By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Whitehawk (0) 2 Ramsgate (0) 1
59 Splatt 56 Jadama
It was a very bright but blustery day on the South Downs at the Enclosed Ground home of Whitehawk FC, a pitch on a slope not only the length but also across the playing surface, with the wind blowing down the hill.
Rams got us underway attacking the sea end of the ground, so downhill with the wind at their backs. It was a very good start by the Rams with Ajayi closing down in the Hawks half and putting our hosts on the back foot. In the 12th Rams free kick lofted into the box, the wind caught the ball and took it away from the waiting front line and right into the keeper’s arms. Both sides certainly had to adjust to the conditions.
In the 16th a rare move forward from the Hawks with a cross from the left meant Russell was forced to come out and makes a superb low save. The Hawks supporters were really getting behind their team and making plenty of noise. At the 20th Rams were back on the attack and Miller was put through and had a one on one with Stromberg-Clarke in the Hawks’ goal. He was quickly off his line to meet Miller and make a very important save with his legs. From the corner Hawks were immediately on the attack, earning a free kick, a wide left cross came over and Russell made a very good save from a close range effort.
The 28th and Miller broke clear again, down the left, saw Jadama in the middle. It was a perfect ball in but Jadama’s header lacked any conviction and the keeper saved. Rams won the ball back and Dunn fires in a shot just wide of the goal. 34th some good work out on the right by Aboayge crosses Jadama went for the ball, a defender with him, there was a coming together leaving Jadama flat on the floor. Ref waved play on despite Rams appeals. Rams continued to press but were not taking any advantage of the conditions or the pitch. On the balance of the first 45 minutes Ramsgate would be ruing their missed opportunities having played almost 70% of the game in the opposition half. 0 – 0 at the break.
Hawks started the second half with the low sun in their faces but still the advantage of the wind, the fans were now even more vocal. The Hawks won an early free kick and were showing their intent, although Rams easily fended off this attack with the follow up shot actually going out for a throw.
The 52nd and Ajayi crossed over, Miller tried the overhead kick but put it well wide .In the 56th Miller broke through a couple of challenges crosses to Jadama to fire home for the Rams, a great reward for the effort they were putting in.
The Rams were not able to retain the lead for long, a mix up at the back with Russell in no man’s land allowed Splatt to dash in round Russell and slot home unchallenged a 59th min equaliser. Hawks spurred into action attacking on the break and at pace.
The 67th and a Rams free kick cleared by the Hawks at some pace eventually running out of play but you could see the intent and the passion in a rejuvenated Hawks side. In the 72nd after a fair amount of pressure Hawks had a corner, the ball dropped in the box, a real scramble ensued with numerous blocked shots until eventually Rams put the ball out for another corner. This time the ball played in from the Hawks left headed out by Rams defence dropping for Wadham’s to let fly with a screamer to give Hawks the lead 73rd.
Rams now had it all to do, the changes made not making a great deal of difference, and the conditions against them, they did not create any real chances. They were getting the ball into the box but no end result, as we approached the dying embers of the game in the 90th Miller thought he could seal the draw only to be thwarted by some last ditch defending by Hawks Mtunzhi who had a very good game at the back.
Ramsgate with back to back defeats are lucky to still be in 3rd place in the league but with these two results it means the chasing pack are now catching up. With just six matches left in the regular season there are 5 teams looking for one of the four playoff spots.
Whitehawk All Red
1Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke, 2Harry Reed, 3Leon Redwood(off46), 4Tyrese Mtunzhi , 5David Ijaha(off78), 6Adam El-Abd, 7Peter Gregory, 8Omarr Lawson, 9Javaun Splatt, 10James Fraser(off64), 11Ollie Munt
Subs: 12Henry Muggeridge(on78), 14Daniel Thompson(on64), 15Ashley Wadhams(on46), 16Alex Malins, 17Tareq Shihab
Ramsgate All White
21Jacob Russell, 2Jerald Aboagye(off86), 4Lee Prescott(off65), 7Bobby Dunn(off76), 8Mitchell Chapman , 10Ashley Miller, 14Joshua Ajayi , 16Jamie Coyle, 17Ben Fitchett, 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 3Karn Miller-Neave, 5Callum Emptage, 6Denzelle Olopade(on65), 11William Hoare(on86), 12Eddie Carrington(on76)
Rams 68th Chapman 89th Ajayi
Hawks 54th Stromberg-Clarke 90th Mtunzhi
Ramsgate Man of the Match: Tijan Jadama
Match entertainment: 4*
Next in action
26 March Home Sittingbourne
02 April Away Cray Valley PM
09 April Home Haywards Heath