By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Margate (0) 1 Ramsgate (0) 2
77 Bessey-Saldanha 47 Smith og
It was a very warm and humid day at Hartsdown Park as the two local rivals come together for the first piece of silverware of the season the Thanet Cup.
It was Margate getting the game underway, kicking towards the sea end of the ground, playing in their ‘history’ kit rather than the traditional Blues versus Reds. The Rams started brightly with a ball played over the Margate defence for Redwood to run on to down the right, Chiedozie fired in a shot, Margate defended well and cleared. Margate won an early free kick in a dangerous position, the ball lofted into the box only to be headed over in the 4th minute.
A rather slow tactical game with numerous free kicks with Paxman receiving a yellow card in the 12th for another rash challenge. Margate were playing a very high defensive line and were catching Ramsgate offside frequently, although I didn’t think it would be long before Margate found themselves in trouble with this tactic as Rams forward line was extremely quick.
In the 25th Margate’s trialist keeper had a moment he might want to forget, rushing out towards Redwood the Rams right wing back who audaciously tried to lob the on rushing keeper with the ball going just fractions over the Margate goal, the best opportunity for either side thus far.
The 30th saw Margate’s first attempt on goal as McCann fired wide. No real derby feel to the game as the players took a drinks break offering a chance for both managers to have a quick team talk.
The 35th and a yellow card for Margate’s Cole in the midfield for another foul, the game had been littered with them.
Rams put in a lot of effort with not much reward. At the 43rd Osinfularin broke a couple of tackles and got into a shooting position on the Margate goal, firing just over. It was Rams finishing the stronger with Ajayi cutting in from wide right, beating two he shot just wide, Margate picked up the ball and were straight down the other end. Winning a late corner they tried a move from the training ground but Rams were wise to this and broke up the play to end the half with neither keeper having a save to make, 0 – 0.
Rams got us underway in the second half and were immediately on the attack, a low hard shot/ come cross fired in and Harvey Smith sliding to block it only to put the ball into his own net past a despairing keeper. Was this the spark the game needed! It certainly stirred something as Margate went immediately on the attack and the tackles were raining in.
Margate won numerous corners as they tried to press for an equaliser but Bexon in the Rams goal marshalling the defence was dealing with them admirably.
In the 60th a fantastic pass from Paxman split the Margate defence and saw Ajayi going through, out wide right his cross was deep to the far post, collected by Redwood who crossed back in, Chiedozie dived in but saved for a corner. Corner came across, Jadama rose highest but could not guide his header goalward.
Couple of subs -Rams Paxman off for Reed and Margate Smith off for Oluwasemo.
In the 64th Margate’s Knight should have been at least booked for a scissor tackle with both feet off the floor on Redwood who certainly needed treatment and just a minute later he was unable to continue and subbed with Peck coming on.
The 66th, it’s Chiedozie time as Rams beat the offside trap, a great ball played through by Jadama, Chiedozie runs on with just the keeper to beat. He shot, the ball bounced back off the keeper, hitting Chiedozie who had continued running in and it is rebounded into the back of the net, 0 – 2 to the Rams.
The 70th and a 50/50 ball resulting in Emptage being red carded and a melee ensued with players pushing and shoving.
Rams were coming under increased pressure as Margate tried to take advantage of their extra man, Bexon having more work to do as he made a great save low to his left from a McCann shot.
The 75th and Rams sub off Chiedozie for Sammi Takaloo.
The 76th, Bexon makes another super save, this time diving low to his right and pushing the ball out for another Margate corner. Just a minute later Margate pull one back, a well worked move down the right saw Troy Howard outpace Fitchett going deep to the by-line before crossing on a plate for Bessey-Saldanha to slot home a well worked goal, 1-2.
The game is now living up to the crowd’s expectations and the vocal support from both sides was clearly audible.
Margate sub off Topley for Desiandes.
Rams tried to slow the game and hang on to their slender lead, yellow for Bexon for time wasting. The 84th, Margate win a free kick edge of Ramsgate box, Bexon elected to punch the ball clear and Rams breath again. Margate was piling on the pressure in search of the equaliser.
The 88th, another melee after an awful Margate challenge sees two red cards – one for each side with Margate’s Desiandes and Coyle from the Rams – not the ending either side would have wanted but certainly showed the passion for winning the cup.
Full time whistle and it’s the mighty Rams taking home the first piece of silverware of what looks a promising season for them, having disposed of a Gillingham X1, Dover, Herne Bay in recent pre seasons.
EDIT: This report has been amended. Red card in the 88th was for Coyle and Desiandes, not Oluwasemo as previously stated. Apologies.
Rams next in action: At home vs Hastings United, 6th August, 3pm at Southwood. FREE ENTRY for all.
Ramsgate man of the match: Ramsgate’s Denzelle Olopade
Margate Man of the Match: James Bessey-Saldanha
1 Trialist 1 Bexon
3 Fisher 3 Redwood
5 Knight 5 Emptage
6 Hudson 6 Olopade
14 Ojeman 9 Chiedozie
7 Cole 12 Paxman
4 Topley 14 Ajayi
11 Greenhaigh 16 Coyle
10 McCann 17 Fitchett
19 Bessey-Saldanaha 18 Osinfularin
9 Smith 20 Jadama
8 Blackman 2 Reid
12 Trialist 4 Takaloo
13 Kallmeier (GK) 7 Peck
16 Oluwasemo 8 Prescott
17 Howard 1 Simmons (GK)