcome to the ‘more than tyres’ stadium Leyland’s Park – the home of the Hillian’s as they hosted the Rams in another promotion chasing match.
Both sides came into this fixture after suffering defeats in their last matches. Fans were expectant of another tough game.
The Rams looked to get back on track in the bid for a play-off spot, lying 3rd in the table with a game in hand but 9 points behind league leaders Hastings United. The Hillian’s were just a few points behind and in 8th place.
First half got underway with Rams playing with the sun at their backs. It was the hosts who were straight out of the blocks and pressing on the Rams defense. Rams held firm until they were broken by a long ball over the back line, dropping over Finney’s shoulder and he struck a sublime volley as the ball dropped straight into the left corner of the Rams net, giving Russell no chance to even move – 16th minute Hillians 1 Rams 0.
Rams looked the stronger of the two sides but seemed to lack that finishing effort in their play and allowed Hillians to control much of the game. Very little was being created in front of goal, the efforts that were created came to nothing.
Across the pitch Jadama had been more on defense than attack, a couple of good chances for Peck came in from the left but were no real threat on Huffer’s goal as we approached half time it was Hillian’s leading 1 – 0.
Second half Rams kicked off attacking the clubhouse end, it took a little while for the action to get going but Rams looked a different side since the break. In the 53rd Peck and Jadama caused all sorts of problems in the Hillian’s defense, the ball coming across from the left with a calamitous mix up as the defender missed it, allowing Bate to pounce and a despairing Huffer seeing the ball go over the line as Rams levelled the scores 1 – 1.
Rams seemed to have taken the front foot and were certainly putting more effort into the game, keeping the hosts in their own half with the occasional non-threatening break. Both sides made substitutions but it seemed the Rams had the greater effect on the play with Miller being immediately involved, winning and taking dead ball situations. In the 85th Rams thought they may have pinched the points as Peck and Miller linked up, the ball broke to Ajayi in front of goal, he slotted it home only for the ref to blow for a hand ball ruling out the goal.
Rams continued to push forward, spurred on by this. We entered the 90th minute with no real chances on goal, the ref indicated an additional 5 added minutes.
Rams won a late free kick just out to the right of the box, Miller played the ball across, Bate passed out wide on the left and the ball came across to the back post and was headed straight back across into the mix and stabbed home between Jadama and Emptage making sure it crossed the line to give Rams a hard fought but well deserved 3 points. Rams win 1 – 2.
Rams remain third in the table with Hastings also scoring late to remain top and Ashford winning to stay second.
Hillians Green & Black
1Will Huffer, 2Leon Moore, 3Reggie Ward, 4Lewis Taylor, 5Harry Pollard, 6Nic D’Arienzo, 7Lewis Finney, 8Charles Towning, 9Hayden Skerry, 10Pat Harding , 11Martyn Box
Subs; 12Connor Tighe, 14Tom Chalaye, 15Charlie Kelly, 16Ollie Davies, 17Trammell Mthunzi
Rams All red
1Jacob Russell, 2Jerald Aboagye, 11William Hoare, 5Callum Emptage, 6Denzelle Olopade, 7Callum Peck, 9Oliver Bate , 14Joshua Ajayi, 16Jamie Coyle, 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 3Karn Miller-Neave, 8Mitchell Chapman, 10Ashley Miller, 4Lee Prescott,18Ezechukwu Ebuzoeme
Entertainment : 4* (out of 5)
RFSA Ram of the match: Oliver Bate
Rams next in action
15 Feb Away at Haywards Heath
19 Feb Home Corinthian
26 Feb Away Phoenix Sports.