By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Sittingbourne 0 Ramsgate 0
There was all the tension of a local derby at the Martin & Conley Stadium Woodstock, the scene was set and the Brickies fans were giving full voice as they always do at home. The pitch was firm and bouncy.
Rams got us underway kicking left to right from the clubhouse, a cracking atmosphere created by the Brickies fans. Rams were awarded an early free kick, chipped into the box and mopped up by Gorman. Looking at the two sides the Brickies were certainly far taller than the Rams especially up front.
The Rams started brightly with Lucas Atkins working a few little bits of magic and earning a free kick on the edge of the Brickies box, Chiedozie stepped up and blasted over.
The Brickies came straight back at the Rams, winning a corner Rams found it difficult to clear and conceded a further couple of corners before managing to get the ball away. Brickies Addai was causing Rams all sorts of issues down the right and appeared unmarked with Rams relying on speed or a centre half coming across to stop him.
Brickies, in the 21st, best chance so far as Harding and Banton broke through. Harding crossed but Banton couldn’t direct the header. Brickies broke again and Olopade, just in his own half, took one for the team bringing down a lively Jones and getting a yellow card. Certainly Brickies were having the better of this half with a lot of link up play between Jones and Addai.
A half with neither side threatening the goal, half time 0 – 0, not a shot on target, although plenty of action to entertain the 220 fans.
Second half saw Rams buoyed by the team talk and coming out all guns blazing, forcing the Brickies on the defensive. There was a mix up in the Brickies defence but they managed to clear the ball but Cafer in the goal certainly had a few words for his defenders.
The 48th and Rams created a brilliant chance down the right, Osinfolarin played in and crossed, Jadama rose but was unable to get a header on target. The 52nd and another Rams attack down the right crossed over the keeper who fumbled as Ajayi rushed in but Cafer recovered to put the ball out for a corner.
Rams were forcing the play and seemed to have negated the threat down their left, with Jones and Addai seeming unable to link up.
The 68th was possibly Rams best opportunity buty falling to the wrong man as Redwood broke free but leaning back fired over the bar.
The 75th and the first save of the game as Harding wriggled through the Rams defence although he was in the six yard box the angle was acute. He tried to beat Bexon at his near post but the Rams keeper was alert and saved, giving Brickies a corner. The corner played across cleared only to the edge of the box for a shot to be fired in straight at Bexon, two saves in a minute.
Towards the end of the game temperatures on the pitch soar and we saw a couple of yellows and a red card awarded.
Rams were still unable to breach the ten-man Brickies and it was honours even in this derby game.
1 Matt Cafer 2 Donvieve Jones 14 Andrew Dythe 6 Ben Gorman (c) 5 Jerry Puemo, 8 Matt Warren 11 Abdul Osman 17 Jason Banton 12 Bagusan Graham 10 Alex Addai 7 Harry Harding
Subs 19 James Witt 9 Kane Rowland 3 Harrison Point 15 Funsho Henry Dasofunjo Sinai 4 Lewis Chambers
1 Josh Bexon 3 Leon Redwood 5 Callum Emptage 6 Denzelle Olopade 9 Jordan Chiedozie 4 Lucas Atkins 14 Joshua Ajayi 17 Ben Fitchett 18 Theo Osinfolarin 19 Jake McIntrye (c) 20 Tijan Jadama
Subs 2 Jerald Aboagye 11 Lennie Armstrong 7 Callum Peck 10 Ashley Miller 15 Sammi Takaloo
28’Denzelle Olopade cautioned
42’Abdul Osman cautioned
63’Kane Rowland replaced Jason Banton
68’Funsho Henry Dasofunjo Sinai replaced Alex Addai
73’Ashley Miller replaced Jordan Chiedozie
78’Jerald Aboagye replaced Leon Redwood
87’Bagusan Graham sent off
Ram of the Match: Callum Emptage