By pitchside reporter Andy Mason
Ramsgate 2 Chatham Town 0
A glorious day at the WW Martin Community stadium for yet another top of the table clash against Ramsgate’s visitors, second in the table Chatham Town. There was a bumper crowd with both teams having good support throughout the season.
Rams got underway attacking the airport end as usual. An early freekick for Chats as they attacked down the left flank. Eight minutes in Rams mounted an attack down their right, Aboagye beat his man crossing for Rowland to head just over.
A very cagey start as both teams sounded each other out, the referee was allowing the game to flow. The sun was still shining but the floodlights were on.
The 20th minute and the first shot on goal from Rowland but no power behind it as Bridle-Card collected. Joseph Taylor fell awkwardly in the challenge and had to be substituted due to a shoulder injury.
The 27th and Paxman went on a run, breaking through and then taken down, resulting in a Rams freekick all of 30 yards out. Wood hit it and Bridle-Card watched it over the crossbar.
The 32nd and Wood linked up with Miller who cut inside from the left but was unable to get a shot away, passing out to Rowland on the right. His cross found Jadama, his header easily collected by the keeper.
The 41st and Chats first shot on target as Domafryle got a powder puff shot straight at Bexon. It had been a very even tactical battle as we entered 8 additional minutes.
Rams were on the offensive, creating a good opportunity and forcing a corner, Chats were immediately back on the attack winning a corner of their own, cleared by Jadama – a great ball out from Wood to Aboagye who brought down a booking resulting in the first yellow card of the game for Chats Evans.
The half time whistle blew with honours even, a fascinating battle between the sides entertaining to watch even without a great deal of goalmouth action.
Second half was underway, the sun had set and the temperature was dropping. The large crowd was hoping for a lot more efforts on goal to give them something to cheer and warm up. From the off Rams got the ball up field, Aboagye cut in from the right, his shot going just wide of the Chats goal.
The 55th and a quickly taken free kick, Bodkin down the left cut the ball back across the goal for Chats with the acrobatic attempt going over Bexon’s bar, the tactical battle continued.
The 58th and a Rams golden opportunity shot from Paxman, forcing a fantastic save from Bridle-Card, the ball dropping to Jadama who, leaning back, blasted over from close range, The pressure was starting to build as both sides seemed intent on attack as the best form of defence.
Rams gave away a free kick, edge of the Rams box, but it blasted well wide of the Rams goal.
The 69th and Rams won a corner ball, played into the back pos,t headed back into the box and Fitchett first to react to fire home, putting Rams 1 up.
The game was really interesting at this point as Chats attacked and Rams went into defensive mode with even Rowland dropping back, leaving just Miller upfront, there was a long way to go. The 65th and Miller went on a solo, beating three but trying the shot rather than the simple ball.
Chats were playing some great football down the flanks with crosses predominantly coming in from the left, the Rams backline held strong.
Rams attacked as Aboagye linked with Rowland who turned in the box, winning a corner cleared off the line to keep Chats hopes alive.
Great deliveries from Bodkin for Chats trying to get them back in the game from the left just over the attacking line as they continued to build.
The 89th and Rams attacked, a long ball out wide looking like a lost cause. Aboagye chased it down, beat the defender and crossed for Miller to head home what would be the winner for Rams.
Although Chatham tried their hardest, it was Rams taking the three points and going clear at the top, by 6 points.
Ramsgate: 1Josh Bexon, 2Jerald Aboagye, 3Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, 4Jamie Coyle, 9Kane Rowland, 12Jack Paxman, 10Ashley Miller, 11Nathan Wood, 17Ben Fitchett, 19Jake McIntyre, 20Tijan Jadama
Subs: 5Callum Emptage, 7Lauric Diakiesse, 8Lee Prescott, 18Theo Osinfolarin, 16Oliver Bate
Chatham Town: 1Ben Bridle Card, 3Simon Cooper, 4Jordan Robins, 5Reece Butler, 7Prince Domafriyie, 8Jack Evans, 10Emmanuel Oloyede, 11Fabio Saraiva, 12Joseph Taylor, 17Seidou Sanogo,18Matt Bodkin
Subs: 6Dean Beckwith, 9Dan Bradshaw, 20Billy Bennett, 15Callum Peck, 16Elijah Simpson
RFSA Ramsgate player of the match: Ben Fitchett
Ramsgate next in action:
07Jan Away Cray Valley PM 3pm
10Jan Away Beckenham Town 7.45pm
14Jan Home Sittingbourne 3pm