By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Phoenix Sports (0) 1 Ramsgate (2) 3
Odedoyin (90+1) Coyle (35)
It was a glorious sunny day at the Phoenix Sports ground as teams entered the pitch with the sun bright and low, likely to give the keepers a few problems at the bottom end of the ground.
We were underway, the Rams had the sun at their backs in the first half. The hosts were immediately on the offensive winning an early free kick just to the right hand edge of the box, they fired just wide of Russell’s near post.
It took a few minutes for the game to settle into any real pattern and for the Rams to adjust to a poor playing surface. In the 9th we saw Ajayi surrounded but somehow with his skills he broke through and shot the ball, blocked by a defender and out for the first corner of the game.
In the 14th Ajayi was through again with only the keeper Phillips to beat. The keeper came out to narrow the angle and Ajayi’s shot went just wide of the far post. The Rams just needed to find that finishing touch. They were creating numerous opportunities but just lacked that killer finish. The way the game was going Rams should have been able to score with ease. New man Ajvali was linking up the play and held the ball up to build the Rams attacks.
In the 23rd a rare Phoenix attack resulted in a free kick on the wide left, the ball initially cleared but dropped perfectly for Carvell Phoenix 10. He fired in a low hard shot forcing Russell to make a good save low to his right. Rams were back on the offensive, a little Bate magic out on the left as he flicked the ball up and over the defender putting himself in on goal only to blast his shot over. Phoenix had another good attack, this time a backward header but it lacked any real power and went straight into the arms of Russell.
In the 35th Rams won a corner, crossed over toward the back post, rising above everyone Coyle headed home a well placed header giving the Rams a well deserved lead. It was all Rams now, moving the ball, played out to the wide left Aboagye beat the defender, looked up and fired in his cross initially cleared but played back across to Bate’s feet for his to smash in Rams second. Rams take a 0 – 2 lead in at half time.
Rams started the second half brightly with a two goal cushion, this half playing into the sun we saw Russell shielding his eyes. Phoenix were on the attack but the Rams defended stoutly and repelled the early onslaught.
In the 54th there was some wonderful work by Jadama only to be brought down out on the right edge of the box, Bate & Miller-Neave over hit and it was Miller-Neave that struck and the ball crashed into the post. Miller-Neave then pushed forward more and more and in the 58th he crossed, Fitchett rises and heads toward goal, forcing Phillips to make a wonder save to keep Phoenix in the game. But this is only to be undone from the resulting corner, the ball came over and Jadama managed to hand in the air above the Phoenix defenders to head home Rams’ third.
The demoralised Phoenix defence was now at sixes and sevens as Rams piled on the pressure but they were still not able to really punish the hosts and finish the game off although 0 – 3 was comfortable. We saw a few substitutions for both sides.
It was Phoenix however that had the last laugh as we saw sub Odedoyin tap home a late consolation goal as the Rams mix up at the back prevented Russell a clean sheet.
Phoenix Sports Green & Black
1Steve Phillips, 2Henry Douglas, 3Thomas Cousins, 4Lewis Clark, 5Toib Adeyemi, 6Scott Campbell(off51), 7Lee Bird, 8Malaki Toussaint, 9Luke Leppard(off85), 10Steve Carvell(off90), 11Alfie Evans
Subs: 12Calvin Poku(on85), 14Wale Odedoyin(on90), 15Byron Walker(on51), 16Kenzie Parkinson, 21Charlie Martin
Ramsgate all Red
1Jacob Russell, 2Jerald Aboagye, 3Karn Miller-Neave(off84), 6Denzelle Olopade(off75), 7Melos Ajvazi(off90), 8Mitchell Chapman, 9Oliver Bate, 14Joshua Ajayi, 16Jamie Coyle, 17Ben Fitchett, 20Tijan Jadama,
Subs: 4Lee Prescott(on75), 5Callum Emptage, 10Bobby Dunn(on90), 11William Hoare, 19Jake McIntyre(on84)
Cards: Phoenix (y) Walker
RFSA Ram of the match: Ollie Bate.